It may seem a bit retarded to write about a game that isn't truly considered old yet. And I'm old enough (and lucky enough) to have seen a lot of classics.
I watched video games go from a black and white display to color. I watched Pong give way to Asteroids on the Atari 2600. Intellivision. Caleco. I played games on the dinosaurs of the gaming console world in my youth. The arcade my parents owned and operated became my after school babysitter. Pac Man, Defender, Space Invaders, Joust... Please
tell me someone out there remembers a game called Berzerk. It was a childhood favorite. Centipede, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong Jr. Got the NES in fifth grade... You get the picture, right?
With what seems like an eternity filled to the brim video games, from cabinet to console, one of the ones I feel worst about leaving behind is Rogue Squandron III: Rebel Strike. It's only been maybe five years since I last played the thing, but it seems like eons ago. "The force, Luke. Use it... quickly."
As opposed to further rambling focused on the Star Wars franchise and how its awesomeness knows no bounds, I'll just say I'm a fan and move on... And it also explains my love and adoration for the game mentioned above. To go from dreaming about piloting an X-Wing Fighter to actually controlling the ship's arsenal and flight with two thumbs was extraordinarily surreal. The Nintendo Gamecube, now mocked by my XBox and Playstation 2 owning friends and referred to as the "lunchbox," did the game as much justice as could possibly be served at that point. Surprisingly superb graphics and smooth gameplay made this game an instant winner for me before I'd even mastered the controls.
This game was a must
for any Nintendo-owning (or PC-owning) Star Wars fan. Scenes and lines from the movies had you thinking "I feel like I could take on the whole Empire myself."
And the Battle of Endor? Yeah. Instant wood. The screenshot below doesn't do it justice (because it's early in the level), but it was easily one of the better dogfight type environments I'd ever been exposed to. Playing the level in Boba Fett's unlockable ship or the Millennium Falcon made for a nice challenge, as could be said for all the levels.
What set this game apart from the earlier titles in the series was the multiplayer mode, so you were no longer sitting there hogging up the entertainment but instead flying side-by-side with a friend... perhaps an XBox owner who was now shutting his trap and ceasing in his mockery of the cube-shaped "lunchbox" he was now playing on. And when you found a buddy talented enough to blow through each level with flying colors, racking up gold medals all along the way even with you piloting a less-than-agile Millennium Falcon? Jackpot. Delivering the final blow to the Deathstar in the last level and making it out alive would result huge sighs of relief. And it never seemed to get old.
In '04 I moved a couple thousand miles from home and entered the world of XBox Live to keep playing games with displaced friends. I've not seen my Cube since.
God I miss this game. I hope someone out there can relate.
May the force be with you...
LOOK WHO CAME: