Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II - Rogue Leader (Nintendo Gamecube)

by PaulEMoz in , , , , ,

Star Wars.

It's probably the most recognised name on the planet. It's also, surely, the most-milked for merchandise, although I guess that's arguable. And it's got loads of videogame spin-offs. Most of which I haven't played...

I dunno. I love the films, particularly the original trilogy, but I still managed to get a fair amount from the newer ones. For some reason, though, I haven't been all that bothered with the games. Yeah, there's the classic arcade original... but I never saw one in its day, and so I never really fell in love with that.

Then there's stuff like X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter. Again, supposed classics, but they came at a time when my gaming mojo was at an all-time low. Even the Dark Forces games have passed me by. Thinking about it, I feel a little empty.

I've lost R2! Oh well, he was irritating me, anyway.

The Gamecube is a machine I got late in the day, and so missed a good amount of its classic titles. I seem to remember that Rogue Leader was a launch title, or thereabouts, and it generated a lot of excitement. And after playing it, I can see why. It's certainly the most spectacular-looking Star Wars game I've seen. The tutorial, set on the sandy plains of Tatooine, leads you into the game very gently... too gently, in fact. I found it a bit dull, and soon skipped past it.

The next level, though, is an attack on the Death Star. That's more like it! It's actually very familiar if you've played the first arcade game... first, you're shooting towers on the Death Star's surface. Next, you have to fight off waves of TIE-Fighters. And then, there's the trench run, as you attempt to blow up the Death Star.

See, now that's the stuff. There's no more intimidating enemy than an AT-AT.

Swooping over the Death Star, dodging and weaving as the TIE-Fighters scream around you, is really pretty thrilling stuff for any Star Wars fan. And it looks convincing, which is key. The trench run, too, has an incredibly solid feel, possibly for the first time. That said, it doesn't feel as fast or frantic as the decades-old arcade game, but it does feel authentic.

I did, though, find it quite difficult. And as such, I finished playing after I'd destroyed the Death Star. I'd played for over an hour at this point, including the time spent on the tutorial, so I consider it sufficiently played for a blog write-up. Two levels further on comes the Imperial Attack on Hoth. I've just GOT to play on to see that one...