Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future's Past

a game by Spectrum Holobyte

Platform: SNESSNES

Genre: Adventure/RPG

See also: Star Trek Games

The long-awaited debut of Star Trek: The Next Generation on the SNES is somewhat like last year Deep Space Nine rollout: It probably won't disappoint Trekkers or hard-core game players, but it might leave them hungry for more.

ProTips:

  • When you enter the mine, Hick the switch Immediately to restore ventilation or the humanoids In your Away Team will suffocate.
  • You must match the correct fuel canister symbols to restore power to the engines of the derelict ship.

TNG takes you on a rich, multi-part mission with lots of twists and turns. The plot has the Enterprise encountering a derelict ship. Awakening its hibernating crew, you find that they sent a device called the Tavrad 10.000 years into the future in anticipation of an unknown phenomenon called the Integrated Field Derandomizer. The Federation isn't the only group interested in the IFD.

Report to the Bridge!

TNG consists of three main areas of game play: Bridge navigation, ship-to-ship combat, and Away Team missions. The Bridge is beautifully presented. The 360-degree rotating bridge screen includes stations for Communications/Navigation, Engineering, Computer, Transporter, the Briefing Room, and Sensors. Every aspect is detailed and accurate to the lore of the show. Even Star Trek's previously undecipherable galaxy classification and navigation systems are now understandable -- and useful.

Battle situations automatically switch you into an over-head-view grid-mapped track of space, where you navigate and fire the ship's weapons in real-time combat. Although you'll find some strategy here, it's unlikely that you'll be able to pull off a Picard m3neuver given the limited controls: Thrust, Phasers, and Photons.

...To Explore Strange Hem Mazes

The complex Away learn missions are, for the most part, fun. During the RPG/Zelda-style maze exploration, you search an area for objects while dispatching indigenous dangers (i.e. blasting them with a phaser). You have to wisely manage the resources of your team and use the talents and skills of each officer. The action's tough, but rewarding.

Aboard the derelict ship, blast through this wall to reach the main security computer. Disable all security with your Tricorder.

The controls could be more polished. You can move each member of the four person team individually, or you can lead them as a group. Poor collision programming is the most annoying aspect. If an enemy bumps into you, it can quickly suck away half your life in one brief exchange. Another problem is that the members not under your control are essentially sitting ducks and don't even bother defending themselves. It's easy to lose crewmen, so the Away Team segments often become "send in the Data" solo missions.

TNG is very visually impressive. It earns high marks for its accurate depictions of everything from ships to aliens to Geordi's stand-still tap of his visor. When you complete one of the challenging mazes, you get large, great-looking cinematic pix.

The music and theme, songs from the show really crank you up to play the game. Unfortunately, most of the music that was written specifically for the game is average. The Conn panel blips sounds like they're digitized at a high sample rate. The game has good audio, overall.

Hull Breach, Deck 7

Where TNG doesn't pass Starfleet Regulations is in the game's actions, which aren't completely faithful to the show. Unlike the "ask questions first, shoot later" Federation credo, TnG is combaf intensive. A Neutral Zone conflict quickly degenerates to ship-to-ship battle with Romulan Birds of Prey. Totally unrealistic!

Additionally, many of the options that the real Enterprise crew would consider in tight situations aren't even offered. Prior to battle you can't hail the opposing ship to negotiate; combat just begins. When your Away Team is exploring the surface, it can't communicate with the Enterprise for advice or sensor readings. Bottom line: You may find yourself saying, "If this were the TV show, it would have happened some other way."

Another key aspect of the series that the SNES game doesn't capture is the personality of the characters. Recurring themes and character traits, such as the poker games and Data's search for humanity, have fueled the show's cult following, but they're all missing from the game.

Mlake It So!

TNG lacks the personality of the TV show and could be more polished, but it's a solid action-packed adventure, rich in the lore and terminology that will appeal to anyone who has a Star Trek: The Next Generation Technical Manual on their bookshelf. Ensign, set course heading Toys 'R' Us, bearing SNES, mark $60. Engage!

Other games by
Spectrum Holobyte

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future's Past Downloads

SNES Star Trek: The Next Generation: Future's Past download
  • Manufacturer: Spectrum Holobyte
  • Machine: Super NES
  • Theme: Strategy
  • Release: March 1994
  • No. of Levels: 8

People say:

9

ST:TNG is one of those games that will take some time to get into. There is a lot to absorb, but after a bit 6f experimentation, you'll catch on. Still, I found this cart to be very addicting. I like the fact that there are so many different aspects to it, ranging from outer space combat to action sequences. The sounds are direct from the show, and the graphics are decent. Overall this game is for older players.

7

Star Trek games typically haven't been exciting, but this game is better. There's more interaction with the characters both on and off the ship. Every aspect of ship operation is at your control, yet taking the landing party down for missions gets boring. The graphics and cinemas would be better if they weren't so pixilated. The storyline is very cool with tons of missions and fans of the show, like me, will find it interesting.

6

ST:TNG isn't bad for an adventure game. There are even elements of an RPG that let you play the role of any of the characters. I like the sound effects which are a near-perfect match of the show's. On the down side, I found the missions to be boring at times and the action controls were slow as molasses in January. If you like this type of game, you should be able to get into it even if you don't like Star Trek.

8

If you're not really into Star Trek, this may not be the best choice for you. The graphics are very good, but the action is somewhat slow-paced. Fans of the shows will love all of the information and the ability to use the Enterprise. Sounds and graphics are great and there are some detailed missions to carry out. Not for everyone, but a must have for any Trekker who has always wanted to command the Enterprise.

reggie posted a review

Star Trek The Next Generation is preparing to go where no Star Trek game has gone before -- into the SNES! Spectrum HoloByte plans to make it so by October 1993 in an awesome action/adventure/puzzler game. Check out this preview.

A Mystery in Space and Time

The game begins with the Enterprise warping to the planet Quadra 4 to deliver vital medical supplies. Enroute Capt. Picard and his crew rescue a derelict spaceship. The alien captain reveals that he and his crew have been in suspended animation for thousands of years awaiting the appearance of the legendary Universal Field Derandomizer (UFD). This legendary omnipotent device contains power so awesome that its ancient creators sent it into the future, to reappear every 10,000 years until it is found by a sentient race wise enough to manage it.

Every Next Generation fan knows Capt. Picard is an accomplished amateur archaeologist. He had always considered the UFD a mere myth, but now its reality will take him and the crew of the Enterprise on an interstellar search to reveal its secrets. However, the Federation isn't the only one interested in the UFD. The Romulans have crossed the Neutral Zone, the Ferengi are sniffing about, and a mysterious race called the Chodak has arrived on the scene. You will guide the Next Generation crew in its race to find the UFD.

Strange, New Worlds

Star Trek: The Next Generation will be a massive game with eight main missions and a huge hunk of outer space to explore. The SNES game will adhere to the Federation's humane moral code, so expect to use your smarts and wisdom and not spread galactic megadeath (or break the Prime Directive).

Spectrum HoloByte will beam all the popular Next Generation characters into the game. Great-looking character graphics will bring Capt. Jean Luc Picard, Commander Will Riker, Data, Lt. Worf, Counselor Deanna Troi, Dr. Beverly Crusher, and Commander Geordi La Forge to life via your SNES.

The Next Generation will feature three types of game play perspectives: a first-person "captain's" view, overhead view space battles, and % overhead views for Away Team missions. On the bridge, you'll be able make a first-person, 360 degree scan of the Bridge from the Captain's chair. You can pick any Bridge Station, such as the Science Station, and use its instrument panel. You'll also move around inside the ship to work in various areas such as the Turbolift, Engineering, Sick Bay, and even the Transporter Room.

Although fighting action isn't emphasized or encouraged in the game, when you're forced into combat you'll have the best weapons in the galaxy at your command. The game will switch to a familiar-looking space combat style overhead view as seen on the Enterprise's Tactical Screen. You'll be able to fire Phasers and Photon Torpedoes, hail other spacecraft, and divert power from various ship's systems to reinforce weakened Shields.

However, most of the action and almost all the puzzle-solving takes place outside the Enterprise. As in the TV show, you'll be able to pick an Away Team of up to four characters. And, yes, even those famous Star Trek no-name favorites, the "expendable crewmen", will be on hand to serve as designated victims.

Away Teams will appear in a / overhead view. Team members will move around as a group, but you'll be able to send each one off to perform individual tasks as well. All the main characters will be rated according to technological ability, biological knowledge, tactical thinking, diplomacy skills, and physical strength. Away Team adventures will include rescuing trapped miners, capturing a hijacked starship, and repairing a derelict spacecraft.

Engage!

Star Trek: The Next Generation will seek out new life in the SNES. In fact, Spectrum HoloByte already has Trek's 2 and 3 on the drawing board. Live long and prosper!

reggie posted a review
X More on GameFabrique Aladdin

Download Aladdin