The Star Wars Games That Time Forgot
With the much hyped Episode VII about to start shooting, everyone's going a bit Star Wars crazy at the minute. George Lucas's stellar space opera (and it's less than stellar prequels) have been around for a long time now, and like any mega-franchise worth it's salt it's also inspired a number of videogames. A whole lot of videogames in fact- the Star Wars universe has spawned well over a hundred games so far. But for every Battle Front and Knights Of The Old Republic there's dozens of games that are less well known. Welcome to another edition of The Games That Time Forgot! How many do you remember playing? What's your favourite Star Wars game? Let us know in the comments.
This Atari classic was the first time that gamers really got their chance to enter the world of Star Wars. Recreating the assault on the Death Star at the end of A New Hope, it was a shoot-'em-up using cutting-edge for it's time vector graphics. Ite even used digitised sound clips from the movie- which in 1983 must have been mind-blowing. It as later converted for home systems including Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga and Atari ST.
This 1997 effort for the PlayStation was often cited as something of a nadir for Star Wars games- at least until Kinect Star Wars came along. A one-on-one 3D Fighting game, the game featured many characters from the original trilogy, plus a few characters created for the game. The titular "Teras Kasi" was a Jedi martial art created especially for the game. The biggest selling-point of MOTK was that it enabled you to recreate the famous Luke Skywalker versus Darth Vader Lightsaber battle. A much better Star Wars fighting game happened later, when Darth Vader and Yoda cropped up as hidden characters in Namco's excellent Soul Calibur IV.
The Phantom Menace had very few good points. However, most viewers agreed that the Pod-racing sequence was one of the movie's highlights. It was a natural fit for a game adaptation, and so it proved to be one of the most popular and best reviewed Star Wars games so far. Originally released on PC, it was later released on Dreamcast and most successfully, the Nintendo 64. A much less successful PS2 sequel Star Wars Racer Revenge followed in 2002.
The SNES era saw this side-scrolling action game, with players taking control of Luke, and later Han Solo and Chewbacca. Although the gameplay was mainly run-and-gun in the Contra Vein, there was also vehicular sections, and even a last minute sidestep into shoot-'em-up territory, with the Deathstar based climax. The game was a success, so naturally Super Empire Strikes Back and Super Return Of The Jedi followed.
Developed by LucasArts for the PC, X- Wing was released in 1993. Being among the earliest games to employ polygon-based graphics, it put players in the shoes of a Rebel pilot (hopefully not Porkins) on dangerous missions. Gamers who would rather have sided with Darth and his friends were catered for in TIE Fighter which came out the following year. Both games were highly popular and lead to numerous expansions and sequels.
When Doom was still at the height of it's popularity, LucasArts decided to try their hand at this still-young genre. This game saw mercenary protagonist take on waves of Stormtroopers and try and infiltrate Empire strongholds. It brought several innovations to the First Person Shooter, such as multiple-floor levels and the ability to look up and down. The combination of excellent gameplay and the much loved universe saw it become a favourite of early FPS-fans. The PlayStation port did not fare so well, sadly. Stuck with a low frame-rate and shoddy graphics, it proved a poor conversion. However, the series really took off with 1997's Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight, leading to a series of games that would continue until 2003's Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.