Thursday, May 04, 2017

May the Fourth

And all that !
It's about the Star Wars thing but it's also a great excuse to wish people a happy day. How was mine ? Exhausting. Things are hectic at work at the moment, although that hectic is being combined with getting a few things done that have been held up. Always satisfying to clear awkward stuff out of the way.

Bit like on certain games ....

I loved the various Star Wars games I've played over the years but they were made in a time where games weren't quite so accessible to players ... To stretch out the content somewhat, they went in for incredibly challenging missions .... The main one I can think of for that is Star Wars X Wing where you had two missions like that :

Scan an Imperial Fleet ! In an A Wing fighter that is pretty much made of rockets .... and paper. And you're being chased by TIE Fighters.
Disable a shuttle carrying prisoners to rescue ! Not so bad, except the shuttles liked to suicide on fighters which would be an instant mission fail.

There were a lot of those instant fail conditions and it didn't necessarily come down to the player doing something wrong. But these games though ....

XWing was the first and was one I came back to later. It was playable on quite early PCs. The legend was that XWing sold more 486 processor PCs than any amount of the business software the machines were intended for. It brought starfighter combat to a world of gamers that previously could only play things like this in arcades. (Or on the BBC micro playing Elite).

I was highly addicted to the TIE Fighter game which followed, which had you working as a small cog in the big Galactic Empire. You got to fly with Darth Vader in your wing at one point and one of the missions was to protect the Emperor's shuttle.
Yep. Emperor.

I gave up on the XWing and TIE Fighter games after a while as the missions became more and more intricate and silly. They kinda offended my sense of strategy by just having stupid setups. TIE Fighter got it right by having a storyline that effectively showed how the pressures of a long term deployment wore down the squadrons. Like having to use Bombers because the Fighters and Interceptors were either destroyed or needing repairs. In XWing vs TIE Fighter's campaign, the end mission sent starfighters into an anti-fighter minefield to attack a space station. This was from a Super Star Destroyer that would have pounded the station to dust from outside the minefield.

Yeah - the games got to be more frustrating than fun.

It was similar with other games like Star Wars Rebellion (or Supremacy - it had multiple names) which I hoped would take over from Master of Orion 2 - they were both space strategy games. However .... it was just BORING ! And there isn't usually much comeback if a game is boring like that.

I played other Star Wars games too, although not actually all of them. I'll almost certainly get Empire at War again, it's another strategy game and at £3.50ish it's worth another look.

I really enjoyed the Pod Racer game. It was fast and fun. It hasn't been re-released though and it would need some work to make it playable again. It came out when Windows XP was still a thing and it has amnesia when you run it on Windows 7 (couldn't find the save games). I've seen a possible way around that though. Worth a shot.

I also enjoyed Knights of the Old Republic. This was a role playing game set 4,000 years before the films and instead of being a straight shooter, it owed a lot to translating D&D rules to something that looked real time and it did a great job both with that and the story.
Spectacular too.

I played the first Star Wars shooter game too - Dark Forces. I quite enjoyed that, although I didn't bother with any of the sequels.

I still have Lego Star Wars unplayed and on my system !

(If you want to indulge the nostalgia for the Star Wars games, there are offers on right now on Humble Bundle and GoG for the old games)

Oh and the Lego too. There are offers here as well in several places. However .... there's not much I want to buy at the moment in the Star Wars !

I know. Tragic.

I would heavily recommend the black X Wing and the Falcon. Not so much the Tie Advanced. You like your Lego to look like the original ! I didn't get that so much with the TIE. But it's definitely there with Falcon and X Wing.

It's not all about the merch though. Ok. Maybe it is ... Lucas created a universe that was great for selling lots of Stuff and everyone with that merch takes every opportunity to try and get us buying more of it ... There is a lot of fun in there though.

And I am having severe temptations for dropping some cash on that Empire At War game !

May the Fourth be with you. Today and every day.

One last thing though .... I need to go back into Elite at some point. Soon. A new megaship was added to the game in the last update with a unique name and Commanders have been making a pilgrimage to this special place.
Yep. I too need to have my spaceship clinging on to the side of the Fisher's Rest.

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