Tuesday, April 19, 2011

And Now for Something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: Rogue Squadron.

Gamers are, by nature, a filthy breed. We don't clean, do laundry; this gets in the way of more gaming. But, in this case, it ended well. I found my Gamecube. A battered, purple little box, purchased in the first week of release. More importantly, however, was what was inside.

A scratched, but totally functional Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader.

Rogue Squadron for the N64 and PC, the original from 1998, was a great game. It had its flaws, such as no space levels and no levels from the movies without the use of cheat codes or uber skill. But, something about flying an X-Wing was unique, and the N64 version, while frustrating the hell out of me (Note: Fuck you, Crix Madine), it was easily my favourite game on the console.

First level, training on Tatooine with Luke Skywalker. Also, some mean Bombers are bombing Mos Eisley.

Therefore, years later, when Rogue Leader hit stores along with the new Gamecube, it was a total hit. It was everything the original game lacked. The first had missions that, while interesting, were not from the films. This was due to an agreement with Lucasarts. However, that restriction being lifted led to Rogue Leader following the film much more closely, with the first level being the attack on the Death Star, an instant classic. It ended with the destruction of the Second Death Star, making a neat endcap. It also filled in gaps between the films, such as the relocation to Hoth, and stealing the Shuttle for the Endor mission. It was also fully voiced by the original actor for Wedge, who as any Star Wars nerd knows, is the most bad-ass non-Jedi pilot of the entire old trilogy(He was the only the only guy to survive both Death Star attacks). Even more amazing, the game was developed in 9 months. 

I don't care what anyone says, this game is still fucking beautiful. Also, this screenshot highlights the Squad Commands, while limited, are useful for having the TIES leave you alone, as they get vaped by your buddies.

This is Wedge. He's like Chuck Norris, but in Space and has a Pilots License.

The third game in the series, Rebel Strike, is also the most controversial. It added a mostly functional campaign, and the entire Rogue Leader campaign in Co-Op, as well as great multiplayer. However, it also added speeder-bike races and missions, which while mostly fun, were frustrating to the extreme on Endor, where trees could make you wish you were a lumberjack. Seriously, fuck trees. But that could be forgiven, had it not been for the incredibly bad on foot segments. These sections were just not fun at all. Terrible game design in these levels offset the otherwise amazing campaign options. It is made up in a way, with the AT-ST segments, putting you in a flimsy walker, blasting apart anything that annoys you. Pretty fun. Luckily, the campaign was split in 2 parts, following Wedge (mostly flying missions. Mostly) or Luke (mostly shitty missions. Mostly), so avid fighter jockeys could leave the the shitty parts of the game well enough alone.

Seriously, if you want Star Wars shooty fun, look somewhere else. Rebel Strike is more fun if you ignore these segments.
On the bright side, the competitive multiplayer modes made player vs player dogfights engaging, and co-op style maps where the Imps just keep coming, are like a horde mode, but with less dying and more Imperials turning into shrapnel.

In all, sure its old. But don't consider them old. Think of them as more elegant games, from a more civilized age.

Since you read this far, and didn't go TL;DR, maybe leave a comment? We'd appreciate it.

No comments:

Post a Comment