Sega's first crop of 32x games includes Star Wars Arcade, a shooter based on the Star Wars movie series. Unfortunately, the Force-was apparently not with the creators of this game.
Tastes Great, Less Calrissians
Star Wars Arcade pits you against the evil Empire in two modes of play: a four-level Arcade mode or eight-level 32X mode. The gameplay's reminiscent of the classic Star Raiders or Star Fox. As you guide your ship through each level, you fire lasers and proton torpedoes to take out a set number of Imperial TIE Fighters before time runs out. If you miss the deadline, they obliterate you. To beat the game, you must rate through the Death Star's defense trench and launch the torpedo that blows the Death Star to smithereens.
The polygon graphics are pretty simple, but the animation shows off the 32X's processing power with stand-out scenes like the approach to the final battle on the Death Star. The first-person perspective is a welcome, if unfamiliar, sight for Genesis owners, and you can shift between cockpit and behind-the-ship perspectives, a la Star Fox.
The limited audio consists primarily of battle sound, R2's beeps, and some digitized voice during cinematic sequences. At least the tunes feature the familiar Star Whrs themes.
Not Going Solo
Control problems really give the Empire the advantage. With standard three-button Genesis pad, you'll be overwhelmed by confusing double-button presses. Bottom-line: Use a six-button controller. The two-player cooperative mode is fun, but the copilot's cursor is almost impossible to see against certain backgrounds, and it's very hard to accurately track targets.
The quirky control in combination with repetitive game play really grounds the Fun-factor. After a few attempts, you'll cruise through the early levels only to get slammed in the later levels.
Leia'n It on Thick
The original Star Wars movie is nearly 20 years old, so a new 32X game ought to keep that great tale fresh. Unfortunately, a few sessions with Star Wars Arcade is like a Carbon Freeze. Lose the Force, Luke!
- In two-player action, one player navigates and fires, while the other player targets TIEs and shoots.
- When you reach the Death Star, you can nail three quick enemy ships before autopilot kicks in again.
- Sometimes it's easier to target adversaries with the behind-the-ship view.
- When a bomb approaches, dodge hard to the left or right.
- Use the radar screen to determine when an enemy is in visual range.
- Use a proton torpedo to blow up a tower on the Death Star 's surface to Set an additional shield.