Star Wars in Video Games: A brief history

Well, well, well. That Star Wars celebration in Anaheim went by quietly and without any big news didn’t it?


The new trailer!

And even better, there was an “in-engine” demo of the game (well in video format) and it looks utter amazing!

During the Q&A after there was reveals aplenty, needless to say I am hugely excited for both the movie and the game!

So excited in fact that I want to look at the Star Wars games I’ve played! So let’s take a peek!

Star Wars Arcade (Atari)

Look past the primitive graphics because behind these lies the heart of a true arcade great! And THAT arcade cabinet! It was unbelievable! A work of true beauty! This game had ALL the iconic scenes from the first movie and it has that Star Wars feel that is so important, well done Atari!


The wire-frame trench run was amazing, the home conversions though, not so much! I played far too much of the Amstrad version and it was a shoddy, shoddy game. If you happen to stumble upon an arcade cabinet then fire in those 20p pieces (highly unlikely) because this is still worth it today!


Super Star Wars Series (Virgin, SNES)

These games were absolutely brilliant! There were three titles released and they all looked beautiful at the time, the action were primarily a side scrolling platform/shooter but every now and again there were mode 7 driving sections. The entire series played really well, but rather characteristic of the era, it was hard as nails!

It was designed to frustrate, and it achieved that well, but a good game is a good game! It’s hard to hate a game that allows you to kill the sarlacc and run the trench within a few minutes of one another!


Star Wars: Episode 1 Racer (PC/N64/Dreamcast)

Now this game, may have been the best thing to happen thanks to the new trilogy! Undoubtedly the best thing about the movie is now in your home console, and because it takes its cues from ‘WipeOut’, it is a top drawer racing experience.

On release it was an absolute stunner, it moved like shit off a stick and the challenge was legit! The tracks were all imaginative; and although they are not always based on Star Wars lore, some were an absolute joy to race round, some should be heralded as all time classic tracks in racing games.

There is really nothing like this on the market any more, and that makes gaming worse.


Star Wars: Podracer (Arcade)

This was amazing, SEGA went all out to create a genuine arcade experience.


I was lucky enough to play this game as God intended; sitting in a Podracer, two thrusters for control and in the Boonta Eve Classic – this game was utterly brilliant!

Much like its home cousin, this game was one hell of a looker (on a modified Naomi board) it captured the feeling of the movie more than any other licensed game I can think of. It was also quick, lightning quick, really quick! Once you got used to the controls though you could slalom through the race like a pro, like SEGA Rally before it, simple to play, difficult to master! My favourite Star Wars game ever!


Star Wars: Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith (everything basically)

I played this at university, on the original xbox, it I enjoyed it! It copied the Lord of the Rings games wholesale and it was all the better for it. The game follows the plot of the movie scene for scene and it has all the set pieces you could wish for and none of the political bullshit that ruined the trilogy!

It got pretty tough and the final battle against Obi-Wan was an absolute ballache, but it was great! It played well, look good and sounded great! Who could forget me running down my university dorm hallway screaming at the top of my lungs when obi-wan fell to my sabre? I know I wont!

There was also a good multiplayer mode (that was much better than ‘Masters of the teras Kasi’) that I became pretty good at. Overall a damn fine game and worthy of a blast.


Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast (everything)

As Kyle Katarn you travel the universe hoping to maintain the delicate balance of the force, sometimes this would be easy, you’d smack around a few droid or stormtroopers but shit quickly gets real and Sith’s turn up and lead to issues for Kyle, but unbelievably good light sabre battles for us!

Still the daddy of light sabre physics in gaming and WELL worth a go by anyone!


What are your favourite star wars titles?

Have you played any of the terrible ones?

Would you buy a new tie-in for episode 7?

Tell me in the comments!


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