You guys! Check it out! Star Wars Squadrons.... Might it be..?

Wow those were great stories. I honestly love the Dreamcast controller so that just makes me more excited to try the Duke.

So I got the Duke yesterday and while I think it’s gonna take a small period of adjustment, I can already tell I’m gonna love it.

Yeah, I picked up a Duke copy when they were released a few years back. I’ve always loved that thing, but I do sort of wish they’d added the bumpers from the Xbox One controller. Oh well.

Yeah that might be the biggest change to get used to.

So to continue this side conversation, I’ve been loving the Hyperkin Duke. However, sadly, the left trigger has been going nuts of late, engaging constantly even when the trigger itself isn’t pressed down. It’s SUPER annoying, so I’ve sadly disconnected the thing and contacted Hyperkin for some sort of fix or replacement.

Have any of y’all with this controller run into this problem? Apparently it’s pretty common, but all the “fixes” I can find for it are temporary.

Star Wars Squadrons is free on Epic next week.

I’m finally playing it, on VR. And… the game is kind of hard? I’m super bad at it.

I clarify I don’t have a joystick, and I know I could play better if I used a mouse, but I wanted to play with the controller, which goes better together the vr experience than keyboard/mouse (I’m still so bad aiming with controllers). Also, another factor to take in account is that the game is more disorienting in VR than in playing on screen, that also is increasing the difficulty.

So I thought ‘oh well, I will compensante and put it on Easy’. Honestly, this is a game I’m playing for the spectacle of playing in VR, not for the challenging and engaging gameplay, so I said to myself it was ok lowering from Normal to Easy.
The issue is, there is no ‘Easy’. There is ‘story mode’ as the difficulty previous to Normal. And Story modes goes to the extreme in making things easy! That’s my complaint here, it’s like four times easier than Normal. There is no in between. Now enemies die with a bad look of mine.

So this is another rant of companies not giving enough difficulty settings in their games. I hate when they do that, how a company can spend 3 years making a game and then throw all that effort to waste (from my pov) because they didn’t spend half a day in adding a few more difficulty settings.

I really do appreciate when companies add in fine tuning for difficulty settings, like enemy damage scaling, and weapon damage sliders. That stuff is awesome.

Actually, I tried again on Normal and I could be missions 3 and 4. They were somehow easier than mission 1?? Oh well.

They can be, Mission 1 is a lot of twisting and turning in a visually busy space and it happens all at once. There’s a definite curve and once it clicks it gets a lot more reasonable.

I gave up. It’s much harder for me than the old Tie Fighter and X-Wing games. The controls just aren’t “right”.

I used the skirmish mode thing to get the hang of movement and controls.

Go back, it was hard as hell for the first maybe three hours, then it all clicked. By the end I was boost-sliding or whatever they call it like a pro.

If people want to organize a game, I would try it. I got a logitech Joystick I would like to try out.

Gamepad or Joystick?

Joystick. I can’t speak to gamepad, but the game definitely could use some tuning on the acceleration zones. Felt very slow then super fast when tracking. I eventually found a sensitivity that worked, but like Battlegrounds, you do need to fly to use the aimbot in the outer target box and not go for clean deflection shots.

Actually that probably merits a separate post for anyone struggling: since Battlefront these SW flying games have a little controller fudge in them that can throw you off. The target crossing your field of view has a box around it, if your reticle is anywhere in that box then your guns will automatically add in the correct lead, you don’t need to actually lead the target correctly.

Real lead still works, but the way to do it is to come in on a target with your crosshairs and starting firing the second they enter the box, not later when the lead is correct. All the better if you can enter and slow down and stay in the box, but the sensitivity makes that hard. Get used to dragging onto the target, bursting until you overshoot the box, then flip to another target in front of you rather than dogfight the last one that’s gone behind you.

So what’s the consensus on this title, now that it’s been around a long time? Clearly you guys have been playing it. But perusing some gameplay videos, it doesn’t feel as much a SW dogfight as much as… I dunno, Wing Commander with SW skins. The figher speed feels slow, fighters can take huge amounts of damage, dogfighting feels nonexistant… almost like if you’re in someone reticle, as long as they don’t run out of laser charge, you’re toast.

I feel to get the ‘right’ flavor of dogfighting you’d need faster ships, less turn radius, no auto-aim, less ability to slow down at all. Allowing more deliberate attack runs, more decisive first strikes, more effective evasive maneuvers, and less goofy handbrake turns and sudden stops. More like ww2 planes, ha.

I know everyone’s favorite memories of LucaArts 90’s games are similar to this game’s mechanics, but I feel they were a product of their time, it could be better now. Gameplay videos make this feel kinda tedious, lots of blasting, not a whole lot of pilotting.

It depends on the skill of the player you are watching. With the boost mechanic and power shunting, the maneuverability skill ceiling is quite high in Squadrons. As such I think dog fighting is very alive and well in the title as it could not be further from a Wing Commander (spin radar, chase dots) type model. Many will disagree with this. However, I would counter such disagreement with the suggestion to jump online and play anyone that is still playing. Squadrons is like the Titanfall of spaceship combat. While it is one thing to know about wall running and the grapple hook, it is brutal facing someone with a savant like kinship to the movement model after years of practice. Squadrons is similar in that there is a universe of movement manipulation to experience and master long after you know there is a boost button and you can drift.

That said, don’t expect to see the AI using advanced manuvering nor a huge reason to use it against the AI.

Unrelated to the dog fighting question, I most certainly adored the Lucas Arts games in their time. I played Squadrons, and did quite well, competitively before the online community were perma boosting gods. I played the campaign on multiple platforms. I experienced it primarily in VR first via PSVR then later with a HP Reverb G2 on PC. Both times I was using a lower end HOSTAS. As a childhood Star Wars fan (maybe still thanks to Andor and Rogue One) and a now adult that was raised on the Kenner, movies, IP spin offs, and a parallel growth of the gaming industry, SW:Squadrons (in VR) just tapped into an wholly unique, and nearly spiritual, joy. I label Star Wars Squadrons as one of the absolute best video game experiences I have ever had.

I am not the consensus though as some folks found something or a great many somethings to dislike about the game.

The multiplayer with near-full teams is great (both modes), but you have to bring your own players. The matchmaking was basically dead.