This week I thought I’d review one arcade game that I spent a lot of time on a few years back: Star Wars Trilogy Arcade. Even today this game is still a lot of fun and looks wonderful. Back when I worked for an arcade the employees were always competing on some game and for a time Star Wars was the big game we all competed on. As it involves a lot of memorization, I eventually got pretty good at the game, being able to beat the game without ever getting hit. Ah those were the days…
Star Wars Trilogy Arcade by Sega
Play as Luke Skywalker through some of the events portrayed in the first three Star Wars movies, formatted for quick arcade action.
The gameplay on this title is somewhat varied as it covers different events throughout the three popular movies. All of the action takes place in a first person, where you will have a movable crosshair for using your blaster or lightsaber. Use the flight joystick for all control in the game – it has two triggers which perform the same function; there are also two large red event buttons that will occasionally light up that if pressed at that time, will bring some help in the game to assist you (and earn you some bonus points). All of te control is set to a southpaw orientation which works out well for the flight missions but takes some getting used to during blaster and more especially lightsaber battles. Many people have a hard time adjusting to the lightsaber’s control, but I will explain how it works later.
The game is broken up into the three original episodes and you can play through them in any order you wish.
This episode pits you in the cockpit of an X-Wing starfighter during the battle featured at the end of the movie to destroy the Death Star as it slowly moves towards Yavin. First off you will attack a few Star Destroyers and some TIE Fighters, then you move onto the Death Star, first attacking the surface and then it’s trench. Hit the exhaust port with your proton torpedos and you’ll have finished the round.
This episode begins with you in the cockpit of a snowspeeder, during the valiant but hopeless attack against the Empire’s Walker’s on Hoth. After this you run through the Hoth base, blasting stormtroopers along the way
This modde is split into two parts. One while on the moon of Endor, the other the second battle above the Death Star.
On Endor you start out on a speederbike, blasting away stormtroopers on their bikes – then you go on foot, blasting away until you reach the compund to place some bombs and finally you have to duke-it out (using a blaster of course) with an AT-St walker.
After a quick bonus round you move onto another X-Wing battle against the Death Star. First you will battle it out against TIE Fighters and Star Destroyers – then you move to the surface of the Death Star and then into the thing until you reach the core. Destroy it and you win the game.
There are two bonus rounds where you use your lightsaber in combat – a battle with Boba Fett as portrayed in Episode VI as well as the final battle with Darth Vader as shown in the same episode. The lightsaber combat does take some practice to get used to although the game will help you out by showing arrows as to where to block or where to attack. The biggest difficultly comes in pulling off the attacks correctly and quickly. If you aren’t fast enough you’ll miss the opportunity. Striking Darth Vader usually requires two movements – which is difficult when you have to attack diagonally.
The game will keep track of which side of the force you are aligned to, but it doesn’t seem to really affect anything. There are three levels of light and three levels of dark. You go to the dark side by blasting your friends.
Most arcade operator’s will place the difficulty on the game rather high, so be aware of that when you play.
Even with today’s standards in 3D graphics, this game has aged quite well. The action is fast and fluid, with no slowdown at any point and most objects are detailed nicely. Some transparencies don’t look good (as is typical with many Sega titles from the 90’s in using the checkered pattern as opposed to real transparency) but they get the job done. Overall they did some nice work at making the game feel like you were playing the movie although they could do better with todays hardware. But for the time this was one game that showed how much more advanced arcades were than home consoles.
The sound on the game is excellent, with voice samples being pulled from the movies or re-recorded just for this game. All of the music comes straight from the soundtracks of each movie, to create the cinematic feeling while playing the game. The Deluxe version of the game has a subwoofer, for that extra bass in gameplay, which compliments the action nicely.
The regular cabinet is rather unimpressive – some SW artwork with a small 19″ monitor and on some occasions no seat. The really nice cabinet would be the 50″ projection TV monitor Deluxe cabinet. There is some nice SW artwork on it as well and it features a seat with better sound. The marquee for both cabinets is large and calls a lot of attention to the game in any arcade.
Overall this is a great game, perfect for the arcades and isn’t a bad addition to any personal collection (except for how much space it takes up). The game is beatable in about 20 minutes to someone who has memorized everything in the game. The game will keep track of up to 50 high scores so there is plenty of room for you to rack up a long list of initials.