Star Wars gaming past and present

Originally posted at GameSpot on June 27, 2008

I recently wrote about some of my Metal Gear thoughts after watching an expertly done retrospective series on Gametrailers.com, and now I’m going to do the same with Star Wars.

Up to five already in the series, the trip down memory lane has been fun. Each retrospective usually centers on a certain group of games in the Star Wars lore, be it the Super Star Wars series or the X-wing/Tie Fighter games.

Stars Wars is a franchise that has me hooked – and when something like that happens, I can get sucked into buying/playing a bad game (no matter how bad), just because it has a lightsaber in it. This has definitely been the case with a few games, including (but not limited to) Force Commander,Rebel Assault, and Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

Still, I’m glad I’ve taken those hits – because for every lackluster game Lucasarts has put out, another infinity better game has stepped up to the plate. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight saga, X-Wing/Tie Fighter games, and the Battlefront series.

And things continue to look up – with The Force Unleashed and Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels both set to break new ground, it’s a good time to be in a galaxy far, far away.

Summing up – with the help of the retrospectives it’s been a fun look back at my Star Wars gaming past, and I’m looking forward to its future. True – I don’t have the necessary hardware to enjoy the coming games right this second. . .but when I do it will be a good time.

Post tenebras lux

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Now witness the power of this fully-armed and operation battle station!

Originally posted at GameSpot on January 10, 2008

This past Christmas, my wife bought me the Original Trilogy on DVD. Why am I writing about that here? Because it serves the purpose of illustrating something I enjoy about games – the ability to enjoy your favorite worlds even more. I enjoy the inter-connectivity between the different mediums, from music to movies to games. I like being able to watch the DVDs, which moves me onto Battlefront, which leads me to listen to the soundtrack the next day.

I do recognize the dark side, however; sometimes you can get overwhelmed with a brand so much that it becomes ad nauseam. That hasn’t happened to me personally yet with Star Wars, although it is everywhere you look sometimes. If do get sick of seeing a brand everywhere, it’s usually because I don’t enjoy the product in the first place.

For example, I don’t mind seeing Darth Vadar’s face plastered everywhere, but seeing High School Musical cake decorations makes me a little sick. Still – I can’t get too bent; it’s only because I like one brand and not the other.

Back to the gaming side of things, being able to jump in the game world of a movie I’ve just seen is very gratifying – especially when it comes to Star Wars. Each time I re-watch the movies, I think of the environments I’ve been to – I’ve been on Hoth countless of times in everything from a Imperial uniform to a rebel speeder to Jedi fatigues (thanks to Battlefront, Shadows of the Empire, and Jedi Academy for those). I’ve been in the carbonite freezing chamber on Bespin (Battlefront), a cargo hold on board the Executor (Dark Forces), and flown down the Death Star trench (X-wing).

Playing those games means I identify more with each of those scenes when they’re up on the small screen – which enhances the overall experience. Yet another reason I’m glad video games are around.

Post tenebras lux