Name: Macross Digital Mission VFX 2 (97.00% in 10 votes)
Release date: 1999
Reviewed by: KurenaiJiku
I must note that all the screenshots for this review are taken from Bleem; the fully working PSX emulator for Windows 9x, therefore all the screens are 3D accelerator enhanced and are in 640 by 480. The PSX version runs at 320 by 240 with standard gouraud shading; not much else.
Macross VFX 2 isn't something to scream about, nor will it please a Macross fan's urge to pilot a Valkyrie. If you are a Macross fan, you'd probably be better off picking up models, action figures or rewatching the entire series all over again; TWICE. VFX 2 although much better than VFX 1, still suffers dearly from weaknesses and faults which the creators still don't realize. Allow me to explain.
First off, control is still just as horrendous as the first game. Any valkyrie that you pilot will feel the same as any other valkyrie that's in the game; in fact, it doesn't even feel like a plane. There isn't any g-force, wind factor, or resistance. If you rotate your Valkyrie, without any resistance or hint of it starting to rotate. It will simply rotate a full speed without any sign of gradience in speed whatsoever. There are slight differences in speed of mobility and handling with every Valkyrie featured in the game, but of course as a simulator; it doesn't cut it. The system of throttle is also annoying as well as the Valkyries only have four settings of speed; 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%. I would assume this simplifies control for the simulator newbies out there who can't stand complex variables and dynamics in a game. But I believe that is the problem with gamers today anyway; they haven't been exposed to complexity, therefore it isn't a standard. I don't remember how I actually controlled my Valkyries, but then let's just say it was rather difficult to home in with my machine gun on any moving targets. I spent most of my time relying on missiles to attack enemy ships, Valkyries and the sort. Anything which was slow moving or stationary, I could use guns on.
Anyways, all your Valkyries have your varying standard Macross weapons; pod gun (machine gun basically), standard missiles, micro missiles, high manuvuer missiles, lasers, pin point shields, chaffs, cluster missiles, etc. Each Valkyrie is armed with a variety of weapons and is true to the Anime. There are several to choose from; VF-1S with the Super Pack, YF-19, YF-22 (aka YF-21), VF-11, the idiotic stealth bomber wannebe from Macross 7 (Nightmare), VF-1x (a "super" version of the VF-1a from first Macross series), and two new Valkyries (which aren't from any Macross series) that I hope to never EVER see again anywhere. One is designed to fly and drive underwater; it looks absolutely horrendous in any mode, but it does have two gun pods so it's interesting sometimes. And another Valkyrie which transforms not into a Battroid mode or Gerwalk, but rather a Mac mecha of the destroid series. Don't ask me why; it'll make me cry if you do.
The story is an absolute nadda, and doesn't have any coherence with the tradition found in Macross and Macross Plus. It fits more like the unofficial Macross 2, and idiotically distasteful Macross 7. The story has no background or support with standard military processes, and seems more like a bunch of mercenary floorwipes flying around in oversized toys in an attempt to mirror Macross Plus. I feel the missions, although fun, present no revelance to a highly advanced intergalactic military system, but rather cater to characters of utter arrogant and self involving traits. All character designs are of Macross 7-based origin most definitely and deserve a A plus for blandness and bordem.
As for graphics, they are a half half thing as pryo technics are done well with explosions zooming off with neon colored shockwaves. For modelling and textures, after playing the Dreamcast for such a short time, the PSX graphics simply don't cut it for me anymore. The PSX suffers from extreme polygon pop up and you'll see it most especially on high res. (Bleem only) The Valkyries will look like jello when the cutscenes zoom in close for drama's sake. Textures are bland, but do provide the detail required to identify what is what. Scenery can be better, but does the job as it was much better than the first VFX. It isn't as dull nor is as endless; action is paced much better in VFX 2 and I must commend them for picking up on this from the last game. Sound is ok, but there is a lot of blank spots and dead weight which the creators could have filled up with missile streaming sounds, explosions, engines roaring, (or hissing whichever you prefer), or winds producing some sort of resistance. This would have given the game a much more full feel rather than the empty shell VFX 2 is. Music? Oh don't even talk about it, if you thought the first was bad, forget it here.
In finality, VFX 2 is something for Macross fans to collect. Just to peek into once an awhile to keep the urges at bay till a real Macross simulator comes along. It's a fun game despite the cheesy (but graphically well done) intro, super cheeso PSX graphics, incoherent storyline, dull characters, and utterly annoying two new Valkyries which I never touched at all. If you have the "urge", I suggest buying this game at the cheapest possible price. However, if you can't find it cheap anywhere, or aren't a fan of Macross, do not get this game. It will ruin your first step into the Macross world if you haven't done so already.
Graphics (technical) - 2.5/5
Graphics (creative) - 2.5/5
Sound (technical) - 2/5
Sound (creative) - 2/5
Technical Gameplay - 2/5
Fun Factor - 3/5
Diversity of Features - 1/5
Story - 1/5
Overall Value - 2.5/5
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