To look on the bright side, if there is one, having a busted Xbox has forced me to explore the gaming offerings of my three-year-old laptop. As you can imagine it is not extensive. I can not play most new games, so I am forced to pull out old CDs or browse free online games.
So imagine my excitement when I found one of my favorite games from the 1990s, nay, one of my favorite games ever: Tie Fighter! After more than ten years away from the cockpit, I have triumphantly returned to dispatch some Rebel scum!
I remember logging in long hours with this space flight simulator game where you play as an Imperial pilot shooting down X-wings, Y-wings and even traitorous factions of Tie Fighters.
Usually nostalgia for games of yore is cut short when you actually replay them years later and realize how crappy the graphics or controls were compared to the highly polished games of today. I was a little worried that re-entering the cockpit of a Tie Fighter would mar my remembrance of one of my favorite games. Luckily that is not the case. The graphics are good enough for me, especially since I have the updated Windows 95 version. The controls are smooth and the space combat is fast-paced and thrilling.
The best part of this game is how Lucas Arts created an intriguing plot that wove seamlessly into the game. After messing around in the combat simulator you can accept missions from your superior officer, but not all is what it seems. There is also a shadowy cloaked figure who dells out secondary objectives at the behest of the Emperor himself. You can complete the game without accepting any of these secondary missions, but if you do it tells another, parallel story of deceit, making a surprisingly layered narrative for a space-flight simulator game. The missions take place after the events of The Empire Strikes Back.
And who can argue with being able to fly a shieldless Tie Fighter and dancing through the Rebel fleet!