Sabrewing 2

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Sabrewing 2

Postby bookworm » Mon Aug 26, 2013 1:32 pm

I highly doubt it since it’s so obscure, but has anyone else played SabreWing 2? It’s an old computer game from the old Wild Tangent.

You can’t get it anymore, or probably play it even if you have it, because it’s so old the way it works isn’t the way computers work anymore. It runs in a browser environment through a function that a certain Windows Update eliminated years ago. But it’s a pretty cool game.

It’s a space battle game, you fly a ship around and shoot alien ships before they shoot you. You have some wingmen you can give squad commands to if you want to control activity, or you can just let them handle themselves. It’s ridiculously fun!

Optional reading on my personal experience getting the game working once more:
The reason I know about it is because my family’s first computer, an old XP machine, came with a few Wild Tangent games preinstalled, and that was one of them. Just the demo, of course. I absolutely loved it and played it frequently until that computer finally died several years ago. I eventually forgot about it.
About a year ago I remembered it and was determined to find a way to get it back because I loved it so much. I scoured the internet and finally found an installer for it. I ran it on our other XP machine, but like I said it doesn’t work anymore. I was eventually able to narrow down the problem to the Windows Update I mentioned, but it’s one you can’t remove. I sadly put the quest on hold until I could figure something out.
A while later I got the idea to install it on a virtual machine. I excitedly created a new one with an XP installation and the game installed! But it wouldn’t run. It needs DirectX 3D capabilities, and at this point in time virtual machines aren’t able to access that functionality from the host. However, this was actually a success of sorts. This meant that the game would run, meaning I had solved the initial problem, it just didn’t have the right features available.
I now knew the combination of factors I needed: A fresh install of Windows XP Service Pack 1 (before the troublesome update) that was directly installed on a host machine (not a virtual device) that can access Direct 3D. I just had to wait until an opportunity to meet these needs presented itself. Last week, it finally did!

A year or so ago, my laptop had some big trouble. To this day I don’t know what exactly happened, it was a behavior I’ve never heard of before, but the short story is I became unable to log in. My account and all my files were intact, but something in the system operations had become bizarrely corrupted. It soon became clear that fixing it, if even possible, was going to be a very long process and I couldn’t afford that, so I got a new hard drive and just copied my files over. This left me with a spare hard drive which couldn't use the installation currently on it, but was functioning just fine as for the drive itself. So I reformatted the corrupted drive with a new install of Windows Vista, which is what was on it before, to be sure it was still operational and it was.

Now that the drive was working again, and it was a fresh start I could do whatever I wanted with, I realized this was exactly what I had been waiting for from the SabreWing search! I would make the laptop a dual boot Vista and XP installation. This would give the needed environment for the game: A brand new XP host installation, pre-gamebreaking update. I became ecstatic.
The XP install went okay, but there were some issues finding the appropriate drivers to get the system working on the laptop, but there was no way I was letting that stop me because I knew this would finally work, so after much persistence I finally got the system up and running.

And now the game is playable again! I’m absolutely thrilled!

I don’t know what makes this game so great to me, especially since it’s just the demo. You can only do three things: one mission and two instant action scenarios, but I could do those three things over and over again forever! It has incredible replayability for being the same thing each time. I think it’s because even though the objective is always the same, it never plays out the same way because it just depends on how well you do that time.

For me, playing it feels like being in a sci-fi movie battle scene because while you’re fighting there are video transmissions coming in from your wingmen about the progress of the mission. There are three characters (in your group, a few more in total): a swaggering guy, a woman, and a Russian. The contrast of their personalities, which you’re able to grasp even though they only say a few brief lines, creates a really great atmosphere. You also have a talking computer giving you updates on the situation.

Anyway, has anyone else been fortunate enough to be able to play this rare gem?

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