The Star Wars Games Time Has Forgotten

first_imgThe SUPER Star Wars Series (1992)Probably one of the best side-scrolling film-to-game adaptations to ever hit a home console. Super Star Wars was the talk of the schoolyard for kids with a SNES.This game let you control Luke, Han, and Chewbacca. You could race through Tatooine in a landspeeder, and even take out the Death Star in your X-Wing. I vividly remember hating the Sandcrawler level. You had to scale the entire outside and inside with only a handful of lives! Later games in the series (Super Empire Strikes Back & Super Return of the Jedi) are remembered fondly as well. But the original has stood the test of time.Rebel Assault 2 (1995)With the success of arcade shooters like Area 51 combined with new home consoles Jaguar, 3DO, and the growing in affordability of PCs, the early 90’s quickly adapted. These games were moving towards adding live action film into them. This was cutting edge tech at the time, and of course, LucasArts wanted in. I remember this game looking amazing when it released! The dog fights were spectacular with a joystick. Once you landed and took control of Rebel 1 (our hero) the game got a bit janky. This had a lot to do with the video aspect of taking cover repeatedly. RA2 also came to the Playstation a little after its release.Shadows of the Empire (1996)Shadows of the Empire was a popular novel that took place between the events of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Of course, all your key players were there including some new faces. Dash Rendar, the pilot of The Outrider and Prince Xizor, head of the largest crime syndicate. He was also gunning for Darth Vader’s seat next to the Emperor. This game was my primary reason for wanting a Nintendo 64, as it was one of the first games for the system. In level one, we play out the iconic AT-AT scene out! Sadly, after that the game kind of drags. Jetpack mechanics were off. Clipping happened more so than not. We got to see bounty hunter IG-88 do more than standing around on Cloud City and look pretty. Dash and a droid battle it out on a moving train through a galactic junkyard. Most fans look back at the story of Shadows as somewhat of a travesty. With the Disney camp involved, the story is now no longer canon. But we’ll always have our fond memories of Princess Leia kneeing Xizor in the crotch for getting too close.Masters of the Teras Kasi (1997)This is the game I wanted a Playstation for. I remember having enough money to rent the console and the game. Talk about a bullet dodged! Masters of the Teras Kasi was the first and only Star Wars fighting game, for a good reason! You could pit characters against each other like Chewbacca VS Princess Leia or Random Tuskan Raider VS Random Gamorrean Guard. The hit box system was atrocious and matches with friends lasted maybe 10 minutes out of broken controls. With perfectly good fighting games out at the time for the Playstation, this one was quickly hung upside down for a late night Wompa snack.Racer / Racer Revenge (2002)Ask any Star Wars fan what their favorite part of Episode I is. If they don’t say the Duel of Fates, they’ll probably mention the pod racing. I had a blast playing these games! Whether you played the arcade experience where you hopped in an actual pod racer, obtained it in your N64 bundle for Christmas or jumped on a little late with the Dreamcast version, pod racing was just down right fun! The game had 21 different characters and pods to choose from and a good handful of planets to race through. The game even came to GBA and included a rumble feature. Racer was so successful that it spawned a sequel for the Playstation 2 years later, Racer Revenge. It updated everything that was wrong with the first game and added more of everything else. It quickly became my drug of choice.Rogue Squadron Series / Battle for Naboo (2000)The Rogue Squadron series were the games every X-Wing VS Tie Fighter fan wanted. RS1 was one of the first games to utilize the N64 expansion pack and show off what the system could do with 3D graphic upscaling. Then there was Battle for Naboo, which was released around the same time Episode I hit theaters. It offered a lot of what RS did, just in new ships in new environments. A very solid title for N64 players at the time. RS2 was a Game Cube launch title that pushed the boundaries of the first two games in every way. This includes redoing the famous AT-AT tow cable scene from Empire Strikes Back. RS3 gave us not just dogfights, but we were able to do ground missions outside of the iconic ships. This most definitely paved the way for the popular Battlefront series.Galactic Battlegrounds / Empire at War (2001)Star Wars at this time seemed to have every gaming genre pinned down. All except RTS’s (Real-Time Strategy.) Blizzard ruled the RTS market with their popular Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo series. You know LucasArts needed a piece of that pie. Enter Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds. The game was developed by Ensemble Studios, the developer team behind Age of Empires and Halo Wars. It is exactly what you would expect from a Star Wars RTS, but was so much more fun! Was it just the Star Wars athletic that blinded me? Probably. But in all seriousness, this one was a ton of fun to play with friends from all over to competitions at local science fiction conventions. In 2002, hot on the heels of Attack of the Clones, a Clone campaign was released. Fast forward to 2006, Empire at War was released. Though, not a direct sequel in any means (it was developed by a different publisher.) EaW took place between the events of Episode III & VI. My fondest memory playing Galactic Battlegrounds was sending in Simon…. THE KILLER EWOK. I’ll let you do your own research on that one.Jedi Power Battles (2000)The prequel films as we all know, pushed the envelope quite a bit. There were so many Jedi at the time that a lot of us asked “What were all these Jedi up to before getting killed in the Clone Wars? Well, Jedi Power Battles answer that very question, letting you control all new Jedi including for the first time Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan, Plo Koon, Mace Windu and Adi Gallia. (I’m holding my composure not to go into hysterics about how I could not play as Kitt Fisto, but that is neither here nor there. Jerks…) This was a 1 to 4 player 3D Castlevania-like beat’em up. I played this for the Dreamcast with friends. It quickly became one of my favorite Star Wars games. Even without Kitt Fisto!Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided (2003)I remember hearing people say “This is it! We are finally getting a game where we can exist in the Star Wars Universe!” And for a quick moment, we kinda did? Around this time we were getting burned pretty bad by the prequel films. Sony Online Entertainment was quickly working on building the ultimate Star Wars experience. A massive multiplayer online game where you could pick your race, planet, skill set and even housing. Everquest was all the rage for PC players, so it only felt right that they would be perfect to lead the project. I remember enjoying what I played of the game. Messing around in friend’s homesteads was a lot of fun. Meet ups were great. I just remember the battle system being fairly clunky (though, that could have been my internet at that time.) The game spawned three expansions before hackers started to take over. Sony on the final expansion did an overhaul of the game and players were not pleased. It wasn’t until 2011 when the servers were finally shut down. Apparently, there are a few private servers out there where you can still go in and check the game out during different iterations of its development.Republic Commando (2005)Yes, the prequels brought with it some of the worst written dialogue and characters in the history of cinema. But it also brought with it, clone troopers! These guys were terrible at aiming recruits. They were cut from the same cloth as famous bounty hunter, Jango Fett too! This was a first-person shooter for the Xbox that brought in the dark side of what was going on in the universe at the time. The clones are an elite Delta squad that goes on select missions to help the Republic claim its rights. It reminded me a lot of the later Tom Clancy: Ghost Recon games. The dynamic between the four squad members was solid and entertaining. Each member had a specific skill set and looked them. Enemies ranged from General Grievous guards to full on Wookie battles through the trees of Kashyyyk. To say anything more about the plot would give away some of the best parts. I’d honestly say this was one of the best Star Wars games in the last 20 years.So there you have it! If you haven’t thought of these games in a while, maybe seek some out for a fun gaming night, possibly before The Last Jedi releases! I’m sure someone at your shindig might actually find Masters of the Teras Kasi fun. The Star Wars video game library is insane. LucasArts (previously LucasFilm Games) dates back to 1982 with the release of the original Star Wars Arcade cabinet. Since then we have been dealt some impressive winners, to straight up poopoo. The name “LucasArts” really meant something to gamers in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Not only did they release games from the popular franchises, but they were able to show off their originality in titles like The Secret of Monkey Island and Manic Mansion: Day of the Tentacle. They were a solid company with massive appeal. But you and I both know that the Star Wars franchise was their magnum opus for the last 34 years. That is, until their departure in late 2013 after the Walt Disney Company bought the franchise outright.How many times have you wrapped a tow cable around an AT-AT’s legs at the battle of Hoth? Even though it has been done to death. To die-hard fans, it’s still comforting. With the release of the prequels (1999 to 2005), most fans of the original series had to harken back to older titles since LucasArts was only developing games based on the newer series. I call this the “dark time.” Bombad Racing anyone? The animated Clone Wars followed and took precedence. This pushed the older fans further away.Today the Star Wars game franchise is in the hands of EA, one of the top three gaming companies in the industry. We see some real galaxy building here. Battlefront released in the fourth quarter of 2015 with some mixed, but mostly stellar reviews.But we are not here to talk about the future of Star Wars gaming. Let’s take a look back at some of the forgotten titles that deserve a second chance.last_img read more

MovieBob Reviews STAR TREK DISCOVERY Episodes 13

first_img MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Stay on target Is Star Trek: Discovery good?If the inaugural episodes are any indication? Yes, it’s very good.Just as a reference point: Are you big on Star Trek?I am very big on Star Trek, yes.Okay. Is this a whole new thing, is it part of the other TV shows or part of those Chris Pine movies?It’s a new series set in the original TV-based continuity. Timeline-wise, we’re approximately ten years before the events of The Original Series from the 1960s.So are they doing a retro thing with it?Not really. Aesthetically, it looks similar to Enterprise but significantly more expensive and polished.What’s it about?Broadly, it’s about the early days of the Federation/Klingon War that was well underway by the time Kirk and company showed up. The new gimmick this time is that instead of making a Starship Captain the main character, we’re mainly following a lower-ranked officer who isn’t necessarily privy to all the information about this or that mission and isn’t the final decision on what to do about things.So who is this hero?Sonequa Martin-Green as “Michael Burnham;” initially a Starfleet First Officer whose rank/status get… “changed” because of the role she plays (or is believed to have played – it’s a touch complicated) in an encounter with a renegade religious-fundamentalist sect of Klingons that ignites the war itself and reunifies the (at this point) splintered Klingon Empire into the formidable enemy seen later in the continuity. She ends up conscripted under shady circumstances to The Discovery, a research ship captained by a mysterious military-hardliner (Jason Isaacs), staffed by some of her former crewmates who now have decidedly mixed feelings about her and seemingly involved in various not-entirely-above-the-board secret projects for the war effort.What’s different this time around?This is the first new Star Trek for the age of  21st Century “Peak TV,” and its definitely built for such. It’s clearly aiming to be “binge-friendly,” since its doing its main run on the CBS All-Access streaming platform (example: “The Discovery” itself and seemingly half the regular cast don’t actually show up until the third episode.) It’s a pretty bid deal that Green is the first Black woman lead of a series in Trek history, and the series is very much focused on getting back to the franchise’s tradition of using science-fiction to comment on real-world social and political topics in a big way.Can you elaborate on that?Well, for one thing, we get a new angle on what the Klingons went to war about: The renegade sect that manipulates the conflict into being are religious-fundamentalist terrorists whose ideology is implied to “take over” the newly-reunified Empire, and their specific grievance with The Federation is that they see the idea of mixing various alien races into singular intergalactic cooperation as a threat to Klingon cultural-purity – in other words, they’re nationalists, and our new overriding metaphor is “Federation=Globalism=Good Guys” versus “Klingons=Isolationism=Bad Guys.” On that same theme, Burnham is technically a human but was adopted and raised by Vulcans and culturally-identifies as Vulcan herself; observing their traditions and lifestyle while striving for their idealized level of logical-detachment.So we’re just doing the “Am I human or Vulcan?” thing, again?Not exactly. She’s not of mixed genetic heritage like Spock was, so it’s more like reconciling a religious upbringing with her own personality as an independent adult – mostly in the form of Vulcan logic making her kind of a hardass but human emotion making her occasionally deadpan sarcastic about it.What doesn’t work?Overall, I can’t think of anything that’s a serious flaw: It all looks great, the writing is solid, the setup is compelling and Green is a revelation as Michael – a bonafide star-making performance if ever there was one. If I have a concern, it’s that (regarding what was screened for critics) the first two “backstory” episodes felt more engaging than the third “status quo for the rest of the series” episode. Though some of that could be that the first two brought on a special guest star who steals a lot of scenes. But on-balance, the prognosis is very, very positive.How does it compare to other Trek shows?It’s easily the best the franchise has offered, in any form, since Deep Space Nine went off the air. Tonally, I’d say it strikes the perfect balance between Picard-lecturing intellectualism and Gorn-punching pulp-sci-fi escapism that tends to represent Star Trek at its best from my vantage point. I’m really psyched to see where it’s all going.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more