> Ever since I first played Microsoft Flight Simulator for
PC Jr. in the early 80's, I've been a fan of polygon games -- even
the flat shaded variety. F-22 Interceptor and F-15
Strike Eagle II were among my favorite Genesis games
for this reason as well. However, not until the arrival of the 32X
was there a console that could really do justice to such a power sapping
(for the time) game engine. Enter games like
Racing Deluxe, and Shadow Squadron.
> Shadow Squadron is similar to Wing Commander (Sega
CD) in that you go through waves of missions with certain objectives,
all in an outer space scenario. It's much more arcade feeling than
Commander, though. There's also a certain connection to Star
Wars with all the huge battlecruisers you have to destroy.
Anyway, you are stationed at Outpost 51, and something has knocked out
the early warning network at the source. Coded transmissions are
being monitored from sector 7. Energy blooms from an unknown number
of large enemy ships near the outer boundary are being registered.
Outpost 51 (and you) are the only thing between the enemy and 17 major
planetary systems. You've trained for 6 years to be in the Shadow
Squadron. The Fleet Academy has a tradition of excellence
that is unsurpassed, and it's your job to maintain that tradition from
start to finish. Good luck Captain...
> If you don't like flat shaded 3D polygon games, then Shadow Squadron
will certainly not be converting anyone. If the realism afforded
by this type of game engine is appealing, then you'll surely appreciate
what's been accomplished here. The game animates silky smooth and
the perspective gained from a 3D, real-time polygon engine is very impressive.
Of course by today's standards, this game looks terrible. By 1995
standards, Shadow Squadron's visuals are state-of-the-art
console greatness! You'll see Capital Ships, Fighters, planets, asteroids,
jump gates, laser beams, photon torpedoes, lock-on indicators and explosions
galore. Your cockpit is simple yet quite functional, with a radar,
shields and power gauges, and a speed indicator. Lastly, warping
from sector to sector is presented nicely.
> Shadow Squadron's gameplay is what Star Wars Arcade
should have had. Now, you're definitely going to want a 6-button
controller for this game, because it makes things so much easier to control.
You can select either Feather 1 (light fighter spacecraft) or Feather 2
(heavy fighter) to fly during missions. You have full roll control,
throttle settings, laser fire/ultra shot, and Spectral shield (Feather
1 only). Each mission has main targets and bonus targets. Keep
an eye on your energy meter though, since firing weapons and using shields
takes its toll on your reserves. In 2-player mode, one player is
the pilot while the other is the gunner (very cool). Considering
you only have 6 buttons to fly with, Shadow Squadron has
quite a bit you can control.
> The music didn't impress me much in Shadow Squadron.
It didn't annoy me either, so I'll give it an average rating. The
sound effects are pretty good, but nothing can beat the sound of a Tie
Fighter screeching by at high speeds.
> I just love sending a huge Capital Ship into a fiery explosion of death!
You can do that in one of two ships: Feather 1 and Feather 2. The
latter ship has an option for auto-pilot or manual pilot too. Fight
your way through 6 fairly challenging levels. Shadow Squadron
doesn't have the backdrop of a Lucasfilm product, but had
it been slapped on this game, it would have been appropriate. Can
you save the universe from certain destruction?
> If you want to play a game that's similar to Star Wars Arcade
and not nearly as difficult, then Shadow Squadron will most
likely satisfy your sci-fi spaceflight needs. It's not as impressive
as Star Wars Arcade in the graphics and sound departments,
but it's surely more playable and fun!
7.9 | Graphics: 9.0 | Control: 7.5 | Sound: 7.0 | Fun: 8.0