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Their finest hour - Battle of Britain logo  Amiga Format Gold

US GOLD/LUCASFILM £29.99 * Mouse or Keyboard

Y Their finest hour - Battle of Britain ou can keep your Retaliators and keep your supersonic high altitude bombers. What you really want are good of Spitfires and Messerschmitts to go dogfighting in – or so Lucasfilm will have us believe in their follow up to the great Battlehawks 1942.
Anyone with even a basic knowledge of recent British history will recognise the immortal words used in the title, so it is no shock to find out that this game is a combat flight sim based on aircraft that were around in the first half of the Second World War.

First of all, you can decide which side to fight for, but remember the decision here limits which craft are available to fly – no Spitfires in the Luftwaffe! The Brits have got Hurricanes and Spits to fight in while the German have not only fighters, but medium and long range bombers and dive bombers. Each plane has several missions set aside for it that can be played in any order. The missions are varied and range from straight dogfights to scramble and intercept missions.
Once a mission is completed the combat records are updated (unless you altered some of the options before the battle to make life esier) and stored to disk. This way you can get together a list of pilots to select to fly with you on future missions, i.e. doe particularly well on one mission and the computer can fly that pilot on another mission and will attempt to keep up the pilot’s usual standard while you fly another plane and (hopefully) do just as well.

Then there are the campaign games if you feel like playing for a long while, where you take charge of your side’s airforce and try to either bomb the blazes out of blighty or not, depending which side you are on.
Andy Smith

Amiga Format, Issue 11, June 1990, p.71

GRAPHICS AND SOUND
The sound effects are superb. The droning engines, bullets and explosions are very atmospheric. The graphics are also good, but slow and there is a severe lack of ground detail (that does not detract from the action though).

LASTING INTEREST
There are heaps of missions, loads of planes and plenty to keep you busy. If you get bored flying a fighter try being a whole crew and not flying a bomber, but acting as rear, side, forward, underneath, on top, inside-out, back-to-front, behind the bikesheds funner and the man that presses the buttons and shouts ‘bombs gone’. Once you have flown all the possible permutations there is even a mission builder to design your own – what more do you need?

JUDGEMENT
TFN is a great game, it captures the real dag-a-dag-dag-a flavour of WWII dogfighting (How would you know – Ed). The 3D graphics may not be state-of-the-art but it is the gameplay that counts and there is plenty of that. If you want a combat flight sim and you do not want missiles but like to see the whites of the enemy’s eyes, then this is what you are after.

GRAPHICS 8
SOUND 8
INTELLECT 5
ADDICTION 7
OVERALL 90%



Luftkampf über England

Their finest hour - Battle of Britain logo

Im Sturzflug mit einer englischen Spitfire auf einen feindlichen Flughafen zurasen, Bomben abwerfen und mit der MG anschließend noch die Landebahn umpflügen - der neue Flugsimulator von Lucasfilm ist wahrhaft nichts für Pazifisten!

Their finest hour - Battle of Britain Acht verschiedene Flugzeuge stehen zur Auswahl, selbstverständlich keine modernen Düsenjäger, sondern uralte Maschinen aus dem zweiten Weltkrieg. Man kann entweder für England mit einer Spitfire beziehungsweise einer Hurrican in die Schlacht ziehen oder sich einen der deutschen Bomber aussuchen. Wofür man sich auch entscheidet, vor dem Einstieg ins richtige Kampfgetümmel ist die Teilnahme an den vier angebotenen Trainingsmissionen auf alle Fälle zu empfehlen. Beim Schießen auf herumkreisende Flugzeuge wird der richtige Umgang mit der Bordkanone geübt, eine weitere Mission führt einen in die Kunst des Startens/Landens ein, zuletzt lernt man schließlich fremde Flugzeuge aufzuspüren und mit gezielten Schüssen vom Himmel zu holen.

Wer mit seiner Maschine dann so richtig vertraut ist, darf sich an einer der vielen Kampfmissionen versuchen. Hier gilt es, unter feindlichem Feuer Flugplätze zu bombardieren, andere Flugverbände zu eskortieren oder Luftangriffe abzuwehren. Hat man seine Mission erfolgreich erledigt, winkt die Beförderung samt Orden. Beides ist aber auch redlich verdient, denn als Pilot eines großen Kampfbombers hat man nicht nur mit der Steuerung seines Vogels zu kämpfen, sondern muß auch noch ständig zwischen Cockpit, MG-Kanzel und Bombenauswurfsschacht hin und her schalten. Da kommt ganz schon Streß auf, zumal neben der normalen Maus- oder Joysticksteuerung zusätzlich zahlreiche Tastaturkommandos beherrscht sein wollen!

Nichtsdestotrotz macht Their Finest Hour nach kurzer Eingewöhnungszeit unheimlich viel Spaß. Das liegt einmal an der guten Spielbarkeit, zum anderen an den Sonderoptionen, die in anderen Flugsimulatoren nicht zu finden sind. Beispielsweise gibt es einen "Mission Builder" zum Zusammenbasteln eigener Aufträge. Außerdem wurde die Kamerafunktion vom Vorläufer "Battle Hawks" in perfektionierter Form übernommen. Jetzt ist es möglich, einen Luftkampf aufzuzeichnen, ihn auf einer zusätzlichen Diskette abzuspeichern und später (aus unterschiedlichen Perspektiven) wieder anzuschauen. Da läßt es sich auch verschmerzen, daß das Spiel keine so ausgezeichneten Grafiken besitzt wie "F 29", um ganz ehrlich zu sein, wird die optische Präsentation den Fähigkeiten des Amigas eigentlich zu keiner Zeit gerecht. Auch in Sachen Sound müssen sich Computer Piloten hier mit dem üblichen Standard zufrieden geben.

Immerhin: Jeder der Donnervögel hat sein ganz spezifisches Flugverhalten (zwar etwas langsam, aber realistisch!), und die Simulation solcher "Museumstücke" hat auch einen ganz eigenen Reiz - eben nicht der 148ste Düsenjäger! Um in den vollen Genuß des Games zu kommen, braucht man allerdings 1MB, mit 512K lauft Their Finest Hour nur in einer abgespeckten Version. (C. Borgmeier)

Amiga Joker, July 1990, p.?

Der Amiga Joker meint:
Luftkampf von anno dazumal - Their Finest Hour ist ein Flugsimulation für ganze Männer!

Amiga Joker
Their Finest Hour
Grafik: 60%
Sound: 57%
Handhabung: 71%
Spielidee: 78%
Dauerspaß: 82%
Preis/Leistung: 74%

Red. Urteil: 77%
Für Fortgeschrittene
Preis: ca. 99,- DM
Hersteller: Lucasfilm Games/Rainbow Arts
Bezug: Rushware

Spezialität: Harddiskinstallation ist nur mit 1MB möglich; bei 512K gibt es auch weniger Sound und Grafik, Paßwortabfrage.



Their finest hour - Battle of Britain logo  CU Screen Star

US GOLD
PRICE: £24.99

W Their finest hour - Battle of Britain hen the Battle of Brittain was finaly over the RAF had suffered losses totalling over three hundred, nothing compared with the twelve hundred plus German fighters and bombers which fell prey to Britain’s Hurricanes and Spitfires. Though it looks slightly similar to Lucasfilm’s other flight sim Battle Hawks, Their Finest Hour possess a far superior depth in both gameplay and design.
The first thing you will want to check out are the planes. These range from single seat fighters such as the Spitfire through to medium bombers such as the German HE 111 and the JU 88. Each handles differently, with some of the larger planes coming equipped with tail guns, 20mm cannons and bombs.

After browsing through the manual, you choose your mission. Fly a simple combat mission against dummy fighters, or re-enact an actual battle. The nice thing here is the total versatility. All the way through the game you can set different game options, making things as easy or as hard as you want. It is great being able to go on a bombing run with an infinite payload.

As for the flight simulation itself, SubLogic fans, stay away. This is not intended to be a simulator, the onus is on arcade action. As far as sim fanatics go, this is not such a bad thing. Their Finest Hour is a hell of a lot of fun to play.

On board your plane you have all the basic instruments, plus a map with regular radio reports of enemy positions. TFH is pre-radar so you need to rely on visual identification. The cockpits are nicely drawn, but it is the exterior views which are outstanding.
All planes are sprite based, so they are more detailed than the now popular vector animations. When there are a lot of bogies around the screen update does slow and that detracts slightly from the action – but only slightly.

The dogfighting in this game has got to be the most exciting I have seen. And then ther are the explosions. The planes break up realistically, which is probably the best thing about the game. Clip the tail, and bits will start flying off. Get a good shot in, and the engine and fuel tank will explode, causing a glorious smoke-filled mess in the sky, before the wreckage plummets to the ground below. If you are lucky, you might even see the pilot bail out and drift earthward.

What more can I say, apart from it is amazing. The style of the game means instant appeal, and the sheer adaptability means you will be playing for weeks. I would not miss out on this even if you paid me.

Tony Dillon
CU Amiga, May 1990, p.p.20-21, 23
SOUND
GRAPHICS
PLAYABILITY
PUZZLEABILITY
OVERALL
81%
90%
91%
94%
91%


Their finest hour - Battle of Britain logo  Zzap! Sizzler


Lucasfilm/US Gold, Amiga £29.99
Their finest hour - Battle of Britain I t's 50 years ago this summer that the classic aerial conflict of World War 2 was fought out over the skies of Old Blighty. Lucasfilm takes us back to when almost all of Europe was under the German jackboot and Hitler planned to invade Britain...

The first stage of the invasion is the destruction of the RAF. This crucial conflict will last all summer, pitting 530 RAF fighters against 2000 German fighters and bombers.
As in Battlehawks 1942 you're not restricted to one air force: besides flying the RAF's Hurricanes or Spitfires, you can strap into such Luftwaffe aircraft as the Me-109 and Me-110 fighters, as well as four German bombers. Each aircraft has its own unique cockpit display, flight characteristics, weapon payload and demands. On bombers you can assume control of any of the gun turrets, or be the bombardier.

TRAINING FLIGHT gets you into the game gently with missions such as fighting off a few drone Messerschmitts, or on the German side practising your low/high level bombing and fighter escort.
COMBAT FLIGHT offers a choice of eight historically authentic missions – now the baddies shoot back. A pilot roster can be kept on disk so succesful pilots can be uses as wingmen in future missions.
CUSTOM MISSION allows you to create your own conflicts, pitting a user-definable number of squadrons against one another over definable flight paths with definable targets for the Germans to bomb (including ship convoys out in the Channel). Missions can be saved to disk.
PLAY CAMPAIGN lets you take command of either the RAF or the Luftwaffe and recreate/rewrite aerial history. For the Brits it's a small matter of defending the country from four times as many aerial forces, for the Germans all that's required is to pummel the RAF into the ground. Pilots stored on the Pilot Roster can be brought in and there's medals to be won.

Like the Custom Mission option Play Campaign allows you to create different formations for the planes and different aircraft roles and targets for the forthcoming mission. A campaign is exactly what it says, a very intensive series of conflicts which are definitely NOT for the faint-hearted (or the novice!).

At any time during the mission a replay camera can be switched on to record a set number of seconds of combat. The actual replay of the film is a pretty advanced form of VCR with the usual STOP/PLAY and FAST REWIND/FORWARD options along with the ability to move around the mission world viewing the battles from any angle including Chase Plane view, ground view and even a novel view from a bomb as it hurtles towards a target. Particularly impressive combat films can be saved to disk for posterity and shown to fellow pilots back at base via the REVIEW COMBAT FILM option.

Other features which are a significant improvement over Battlehawks 1942 include a handy map facility for planning missions during the campaign and general navigation when lost. On the map screen there's also a radio for locating the enemy.

Zzap, Issue 62, June 1990, p.p.80-81

Robin Hogg F-29 may be THE simulation for the latest in high-tech aerial hardware but Their Finest Hour is real seat-of-the-pants stuff and it's so much more enjoyable getting in close to blast the enemy. What I love about this game is the incredibly realistic sensation of very close-quarters dogfighting with masses of enemy planes, each aircraft having its own way of attacking and defending. What's more you've got a choice of eight aircraft to choose from. As in Battlehawks 1942 the fractal graphics work a treat with planes belching smoke when hit, bits flying off and flames appearing as they spiral into the ground. With detailed cockpit displays, a beautifully presented manual and user-friendly option screens Their Finest Hour offers superb quality from the moment you boot up. And this is without me going on about the sheer depth of it all with campaigns and dozens of mission. Brilliant!

Scorelord If flying around in a flimsy wooden crate with no more protection than a heavy leather jacket appeals to you, you're crazy. Their Finest Hour perfectly conveys the bravery of the WWII pilots as they engaged in extremely close-quarters combat with heavy machine guns spewing out lead in all directions. The graphics are mediocre; close up they look like C64 UDGs. But there is plenty of detail to compensate, and they somehow suit the era creating a real newsreel feel. There's also a brilliant video option which even Steven Spielberg would envy.
Actual gameplay rewards persistence. Unlike F-29 simply zooming off into the wide blue yonder doesn't provide that much fun. The appeal of this game is in its realistic recreation of skies packed with aircraft, all fighting one another with plenty of your own aircraft about. Even more substantial is the massive tactical challenge.
I can't honestly say I was madly addicted to this, but the incredible amount of thought which went into the program is obvious. Over the long-term I'm sure it can beat F-29 with its depth and flexibility, so it's thumbs up from me.

Phil King As usual, Biggles Robin has gone mad over another flight sim, and to anyone but an ardent flight sim fanatic the graphics will look very chunky and devoid of the stunning graphic quality of games like F-29. However, it only takes a few goes to realise that the game's packed with features and options to keep the flight sim crowd more than happy. It's a nice mixture of detailed, deep simulation and accessible aerial arcade action. It's not an F-29 or Falcon for complexity, but that's a good thing as I didn't have to worry too much about plane handling when I was up to my neck in Huns and bullets flying all over the place! A pricey game but great value for money for flight sim nuts.

6 4
No plans for a C64 game.
u p d a t e

PRESENTATION 93%
Brilliant 190-page manual, great menus and keyboard/joystick/mouse control options.
GRAPHICS 87%
Disappointing up close, but at a distance they work well with plenty of flexibility.
SOUND 00/78%
Authentic sounding engine, gunfire and ricochet FX – but only if you have a Megabyte of memory.
HOOKABILITY 89%
A good few hours is needed to get the hang of things but once up in the air the planes fly with remarkable simplicity.
LASTABILITY 95%
Could spend ages just training on the eight missions, and then there's combat and a full-blown campaign to keep you busy!
OVERALL
91%
A hugely complex well thought-out game which is nevertheless very easy to play.