I, and much of the fandom it seems, went crazy when EA released its trailer for Starfighter Assault in Battlefront II. If you haven’t seen it go there now. Seriously, watch it and come back. This blog isn’t going anywhere. You back? Awesome, right? I’m already pumped about about the game, mostly because of the fact that it includes a story line. Battlefront was great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t do a whole lot of online multiplayer and the skirmishes didn’t really fill the gap for me. But this trailer brought some great memories to the surface, and that’s what I want to talk about.
Seeing the amazing visuals, vehicles, and combat took me back to my childhood and some of the killer games I played. Namely, the Rogue Squadron and X-Wing series.
Rogue Squadron was one of the most successful series Lucasarts ever developed. Selling millions of copies over its three games, it was popular with both hardcore and casual fans. The first game, Rogue Squadron, brought Star Wars dogfighting to a mainstream console and wowed everyone. I still have my issue of Nintendo Power Magazine with the articles for the game. I played the heck out of it and the day I got the last gold medal is still a fond memory. (It’s nearly impossible to get gold on Hoth, believe me).
Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was, in my opinion, the best of the three. The sheer size of the levels was amazing, with Hoth, (of course there’s a Hoth level), spanning what seemed to be miles in every direction. Released with the Nintendo GameCube, (I was in the overnight line to purchase the Gamecube and the game on the system’s launch day), it was the second highest selling game during the system’s launch. The beautiful levels and fairly competent AI made the game a challenge and absolute delight.
Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike, well, I guess I’m obligated to mention it. I personally would rather forget about this game, and usually do. The graphics didn’t surpass that of Rogue Leader, the AI took a major step backwards, and the on foot missions left a lot to be desired. I was always disappointed that this was the final installment of the series and that always left me with a bad taste in my mouth and wishing that there had been another.
Now, whether you’re an X-Wing or Tie Fighter purist, or a big fan of X-Wing Alliance like me, the series of PC flight sims have been favorites for years. Thanks to a doting godfather, I got all three and had my world turned upside down. I never knew I could take control of my own fighter and crush the Rebel Alliance or topple the Empire. The fact that I could pilot one of my all-time favorite ships, the TIE Defender, (thanks Star Wars Rebels), sealed the deal. The amount of control you can have over your ship is staggering. Anything from adjusting the range of your cannons to the power and position of the shields, you truly become a pilot in that galaxy far far away.
Because of these awesome games of the past, and the amazing game coming in the near future, I say it’s high time we resurrect the flight sims that brought us so much joy in our youth. Could you imagine a new X-Wing game with the tech we have today? Heck, they already had a VR experience you could watch from the cockpit of an X-Wing. Do it! Or a whole new story line with everyone’s favorite rogues? Let’s revisit Stackpole and Allston and make a game that would do them proud. I want to make trench runs, hog tie AT-ATs, and take our capital ships. Hey, we can start a petition, right?