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MW2 offers four play options: Instant Action, Training, Clan Wolf and Clan Jade-Falcon. The recommended starting point for MW2 is the Training option. There are six training missions which prepare you for the carnage that awaits in the Campaigns and Instant Action. Just about everything you need to know is covered i.e. Mech piloting, using weapons, inspection, etc. If you're used to getting yelled at by a parent, teacher or boss then you'll feel right at home with your instructor in the training missions.
Instant Action includes twelve different and unique planets for some fast paced action. There are twelve Mech chassis available starting with the lightweight Firemoth up to the heavyweight and awesome Dire Wolf. There are also several weapons variants available for each Mech. After you select your Mech and weapons variant, the weapons can be configured in groups. You can mix and match missile systems and energy weapons. If you put too many energy weapons in one group, your Mech will overheat and shutdown during combat. Not a good thing.
Clan Wolf offers three campaigns: Trial of Refusal (16 missions), Wolf's Dragon (4 missions) and Freebirth Trials (4 missions). The Wolf's Dragon and Freebirth Trials are bonus mini-campaigns created exclusively for the PlayStation version. In the Clan Jade-Falcon, you will also have three campaigns: Trial of Refusal, Crusader Trials and Inner Sphere Trials, that contain the same number of missions as the Clan Wolf. Here too, the Crusader Trials and Inner Sphere Trials are exclusive to the PlayStation conversion.
The game play is conducted strictly from inside your Mech. The Heads-Up-Display provides you with a radar, weapons display, targeting and heat tracking indicators, damage status, forward/reverse throttle gauge, targeting reticle, target bracket and a mission objectives reminder. The damage to your Mech and the enemy Mech is shown in four different colors depending on the amount of damage inflicted, with black being the worse color.
Missions vary with objectives such as attack, defend or even inspection. This is not a shoot-em-up bloodfest. Some missions have a weight restriction which limits the Mech you can select for that mission. Selecting a Mech with Jump Jets (when available) can help prolong your life.
The Options screen incorporates eight different controller configurations. These range from simple to complex. Carefully study the different configurations before making a selection. The simpler configurations are not always the best for several reasons. For example, Configuration number 1 and 6 do not allow you to turn your torso. Turning your torso or turret, allows you to move in one direction while firing at enemies to the side. If you want to progress from the rank of Mechwarrior to Khan you better learn how to twist your torso when engaged in combat.
MW2 claims it's "Analog Joystick Compatible". However, the manual informs you, "When using an analog controller, if the switch on the controller is set to Analog, the buttons will NOT map correctly to the Control Setup in the Game Options screen." Translation, the joystick must be set to digital and used in a controller mode. The analog joystick does however make Mech handling a little easier but has no major advantages over the standard controller.
Even with the difficulty level set to "Easy", MW2 is no walk in the park. There are eight different Power-Ups which can help when you're swarmed by enemy Mechs. These include the standard fare of reloads and health, but there is also a very useful Stealth Power-Up. This allows you to become invisible for a limited time. If you are under the impression that MW2 for the PSX is strictly an arcade game, you are wrong. Not only will this challenging game require strategy, but also good Mech piloting skills. Becoming a Master Mech Pilot takes much practice!
What do the graphics look like? They are very very good! Especially when compared to the original PC version. PC users might argue the computer graphics are better and they would be partially correct. That is, if you own a high-end Pentium based computer system or better with all the latest add-ons such as 3D cards. However, at twenty times the cost of a $149 PSX the PC graphics have to be better! If you played MW2 on the average PC with the resolution cranked up, the frame rate would look like a slide show. In comparison, the PSX frame rate was smooth and graphics beautifully rendered. The animated cinematics are a visual treat.
In the sound department, it is everything you'd expect or want in an action packed game. The voices are clear and easy to understand. Your Mech's on-board computer has a sexy female voice that tells you when targets are locked, warns you of danger, mission failure and more. The music is enjoyable and compliments the 31st century setting.
Written by Blaine
Code for CRUISE CONTROL: Go to the password screen and enter #AXO/A4TTA
MECHWARRIOR 2 ANALOG JOYSTICK UPDATE
Mechwarrior 2 for PSX does fully support Sony's analog joystick. However, the
game manual does not provide the necessary information for using the analog
stick. Fortunately, Mechwarrior and Khan Jeff Katin has solved the mystery
for using the analog stick in the game.
Here's Khan Katin's solution:
Set the switch to "Analog" on the joystick. The hat button on the right stick will then perform the "Up" and "Down" functions for selecting Menu items etc. You do not need to select a Controller Setup in the Options Screen. The analog joystick will perform the following (undocumented) functions in the game:
Right Stick - Controls the torso (L/R twists, U/D to raise or lower view)
|X -||Select Target|
|O -||(not used)|
|/\ -||(not used)|
|Hat -||L/R for weapon select, U/D for Zoom in/out|
|Left Stick -||Controls movement (L/R for turns, U/D for throttle)|
|R1 -||Show Objectives|
|R2 -||(not used)|
|L1 -||(not used)|
|L2 -||Jump Jets|
Using the above setup adds an entirely new and exciting level of gameplay to MW2.
Click here for screen shots.
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