Digital Mission VF-X 2
Review #1 by Albert Truong
In 1997, Bandai presented Macross Digital Mission
VFX in attempts to create a simulation/shooter game based on Macross.
Of course, as many of you know, the game didn't do too well. It tremondously
lacked gameplay and story. After about an hour of playing the game,
I came out of denial and admitted that this game was less than ideal.
I was unaware about the release of VFX2 (you'd figure after VFX, Bandai
would give up), until I accidently ran into it on an online preview.
The game promised better graphics, gameplay, and story. By this time,
the game was already released and I immediately picked up a copy. My
honest opinion: the game is average. Though there were moments of "WOW,
that was neat," the game lacked enough spazzle that could make this
game on everyone's want list.
Graphics: The graphics of the various fighters are GREAT
for what the playstation can do. The texture mapping on the fighters
are very well done, going right down to minor details such as the texture
maps for flaps. The fighters, gerwalks, and battroids are very well
rendered and impressive. If I had all day, I would just play the game
to watch the different fighters transform. Unfortunately, what was great
in the fighters and enemies lacked greatly in the environment. In this
game, you are CONSTANTLY moving, so perhaps you might not notice the
environment much, but when you get those breather minutes in and let
the fighter just fly straight, you'll notice that nothing in the background
is moving - as if your fighter is just stationary. It's basically a
bitmap picture that rotates around you. I wouldn't mind that too much,
but if they added at least moving clouds, debris, or whatever, it would
give you a better sense of motion. In addition, the environment lacks
detail - from perhaps a few trees or shrubs to giant blocky streaks,
which I assume are streets.
Story: Much better than a Milky Dolls storyline, but your
typical good guy vs. terrorist. The characters in the game and the ability
to chose your wingman (later in the game) is a nice touch. This time,
you are actually given missions with specific objectives.
Gameplay: Boy, I'm surprised at how they changed the gameplay.
In this game, you use the fighter mode... A LOT! First things first:
each mode is easily controllable (with an analog stick or dual shock
controller), however gerwalk needs some time to get used to, and it's
foward and reverse thrust is a joke - there IS no thrust, you just sorta
burst forward and stop. This means that you have to continually push
the button in order to fly forward. In battroid mode, you can run around
and shoot things, unless it's an air battle, then you can do REAL neat
things that just brings back the NASTALGIC first fight scene between
Maria and Max (Robotech). In battroid air fights, you can fly up and
down, unlike the first VFX. Fighter mode is extensively used now, allowing
for great dog fights (just wish there were more fighters to fight).
And much like the Macross movies, you get to shoot out SWARMS and SWARMS
of missles (anywhere from 6-16 or even 30 or more for some mechas).
The gameplay is unique in that you are allowed to chose between different
views: Target, Missle, and Forward view. In order to really see, aim,
and practically play the game with some enjoyability, the target camera
is the best and allows the camera to lock onto a target. This way, your
target will never leave your view and allows easier gameplay. Sometimes,
there will be missles locked onto YOU. Missle view comes in handy for
dodging, firing your chaffes, or shooting it down in battroid mode.
Forward view - well... that's self explanatory. The controls may disorientate
you, but from my opinion, this is probably the best way to present the
game and STILL maintain a Macross feel.
Missions are no longer HUNT and DESTROY, CITY scenarios like Macross
VFX. You actually have significant targets and objectives - typically
with a boss at the end. Therefore, each mission is diverse with little
However, the gameplay is based too strongly on missle attacks and little
gunpod action. In the game, you get various types of subweapons: missles,
chaffes, micro missles, etc. Astoundingly, you are given 500-600 regular
missles. You'll eventually find yourself using it all the time!
Sound/Music: The gun is annoying and sounds similiar to
the gun sfx from the first VFX. The music is repititive and dull. I
wished they had some original soundtracks from the Macross movies -
or at least have a GOOD composer. THERE'S NO WAY TO TURN OFF MUSIC.
I would have been so happy to get some sound FX and mix in some Macross
+ REALLY good lookin' texture maps for mechas
+ Good 3D for mechas
+ Nice CG (you even get a gallery for it)
+ Nice opening animation
- Ugly scenery
- No diverse enemies
- Some backgrounds are VERY pixelated
+ Intro music is O.K.
- Sound FX could be greatly improved
- Background music is "SUBPAR"
+ A lot of VF's to chose from, including new ones
+ Greatly improved gameplay for fighter, gerwalk, and battroid mode
+ Diverse missions
- Disorientating at times
- Gerwalk mode hard to adapt to
+ NO MILKY DOLLS
+ Progressive storyline straight from Macross
- Weak plot
To wrap things up, this game is not the greatest, but decent. I got
it because I wanted an improved version of the VFX game. Yes it was
improved, but still fell short of ideal.
If you are a diehard Macross lover, and you loved the first one, well
HEY! You'll adore this game. If you are a Macross lover, got some spare
cash, and want to see an improved version of VFX, then go for it. If
you never heard of Macross, or you expect something great, then I suggest
you guys wait for a Macross game on PSX2.
Review #1 by Albert Truong