WiiWare Takes a Descent Into Gaming History

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John Funk:
I know I can't wait to get lost in a dizzying series of tunnels all over again! Who's with me?

Oh, I can't wait to get lost into those tunnels, trust me, but not with a Wiimote. Gave me a game pad or keyboard and mouse any day.
Does it make me old if I yearn for the days of yore when we had great flight sim's like Descent, Wing Commander and X-Wing...

Tenmar:
That is one of those games that is impossible to play well on a keyboard nevermind having fun.

Nonsense, I used naught but the keyboard for every Descent title and I had a blast! Likewise, until Freelancer 2 decided that mouse control was the thing to do, I played every space shooter in my collection with just the keyboard. And I kicked ass doing so.

Digikid:
The freespace series just plain sucked.

Heresy!

I wonder if this means they'll put Descent 2 on there too? I loved them both very dearly in earlier years...

Material Defender is your callsign, the ship is called the Pyro-GX.

Baby Tea:
Oh man!
I LOVED Descent! It was so freaking good!
It was my favourite Modem game to play with my friends!

"Hey, ok I'm ready. I'll hang up, wait 20 seconds, and call you. Don't answer the phone, ok?"
"MOM! I'm expecting a call! Don't answer the phone when it rings!"
Cue modem sounds!

Awesome. I loved that game.
We need to get this on XBLA!

Here lies the truth.

I don't know how many times I'd game with friends after hearing that beautiful Modem Music.

Damn kids these days with their "dee-ess-ell" and their cables and their high speed.

Please tell me I'm not the only one here who has only ever heard of this game from the magic 8 ball in Fallout 2...?

I use to just love this game! Sucks that it will be on WII instead of XBL

Jeez it was awhile ago since I played Descent back on the Mac, I was horrible at it but it was an awesome game. Glad I kept my Wii for the classics, hopefully it's still good after all this time.

I feel like an old fart knowing a game that came out 15 years ago, but that's also how I feel with all these Wiiware releases. While I won't be downloading it (as with many of the other ones, except maybe ogre battle 64) I'm happy to see a classic getting another shot at life.

Caliostro:
Unmentioned is the fact that the Wii will be strained to keep up with the 1995 sci-fi classic's graphics and fast paced gameplay.

Oh snap!

great the wii is going to ruin another game with its stupid ass motion senseing bullshit. There was nothing wrong with this game when you could use a joystick or even a keyboard.

If its even possible i will lose even more respect for the wii if it fucks up descent

Here is my (somewhat relevant) review of a Descent 2 replay, using the opengl engine mod.
From http://muyuubyou.com/
originally published on http://thegamechair.com/
Descent 2 Replay

The year was 1995, two years after the release of ID's Doom FPS. I was a senior in high school, still reveling in the pure joy of owning my very own Pentium 75. On Feb 28, Parallax's Descent 2 completely blew away all my preconceptions of the infant FPS genre. Taking advantage of the brand new Pentium architecture, Descent 2 was rendered in true 3d, with polygonal enemies replacing Doom's sprites, and *gasp* a real-time lighting engine with destructible lights and moving light sources. I still remember with perfect clarity the first time I fired off a flare into a long dark tunnel, watching the tiny speck of light plummet into the abyss. Like the murder of Aeris, it was one of those gaming moments that would be with me for a life-time.

I was recently thumbing through my old CD-ROMs and pulled out Descent 2 on a hunch . . . that a game that good would have modifications available to make it playable on a current Windows computer. My hunch paid off. Thanks to Parallax releasing the source code for the game there is an OpenGL mod that upgrades the game fantastically, including support to run the game at 1600x1200, using Windows USB joysticks, Windows sound, and as much anti-aliasing and texture filtering as your graphics card can handle. Fantastic. I was ready to again venture deep into Descent's robot infested mine shafts.

Besides being the first PC game to make lighting an integral part of gameplay, Descent 2 was also one of the first games to make use of a Red Book audio soundtrack. This meant that the game was playing licensed audio tracks off the CD in an era when top of the line PC music meant purchasing a better MIDI card. The music itself was fantastic (albeit cheesy), inspiring my younger self to purchase a virtual deluge of industrial rock. I'll even admit that the Descent 2 soundtrack has somehow found its way into my current Itunes (and Xbox 360) playlist.

I'm happy to report that Descent 2 is as difficult and enjoyable now as it was eleven years ago. On my first play-through of the game, I was already familiar with the concept of strafing from Doom. Descent added the delicious ability to strafe vertically as well as horizontally, opening up a crazy assortment of maneuvers that have not been replicated to this day. For example, in Descent, it is possible to do a looping maneuver, while firing at targets inside or outside of your loop.

I think that part of the reason Descent's famous six degrees of freedom haven't been duplicated is the diversification of the gaming market. To obtain mass market appeal, games now have to pass a pick-up-and-play test. With a learning curve of 2 or 3 hours, Descent simply doesn't make the cut. Another big reason Descent hasn't been duplicated is that the PC joystick is virtually extinct. No, I don't mean the gamepad, I mean the heavyweight force feedback flight stick monstrosities that every serious gamer used to have. The precision of a good flight stick is comparable to the optical mouse, while adding the ability to perform a smooth constant turn. To do the same maneuver with a mouse is impossible (unless you have a very long arm).

Descent had no shame in blatantly replicating the color coded doors and keys from Doom. However, they did add the guidebot character to prevent you from getting lost in their twisted underground mines. The guidebot would gently guide you to your next destination, issuing a series of cooing beeps reminiscent of R2-D2. This mechanic allowed them to go absolutely over the edge in their level designs, creating passages so intricate and unworldly they inspired vertigo and confusion in the most seasoned PC gamers. The deep rivers, waterfalls, and lava flows of Descent 2 held a mystical beauty for me as a 17-year-old, and I'll admit that Parallax's level designs still pack an emotional punch to this day probably because their intricacy has yet to be duplicated.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my little trip down memory lane. I'm glad that some of the gaming experiences I've enjoyed over the years still hold value to me, and I'm sure it won't be long before I go thumbing through my dual 300-disk books again, searching for gems from gaming's colorful past.

Either that or you could get Descent 1 and 2 from gog.com for 5.99$

Gildan Bladeborn:

Tenmar:
That is one of those games that is impossible to play well on a keyboard nevermind having fun.

Nonsense, I used naught but the keyboard for every Descent title and I had a blast! Likewise, until Freelancer 2 decided that mouse control was the thing to do, I played every space shooter in my collection with just the keyboard. And I kicked ass doing so.

Digikid:
The freespace series just plain sucked.

Heresy!

LOL!!!! Yes I am a Heretic.

God, i loved playing Descent. I still remember my dad telling me all the commands to type in in DOS so I could start playing this awesome game when was about 4 or 5. If I still had my Wii, this would be on the top of the list of games to get. Oh well, I guess I'll dust off my old copy then.

Another reason to get the Wii! That game rocked my world... and I got it for free; a 'gift' from my friend who physically couldn't play it - he kept throwing up all the time XD

Caliostro:
Unmentioned is the fact that the Wii will be strained to keep up with the 1995 sci-fi classic's graphics and fast paced gameplay.

hahaha I was just about to mention that...xD lol

that, and this also reminds me of another series. ever heard of star wars: x-wing/tie-fighter? =]

Nice to see Descent will still be giving people vertigo for years to come.

this game was awesome...i remember some of the cheat codes too...

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