Monday, December 21, 2015

The Star Wars Games I Missed Out On

Everyone has their favorite Star Wars title, be it the decision filled Knights of the Old Republic or the dog fighting Rogue Squadron; there is one game that captured the feeling of Star Wars perfectly for you.  There are also a multitude of these games, and despite playing a ton of the greats, I missed out on a few of them. Instead of compiling a "here is my top Star Wars list" I thought I would assemble the games that intrigued me, but I never had the time or capability to play.

Star Wars: X-Wing/TIE fighter(1993/1994)
Developer: Lucasarts
Publisher: Lucasarts

Star Wars X-Wing and TIE Fighter were best sellers, and was one of the first games to faithfully capture the feel of being behind the iconic space crafts. Unfortunately, I still had no computer in my home at the time capable of running any amount of gaming. I found myself looking at screenshots and reading praise of the game in magazines.

The franchise offered a variety of missions in one of the first 3D environments; with escorting, dogfighting, and even recreating the iconic Death Star trench run. Eventually, later titles would offer multiplayer and improved targeting capabilities, along with a library of ships to choose from in each mission.

I would have to wait until Rogue Squadron to get that feeling, but X-Wing and TIE Fighter would remain king in the hearts of many, and it is still a game I have neglected to make time to play.

Star Wars: Dark Forces (1995)
Developer: LucasArts
Publisher: LucasArts

First Person Shooters are not typically associated with Star Wars, and Republic Commando on Xbox was the first time I was able to experience that kind of action. Dark Forces, however, was one of the first games to brave that frontier.

It gained nothing but praise for its engaging first person action and diverse levels. You went across a slew of notable locales including Jabba's Space Yacht and Coruscant, shooting your way through hallways of stormtroopers utilizing thermal detonators, land mines, and an assortment of blasters.
A sequel would follow in 1997 that would gain just as much acclaim, opening up your options with Force powers and a lightsaber.

Advertising was everywhere for this game, but once again, I did not have the means to play without a Playstation. Sadly, this title would be left in the dust for other titles by the time a Playstation would make it into my home.

Star Wars: Galaxies (2003)
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Publisher: Lucasarts

The same team that worked on creating Everquest were excited to be behind the first ever MMO game for Star Wars. With ten different species and ten different specialties to choose from, the game was an open world for players to finally pick and choose their path in the Star Wars universe. With planets ranging from Tatooine, Hoth, and the forest moon of Endor you could go anywhere and be anything.

Expansions would add more to the experience including vehicles, events, planets, and a host of other content that kept players hooked into their Star Wars creations. It kept players going from launch all the way to its inevitable shut down on December 11th, of 2011.

So what kept me away? World of Warcraft. The following year, this game would hook the masses in, including myself. While the appeal of the Star Wars franchise was there, the combat and overall look of the game was not something that my wallet cried out to purchase. It would be Old Republic that would give me the experience I was yearning for in a Star Wars MMO.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast/Jedi Academy (2003)
Developer: Lucasarts
Publisher: LucasArts

Though technically part of the Dark Forces franchise line, Jedi Outcast and Academy were on a level all their own. Both placed a strong emphasis on lightsaber combat with multiple styles and combos, a variety of Force Powers, and a strong story to accompany both installments.

While Outcast focused primarily on the single player, it was the multiplayer on Academy that was highly praised. The chaotic modes like Capture the Flag or Power Dual unleashed some of the craziest matches as lightsabers flailed and force powers would send players flying across the screen.

Thought briefly delved into thanks to a Steam Sale, other big named titles have gotten in the way of fully completing this game.

With the excitement surround The Force Awakens, I know I want to delve back into the games that capture the thrill of the movies. Despite missing out on these few titles, I try to get into everything I can, since re-enacting scenes in Jedi robes out on your lawn is frowned upon by my wife. I will have to settle for a solid video game to handle that passion for reliving my favorite scenes.

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