Genre: Arcade / Flight
Published by: Parker Brothers
The Star Wars franchise is about to return with a bang in our cinema screens with Rise of the Skywalker but perhaps the best Star Wars experience was… Star Wars, the original?(or the IV : A New Hope title). Featuring Lightsaber battles, Mercenaries, Space chases and of course that last desperate attack run on the Death Star. It became one of the most important cinematic triumphs for decades. It also exploded into Arcades and gave gamers and fans alike a taste of what it would be like living in a galaxy far far away.
This title is one of the best and most beloved on the Atari 2600 system. Its a faithful depiction and port of the Arcade original and focused on one scene from the movie. That climatic Death Star run, where Tie Fighters and turret cannons alike are attempting to blast you to the four corners of space.
Although it contained only one scene from the movie, it split that experience into three recognisable stages. The first was blasting through lovingly created three-dimensional TIE Fighters, next it was destroying the turret towers on the Death Star so that the final stage could be entered into – the memorable trench run.
The vector graphics were awesome and evoked the powerful renditions experienced on the arcade machine. There were also audio clips from the movie which stunned gamers at the time. It was always a thrilling moment when you heard Han Solo say “You’re all clear kid, now blast this thing and go home!”. These touches brought a powerful authenticity to the game and brought a smile to the face of everyone eager to bring down the rotten Empire.
The TIE sprites move like their cinematic counterparts – fast and deadly. The tower segment also showed off some impressive scalar effects for the time and the trench run gave fans one of the best 3D effects ever seen on the system. Even the beeping audio track was unmatched for the Atari 2600. It was clear that a tremendous amount of love and attention had been brought to bear on this title.
Its difficult not to be amazed with the achievement that Parker Brothers pulled off with this title. The designers knew what the public and the Star Wars hungry fan wanted and delivered in spades. Released on then six-year old hardware, this was incredibly faithful to the arcade original and possibly one of the greatest movie tie-in moments ever made.