Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Carlo's Take: 7 Old Star Wars Games You May Not Have Heard Of!

Everyone's heard of the big budget games when it comes to Star Wars gaming. Battlefront, the Old Republic games, 1313 which is stuck in Limbo...But what about the others? Those forgotten, or those that simply didn't recieve much publicity and in turn not as much popularity when they first released? Read on as we dive into the experiences in that galaxy far far way to find the games that were lost in time! 7 of them, specifically, in celebration of the new film coming out (I'm so excited oh man oh man oh man)

Number 1: Star Wars Bounty Hunter

A game I had personally owned on the good ol' Playstation 2, this put you in the shoes, jetpack and helmet of the titular Jango Fett as he takes bounties (obviously), and other things in a third person shooter. Sure, it may not have featured the undoubtedly cooler Boba Fett. Sure, the story lacks much substance and isn't really fleshed out as much as I'd like it to have been, and the graphics have not aged well. But, the settings and locales you visit are varied and fun, and the gameplay, featuring flying around, blasting, burning and exploding foes, makes it truly feel as if you were a bounty hunter. And in a game with such a title, what more could you ask for?

Number 2: Star Wars Republic Commando

Now in the prequel trilogy, the clones, despite having an entire movie named after them, didn't do much. They fought in a single on screen battle in Episode II and killed the Jedi in III. What's worse, all of them felt like mindless soldiers. No personality, not even flinching or hesitating when the infamous "Order 66" came around. This game fixes that. You're the squad leader of a group of unique clones (ironic, isn't it) as you go through a FPS romp through the galaxy completing various missions. It had solid shooting mechanics, and actually had some tactics mixed in as you could command your squad and make them do various, hopefully tactically advantageous things. A huge upside about it was that you could get attached to them - Scorch, Sev and Fixer, your three squadmates all had different personalities and would talk with each other, leading you to form a bond with them.

Number 3: Star Wars TIE fighter
This was a new experience for many people. I may not have played it first hand, considering it was released years before I was born. The reason why this was so extraordinary was because it was the first game where you played as the bad guys. And it's not black and white- you got to see the ideologies of the Empire that was unknown before. Most of them truly believed they were fighting space terrorists in the form of the Rebel Alliance, in what is believed to be one of the best stories in a Star Wars game to date. As well as that, you get to pilot the ship the game is named after to take out Rebel scum, with the excellent gameplay from previous Star Wars flight sim games being revisited. And you can fly with Lord Vader himself, which, not going to lie, is pretty damn cool.

Number 4: Star Wars Empire at War

Star Wars has focused on both large scale, high stakes conflicts and small scale, intimate struggles. But, even in the huge battles in video games, like Hoth, you held a small role in the overall tide of battle, usually fighting as a soldier or pilot. Here however, allows you to control the entire battle in the strategy genre, something that has yet to be revisited in terms of the Star Wars games recently. It had an even larger scale than single planet battles, taking place over numerous planets and having even more depth when prompted to research technologies or establishing defenses for conquered planets. When in battle, you could command all the signature units, like the AT-AT and AT-ST, and it also had land and space battles, including the Death Star assault, and when looking at the other games with the Star Wars license which consist of third person action games, it's a breath of fresh air.

Number 5: Star Wars Episode I:Racer

When you think about Episode I, you get shivers of disappointment down your spine (oh God, Jar Jar). When you think about Episode I's pod racing scene however, it would be one of the highlights of the film, a CGI spectacle -  but it was clear that it would spawn both toys and games. This being one of them, taking the single scene and stretching it into an entire game. You would play as a star racer, in the midst of racing season, going to various planets and either eating or making others eat dust. It had a mild level of depth to it as well, with race winnings being used for improvements or repairs. You could also unlock new racers including the flamethrower toting Sebulba, Skywalker's rival from the first film. The sound design is also really good. It may not be 2015 Battlefront quality, but close your eyes and it sounds like a pod race. Vrrm Vrrm. Or you know, *insert pod racer sound here*.

Number 6: Rogue Squadron

The TIE Fighter flight sim may have not been to everyone's tastes. Perhaps they want something more arcade like. Look no further than Rogue Squadron. Taking place within planets, with space battles being featured in later entries, and on only a few levels here it lacks the open-ness one might expect from not space. But, on planets there are many objectives throughout the multiple levels of the game, ranging from destroying ground defenses, reconnaissance, protection and rescue. There are also 5 vehicles to choose from, and you can replay levels with any of them once they've been accomplished once. The controls are fast and responsive and provide a much faster, arcadey experience when compared to the flight sims.

Number 7: Super Star Wars Trilogy

Wait a second, Luke didn't kill giant sand creatures with his blaster! What the- a huge mech that takes ages to kill? Why didn't the Empire just deploy those!? Well, clearly all of this is made up specially for the game. It is an arcade retelling of the movies, and features fast paced side scrolling gameplay alongside some vehicle gameplay to change the pace every once in a while. A lot about it screams old school gaming, to the score to the lives to the huge bars of health the equally huge bosses have. What's great about it is that not only can you get it now on the PS4 and Vita, but it still holds up both visually and control-wise. "bit" graphics don't really age, as lots of games still use that style like Broforce, but the controls are super (no pun intended) responsive and easy to just pick up and play. It's great fun for everybody!

Well, that's my say for the week. I didn't include all not-very-well-known Star Wars games here, that would take too long, but if you guys have any you want to suggest, feel free to say!

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