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Saturday, 28 September 2013

STAR WARS - ARCADE




Ever since StarWars flashed before my eyes, I've been hooked. I was just a kid back then, but the impression it left will stay with me until a right good ole' age. There's something else I probably shouldn't admit to, I had such a soft spot for the movie, I imagined playing the lead role and would pretend to shoot down Tie Fighters and ultimately the Death Star from the safety of my armchair.

It had to happen, my only surprise is that it took so long. The now decidedly ropey Atari released Star Wars in 1983, it was a nice attempt at doing something new with a classic film. The graphics and sound were amazing for the time and had colourful vector graphics. It also featured the really cool heroic music of the movie, accompanied by smooth reactive-tight controls and a movie-authentic blasting noise. The speech is where it impressed the- be-Jesus outta me and at the time I thought the stuff of dreams.

Star Wars was definitely my favourite game as a kid, I'd never experienced anything like it. As you made progress the game became distinctively harder - and your shields quickly drained. On the higher difficulty settings, the screen would become quickly overcrowded and progress became a matter of entering more coins. In comparison with games today, Star Wars looks positively prehistoric, but still retains its originality and addictiveness.

If you've played Star Wars it's massively obvious as to why it's so popular. The cabinet alone came in the shape of an X-Wing and once sat inside, you were basically playing the movie. In short, the evil empire was everywhere. You can blast away at the Tie Fighters and pretty much every observable bit of terrain, and get extra lives and shields by shooting the hell out of things.

The problem is, even if you're shielded to maximum, staying alive on later levels isn't easy; the Tie Fighters approach so fast that you soon end up taking massive damage and the inevitable game over screen. For me, Star Wars sticks with you because of its combination of fast action and tight controls. Yes, it's successful ultimately because it's exciting as well. It may look incredibly dated by today's standards, but while you're fooling around with it, the only thing on your mind will be one of survival.

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