/ 3rd Person
> Everyone knows I'm a fan of the Star Wars saga. So
when Sega announced Star Wars Arcade would
be a launch title for their new 32X (32-bit add-on) for Genesis,
I was ecstatic. Sega AM3 and LucasArts
originally collaborated to create this wonderful space flight shooter for
the Sega Model 1 arcade board.
> You most likely know that pushing many polygons smoothly takes a lot
more processing power than your average 16-bit console had. Therefore,
fledgeling 32-bit Genesis 32X was the perfect platform for
this Model 1 arcade to home conversion. Of course in
1994, polygon graphics were not exactly popular in home videogames, even
though they were the standard for PC games. This version isn't as pretty
as the arcade original, but it blows away just about every other polygon-based
home console game of the time.
> The story is familiar. You're part of the Rebel Alliance in a civil
war against the evil Galactic Empire. Your goal is to eliminate the
Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star. Of course, Darth Vader isn't
going to just let you waltz into the Death Star's trench and launch a perfectly
aimed photon torpedo.
> Being a long time fan of polygon games, I was immediately drawn to Star
Wars Arcade's excellent 3D models, smooth animation and real-time
environments. Considering everything that's available on 16-bit consoles,
nothing can compare to this game's polygon prowess. The only game
that looks arguably better is Silpheed's
pre-rendered, texture mapped backgrounds. About the only thing that
doesn't quite look right is the engine exhaust pipes on the Star Destroyers.
Other than that, no complaints.
> Since this is an arcade port, I'd give it a perfect translation score
in the gameplay and control categories. However, that's not to say
Wars Arcade has perfect gameplay. Your spacecraft is limited
in flight -- you can only turn left/right, and pitch up/down about 20 degrees
max. That means you can't roll or do loops. As a result, the
enemy ships can run circles around you while you attempt to kill them all
before the timer runs out. Had you been able to fully control your
ship, it would have made this game much less frustrating. During
flight, you'll have to dodge lasers, photon torpedoes, asteroids, Star
Destroyers, turrets, and towers. What makes this game hard is that
it's too easy to run out of time before the stupid enemy flies in front
of you (so you can finally kill them), because you can't really out-maneuver
them in any way, shape or form.
> Thanks to digitized effects, you'll hear some pretty good renditions
of R2-D2, Tie Fighters, capital ships, explosions and weapons fire.
This game even has digitized versions of John Williams' classic soundtrack,
straight from the Star Wars saga. Throw in some digitized
voice and you have a great example of what can be done with the 32X
> Star Wars Arcade features the complete original version
(4 levels), plus a 32X mode (8 levels), which is enhanced
with extended and more challenging levels (yeah, you have to kill even
more enemies in the same time limit). You can elect to play solo
or two player (in which player two becomes the gunner). If you don't
kill a prerequisite number of enemies before the timer runs out, you have
to start from the beginning of the current level. You have limited
continues as well. This is a great shooter with a high frustration
level. Given the lacking gameplay, Sega should have
allowed you to continue a level from where the timer ran out, and rolled
over your remaining time to the next level.
> Star Wars Arcade definitely showcases what can be done
with the Genesis 32X module, and surely is a worthy addition
to anyone's library. With more realistic flight gameplay, this game
could have been much more fun instead of frustrating. Any chance
will port Star Wars
Trilogy Arcade to a current console and put a truly enhanced
version of this game in there? We can only hope.
|Overall: 8.3 | Graphics:
9.8 | Control: 7.0 | Sound: 9.0 | Fun: 7.5