Star Wars Saturday: Video Games

Star Wars has created a great many secondary properties, like TV shows, books, and video games. Well, today I want to talk about the video games, because to me, that’s some of the best stuff that has come out of the franchise as a whole. The immersive experience that video games are known for blend seamlessly with the overpowered heroes that Star Wars is known for.

Most video games seem to have a hero that, somehow, overcomes all odds and all comers and wins the days. After all, a great many get to cheat and make use of save and load mechanics… But then, some don’t need that. Some are Jedi.

There are a great many Star Wars games, and I’ve only played so many of them, so rather than list only a few favorite games, let me explore and remember fondly some of the types of games that Star Wars has made great over the years.

The Lego Games

First and foremost, it’s worth mentioning that Lego now has a huge number of somewhat-similar, but totally different franchise, video games. Most are movie tie-ins, though some are just based on the general fictional universe, like the Batman ones. At this point, they’ve gotten so good at their storytelling in these games that they’re producing movies based on them.

No, not the Lego Movie. Although they did make a game of that…

But where did this all start? With what fan-beloved franchise? None other than episodes 1-3 of Star Wars. Wait, the new trilogy? Not even the original? That’s right. The mechanics blended beautifully with Lego manipulation, with the Force helping you build Lego objects and move them around the environment (something which they haven’t done as well in-world since except in the Harry Potter games).

The new trilogy also meant that you basically spent the whole time as Jedi – meaning you were also crazy powerful and nigh invulnerable. The Lego Games are great co-op games in part because this has persisted – you don’t die in the games, just lose coins and respawn. And you can pick the coins back up. The nigh-invincibility made the most sense with the Jedi.

Regardless, this was a strong game, which not only spawned two more Lego Star Wars games, but a whole host of other Lego games. They started strong, and are still riding that wave!

Vehicle Games

Also from the Wookiepedia.

Also from the Wookieepedia.

One of the things that Star Wars has in droves is cool land and space vehicles. And one thing they have made plenty of games for are vehicle games and simulators. I would be remiss if I did not mention the X-Wing simulator game, one that Gene’O still remembers and loves. I remember playing the Podracer one as well after episode 1 came out… almost like they included that ridiculously long scene so that they could make a game of it?…

I’m not much of one for racing games (nor the Lego racing mini-games…) but I remember loving the vehicle sections in some of the Star Wars games I’ve played. Such a variety, and they all do different things. Really just great from a video-game perspective.

Roleplaying Games

Of course, playing through the movie plots like in the Lego games is one thing… and simulating the vehicles is another… but the wide world of Star Wars really is ideal for an incredibly immersive experience, and where you get that is in the roleplaying games.

Actually, they made two KotOR games! I've been playing the first on my iPad... need to get back to that! Image from Wookieepedia a third time.

Actually, they made two KotOR games! I’ve been playing the first on my iPad… need to get back to that!
Image from Wookieepedia a third time.

Maybe the best known and most beloved of these is Knights of the Old Republic, a game from BioWare. BioWare is known for story-heavy games, with open-ended elements, lots of character choice and character driven stuff. That all sounds really good, set in a Star Wars universe!

It also lets you play more than just a Jedi. After all, characters like Han Solo and Princess Leia captured people’s imaginations just as much as the Jedi did. It also lets you be good or bad, light or dark side. These sorts of decisions allow for a very unique experience, and replayability.

There have been other roleplaying games – including two different massively multiplayer online games (MMO’s) which have been pretty popular as well. I know people who have poured a whole lot of hours into those, and loved them!

Star Wars: Battlefront

So good. Spent so much time with this in college. Yup, Wookieepedia.

So good. Spent so much time with this in college.
Yup, Wookieepedia.

If you did twist my arm and make me pick a favorite Star Wars game/series, however, it would have to be the Battlefront games. Honestly, I don’t remember much of episodes 2 or 3… and much of what I do remember is from playing the Battlefront games, and fighting on the planets!

In Star Wars Battlefront, you and friends go into a game which is also full of computer bots. Basically, full squads on both sides of a fight. You can be all on the same side, or against each other. Then you battle over control locations, which, once you hold those, give you access to vehicles, and even eventually Jedi.

There were different troopers to choose from as well, so you could be a basic sort of blaster Storm Trooper, or have rockets, jet packs, all sorts of things. Then there were tanks, or space battles where you had to fly from main-ship to main-ship, speeders, AT-AT’s to take down… and eventually, when the battle had been going for a while, the option to spawn as a Jedi came up. And fighting a tank with Yoda is just a fun thing.

!!! Of course from Wookieepedia.

Of course from Wookieepedia.

Our favorite mode, though, was a battle you could have at the Cantina, where all the options were Jedi. And it’s just a giant Jedi melee, with Force pushes and pulls, super jumping and running, thrown lightsabers, and General Grievous just walking around swinging four lightsabers… It was a blast.

Meaning, what game might actually make me buy one of the new generation of gaming consoles? Star Wars Battlefront 3!

What about you – what Star Wars games have you loved? Let me know in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “Star Wars Saturday: Video Games

  1. I was so waiting for this post! 🙂 I only ever played roleplaying Star Wars video games. I remember the old Rebel Assault games where you had some piloting to do, which is why I never went beyond levels 3 of either. Vehicle videogames aren’t for me. An older series of Star Wars games I spent hours playing was the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight one. I remember how excited I was when Mysteries of the Sith, the Jedi Knight expansion featuring Mara Jade, came out!

    The KOTOR games are a must! I recently replayed the second one and loved it much better than I did the first time around. And I am one of the people who got sucked into SWTOR! Love this game to pieces and it’d be the one I say is my favourite if you twisted my arm. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I try so hard with video games, I really do, and you may not remember this, but I downloaded one of the Lego games after a conversation with you and Holly. I didn’t have a clue how to progress through the game and it was a total mess until my brother took pity on me! I’ve since played the Star Wars Lego game, with instruction, and enjoyed it 🙂 I do enjoy building Star Wars ships out of lego, but that’s going slightly off topic!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do remember the Lego conversation 😀 because they went talking-light on those (until the most recent ones), there was definitely a lot you were finding and figuring out on your own. There can be plenty of button smashing, as you break ALL THE LEGOS, and the trail they added to lead you to the next level is helpful. And they are best with a friend (or brother!)

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  3. I love SWTOR too. The Baldure’s Gate series was one of my favorites when a kid so to have something like that in the Star Wars universe is amazing. My favorites would probably include that, X-wing (when you died, points were gone and you needed points to be promoted) and Rogue Squadron on the 64.

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  4. So many good ones! My husband and I played co-op on the SW LEGO ones, which are probably still my favorite of the LEGO games. N64 Rogue Squadron was good, but I always had so much trouble doing the tow cable around the AT-AT on Hoth…
    KOTOR is absolutely my favorite video game to this day. I’m playing/blogging KOTOR II right now. I also played SWOTR for a while; might get back into it with that expansion that they showed at E3.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man the tow cable on the AT-ATs was awful in Battlefront as well! Definitely gives you that feeling of how challenging it was…

      Now picking a favorite Lego game, that’s tough… I did love the Hogwarts they built in the Harry Potter ones. But the Star Wars ones were so good!

      I really need to beat KotOR. Got it downloaded back on my iPad… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so stoked for the new Battlefront! Having watched the videos they have online of actual game engine play, it is clearly going to be fantastic. But then, what do you expect with Dice on the projecr?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Star Wars Saturday : Favorite Video Games | Sourcerer

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