Reviewed by Mark Isaacson
It's the third Starfighter game to be released so far. The first and original title was released on the Playstation 2 nearly a year ago, while just a few weeks back an update was released for the X-Box (Starfighter Special Edition). This third installment is a conversion of the PS2 title.
This is really annoying. This isn't the first time a console game has been transferred onto the PC, with Battle for Naboo, Rogue Squadron and Shadows of the Empire all converted after success on the console scene. But now it's just getting annoying.
Don't get me wrong, Starfighter is a good title. I enjoyed the original on the PS2, had some fun with the multiplayer additions for the X-Box Special Edition (check my review here
), and I look forward to the sequel, Jedi Starfighter, later this year.
But when you consider the fact that there has only been one original Star Wars space shooter on the PC since X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter (that title being X-Wing Alliance), I don't doubt for a second that fellow fans are also getting worried. Worried that LucasArts has forgotten this once important part of the Star Wars community.
This conversion doesn't bring anything new or exciting to the table compared to the past two. At least with SF Special Edition you had some new multiplayer modes to play around with. Instead of going forward, Starfighter PC goes backward to the original PS2 version, with the same single player levels, and a slightly modified multi--player mode.
There's at least some enjoyment to be had for those who have yet to play Starfighter. The single player missions are neatly structured, with missions split into three different types thanks to the craft available. The N1 Starfighter is of course the obvious inclusion, and is joined by two new ship types, the Havoc and Guardian Mantis (kind of like Episode 1 versions of the A-Wing and Y-Wing). The original story line and characters based around the events of The Phantom Menace will also keep you interested.
Missions range from bomb runs and escorts to a recreation of the final assault above Naboo, as in the movie.
Graphics wise, Starfighter is solid, if not for a few glitches here and there. The main annoyance I've always had is the illusion of free space. One minute you're flying around, the next you hit a wall. In the middle of space!
I didn't mention this in my Starfighter SE review, so I though I would throw it in here. I suppose there is always a limit to what you can create, but it could have been better developed. I remember playing Starfox 64 a few years back, and when you reached the invisible wall, the ship would automatically turn around for you. That would have been nice, but at least the walls are far enough away from the action that you shouldn't have too much of a problem.
It felt very awkward while playing Starfighter on the PC. I tried the keyboard, and trust me, it isn't as smooth a ride as a decent joystick or gamepad. Even then, sitting so close to the screen felt strange to me, as I've had plenty of hours sitting in the cockpit of the PS2 Starfighter.
Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's the fact that I've played Starfighter so much, and now I'm bored with it. Maybe I'm so used to sitting in front of a big screen TV while playing. This just didn't hit it big for me compared to my first experiences with the original (and still the best) Starfighter.
I feel sorry for all you X-Wing fans who are waiting so very patiently for a new game on your PC. Hopefully, if LucasArts get everything in order, all these new announcements of games will lead to a new X-Wing title on the drawing board.
All I can really say, like I have said many times before (and starting to get fed up with it), if you are yet to play Starfighter, give it a go. Otherwise, stick with the console version, or at least SE. Then wait with great anticipation for Jedi Starfighter in a few months and a future X-Wing sequel. Please?
For comments or questions email the TFN Games Staff