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Old July 28 2014, 09:36 PM   #1
Toxteth O´Grady
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Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

For some reason I got nostalgic for the old X-Wing PC series from the '90s yesterday. I couldn't remember if I still had them, but after rooting around for a while through a lot of boxes I found all three games (I'm not counting X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, as that was just a multiplayer spin-off, if I remember correctly). All three were from the X-Wing Trilogy collection they put out in the late '90s. X-Wing and TIE Fighter were new versions with updated graphics. X-Wing Alliance was unchanged, I believe. So they weren't the originals, but close enough.

Anyway, after looking it up I was able to install X-Wing and get it running successfully. On top of that I was able to use my XBOX 360 controller with it. Playing it took me back to a good place. Those games were a big part of my life in the '90s. I remember vividly making it to the end of X-Wing Alliance and replaying the Battle of Endor missions over and over until I got it right.

So far I've only played a few missions of X-Wing, but I thought I'd give my feelings of each game as I remembered them.

X-Wing:
This was my very first space sim and I remember being really impressed with how involved they made it. You had to adjust your engines, lasers and shields just right. And some strategies would work for some missions, but not others. It actually took some thought. You couldn't just go in and start shooting things.

One particular mission required you to hyperspace in, identify every ship in an Imperial convoy and hyperspace out. But you couldn't engage the enemy, so I diverted all laser power to the engines and shields so I could move quicker and be better protected in case they engaged me.

Overall it's a fantastic game.

TIE Fighter:
This game appears very often on "Best Ever" lists and with good reason. They took what was great about X-Wing and just added more brilliance to it.

On the surface it just looks like they took X-Wing and just switched all of the Rebel fighters into Imperial ones. But it was so, so much more than that. The storyline was excellent and the secret missions for the cloaked figure were a nice touch. I think there were at least 5 different TIES to fly, as well as 2 other, larger fighters unique to the game. And if I'm remembering correctly, one mission involved Darth Vader flying his TIE and joining you in the battle. Never before has it been so much fun being the bad guy.

X-Wing Alliance:
As I said before, I played this one to death when it came out. They went the next logical step. You have the Rebels and the Imperials, of course. But there is a third group: the smugglers. You play a merchant working for the family business flying Corellian freighters, similar to the Millennium Falcon. The worst you have to worry about are pirates in the beginning. But like Han Solo you eventually get become involved in the Galactic Civil War and you ultimately end up flying the Millennium Falcon in the Battle of Endor.

This was a triumphant conclusion to the X-Wing games. The series as a whole seems very epic and ties in with the original trilogy very nicely.

Who else thinks that this is just a great series of games?
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Old July 28 2014, 10:29 PM   #2
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I do, and I think it is a shame that they haven't been updated to current modern graphics - maybe Disney will fix this now that they own the properties?
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Old July 28 2014, 10:35 PM   #3
Toxteth O´Grady
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

A new X-Wing game using today's technologies would be great. The games still hold up, though, despite having '90s era graphics.
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Old July 28 2014, 10:37 PM   #4
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I would buy a nice remake of the old X-Wing game.
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Old July 28 2014, 10:45 PM   #5
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

There's also the Balance of Power expansion for X-Wing vs TIE Fighter which includes two campaigns (one for the Rebels and another for the Imperials) with a storyline, plus some cutscenes and other extras.
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Old July 28 2014, 10:56 PM   #6
Toxteth O´Grady
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

StalwartUK wrote: View Post
There's also the Balance of Power expansion for X-Wing vs TIE Fighter which includes two campaigns (one for the Rebels and another for the Imperials) with a storyline, plus some cutscenes and other extras.
I only ever had the base game, which I didn't play very much. When that expansion came out I pretty much ignored it. Did you play it? Was it any good?
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Old July 29 2014, 05:52 AM   #7
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

Well, yes, I loved both these games. Both are excellent. "Secret mission objectives completed, the Emperor will be pleased!" was such a rush. So was being a missile boat attached to a tender tug with infinite ammo, taking out capital ships. I still remember the thrill of figuring out how to take out the escort shuttles as a TIE fighter in the first mission.

There's a higher-resolution version of X-Wing in the LucasArts Archives volume IV, which is apparently the same version as the Star Wars: X-Wing Collector's Edition CD-ROM. Also, apparently the XWvTF graphics engine is attached to game for the X-Wing Collector Series. [Link.]

I haven't revisited Tie Fighter this millennium, but I have come back to X-wing. One downside of playing X-wing on a modern CPU is that some of the missions have enemies that are now out of balance because they fire too rapidly. At least one mission is generally un-winnable in the designated amount of time because there are too many transports putting too many laser bolts in the air.

When you're an X-wing fighting assault gunboats, the modern CPU is also not very forgiving. For a lot of missions, my advice is to stay the hell out of their way as much as possible. They will ram you, they can explode in your face, and their missiles can be deadly. If it's necessary to engage them, preferably send shield recharge to your engines* and attack with one or two proton torpedoes moving at 125 or even 150, polishing them off and also shooting down their missiles with just a few laser hits as necessary. Biting the bullet and taking missile hits strategically, with deflectors double front or double rear, is also indicated at times.

* - Shields hold their charge longer than lasers, so draining shields to your engines and sending laser energy to your shields periodically is a good all-around configuration for attack. You get a speed boost that doesn't penalize your shields too bad; you're going to get hit anyway which drains yours shields anyway, so you may as well get a speed boost to offset the penalty of getting hit.
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Old July 29 2014, 06:25 AM   #8
Toxteth O´Grady
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

Did you ever play X-Wing Alliance? It was definitely a worthy conclusion to the series.

Sounds like you played X-Wing quite a bit. It's been some time for me playing any of them, so I'll try to follow your advice.
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Old July 29 2014, 06:29 AM   #9
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I really liked X-Wing Alliance, but I recall it having an abrupt ending followed by a totally unrelated mission where you flew the Millennium Falcon in the Battle for Endor.
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Old July 29 2014, 07:32 AM   #10
CorporalCaptain
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

Toxteth O´Grady wrote: View Post
Did you ever play X-Wing Alliance? It was definitely a worthy conclusion to the series.

Sounds like you played X-Wing quite a bit. It's been some time for me playing any of them, so I'll try to follow your advice.
Just XW (original and CD) and TF (original and CD). I stopped playing, basically because I had played enough by that point to last a lifetime. These were so incredible back when they were first released.

The thing to remember in XW (and TF too) is of course that the highest priority is completing the mission. Well, that is, at least the way I played it. By that standard, points are immaterial. If you can complete the mission by staying ahead of enemy craft, that's really a good thing, because you don't have to risk your pilot. Not always possible.
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Old July 29 2014, 07:35 AM   #11
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I completely loved X-wing Alliance! The ability to play a number of different ships, and the campaign missions completely rocked my world! I might actually still have it lying around somewhere, and I might just be looking to revisit it. I also need to bust out my flight stick/thrust module combo...that was quite the way to play the game.

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Old July 29 2014, 03:50 PM   #12
Toxteth O´Grady
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

martok2112 wrote: View Post
I might actually still have it lying around somewhere, and I might just be looking to revisit it. I also need to bust out my flight stick/thrust module combo...that was quite the way to play the game.
I was amazed that I actually have 2 copies of the game. I have the original release and the X-Wing Trilogy version.

These games are what caused me to go out and spend money on a flight stick. It really added a touch of realism to the game. I still have it, but I'm using an XBOX 360 controller to play it now. It actually works really well!

Do you guys think they might revisit this series when the new trilogy is released? It's possible that we might see some X-Wings in the new movies.
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Old July 29 2014, 05:29 PM   #13
Stoo
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I loved TIE fighter, it was one of the true classics of the VGA days. Great variety of missions - combat sweeps, raids, assaults on capital ships. With optional objectives for Shady Hooded Guy.

Good range of craft to fly as well. The early TIES are made of balsa wood and you panic every time A-wings with missiles show up. Then you get the volvo-like Assault Gunboat, then later on the elite stuff .

Kind of felt like we spent too much time hunting down imperial traitors and not the rebel alliance. On the other hand though, there was a great campaign that was based on pacifying some system that was in the grip of a local war. Gave you a sense of how you might actually be doing some good, bringing order to the galaxy.

Also, wonderful soundtrack.

Never got far in X-Wing, I recall the campaign missions being more challenging.

Another sequel would be great, but the space-sim genre has gone very quiet over the past decade...
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Old July 29 2014, 05:39 PM   #14
John Clark
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I probably played the Wing Commander games more over the years, but was a big fan of the X-Wing Series.

The original X-Wing was probably the first game I bought for the PC and loved it. I thought it was more difficult than the later ones though Tie Fighter had it's moments too.
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Old July 29 2014, 05:43 PM   #15
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Re: Looking Back at the X-Wing Series

I loved both X-Wing and TIE Fighter, and I still have my TF CD lying around. Unfortunately, I've never been able to get TF to work properly on my Win7 laptop.
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