By: Steve Zachmann, contributor
Two words, guys: Star. Wars. That’s right, the force finally awakens this weekend. In honor of that I knew I wanted to do something Star Wars related. At first I thought I’d do, “The Best Star Wars Games ever”. That’s too easy, right? Rogue Squadron, Knights of the Old Republic, etc… There’s no shortage of good Star Wars games. Then I thought I’d list my personal favorite Star Wars games, but I realized that would basically be the same as counting down the best of; I mean they’re both based on my opinion. So instead we’re going to talk about some Star Wars games you may not know about.
5. Star Wars: Rebellion
There are a lot of Star Wars games out there, and a fair bit of them are strategy games; usually of the RTS variety. Honestly, I feel like I could have chose any number of different ones and they’d be equally indistinguishable to all but the most caught-up Star Wars fans. I decided on Rebellion though because of all the Star Wars RTS games out there, this one was the only one I legitimately had never heard of. Also, it sounds pretty cool. It’s part RTS, part 4X, part turn-based. It sounds like a pretty interesting — and well received — little title. I’m a huge fan of Rise of Nations so I may just pick this game up someday, as it sounds very similar.
4. Star Wars: Masters of the Teras Kasi
Did you know that there was a Star Wars fighting game? If you didn’t, you shouldn’t feel too bad because you didn’t miss much. Star Wars: Masters of the Teras Kasi is a 3d fighting game released in 1997 for the PS1. Also, it’s really terrible. Here’s the worst thing about that too…it should have been so freaking cool. At a time when arcades were still alive and well, games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter were all the rage, and The Phantom Menace was beginning to build up some hype steam Masters of the Teras Kasi could have been awesome, and awesomely successful. Instead it was a cheap, poorly made pile of galactic poodoo.
3. Star Wars: The Yoda Stories
So yeah, Star Wars: The Yoda Stories is a thing that exists. This is another Star Wars game who’s existence has eluded me up to this point. So here’s the premise; you play as — you guessed it — Luke Skywalker. Wait, what? But it’s called the Yoda stories. That doesn’t even make sense. That’s ok though, because not making sense seems to be a major theme in this game. It’s a top-down shooter(?) for the PC, released in 1997. To clarify, it’s a game designed for a console, released in a time when PC controllers were far less easy to come by, and then released for the PC. It also had no story, and nothing but procedurally generated maps for you to “explore”.
2. Star Wars Arcade
Remember that sweet Star Wars arcade game from the mid 90s? The one where you got to blow up the death star, mimicking Luke’s heroic actions in episod IV? Did you know there was home port of that game? Me, neither. Star Wars Arcade was released in 1994 as a launch title for…the 32X. That’s not to say that the game was bad, the port was bad, or that the 32X was undeserving of such a game, it’s just one of those odd little happenings. There wasn’t much memorable about the 32X, so finding out that there was a pretty awesome Star Wars game released for it surprised me. I somehow feel like I knew about this game some time in my youth, but then it got lost in the ether somewhere.
1. Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo
It’s a safe bet that you passed on anything with Star Wars Episode I in the title. I mean sure, we were all caught up with the hype before the movie came out, but once we actually saw it, there wasn’t much left to be excited about. Here’s the thing though, Star Wars Episode I: Battle for Naboo is actually a pretty good game. There’s a reason for that, too. It’s was created by Factor 5, the studio that created the highly successful Rogue Squadron games. If anything, it’s been knocked for not bringing any innovation to the Rogue formula. If that’s the worst knock it’s gotten though, it can’t be too bad.