Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Star Wars Games I Grew Up On

I have already given a list of the games I missed out on, but the games I have managed to get to greatly outweighs that list. Anything and everything Star Wars was popped into my consoles at will.

Super Star Wars Trilogy - SNES (1992-1994)
This was my first real introduction of Star Wars gaming, and it was phenomenal. The side scrolling action game blended the joy of shooting your way through minions, to the fun of swinging lightsabers at stormtroopers, to the intimidating challenge of gigantic bosses that would take up half the screen. There were even vehicle segments of the trench run and speeder bike chase to vary the encounters. With the ability to choose your character (Gonna pick Luke every time game, cmon, let's be real), there was so much fun to be had with this simple, yet satisfying title.

Shadows of the Empire - N64 (1996)
Few people know who Dash Rendar is except those that played this game when it released for the Nintendo 64. A Han Solo-esque renegade, this third person action shooter was intense. There were vehicle segments, firefights, and a one on one showdown with the baddest Bounty Hunter of them all; Boba Fett. It was challenging, intimidating, and incredibly fun.

Rogue Squadron - N64/Gamecube (1998)
The space battles and speeder encounters were never quite fleshed out in the forthcoming titles, but Rogue Squadron came along and focused on that with a finesse other games could rarely emulate. Hopping in the cockpit of an X-Wing was never more satisfying, as the famous battles above Endor and the Death Star were replicated to the tee. It was fast paced, insane fun as you took down star destroyers and tie fighters amidst asteroid fields or the clouds of Bespin.

Star Wars: Starfighter - PS2 (2001)
While Rouge Squadron would dominate recreating the infamous space battles, Starfighter would open up new ones. The tale of three would be hero pilots coming together during Episode 1's events would make for one oddly satisfying title. The follow up, Jedi Starfighter, would further that in opening up force powers in space battle. It was fast, insanely fun, and turned out to be one of those lesser known hits that I came to love.

Star Wars: Battlefront - Xbox/PC (2004/2005)
Before the most recent release, there was Battlefront, and it was glorious. Memorable battle vistas, the ability to choose from a multitude of units, the fearful masses as Yoda enters the Battlefield; this game had it all. I loved the ability to drop in as a Droideka, roll up, and mow down the opposition. When it expanded to PC with a second installment, I was caught up in the Hero servers watching icons duke it out on Tatooine. The only game that allowed me to watch Darth Maul fight with Princess Leia...

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Xbox (2003)
A game to rule them all, I absolutely loved this title. The ability to create a character to drop into the Star Wars universe was a blast. It had a gripping and surprising story, strategic and well thought out combat, and the option to move to the dark or light side of the force based on your actions. It would be followed by a less than impressive sequel, but this game sticks with me to this day.

Republic Commando - Xbox (2005)
A first person squad shooter was the last thing I expected to enjoy from the Star Wars franchise, but Republic Commando took the concept and blew it out of the water. The enjoyable squad personalities, the ability to issue out commands on cover, and the slew of weapons you can choose from make this one of the surprise hits for the Xbox. It is a game that ended abruptly, and left me pining for a second installment. *cough* please *cough*.

The Force Unleashed - Xbox 360/PC/Playstation 3 (2008)
The tale of Vader's secret apprentice was a typical hack and slash, but one with so much flair that it became a joy to play. Be it Force throwing TIE Fighters or crushing AT STs with little thought, being a powerful force wielding user was satisfying. Though the main gameplay became predictable, the story and plethora of force powers to toy with made it an overall fun experience.

Star Wars: Kinect - Xbox 360 (2012)
Look...it was not the best. I will be first to admit the faults with Star Wars Kinect. That being said, for mindless fun it was one of those games that was so bad it was good. The rancor mode was a hilarious affair as you flail around and destroy everything around you. The lightsaber segments were satisfying at times and just fun to play. The podracing was oddly satisfying, and the dancing...well we don't talk about the dancing...

The Old Republic- PC (2011)
The most anticipated MMO turned out to be okay at launch, but has evolved into a powerhouse of a game. The multitude of classes and skill trees and the open ended nature of the game is a blast to play. I started with a Smuggler healer, and my journey involved fighting rancors, tearing through a terror from beyond, and going toe to toe with Sith in PvP. There was a lot to do, a lot to explore, and a lot of fun to be had. With the latest movie, I am tempted to hop back into the game.

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