The Light and Dark Side of Star Wars Video Games
Star Wars and video games are a lot like the timeless combination of peanut butter and chocolate – they’re just as good on their own, but, when they’re together, you better believe you have one hell of a collabo on your hands! Since the advent of arcades and home video game consoles, there have been Star Wars games to provide hours of entertainment no matter where you’re playing. However, like the Force itself, there is both a light side and a dark side to games based on the galaxy far, far away. Read on to see our list of the best and worst of Star Wars video games- punch it, Chewie!
The Light Side:
Super Star Wars Series (Super Nintendo)
With Star Wars video games typically relegated to PCs during the 90s, it was a rare thing to see one appear on a home video game console and be of high quality at that. The Super Star Wars series brought the legendary trilogy onto a 2-D, side-scrolling plane, but this didn’t hinder it in the least. The graphics were rich and detailed and the digitized John Williams scores maintained their clarity and dynamic grandeur. Not to mention, the game was unforgiving with its difficulty and length, but still feasible.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (Nintendo 64, PC)
Unlike its space combat simulation brethren on PC’s, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron went with a third-person perspective and more fast-paced style to better capture the frantic nature of a dogfight. Players weren’t limited to piloting an X-Wing and were given opportunities to pilot everything from Y-Wings to the lesser-known V-Wings, depending on the mission. True gamers worked to earn gold medals on missions to unlock bonus content such as being able to pilot the Millennium Falcon or take part in the Battle of Hoth. Of the two versions, the N64 iteration was hailed as the superior product.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (X-BOX, PC, Mac)
It was a match made in heaven when famed RPG developer BioWare was signed on to develop a Star Wars RPG on a grand scale. Another bomb was dropped when it was revealed that the game would take place during the Old Republic – approximately 4,000 years prior to the Battle of Yavin – leaving fans frothing at the mouth. With an engaging story centering around the Sith declaring war on the Republic and the option to become either a Jedi Knight or Sith depending on your actions in-game, it’is no wonder that Knights of the Old Republic became an instant classic and set the standard for Star Wars RPGs to come.
Star Wars: Battlefront Series (PS2, X-BOX, PC, PSP)
Star Wars games pretty much covered the bases of where one can go in the galaxy whether it be space combat or from a first-person shooter perspective. However, they never touched upon the rank and file troops of the Empire and Rebel Alliance battling it out in the trenches – that’s where Star Wars: Battlefront comes in! Battlefront was a game that required players to dive right into a skirmish and devise strategies on the spot lest the enemy get a foothold while you mull over how to circumvent a certain obstacle. From various hand weapons to being able to pilot an Imperial Walker, this game brought the goods! Plus, not many games let you wantonly blast away Gungans with extreme prejudice.
The Dark Side:
Star Wars (Nintendo Famicom, Japan Only)
Yeah, does anyone remember that part in Star Wars: A New Hope where Luke Skywalker fights Darth Vader in the Sandcrawler? Or when he swims the ruins of Atlantis? What about freeing Chewbacca from the ice? Well, neither do I, but the developers of this game must have seen a totally different movie or worked soley with the movie poster as a minimal frame of reference.
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (Gameboy Advance)
Remember how awesome those side-scrolling Star Wars games were for the Super Nintendo? Attack of the Clones had no such luck. Clearly meant as a cash grab to piggyback off the success of the second film, this monstrosity is nothing short of unplayable. It takes two – count ‘em, TWO – button commands just to swing your lightsaber! Add to that the fact that your character moved about as fast as a lethargic Hutt waking up on a rainy Sunday morning, this game deserves to be shot!
Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing (Playstation 2)
You know when someone’s trying to rip-off the time honored Super Mario Kart formula they’re going to come up with real stinker, even if those people use Star Wars to mask the absolute suck. The game had a small roster of characters to choose from to begin with and was overall a stale experience. In retrospect it seemed as though there wasn’t a lot to work with in regards to The Phantom Menace. Again, this is just another cash grab with quality definitely not being a top priority.
Star Wars: Masters of Tera Kasi (Playstation)
There are so many things wrong with this entire concept that I don’t even know where to begin… First, the thought of making a Star Wars fighting game should have NEVER crossed the developers’ minds. Second, how the hell can Han Solo defeat Darth Vader with fisticuffs?! Third, HOAR?!? Tusken Raider or not, they seriously named a character Hoar?
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