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Star Wars Rogue Squadron

This is the original N64 box art for Star Wars: Rogue Squadron.

Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is a game for the N64 that take place in the Star Wars univese, and follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker along with his pilot friends as they go through missions that took place during the original trilogy.

I'm going to be frank and say that I have no idea how I ended up getting this game for my N64. In fact, for the greater part of my life, I ignored it out of lack of interest. However, one day I just decided to give it a swing to see if it was any good.

Turns out, it wasn't bad. God knows, however, that it would have been a whole lot easier if I'd had an instruction manual, as I prefer to know what's going on in a game, especially with the older ones, where you can get lost easily.

The game is pretty much a total Star Fox 64 clone. You play as Luke Skywalker who, as any Star Wars buff knows, is a skilled pilot in addition to being a jedi. You can select from a number of different ships that are unlocked as you progress through the game, and which have some different firing mechanisms and handling. One thing I really liked in this area from the get-go is the loyalty they have to the original ships. You can use the X-Wing and the Y-Wing, as well as the Millennium Falcon (with a code, I think), and I think you can also use a code to unlock a Naboo Starfighter (my personal favorite ship, in general). This made the gameplay vary and added an element of strategy to it, which I like, because a simple yet tactical approach is something I find interesting about a game.

You can go through a large number of missions (all of which can be unlocked with a code, I believe), and these missions make good sense, and are a nice sort of challenge. The only problem I had was that there was no clear indication of what you had to do. You don't know what's going on around you, you can't keep track of things you're supposed to protect, and because of that, you typically just find yourself wandering around and trying to shoot enemies. A more modern take on this game would probably be a lot better, because presumably that would fix this problem.

A big saving grace for this game is the controls. It works exactly like Star Fox 64 does, with four lines converging on a reticule that will show you your exact line of sight. This made aiming easy, and it was just the press of a button to fire the desired weapon. The only bad thing about the controls is that many ships were impossible to turn around concisely, so if you were going to do a strafing run, you'd have to go waaaayy out, turn back around, find your enemies again, and then repeat the process again after getting in a few shots. This mechanic of turning was far better in the Star Wars Battlefront titles, and it would have served this game well, since it would have made the process faster and more exciting.

I'm kind of mixed about this game in the end. I don't think there are really any ways to buy this on the Virtual Console, although I may be wrong; I know of nowhere that lets you play online, so the oly way I can think of to buy this is on an actual N64, which could be quite a process. If you can get this game with an Instruction manual, and you like Star Fox and Star Wars, then you should go ahead and get this. However, Star Fox 64 is available on the Virtual Console, and it's a better experience than this one, so I'd recommend that instead as far as buying is concerned (I think I'll eventually buy Star For 64 and review it separately, just so you know). Still, this is a reasonably good game overall.

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