This is a comparison between Wing Arms and Warhawk for the Saturn and PS1.

User Rating: 8.2 | WarHawk PS
For pictures and movie files click on the link below.


Wing Arms and War Hawk for the Saturn and PS1 both run at 320x240 and the same sub 30 frames per second. The PS1 game features transparent smoke effects and missile trails over the Saturn game. Both games feature gouraud shading on enemy craft and the player's plane in "chase" mode, but the Saturn game uses dithered transparency for clouds and missile trails. The light shading in Wing Arms is yet another example of a special effect the Saturn wasn't supposed to be capable of, according to game magazines of the day.

War Hawk uses a flat polygonal ground with texture mapping, a highly dithered color gradient for the sky, and texture mapped polygonal objects for walls, building structure, fortresses and enemy vessels. Wing Arms uses a 2D scaling background for the ground effects, dithered transparency for splashing effects, and texture mapped 3D polygonal objects walls and structures. The ground textures on War Hawk appear to be of lower color count and resolution than the 2D floors in Wing Arms. Similarly, the canyon walls in War Hawk are much lower texture detail than Wing Arm's canyons, but they do have color graduation by presumably using gouraud shading on the walls.

Accordingly, the Wing Arms gameplay movies range from 1.23 MB per second, for the Canyon Flight 2 movie, to .61 MB per second, for the Canyon Fortresses movie, and .85 MB per second for the Supply base at sea movie. That is a range of 25-50% more than that of the .46MB per second, for the Desert Fortress level, to .64 MB per second for the Canyon level in Warhawk. With the gouraud shading, transparency and reflective water jacking up the color counts, the Canyon Level in Warhawk should have been a much larger file if texture map color counts were equal. Since all movie files are taken using the same hardware and software, and both are at 1411 kbps, this seems to demonstrate a significant increase in color for the Saturn game.


Both games use digital voice samples and CD Audio.


Wing Arms in default controls is more arcade style, and does a barrel roll when the left and right triggers are tapped, while its advanced controls allow for full control of the craft. War Hawk's default controls are similar to Wing Arm's arcade style controls, insofar as controlling the ship goes. The most notable difference is that War Hawk allows you to stop and hover, or even fly backwards, while Wing Arms does not. War Hawk also has a variety of lock on missiles, which make destroying enemy crafts much easier than Wing Arm's line of sight rockets. Neither game is doing more in gameplay, physics or AI. Both games mask load times very well, and are actually loading for less than 8 seconds for most levels.


This comparison is much more difficult than comparing Wing Arms to Air Combat, as both games push their respective systems to the max for 1st generation titles. As mentioned above, technically Wing Arms is displaying higher color counts while War Hawk is using unique effects in transparency and gouraud shading on walls, along with the reflective water. The later most effect is likely done through palette swaps than environment mapping, but is still unique. Since both games run at the same resolution and framerate, and with the above considerations, it is unknown which game is doing more technically speaking. What this comparison does is compare two games in the same genre, released within a month of one another. In that comparison, there is no support for the portrayal game magazines gave the Saturn in 1995, as the Saturn game is doing most of what the PS1 was doing, minus transparency and full screen dithering, with the addition of the 2D backgrounds providing for a no pop-up environment.

As early as 1995, there was already a huge disparity between what could be seen on either system in gameplay, and what magazines, and subsequently their subscribers, were touting about the comparison. Other 1995 comparisons on this site include the aforementioned Wing Arms and War Hawk comparison, Wipeout and Cyber Speedway, and High Velocity and Ridge Racer 1.