Retro Sci-Fi Games: Star Wars (Arcade)

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 12, 2008 in Videogames |

Retro Sci-Fi Games: Star Wars (Arcade)

It seems almost impossible to fall over in a game store without knocking over a few dozen sci-fi themed games, so we wanted to take a look at the ten best examples of the genre. Our twist? Retro! So here’s one glimpse of the future from the past:

Star Wars (Arcade)

No list of great sci-fi anything could possibly be complete without the inclusion of something Star Wars related. Video games are no exception. While there have been loads of games bearing the distinctive logo, perhaps the best is also the first.

1983 saw an explosion of Star Wars video games across the board, but few would argue against the original arcade “cockpit” style cabinet being the best. First of all, the second you crawled in and sat down, you became Luke Skywalker. Visually cut off from the outside world, it was suddenly long ago and far away and you are flying around in space. Shot from a first person perspective, you could just see your X-Wing’s blasters pointing in from the edges of the screen. TIE fighters screamed toward you from all angles. The yoke controller was a dream to use and soon disappeared in your hands. And that wasn’t even the best part.

The best part was hearing Obi-Wan Kenobi whispering in your ear. The inclusion of the actors’ lines straight out of the move was more than icing on the cake. It made the experience absolutely real. Hearing R2-D2 screaming in pain as your ship was blasted and your shields fell made you cry out in sympathy, furiously jamming the controls toward the offending craft. Blasting Darth Vader into the void after he taunts you, getting Han’s “You’re all clear kid” all right there in your head brought the game to life.

Star Wars has always been about projecting yourself into the various roles and living a life of adventure. For many, this game made it happen.

Zac Bentz is a regular contributor to the Japanese culture blog Japanator, runs his own Japanese music review blog ZB’s A-Z of J-Music and plays crazy electro-rock in The Surfactants. He lives in Duluth, MN with his wife, pets and a closet full of adventure.

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