Star Wars Rebel Assault
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Star Wars: Rebel Assault is a rail shooter video game developed and published by LucasArts for DOS, Apple Macintosh, Sega CD and 3DO Interactive Multiplayer systems, set in the Star Wars universe. Released in 1993, it is the first CD-ROM-only game to be published by LucasArts. The game's story focuses on a young pilot called Rookie One as he is trained by, and subsequently fights for, the Rebel Alliance in the Galactic Civil War.
This entry is for our 3DO copy of the game.
The gameplay consists of four mission types: three spaceflight types, and one on foot. The three spaceflight mission types are third person, overhead view, and first person. In all three types, the ship generally follows the same cursor which aims its gunfire. If the player moves the targeting cursor after firing, the shots that were already fired will follow the cursor. 9 of the 15 levels are first person, which has movement more restricted than in other modes. As such, enemy fire cannot be dodged in this mode; instead, the player must shoot the enemy within a set time frame in order to avoid taking damage, much like in a light gun game. Only level 9 falls into the on foot mission type. This level puts the player in a series of three stationary settings, though the player character can be maneuvered horizontally in order to avoid enemy fire. In a few stages, there are branching points, much like those in Panzer Dragoon II. Bonus points are awarded for accuracy and whether secondary objectives are accomplished.
The following review is a user-submitted review to the website GameFAQs, posted on 08/11/2000 (seven years after the game's release).
' "Suitable only for die hard Star Wars fans"
A not so long time ago, in a computer store not so far away, Star Wars: Rebel Assault was released and sitting on the shelf of your local computer store. All fans of the popular Star Wars series raced to their computer stores to pick it up. I, for one, did not because I am not a hardcore Star Wars fan. But I did eventually buy it. Although this game is quite good, I feel that my money is not very well spent. There were some flaws, but this game was great for a time killer.
This game follows the events of the fourth episode in the Star Wars saga (episode 4 is the original movie, titled “A New Hope”). The game is not played from any particular character’s perspective. Instead, the character is played from your point of view. As a new member of the rebellion, you help battle the Empire, and Lord Vader. The game starts off with your training. And as you work your way through the game, you will notice that the major events from the movie are used. In fact, scenes from the movie are taken and used in the game to advance the story. The entire game is in first person perspective. Also, the entire game is involved with flying a ship. All of the ships and fighters you fly during the game should all be recognizable from the movie. From a freighter to an X-wing, it’s all there. However, this is not a flight simulation like Star Fox (however, there are a couple of levels that are similar to Star Fox). Instead, the flying course is pre planned, and you shoot down enemy targets using a cross hair. But that is the big flaw in the game. The game is overly too hard to control because targeting can be extremely difficult using the crosshair. It is hard to get the shots to go where you would like it to go, especially if you do not have a good joystick. Some of the targets in this game are awfully small. But what makes targeting easier is that all shootable targets will have a green box around them. And since a good joystick can be quite pricy, the overall controls of this game are terrible. You could play with the mouse, but that is not recommended. The challenge is extremely high. The scaling difficulty is quite awkward. It gets harder gently through the first and second chapters, but starting on the third one, the difficulty skyrockets, especially if you do not have a good joystick. The learning curve is an average. Not too steep, but could be milder. However, the learning curve is reduced if you have a good joystick. 3 difficulty levels are offered, and there is a big difference between them in terms of difficulty. Enemies are much tougher when you increase the difficulty level. Passwords are given after every 3 chapters so you can continue on with the game if you game over.
The graphics has some flaws in them, but the overall effect is somewhat good. The good thing is that this game does not require an extremely powerful computer, which means that it will run smoothly on most computers today. The ships are done with great detail (I particularly like the job they did on the Star Destroyer. That ship is done so well, and with great detail). However, the bad part of the graphics is that a lot of the time the graphics are very blocky. You can’t even see much out of it (with the exception of the fighter ships). The audio is below average. The sound is very blurred. Most of the sounds come from the movie, so no new surprises here.
The fun factor will depend on your feelings towards the series of movies. If you really love the Star Wars movies, then you’re more then likely to fine this game to be a fun experience. That is because you get to experience the training of a star fighter, and to fight against the dark side of the force. If you’re not really into Star Wars, chances are you won’t find this game very fun, mainly because of the difficulty in using a crosshair to do all your shooting. The replay value is somewhat low. Once you have completed the game, there is nothing else you can do. There is not even minor changes, or an alternate ending. The only thing you can do is increasing the difficulty level. The hardest difficulty level is quite a challenge, and will take you many attempts to finish it. But other then that, the replay value is quite low.
Overall, this is an okay game with many flaws. This is definitely a game that has quite a bit of room for improvement. The gameplay is significantly below the average mark. The graphics and audio are both somewhat good, but has some flaws. Only buy this game if you’re a diehard Star Wars fan. Otherwise, reconsider before buying. Perhaps ask someone to borrow it first.
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