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Nighthawk F117-A Stealth Fighter 2.0 logo  Amiga Format Gold

From the deserts of the Middle East to the killing fields of Cambodia, there is only one plane guaranteed to strike fear in the maddest dictator’s heart. Stealth Fighter 2.0 is here...

F Nighthawk F117-A Stealth Fighter 2.0 light sims, eh? Most of them are about as exciting as watching the M25 video, or a driver’s eye view of the rail journey from Aberdeen to Penzance. They come with manuals the size of bungalows and instructions which you need a degree in Physics to understand. Sheehsh! You have to admit, though, that some are rather better than others and MicroProse have earned themselves a fat fortune making games that are just that.

F-117A is the long awaited sequel to the fantabulous F-19 Stealth Fighter, one of the best flight sims ever, and shares Gunship 2000’s extremely playable game engine.

For Stealth’s second excursion into the world’s abttlezones, MicroProse have enlisted the help of some of the world’s biggest trouble spots – Central Europe, the Persian Gulf, Cuba, Korea and Vietnam – and supply you with an infinite variety of suicidal missions for you to throw your Amiga at.

To make the gameplay even more interesting, you also get three levels of conflict – Cold War, where you can be penalised for attacking unspecified targets; Limited War, where you can kind of do what you want as long as no-one finds out about it; and Conventional War, where you can shoot jettisoning pilots, napalm villages and cause people to flutter their order papers at the UN and get rewarded for it.

But hang on. You have got to learn to fly the thing first. F-117A also gives you the option to carry out training missions in all the different theatres of war, so you can get used to the levels of opposition awaiting you, with an infinite supply of ammo and parachutes. This is a pretty neat idea since you are not penalised for ploughing into hillsides or flying off in a completely different direction all together and going to visit your mum, or something.

Take off and destroy
If you have never played a flight sim before, the sight of all those controls, hot-keys and weapon ptions can be a bit bewildering, especially when you have just been jumped by a squadron of MiGs and are in full-flight panic mode. Even if you manage to take off and destroy successfully, there is always a tricky carrier landing in the Bay of Pigs waiting for you on your return. Practice like your life depends on it.

F-117A Things are rather less sweet when it comes to doing the missions themselves. You usually have two or three objectives to achieve in a single sortie, so weapons and fuel are often at a premium. Waste all your cluster bombs on Saddam’s palace and you have nothing left to chuck at the chemical weapons factory down the road. Some missions do not call on you to use any weapons at all, you just have to fly over specified targets and photograph them for the boffins back at base, while avoiding all the radar-guided missiles homing in on your tail. You can also choose whether to play air-combat or ground strike missions, though most seem to be a mixture of both.

F-117A is the kind of game you are either going to love or loathe. MicroProse seem to churn these things out with alarming regularity and most of them are pretty top-notch, state-of-the-art stuff. This offers you some extremely nifty graphics, night-flying options – complete with twinkling stars and moon – and all the usual slot and remote camera views you expect.

The missions are varied and become increasingly complex as your skills as pilot and tactician progress, but the Stealth proves to be extremely easy to fly and you are soon zooming around the enemy’s airspace like the fighter ace you secretly know you are.

Crasher of coward?
Getting yourself safely back to base is a much trickier proposition, especially when you are expected to land on the narrow deck of an aircraft carrier. It takes a fiendish amount of practice to get it right and it is often easier to just bail out or ditch into the sea. Total cowards can opt for the No Crashes option – which at least gets you back on the ground in one piece – but an Autopilot Landing option would have been a much less messy proposition.

Despite these drawbacks, F-117A is very, very good. The 3D graphics are marvellous, the sound effects realistic and the missions will have you hammering the baddies until the next real war starts. This won’t be an essential buy if you already own loads of flight sims, but it is a cracking game nevertheless.
Rob Mead

Amiga Format, Issue 54, Christmas 1993, p.p.76-77



"F-117A’s many missions will have you hammering the baddies until the next real world war starts."


F-117A
NIGHTHAWK
PROGRAMMERS
In-house
PUBLISHER
MicroProse 0454 326532
PRICE
£34.99
RELEASED
Out now

F-117A is hard disk installable

GRAPHICS
08 out of 10
Stunning 3D views, night flights and slick animation. Flight sims have never been so realistic.

SOUND
07 out of 10
It is all here, from the roar of the afterburners to the worrying sound of incoming SAMs.

ADDICTION
07 out of 10
Once you get the hang of it, you are hooked. Try explaining those red eyes to workmates.

PLAYABILITY
09 out of 10
It takes a lot of practice to really get in to, but once you are skilled enough, it is brilliant.

VERDICT
"F-117A does not have anything new to offer, but provides you with another perfect example of why MicroProse are such undisputed masters of the flight sim genre."
92%



Nighthawk F117-A Stealth Fighter 2.0 logo

Nach einer fast zweijährigen Konvertierungsphase kommt nun die große Überraschung aus dem MicroProse-Hangar gerollt: Eine Umsetzung des Mega-Flugis, die das PC-Original tatsächlich noch überflügelt!

C Nighthawk F117-A Stealth Fighter 2.0 hronologisch gesehen, ist F-117A der nachfolger zu "F-19 Stealth Fighter", von der Sache her handelt es sich eher um ein Quasi-Update. Wie beim Vorgänger kann man wieder zwischen zwei verschiedenen Varianten des Tarnkappenbombers wählen: einer "MicroProse-Version", die auf den im Vorfeld gesammelten Informationen der Programmierer beruht, un dem tatsächlich von der U.S. Army eingesetzten Modell. Letzteres ist natürlich realistischer, der andere Entwurf läßt sich dafür besser bewaffnen.

Amiga Joker Hit Die neun Szenarios heißen Kuwait ("Wüstenstorm"), Mittlerer Osten, Persischer Golf, Libyen, Nordkorea, Vietnam, Zentraleuropa, Nordkap und Kuba im Jahre 1995. Zudem wurde der Missions-Generator für den Amiga extra nochmals aufgebohrt und ermöglicht jetzt Tausende von Aufträgen, die unter Zuhilfenahme von 18 Waffen-Sorten absolviert werden – man kann das Feuerwerk dabei selbst zusammenstellen oder en bloc vom Programm übernehmen. All die Standard-Features wie Innen- und Au"enansichten, tag- und Nachteinsätze, Zeitraffer, Bordkamera, Ersatztank, Einsatzbesprechungen und abschließende Manöverkritikgibt es natürlich ebenfalls; dazu ein ganz neues, wiederum speziell für unsere "Freundin": Neben dem Trainingsmodus und der "Resupply"-Option erleichtert nun eine Teleporter-Funktion unerfahrenen Piloten den Umgang mit den komplexen Feuervögerln.

Bei der Wertung kann man sich hier wirklich kurzfassen, denn F-117A dürfte derzeit schlicht die beste Flugsimulation für den Amiga sein. In Sachen Spieltiefe schlägt das Programm "Combat Air Patrol" um Längen, die Steuerung (vorzugsweise per Stick, Maus, und Tastatur gehen auch), funktioniert tadellos, und der explosive Begleitkrach kmmt auch ganz ordentlich aus dem Lautsprecher. Aber der wahre Knaller ist die wesentlich detailreicher gewordene Grafik: Vor allem nachts wirkt die Optik realistischer als alles, was diesbezüglich bisher am Monitor zu sehen war! Stellt man den Detailgrad ungefähr auf "F-19" Niveau ein, bewegt sich die Graik schon am 500er flüssig und flott – auf der allerhöchsten Detailstufe ruckelt sie dagegen selbst auf einem 1200er leicht, aber auch damit kann man leben. Zumal als zusätzliches Bonbon ein von knackiger Heavy Metal-Musik untermaltes Intro geliefert wird.

So weit, so hervorragend, bloß hat F-117A gegenüber dem Vorflieger halt letztlich nicht sooo wahnsinnig viel Neues zu bieten. Eine Umtauschaktion für "F-19"-Besitzer wäre sicher die fairste Lösung gewesen, aber es hat wohl nicht sollen sein. Daher muß schon jeder selbst entscheiden, ob ihm der neue Renommier-Flugi ami Amiga die Investitition wert ist – enttäsuchend wird das Spiel Gewiß niemanden! (mm)

Amiga Joker, December 1993, p.74

F-117A
STEALTH FIGHTER 2.0
(MICROPROSE)
FLUGSIMULATION
85%
"TOP!"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
81%
80%
80%
66%
78%
91%
VARIABEL
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
3/JA
JA
ROSTER
ANLEITUNG


Nighthawk F117-A Stealth Fighter 2.0 logo

Yet another flight sim – another stealth one, too. Déjà vu, but it is quality stuff.

Game: F117A
Publisher: MicroProse
Authors: In house
Price: £34.99
Release: Out now

T Nighthawk F117-A Stealth Fighter 2.0 he Gulf War, eh? The ultimate showcase of American military supremacy on land, sea and air. And although we did not get too much hard and fast logistical information at the time, it soon became apparent that the stars of the show were the Lockheed stealth fighters. They neutralised the eyes and ears of the enemy with short succinct surgical surprises. Lightly armed but practically invisible to enemy radar, the stealths emasculated the might of the fourth largest army of the world. Whether you are a pacifist or an out-and-out supporter of the forces of capitalist pig imperialism, you could not help but be impressed by the precision and effectiveness of the laser-guided missile strikes.

So with that out of the way, let us F117A from MicroProse. As is openly admitted in the manual, the sim is basically an upgraded and overhauled version of F19 Stealth Fighter. In fact they are so similar that owners of F19 can just jump into the cockpit, so to speak, and start fluing. The sim starts with the usual natty intro animation of tae off, flight, then a super-exciting targeting and laser-guided bombing sequence.

So what is it that is so exciting about the F117A? For a start, it operates on a system known as fly-by-wire. In other words, your plane is not directly controlled by the pilot. His joystick and switch controls are interpreted by the on-board computer and translated into servo ction of the plane’s flaps, weapons systems and so on. Here comes the surprise, though – on its own, the F117 would be aerodynamiccaly unflyable. The computer continually updates incoming data and thus keeps the plane in the air. You could be forgiven for thinking that this would make a difference to the actual feel of the simulation. Unfortunately it does not. The plane feels and responds much the same manner as any other flight sim from MicroProse; there is a slight delay before any action is implemented.

STICKY FINGERS
MicroProse consistently support analogue joysticks in flight sims, so I tried the Freeflight Analog from Spectravideo. ‘Ha ha,’ you may be thinking, ‘the Freeflight is configured for the PC!’ (I do not think many of our readers will be thinking that, Steve. Let it go. – Ed). Cunningly, I also used a Suncom Analog joystick adaptor which lets you use most PC joysticks with the Amiga. The pair work well, and there is even a noticeable difference using different sensitivity settings (configured from a panel within the sim software).
MicroProse always understate the difference that using analogue can make the difference this makes when banking and turning could be a positive life-safer. But anyway.

So what is the big difference between between F117A and F19? For a start, F117A has many more missions set in a wider range of world theatres: Persian Gulf, Europe’s North Cape, Libya, Central Europe, Middle East, Desert Storm, Vietnam 1994, Cuba 1995 and Korea 1997.
The futuristic ones are positively exhilarating. Just think – Korea 1997! Already, the Chinese have told President Clinton where to go when he complained about them testing nuclear bombs. The North Koreans are getting up to mischief with their present nuclear program. Considering that the North Koreans and the Chinese are pals, it augurs well for a pretty stimulating conflict scenario. Education through destruction, diplomacy and paranoia, I say.

F117A The most strategic targets are discussed in a clinical ‘level of importance’ type manner. Geography lessons would be much more fun if they were taught this way at school. "Pýongyang? Yes, sir. I blew up several of its prime SAM radar sites in my F117A stealth fighter, you know. It is the capital of orea. They will think twice before they carry on with their Communist expansion programme".

In general, the location decides the type of conflict you can enter into; Cold War, Limited War and yer normal Conventional War. Cold War scenarios are probably the least exciting, except to those of you who prefer a really difficult challenge without shooting or blowing anuthing up. Lmited War is a constrained series of tit-for-tat retaliatory measures. You have to follow orders to the letter and have limited freedom of engagement.
Conventional War is probably the most fun. You you’re your prime objectives, but anything else I the way can be considered fair game. And that brings us nicely to the plane itself.

DOUBLE STEALTH
MicroProse have implemented two types of F117 – the original Lockheed and the MicroProse version. The Lockheed has a smaller payload, you do not have a front-mounted cannon, cannot carry air-to-air missiles and you can only fly at night. This option is for the real buffs. You cannot affor to make a mistake. One target, one bomb and you cannot even arm yourself with the Texas Instruments Paveway III; responsible for only five per cent of the total ordnance expended during Desert Storm but accounting for 50 per cent of targets destroyed.

Most of us will settle for MicroProse’s compromise stealth fighter. It has a slightly larger radar signature area but more than makes up for this with its larger payload and ability to engage in air-toa-ir combat and fly during daylight hours. The disconcerting part of air-toa-air combat in this sim is the fact that you do not have a radar yourself with which to track bogeys (radar gives you away immediately). Reliance on visual sighting and tracking cameras is essential if you wish to survive.

Navigation, planning and a good memory are crucial if you want to live. The briefing room displays the plans of enemy radar footprints. In an operation known a ‘threading the needle’, you have to negotiate these siteswithout giving yourself away. Manage this, and the rest is not as easy as pie.

This is, as usual, a slick, competent, technically excellent sim from MicroProse. It is just that apart from some of the extras such as the futuristic missions and the in-depth discussion of radars and things, we have seen it all before. Flight sim fans will still love it, though, as will those new to the Amiga-owning fraternity.
STEVE McGILL

Amiga Power, Issue 33, January 1994, p.p.42-43



"Lightly armed bu practically invisible to radar."


Upper UPPERS Technically excellent – very slick. Offers a variety of weapons, tactics and rules of engagement.
Downer DOWNERS Sadly for sim fans, there are not enough discernible differences between this sim and any other MicroProse sim. Especially F-19.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Despite the sameyness, you still feel a surge of back-slapping pride when you touch down after having completed a mission successfully. Ideal My First Flight Sim material, but nothing new for experienced pilots.
86

P E R C E N T

THE BOTTOM LINE

A1200 Much smoother and faster frame update. And if you own a slower machine and love this game, think about buying an A1200.