Monday, 18 March 2013

Replay: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron Review

Reviewed on: N64

Factor 5's N64 hit Star Wars: Rogue Squadron spawned what is for me one of the best video game series in the Star Wars franchise. You play as the Rogue Squadron, set up by Luke Skywalker to help the rebels continue the fight against the Empire after the destruction of the Death Star. The game takes place across a number of famous Star Wars locales, features a number of iconic ships and vehicles and features a cast of characters that include plenty of recognisable faces.

After booting up the game you are greeted with a revolving menu allowing you to choose which group of missions you would like to start. After choosing the starting mission you are greeted with the famous Star Wars intro which sets up the story of the game. The game is a pretty good length, it takes several hours to do a full play through and there is plenty of incentive to replay as you can try and beat your score on each mission and/or try each mission with a different ship.The game itself is structured into clumps of missions that can range from defending a downed shuttle or a vulnerable settlement, escorting ships and attacking key imperial positions. The missions are all well paced and structured and though the objectives themselves are relatively standard they are still a blast to play through. In fact the very first mission sees you defending Mos Eisley from a sizeable imperial assault featuring Tie Fighters and Probes and barrel rolling over Mos Eisley with a squad of X Wings around you is simply amazing.

The ships themselves are pretty varied, from A Wing's to X Wings the game has them all and they all handle well and are great fun to pilot. They are all armed as you expect them to be and they sound really fantastic. It's hard to get across just how much fun there is to be had piloting an X Wing and gunning down Tie Fighters. Not all fighting takes place in the sky either because although you are stuck in the ships the Empire will use ground units on some levels so you also have to fight off iconic ground vehicles like AT-STs. Fighting nearer the ground isn't a problem because control of your ship is very well done, you steer with the stick, slow down with A and speed up with B and if you want to do a barrel roll then all you have to do is hold down the right trigger and use the stick to roll. Firing a barrage of torpedoes at a Tie Fighter as you speed towards it and then barrel rolling through its debris is one of the coolest things to do on the N64 and its worth buying the game just for that.

Thankfully the graphics can match the game's fantastic combat. I have yet to notice any instance of slow down and each ship and vehicle looks distinctive, accurate and detailed. The planets are rendered superbly though the draw distance is (as should be expected) pretty short but this is never an inconvenience. Sound wise the game is also superb making use of some Star Wars sound effects and music but also adding in some of its own touches. Ultimately it sounds and looks pretty top notch.

You can probably tell then that I would highly recommend this game, it plays, looks and sounds fantastic and the story is a nice addition to the Star Wars universe as well. If you own an N64 and want a great game for it then I would definitely recommend this. Also if you have a GameCube or a Wii (it's back compatible) then you should get the game's two sequels as well because they build upon this fantastic formula. I desperately hope they make a fourth one. Please, God (Disney now I suppose), please.

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