XBox 360 Universe Straight from the source
  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotUncategorized

    Having made the mightily successful indie game Bastion, Supergiant Games were always going to have a hard time making a second indie hit in the big bad world of gaming. Transistor, the answer to people's cries for more, comes at the start of a new generation gaming consoles, and although it's not the graphical powerhouse that most people would want to show off the potential of these new systems, it's still a delight to behold, allowing PC and PS4 gamers to revel in a gorgeous, inventive and original world.

    Transistor starts out by chucking you right in at the deep end, giving you no context for the world, or the characters within it. You play as Rose, a red haired beauty and a famous singer, that has regained consciousness with a dead body stabbed next to her. The unique-looking sword (the transistor) sticking out of the dead body asks you to take it out, and so begins your quest through Cloudbank where your goal is to hunt down the killers and the ones that took Rose’s voice away.

    Transistor  5
    The lack of context works against Transistor in the early stages of the game, with the fighting and news reports found in the environment causing frustration because you don’t have any idea what the characters or tutorials are referring to. This frustration soon turns to joy; as you invest more of your time and energy into discovering and understanding Transistor's world, you start to love it more and more and become personally invested in it. By the end of the game I was hooked, wanting more from the world than it had to offer, something I would never have said if you’d asked me how I felt about the game in its early hours. 

    A lot of the story is told through narration from the sword that Rose welds. Rose has lost her voice, so it’s up to the sword to guide you through the weird world of Transistor. In a way this is a shame, as it would have been nice to have heard from the red haired lady that you control. The sword does a good job of making the world feel lived in, telling stories about places you visit, and generally fleshing out the environments. You’ll occasionally happen across landmarks that you can interact with; sometimes it’ll be a building, other times terminals that are hidden away and which give you a little more insight into how life was before your adventure began, or the current happenings of the city via news reports. These pieces of information are optional, so some players may never come across them, but for those of you that do decide to track them all down, you’ll be glad you did, as they allow you to truly understand the world you're exploring.

    Transistor  4
    Combat starts off feeling like a hot mess, but soon becomes a tamed wolf through sheer force and determination, enabling you to feel empowered when you find the perfect way of handling enemies. You can freely move around the battle area and attack enemies when and as you like, but doing so will get you killed quickly at the start of the game. This is where Transistor's turn-based mechanic comes into play, which you can use once every few seconds. Once activated, time freezes, allowing you to plot out a course of actions, from running away from your current threat, to getting in a more suitable position to unleash an attack. Once you’ve planned out your moves, you’ll be left vulnerable whilst your abilities recharge, so you’ll have to make the most of these moments while they last. By the end of the game you’ll be pretty powerful, and I found myself rarely going into this turn-based mode because I could kill most enemies with relative ease. 

    The combat ties in closely with Red's abilities (called functions), which you can combine and experiment with to your heart's content. These abilities vary from the offensive, like a blade slice which spans the whole battlefield, to the defensive, like an ability which allows you to become invisible. They can also be combined with each other, transferring their traits either to another ability, or being passively used by the player all the time on the battlefield. This system gives players a lot of freedom and creativity - indeed, I was still experimenting with different combinations right up until the end of the main story.

    Transistor  1
    What stands out in Transistor more so than Bastion and other games on the market is its exquisite soundtrack. The score absolutely blew me away at times. Songs are deep, powerful, and emotional, helping to get you more immersed in the world Transistor has to offer. I would spend minutes simply daydreaming in some areas so that I could listen to a certain track.

    Many may remember the distinctive look and feel of Bastion, which centred around the world building itself at your feet as you navigated its varied environments. In Transistor, the world is already built, but is splendidly detailed with gorgeous, lush environments. The city of Cloudbank (where the majority of the game is based), which is a sprawling metropolis, has plenty of variety to it as well.

    There’s plenty in the world to explore and keep you coming back for more, even after the main story has concluded. After the credits roll, Transistor tries to throw you straight back into the main campaign with a 'recursion' mode, which is basically a new game+ that allows you to keep all of your perks and upgrades from your previous play through, but challenges you with harder enemies the second time round. The recursion mode also allows you to carry on trying the “back door” side quests, which have you testing your skills in different combat scenarios, from lasting as long as possible against an onslaught of enemies, to seeing if you can kill all of the enemies on the battlefield in one turn. Rest assured, there's plenty of replayability in this indie game. 

    This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - Transistor (PC) - Review
  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotUncategorized

    Pushmo, the critically acclaimed downloadable title for the 3DS, is now set to release on the Wii U this summer in the form of Pushmo World - on June 19th - at a price of $9.99.

    The puzzle game consists of moving different coloured blocks forwards and backwards to try and reach the top of the puzzle without falling. A trailer for the game can be viewed below:

    This is an excerpt from the full story which was originally featured on gamrReview, read the full version here - Pushmo World Announced for Wii U - News
  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotPreviews

    The PlayStation 4 exclusive racing game Driveclub looks impressive in screenshots and videos, but developer Evolution Studios claims that it also features some of the best audio in the industry.

    “We did initially look and see if we could buy samples in, and approached manufacturers,” Audio Manager Alan McDermott said in an interview with the PlayStation Blog. “But it just wasn't good enough for us to do what we wanted to do.”

    Instead of buying samples, McDermott and his team spent two and a half years traveling the world to make their own audio recordings of all the cars in the game. “We’ve been chasing these cars around the world,” he says. “There aren’t that many Pagani Huayras available. They don’t just send them out on a whim. It’s in Japan on a Wednesday, it’ll be in Italy on Saturday… we chased them. We’ve gone all out.”

    Each recording used at least 16 mics in each car and in some cases up to 27. “A lot of the time with simulation car games, the developer will record a set of samples and then that’s it,” he said. “They use those samples for both internal and external sounds. We didn’t do that. We recorded bespoke samples for everything – exhaust, engine, cockpit.”

    McDermott said that he’s “fairly confident” Evolution Studios now possesses the most high fidelity recordings of these cars in existence, and that BMW and Mercedes even asked for these recordings to replace their own.

    Driveclub launches October 7. A free "feature-complete" PlayStation Plus version will also be available at launch for PlayStation Plus subscribers ($50/year). For more on Driveclub, be sure to read GameSpot Editor Shaun McInnis’ explanation of What Exactly is Driveclub?

    Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

    Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotPreviews

    The PlayStation 4 exclusive racing game Driveclub looks impressive in screenshots and videos, but developer Evolution Studios claims that it also features some of the best audio in the industry.

    “We did initially look and see if we could buy samples in, and approached manufacturers,” Audio Manager Alan McDermott said in an interview with the PlayStation Blog. “But it just wasn't good enough for us to do what we wanted to do.”

    Instead of buying samples, McDermott and his team spent two and a half years traveling the world to make their own audio recordings of all the cars in the game. “We’ve been chasing these cars around the world,” he says. “There aren’t that many Pagani Huayras available. They don’t just send them out on a whim. It’s in Japan on a Wednesday, it’ll be in Italy on Saturday… we chased them. We’ve gone all out.”

    Each recording used at least 16 mics in each car and in some cases up to 27. “A lot of the time with simulation car games, the developer will record a set of samples and then that’s it,” he said. “They use those samples for both internal and external sounds. We didn’t do that. We recorded bespoke samples for everything – exhaust, engine, cockpit.”

    McDermott said that he’s “fairly confident” Evolution Studios now possesses the most high fidelity recordings of these cars in existence, and that BMW and Mercedes even asked for these recordings to replace their own.

    Driveclub launches October 7. A free "feature-complete" PlayStation Plus version will also be available at launch for PlayStation Plus subscribers ($50/year). For more on Driveclub, be sure to read GameSpot Editor Shaun McInnis’ explanation of What Exactly is Driveclub?

    Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

    Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotPreviews

    Epic Games' 2011 first-person shooter Bulletstorm is available to purchase from Steam again after vanishing from Valve’s PC marketplace without warning back in March.

    You can buy Bulletstorm for $20, but as the Online Disclaimer on its Steam page explains, you’ll need a Games For Windows Live client and account in order to install it and access its online features.

    Back in August, an update posted to the Age of Empires Online support site indicated that Microsoft intended to axe the Games for Windows Live Service completely on July 1, 2014. Microsoft has since removed the text from its Age of Empires Online support page, but it also closed its PC Marketplace in August 25, 2013, and several developers have since transitioned their games from GFWL to Steamworks.

    So far Bulletstorm publisher Electronic Arts didn’t say if the game will continue to require a GFWL account, but Bulletstorm developer Epic Games previously said it was considering a patch that would remove it.

    Developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly (now called Epic Games Poland), Bulletstorm launched in March 2011. Described as a "pulp sci-fi adventure," the game features arcade-style mechanics that challenges players to "kill with skill."

    People Can Fly started work on Bulletstorm 2, but would later abandon this game to work on Gears of War: Judgment instead. For more on Bulletstorm, check out GameSpot's review.

    Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

    Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotReviews

    Former Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton will return to E3 this year, but he won’t be speaking for Sony. Instead, Tretton will join Spike TV’s All Access coverage as a special correspondent.

    Tretton, who has hosted Sony’s E3 press conference a number of times including last year, will provide commentary and analysis for the big E3 press conferences this year along with Spike TV’s All Access host Geoff Keighley, who first revealed Tretton’s involvement via Twitter.

    "Since I dropped the mic last year on Spike I thought it was only appropriate to pick it back up for E3 this year!” Tretton told Kotaku in a statement. “I've been to every E3 but this year I'm excited to see the show through a different lens with the team at Spike. I'll be watching the news and announcements unfold alongside the fans and the rest of the industry, and I can't wait to see the new games that everyone is bringing to the table."

    Tretton, who worked at Activision before coming to Sony, left SCEA at the end of March in what was described as a "mutual agreement" between the two parties. He had been at SCEA since 1995, working on the North American launch of every PlayStation platform since the original. Earlier this week we reported that he joined the advisory board of Genotaur, an artificial intelligence development company.

    The E3 2014 show floor opens its doors on the morning of June 10, but Microsoft, Sony, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft will hold their press conferences the day prior. GameSpot has compiled a roundup of dates and times for the main press conferences and other events happening during this year's show.

    Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

    Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014JoystiqNews
    While folklore might suggest a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, it might actually be your PlayStation or Xbox. Reading Rainbow, the PBS children's series that recently found new life - and new funding - via Kickstarter has announced a new $5 million stretch goal that will bring the series to home game consoles.

    "When we reach our next goal of $5,000,000, we'll also be able to bring the service to mobile phones, Android, game consoles like XBOX and PlayStation, and set-top boxes like AppleTV and ROKU," updated text on the program's Kickstarter page reads. Unfortunately, we're not sure which PlayStation or Xbox systems LeVar Burton and crew are referencing, but seeing as how the crowdfunding campaign has already hit $3 million, it might not be long before we find out.

    Hopefully we gamers can keep it together should Mr. Burton and his program appear via our consoles. But we know it can be hard meeting your childhood heroes.
    [Image: Reading Rainbow]

    JoystiqReading Rainbow may fly twice as high on PlayStation, Xbox originally appeared on Joystiq on Sat, 31 May 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink | Email this | Comments
  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotReviews

    Attorneys representing student athletes who claim Electronic Arts illegally used their likenesses in the company’s popular NCAA Football, Basketball, and March Madness video games will receive nearly $1,000 per appearance in a game from EA. The settlement will amount to a total of around $40 million.

    EA and the attorneys representing the student-athletes reached the settlement back in September 2013, but didn’t disclose the details until yesterday, when it filed a motion to approve the settlement. With as much as $951 for each year they were featured in a game, and as many as 100,000 current and former players student athletes appearing in EA sports games since 2003, the settlement could cost EA as much as $40 million.

    “We’re incredibly pleased with the results of this settlement and the opportunity to right a huge wrong enacted by the NCAA and EA against these players and their rights of publicity,” said Steve W. Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman and co-lead attorney. “We’ve fought against intense legal hurdles since filing this case in 2009 and to see this case come to fruition is a certain victory.”

    If the settlement is approved by the court, it will mark the first time an NCAA commercial partner will pay student athletes.

    EA and the NCAA ended their licensing deal last year, and while for a time EA continued making licensing deals with individual schools through the Collegiate Licensing Company, in September 2013 it announced it would not make another college football game for 2014.

    Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

    Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotPreviews

    George Lucas' Star Wars is a well of inspiration for video games, and in the nearly 40-year history of the franchise, there have been more than 100 games released across consoles, handhelds, PCs, and mobile devices. Some are considered classics in their respective genres, and some are perhaps best forgotten. Following the series' humble beginnings on the Atari 2600 in the '80s, Lucasfilm finally broke out LucasArts, its own game division, in 1990. It took a few years before LucasArts began to ship Star Wars games of its own, but they were some of the best Star Wars games of all time.

    Sadly, the time of LucasArts has passed, and it was forced to hand over the reins to Electronic Arts when Disney bought the rights to the franchise in 2013. With a new series of films on the way from director J.J. Abrams, there are no doubt plenty of Star Wars games on the way, but regardless of what happens in the future, the past still belongs to the fans. For the first part of our two part look back at Star Wars video games, let's take a look at the most beloved Star Wars games that came out between 1982 and 1998.

    It all began with the second movie, on a console far, far away: the Atari 2600.

    1982: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Atari 2600)

    The first Star Wars video game was created by Parker Brothers in 1982 for the Atari 2600. The Empire Strikes Back dropped you into battle on the frigid planet of Hoth. Your one and only goal was to defend a secret Rebel base from massive, four-legged juggernauts known as AT-ATs. It was a simple re-creation of the iconic scene from the film The Empire Strikes Back, but more importantly, it was the first interactive Star Wars experience that you could enjoy at home.

    1983: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle (Atari 2600)

    A year later, Parker Brothers followed up The Empire Strikes Back with 1983's Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle. It was another simple shooting game, but this time, you manned the iconic Millennium Falcon, shot down TIE fighters, and chipped away at the Death Star before delivering the final blow to the reactor core, destroying the Death Star, and Darth Vader, once and for all.

    1983: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Jedi Arena (Atari 2600)

    That same year, Parker Brothers also released Jedi Arena for the 2600. It attempted to re-create the excitement of fighting with lightsabers. But with stationary Jedi and abstract combat, the results were unfortunately underwhelming.

    1983: Star Wars: The Arcade Game (Arcade/Atari 2600)

    Ultimately, it was the port of Atari's own Star Wars arcade game that defined the true Star Wars experience on the 2600. The original arcade release featured vector graphics and digitized voices, delivering a revolutionary and influential experience for the time. Not all of these elements made it to the home release, but Atari was able to retain the core gameplay, which was a major step up from the previous games set in the Star Wars universe. It was also the first game based on A New Hope, the first film in the original trilogy.

    1984: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Arcade)

    Atari took Star Wars back to arcades in 1984, but it leaped over The Empire Strikes Back and instead went straight to Return of the Jedi. Jedi would forgo the model of the first game in favor of an isometric, on-rails shooter that re-created numerous scenes from Jedi, including the speederbike chase on Endor and the Millennium Falcon's assault on the Death Star.

    1985: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Arcade)

    Finally, in 1985, Atari closed out the trilogy by releasing an Empire Strikes Back update for the first arcade game, which took you back to Hoth for another go at defending the Rebel base from Imperial forces and their massive AT-ATs.

    1987: Star Wars (Famicom)

    By the late '80s, Atari was flagging in the console market, and Nintendo's 8-bit system was on the rise, making it the perfect candidate for a new Star Wars game. In 1987, Namco brought Star Wars to the Famicom--the Japanese version of the NES. Namco's interpretation of the story wasn't entirely accurate, but it introduced Star Wars fans to the world of side-scrolling platformers, which would become the predominant genre for the series over the next few years.

    1991 - 1992: Star Wars/Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (NES)

    In 1991, North America got its own Star Wars game on the NES, courtesy of JVC and Lucasfilm Games. From Tattoine to the Death Star, Star Wars was a more faithful interpretation of the original film than Namco's attempt, apart from Luke using his lightsaber in combat, of course. JVC came back a year later with the Empire Strikes Back. It mixed platforming, side-scrolling shooting, and, for the first time, lightsaber-on-lightsaber action, but again, JVC dropped the ball here, giving Luke Vader's red lightsaber, rather than the blue saber seen in the first two films.

    1992 - 1994: Super Star Wars Trilogy (SNES)

    While JVC was busy with The Empire Strikes Back on the NES, Sculpted Software and LucasArts were busy re-creating the original trilogy for the Super Nintendo. The SNES Star Wars games had huge detailed sprites and some of the best sound effects in any Star Wars game to date. They were primarily action platformers, but thanks to the SNES's Mode 7, you also got the chance to pilot Luke's landspeeder, an X-wing, and other iconic vehicles in pseudo-3D sequences.

    1993 - 1997: X-Wing/TIE Fighter/X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (PC)

    Before the Super trilogy concluded, LucasArts created its first solo Star Wars project for the PC in 1993, the legendary space-combat sim X-Wing. It was one of the first Star Wars games to achieve critical and commercial success. After two expansions, LucasArts created a sequel in 1994: TIE Fighter. TIE Fighter used a new rendering engine and offered a unique perspective on the conflict between the rebel forces and the empire, allowing you to fight on behalf of the dark side for the first time. LucasArts concluded the miniseries with X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter in 1997.

    1993 - 1995: Star Wars: Rebel Assault/Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (PC)

    At the same time that it was developing its series of dedicated space-combat games, LucasArts was also busy crafting Rebel Assault and Rebel Assault II. Thanks to the advent of CD-ROM technology, LucasArts was able to incorporate prerendered 3D models and full-motion video. The film-like experiences were special at a time when games were struggling to break free from floppy disks and into the realm of high-capacity CD storage.

    1995 - 1997: Star Wars: Dark Forces/ Dark Forces II (PC)

    Not one to let a trend pass it by, LucasArts, on top of X-Wing and Rebel Assault games, was also working on Dark Forces: a first-person shooter in the vein of Doom. The 1997 sequel, Dark Forces II, took the model of the first game and ran with it. It was the first multiplayer game for the series, and it was also the first time that you were able to go head-to-head with other players in authentic lightsaber battles. Dark Forces II also let you switch between first- and third-person perspectives, which was an unusual feature at the time.

    1996: Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire (N64)

    LucasArts was steeped in PC development in the mid '90s, but in 1996, it returned to consoles shortly after the release of the Nintendo 64 with Shadows of the Empire. This third-person action game took place between the storylines of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. You played as smuggler Dash Rendar and assisted Luke in the rescue of Princess Leia from the grip of Prince Xisor. Shadows wasn't as good as LucasArts' other Star Wars games of the day, but it was nonetheless a commercial success.

    1997: Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi (PlayStation)

    In 1997, LucasArts did the unthinkable and released a Star Wars fighting game for the PlayStation, Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi. Unfortunately, fighting game enthusiasts loathed the game's rough 3D engine, and Star Wars fans balked at the mistreatment of lightsabers, which were incapable of cutting, well, anything.

    1998: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (Nintendo 64)

    A few months before George Lucas unleashed Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in theaters, LucasArts and Factor 5 worked together on Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the Nintendo 64 and Windows PCs. It featured arcade-style action across 16 levels that tapped into many of the original trilogy's iconic locations, and the console version was one of the first games to use the Nintendo 64's RAM expansion pack for high-resolution graphics. LucasArts managed to hide a secret code within the game that unlocked the Naboo Starfighter from The Phantom Menace, which was only revealed to the public after the film hit theaters the following year.

    The release of The Phantom Menace was a major turning point for the Star Wars franchise, and it had a significant impact on the games that would follow in the years to come. Stay tuned to GameSpot for part 2 of our History of Star Wars Video Games feature, where we tackle the games inspired by Lucas' prequel trilogy, Legos, and, of all things, hot dance moves.

  • scissors
    May 31st, 2014GamespotPreviews

    George Lucas' Star Wars is a well of inspiration for video games, and in the nearly 40-year history of the franchise, there have been more than 100 games released across consoles, handhelds, PCs, and mobile devices. Some are considered classics in their respective genres, and some are perhaps best forgotten. Following the series' humble beginnings on the Atari 2600 in the '80s, Lucasfilm finally broke out LucasArts, its own game division, in 1990. It took a few years before LucasArts began to ship Star Wars games of its own, but they were some of the best Star Wars games of all time.

    Sadly, the time of LucasArts has passed, and it was forced to hand over the reins to Electronic Arts when Disney bought the rights to the franchise in 2013. With a new series of films on the way from director J.J. Abrams, there are no doubt plenty of Star Wars games on the way, but regardless of what happens in the future, the past still belongs to the fans. For the first part of our two part look back at Star Wars video games, let's take a look at the most beloved Star Wars games that came out between 1982 and 1998.

    It all began with the second movie, on a console far, far away: the Atari 2600.

    1982: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Atari 2600)

    The first Star Wars video game was created by Parker Brothers in 1982 for the Atari 2600. The Empire Strikes Back dropped you into battle on the frigid planet of Hoth. Your one and only goal was to defend a secret Rebel base from massive, four-legged juggernauts known as AT-ATs. It was a simple re-creation of the iconic scene from the film The Empire Strikes Back, but more importantly, it was the first interactive Star Wars experience that you could enjoy at home.

    1983: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle (Atari 2600)

    A year later, Parker Brothers followed up The Empire Strikes Back with 1983's Return of the Jedi: Death Star Battle. It was another simple shooting game, but this time, you manned the iconic Millennium Falcon, shot down TIE fighters, and chipped away at the Death Star before delivering the final blow to the reactor core, destroying the Death Star once and for all.

    1983: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Jedi Arena (Atari 2600)

    That same year, Parker Brothers also released Jedi Arena for the 2600. It attempted to re-create the excitement of fighting with lightsabers. But with stationary Jedi and abstract combat, the results were unfortunately underwhelming.

    1983: Star Wars: The Arcade Game (Arcade/Atari 2600)

    Ultimately, it was the port of Atari's own Star Wars arcade game that defined the true Star Wars experience on the 2600. The original arcade release featured vector graphics and digitized voices, delivering a revolutionary and influential experience for the time. Not all of these elements made it to the home release, but Atari was able to retain the core gameplay, which was a major step up from the previous games set in the Star Wars universe. It was also the first game based on A New Hope, the first film in the original trilogy.

    1984: Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Arcade)

    Atari took Star Wars back to arcades in 1984, but it leaped over The Empire Strikes Back and instead went straight to Return of the Jedi. Jedi would forgo the model of the first game in favor of an isometric, on-rails shooter that re-created numerous scenes from Jedi, including the speederbike chase on Endor and the Millennium Falcon's assault on the Death Star.

    1985: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Arcade)

    Finally, in 1985, Atari closed out the trilogy by releasing an Empire Strikes Back update for the first arcade game, which took you back to Hoth for another go at defending the Rebel base from Imperial forces and their massive AT-ATs.

    1987: Star Wars (Famicom)

    By the late '80s, Atari was flagging in the console market, and Nintendo's 8-bit system was on the rise, making it the perfect candidate for a new Star Wars game. In 1987, Namco brought Star Wars to the Famicom--the Japanese version of the NES. Namco's interpretation of the story wasn't entirely accurate, but it introduced Star Wars fans to the world of side-scrolling platformers, which would become the predominant genre for the series over the next few years.

    1991 - 1992: Star Wars/Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (NES)

    In 1991, North America got its own Star Wars game on the NES, courtesy of JVC and Lucasfilm Games. From Tattoine to the Death Star, Star Wars was a more faithful interpretation of the original film than Namco's attempt, apart from Luke using his lightsaber in combat, of course. JVC came back a year later with the Empire Strikes Back. It mixed platforming, side-scrolling shooting, and, for the first time, lightsaber-on-lightsaber action, but again, JVC dropped the ball here, giving Luke Vader's red lightsaber, rather than the blue saber seen in the first two films.

    1992 - 1994: Super Star Wars Trilogy (SNES)

    While JVC was busy with The Empire Strikes Back on the NES, Sculpted Software and LucasArts were busy re-creating the original trilogy for the Super Nintendo. The SNES Star Wars games had huge detailed sprites and some of the best sound effects in any Star Wars game to date. They were primarily action platformers, but thanks to the SNES's Mode 7, you also got the chance to pilot Luke's landspeeder, an X-wing, and other iconic vehicles in pseudo-3D sequences.

    1993 - 1997: X-Wing/TIE Fighter/X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (PC)

    Before the Super trilogy concluded, LucasArts created its first solo Star Wars project for the PC in 1993, the legendary space-combat sim X-Wing. It was one of the first Star Wars games to achieve critical and commercial success. After two expansions, LucasArts created a sequel in 1994: TIE Fighter. TIE Fighter used a new rendering engine and offered a unique perspective on the conflict between the rebel forces and the empire, allowing you to fight on behalf of the dark side for the first time. LucasArts concluded the miniseries with X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter in 1997.

    1993 - 1995: Star Wars: Rebel Assault/Rebel Assault II: The Hidden Empire (PC)

    At the same time that it was developing its series of dedicated space-combat games, LucasArts was also busy crafting Rebel Assault and Rebel Assault II. Thanks to the advent of CD-ROM technology, LucasArts was able to incorporate prerendered 3D models and full-motion video. The film-like experiences were special at a time when games were struggling to break free from floppy disks and into the realm of high-capacity CD storage.

    1995 - 1997: Star Wars: Dark Forces/ Dark Forces II (PC)

    Not one to let a trend pass it by, LucasArts, on top of X-Wing and Rebel Assault games, was also working on Dark Forces: a first-person shooter in the vein of Doom. The 1997 sequel, Dark Forces II, took the model of the first game and ran with it. It was the first multiplayer game for the series, and it was also the first time that you were able to go head-to-head with other players in authentic lightsaber battles. Dark Forces II also let you switch between first- and third-person perspectives, which was an unusual feature at the time.

    1996: Star Wars: Shadow of the Empire (N64)

    LucasArts was steeped in PC development in the mid '90s, but in 1996, it returned to consoles shortly after the release of the Nintendo 64 with Shadows of the Empire. This third-person action game took place between the storylines of The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. You played as smuggler Dash Rendar and assisted Luke in the rescue of Princess Leia from the grip of Prince Xisor. Shadows wasn't as good as LucasArts' other Star Wars games of the day, but it was nonetheless a commercial success.

    1997: Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi (PlayStation)

    In 1997, LucasArts did the unthinkable and released a Star Wars fighting game for the PlayStation, Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi. Unfortunately, fighting game enthusiasts loathed the game's rough 3D engine, and Star Wars fans balked at the mistreatment of lightsabers, which were incapable of cutting, well, anything.

    1998: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron (Nintendo 64)

    A few months before George Lucas unleashed Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace in theaters, LucasArts and Factor 5 worked together on Star Wars: Rogue Squadron for the Nintendo 64 and Windows PCs. It featured arcade-style action across 16 levels that tapped into many of the original trilogy's iconic locations, and the console version was one of the first games to use the Nintendo 64's RAM expansion pack for high-resolution graphics. LucasArts managed to hide a secret code within the game that unlocked the Naboo Starfighter from The Phantom Menace, which was only revealed to the public after the film hit theaters the following year.

    The release of The Phantom Menace was a major turning point for the Star Wars franchise, and it had a significant impact on the games that would follow in the years to come. Stay tuned to GameSpot for part 2 of our History of Star Wars Video Games feature, where we tackle the games inspired by Lucas' prequel trilogy, Legos, and, of all things, hot dance moves.


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