Wars games have a tough bar to meet when we reviewers get ahold of them.
They have to be witty, they have to be FUN, and they have to do that without
straying from what we all know and love about the Star Wars universe.
take THAT, George Lucas. One more philosophical smack in the face for Episodes I
back on track... Star Wars games have an interesting history. Theoretically, one
can go back all the way to the days of the original series of arcade games; the
awesome Star Wars arcade game with its vector-graphic setup down the Death Star
channel, the decently okay hack of that rom to create The Empire Strikes Back,
and then the woefully inadequate and horrible speeder-bike game made of Return
of the Jedi. And then there's the Intellivision and Atari games, the only
properly good title of which was the halfway acceptable port of Star Wars to the
the titles slept a while... until we got Star Wars/Empire for the NES, and Super
Star Wars/Super Empire/Super Return of the Jedi on the SNES. Somewhat lackluster
all around, and likewise the Gameboy ports. In the PC world, the games did well
to a point; Dark Forces was beloved by most who played it.
next round was rather indifferent. Jedi Knight, and its expansion pack, were
good but not awe-inspiring; Episode I: Pod Racer for the N64 was the only good
title to come out of the Episode I spinoff titles (gamers gagged on Obi-Wan,
were ambivalent on the actual Episode I title, and genuinely had big problems
accepting the title based on Gungans). Episode I: Pod Racer promptly spawned
horrid spinoffs such as "Bombad Racing" and the halfway decent, though
needlessly bloodthirsty, Racer's Revenge sequel.
Knight has reached its sequel... which means the Dark Forces line now has three
titles to its name.
Bioware, makers of such notable RPG titles as the Baldur's Gate series and
Neverwinter Nights. Their goal, to produce a Star Wars title, set far in the
past (so as to get away from the mess Lucas has made of the "present
day" Star Wars universe), and based on Wizards of the Coast's Star Wars d20
system, a decent roleplaying system in its own right. Since BG and NWN gave them
experience with the very-similar Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 system (the start of
the d20 system core), they had a head start.
the gaming community agreed... they have succeeded in giving us what we wanted
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