Star Wars: X-Wing - Lock Your S-Foils in the Awesome Position

Star Wars: X-Wing - Lock Your S-Foils in the Awesome Position

Finally re-released after years of long waiting, X-Wing is a challenging, addictive and authentic feeling Star Wars experience that more than lives up to extensive hype.

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The mouse controls are a bit tedious, but I grew up with them and I honestly can't play any other way. And I'd argue that they provide better precision, even if it is a chore to move around.

That being said, one of the things that made X-Wing (and even more so for Tie Fighter) great is the somewhat emergent gameplay. You are dropped into a scenario and every ship there has its objectives, which it will try to accomplish to the best of its ability. Aside from ships dropping in, very little is truly scripted. Again, this is more prominent in Tie Fighter due to the larger scale of missions (hell, some missions have secret optional subplots in that game), but still a factor in X-Wing. Combined with the fact that you're not flying any kind of magical superfighter, but rather a rank-and-file vessel goes a long way towards making you feel like you're actually a part of a (para)military organization. You are a soldier. A damn good one, sure, but a soldier nonetheless. And it felt nice to be just that, without the usual protagonist crap that tends to clutter games (I'm looking at you, Wing Commander).

All in all, a brilliant game, only surpassed by its successor, Tie Fighter.

That opening narration sounded like it was picked from an X-Wing novel :). Still the definitive SW flight sim, even surpassing the Rogue Squadron games in some ways. My only wish was that it would get a re-make instead of re-release, with updated graphics and a mission editor to truly test the most skilled pilots.

Jandau:
The mouse controls are a bit tedious, but I grew up with them and I honestly can't play any other way. And I'd argue that they provide better precision, even if it is a chore to move around.

That being said, one of the things that made X-Wing (and even more so for Tie Fighter) great is the somewhat emergent gameplay. You are dropped into a scenario and every ship there has its objectives, which it will try to accomplish to the best of its ability. Aside from ships dropping in, very little is truly scripted. Again, this is more prominent in Tie Fighter due to the larger scale of missions (hell, some missions have secret optional subplots in that game), but still a factor in X-Wing. Combined with the fact that you're not flying any kind of magical superfighter, but rather a rank-and-file vessel goes a long way towards making you feel like you're actually a part of a (para)military organization. You are a soldier. A damn good one, sure, but a soldier nonetheless. And it felt nice to be just that, without the usual protagonist crap that tends to clutter games (I'm looking at you, Wing Commander).

All in all, a brilliant game, only surpassed by its successor, Tie Fighter.

That was definitely why I enjoyed the games so much. Is it awesome to be a super badass in an almost unbeatable tank/plane/singlet? Absolutely.

Is it even more awesome to be a super badass when you're flyin around in the same weakass equipment that everyone else gets? A hundred percent more awesome.

Ah, X-Wing. It was the first PC game I ever played, and it blew my seven-year old mind. I had the original floppy release that lacked many key features of subsequent releases, such as voice acting, extra missions and the B-Wing. Even then one could feel the genuine enthusiasm and craftsmanship that went into making the game. I enjoyed the likes of Rogue Squadron and Starfighter, but they could never hope to match the peerless gameplay and atmosphere of the X-Wing series. Even the somewhat maligned 1998 rerelease holds up well. The dynamic iMUSE soundtrack of the original wasn't all that different from the remake's Redbook audio, so you don't miss out on all that much. Plus, it had all the extra content from the previous releases.

The extensive flavor text was wonderful as well. The manual and player's guide provided a short novel's worth of excellent storytelling that helped put the somewhat abstract in-game narrative into perspective. It really made you feel like your efforts in-game influenced the events in the films (fun fact: the only Y-Wing to survive the Battle of Yavin was piloted by Keyan Farlander, X-Wing's protagonist and player character). It's a shame the series was largely ignored by the rest of the old EU aside from the occasional reference and character cameo.

Next week the esteemed Marshall Lemon will continue our parade of Star Wars with X-Wing's follow-up, the villainous Tie Fighter.

Aww yeah, now that's what I'm talking about. As great as X-Wing was, Tie Fighter blew it out of the water. Frankly, it's a masterpiece and my favorite Star Wars game (along with one of my favorite games of all time). If you enjoy Star Wars and/or space sims in even the slightest degree, you HAVE to play it. Just try to get your hands on the 1995 Collector's Edition CD-ROM if you can. It's easily the definitive version, which makes it all the more unfortunate that it's the only one GOG doesn't currenly have.

I played X-Wing so damn much that I could fly circles around the most dangerous capital ships in an A-wing at the height of my career, took out a Nebulon B frigate with one at one point which is a damn fine accomplishment.
Then Tie Fighter was released. I originally experienced the sequel in its demo format, my Dad actually test-drove a Dodge Neon with no intention on buying one just to get me the demo as it was the only place you could get it. Wish I still had those disks because I could never find the mission they dump you into on the demo (might have been a demo-only level). Still it was awesome and I immediately bought the game as soon as it was released.
I'm always going to have a special place in my heart for these games and if they ever decide to make new ones (as long as they live up to the original's standards) I'll be throwing my money at Disney for them.

Yeah this was the King of space sims. I remember the gamer-rage and the triumphs. I think I went through 3-4 controllers playing this game... being yelled at for not finishing my homework --- and the infamous " YOU NEED TO GET OUTSIDE AND PLAY, THAT GAME IS ROTTING YOUR BRAIN!". I think entire school weekends were swallowed up by X-Wing...and then Tie-Fighter! Yeah that was one hell of a game, particularly when you had to fly the Missile Shuttle. Poor maneuverability, weak lasers, but a payload of missiles. Or when you finally got to fly the Tie-Advanced and then with the extension --- the Tie Defender under Grand Adm Thrawn's command.

Matter of fact X-wing was so dynamic, if you paid attention, making multiple pilots and promoting them to Flight-Officer by going through the obstacle courses gave you better wing-men, particularly if you got them to the rank of Lt. The names you gave them would always match up to the pilot pictures from the movies.

There was always a sense of accomplishment when you saw your fighter come back from a bruising mission and sizzling-popping as it landed back aboard the ship you were serving from.

Damning part? Maybe it was just me... but if you were killed, your rank was wiped clean and it took a long time to get it back which was truly frustrating. I think I was able to maintain the rank of Captain until some random screw up had me either dead or captured from bailing out.

It was truly a real sim player's game. Best 10 stars bar-none.

I'm scared to know how many hours I put into X-wing as a kid. My parents would always limit me to an hour or two when playing games as a kid, but for some reason, they forgot to tell me to get off of that game more than a few times. I remember one day that I played for the whole day until dinner. I was doing one of the secret missions, and the timer ran out (a 99 minute timer) and the mission didn't end. I just kept fighting.

I really recommend anyone to play the 1998 version. Not only does it have (slightly) better graphics, but some of the more brutal missions have also been redesigned to be a little less punishing.

What I don't like about it is that they changed the graphics of the login screen and the hubs. I much preferred the original versions. But it's not such a big deal, as you spend 95% of the game in a cockpit.

Also, if you're -really- a fan of X-Wing and TIE-Fighter, get the strategy guides. They are awesome because they are written like novels from the pilot's (you) persective. Reading them while you progress through the game really enrichens the experience.

I prefer Tie Fighter myself, but X-Wing was still a blast!

I loved this game. So sad when we lost it because DOS died. Glad it's finally back. I played it for years when I was a kid. And I had no idea that you could issue orders to your wingmen until X-wing vs. TIE Fighter came out and it had an instruction book. Man, once I figured that out, a lot of missions in X-wing got a lot easier.

The one I remember having trouble with is when you have to defend a convey, and there's a Correllian Corvette. TIE Bombers would always show up while I was on the other side of the map, and since those things can only take six torpedoes, the bombers always destroyed it before I could stop them all. Once I figured out the wingman command though, I sent my teammates to intercept them. Worked much better.

I've never had a chance to play X-Wing or Tie Fighter before, so I'm pretty strongly considering grabbing them now that they're available. Does anyone have a recommendation for a flight stick though? I can't imagine having to use the mouse for this.

Wow this really takes me back and is a thoroughly entertaining review. I've played all of the X-Wing/TIE fighter series to some extent and greatly enjoyed the space battles of Star Wars. Now I'm wondering if my copies will work on my current PC, and if I've got ports for my old joystick.

I can't wait for the TIE Fighter follow-up. This made my weekend:)

It's cool that they re-released it and all but I would love it if they re-did it with modern graphics. I like to play older games but anything beyond Baldur's Gate is a cutoff point.

Kontarek:
I've never had a chance to play X-Wing or Tie Fighter before, so I'm pretty strongly considering grabbing them now that they're available. Does anyone have a recommendation for a flight stick though? I can't imagine having to use the mouse for this.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002EAA36/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This is the one I ordered. It's the cheapest one Amazon had (that was Prime eligible) but it's been pretty nice.

I want to play X-Wing: Alliance. When that one comes out I'll be all over it.

Gods I remember playing this...

This game, and the X-Wing VS Tie Fighter game, and Wing Commander 3 and 4 cost me and my father at least half a dozen joysticks... damn things kept wearing out

Was tidying up the bedroom yesterday and rediscovered my X-Wing and Tie Fighter discs including manual and control scheme fold-out!!! All in good condition. Completing X-Wing was equal to any other feeling of accomplishment at the time. A super game in a great decade for PC gaming. Sadly I can't find my old Logitech joystick. Where are you my friend? If I can find it I'll be commandeering my wife's laptop for a good month for another crack at the trench run.

"You must register"!

This was one of my favourite games when I was a kid, and I just picked up the White Label version of TIE Fighter from Amazon (well, a couple of months ago but that's 'just' in the grand scheme of things). Awesome games. Actually, thinking about it - X-Wing and Dune 2 were the first games I got for my own PC (rather than using my dad's) ... ... Good times, good times. >sniff<

Bat Vader:
It's cool that they re-released it and all but I would love it if they re-did it with modern graphics. I like to play older games but anything beyond Baldur's Gate is a cutoff point.

Seconded. I have fond memories, but it would look insane with a modern face lift...hopefully the modders are on it.

senordesol:

Bat Vader:
It's cool that they re-released it and all but I would love it if they re-did it with modern graphics. I like to play older games but anything beyond Baldur's Gate is a cutoff point.

Seconded. I have fond memories, but it would look insane with a modern face lift...hopefully the modders are on it.

Oh, c'mon. The game has great mechanics, a great setting, great story and great pacing. Who in the hell cares how the game looks by today's standards? It's still the same game underneath it all. If you enjoy the game for the game then the graphics don't matter, and if you don't enjoy a game without all the pretties why the hell are you playing it?

senordesol:

Bat Vader:
It's cool that they re-released it and all but I would love it if they re-did it with modern graphics. I like to play older games but anything beyond Baldur's Gate is a cutoff point.

Seconded. I have fond memories, but it would look insane with a modern face lift...hopefully the modders are on it.

It would be a beautiful sight.

Grouchy Imp:

senordesol:

Bat Vader:
It's cool that they re-released it and all but I would love it if they re-did it with modern graphics. I like to play older games but anything beyond Baldur's Gate is a cutoff point.

Seconded. I have fond memories, but it would look insane with a modern face lift...hopefully the modders are on it.

Oh, c'mon. The game has great mechanics, a great setting, great story and great pacing. Who in the hell cares how the game looks by today's standards? It's still the same game underneath it all. If you enjoy the game for the game then the graphics don't matter, and if you don't enjoy a game without all the pretties why the hell are you playing it?

Most times graphics don't matter to me but this is one time where they do. The graphics are just a little outdated for me.

Kontarek:
I've never had a chance to play X-Wing or Tie Fighter before, so I'm pretty strongly considering grabbing them now that they're available. Does anyone have a recommendation for a flight stick though? I can't imagine having to use the mouse for this.

The stick StewShearer got is actually fine, if basic. If you are willing to spend a bit more these are all good sticks:
http://www.amazon.com/Thrustmaster-T-Flight-Stick-Flight-PC/dp/B000U1OOH4/ref=pd_cp_e_1
http://www.amazon.com/Thrustmaster-T-Flight-Hotas-Flight-Playstation-3/dp/B001CXYMFS/ref=pd_cp_e_2
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Extreme-Joystick-Silver-Black/dp/B00009OY9U/ref=pd_cp_e_0

If money is absolutely no issue there are nicer (and vastly more expensive) sticks, but those are more aimed at fans of hardcore realistic flight sims not space dogfighters, although you could use them. Avoid the Cyborg FLY series from madcatz, they break when looked at aggressively.

Kontarek:
I've never had a chance to play X-Wing or Tie Fighter before, so I'm pretty strongly considering grabbing them now that they're available. Does anyone have a recommendation for a flight stick though? I can't imagine having to use the mouse for this.

Seconding this one:

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Extreme-Joystick-Silver-Black/dp/B00009OY9U/ref=pd_cp_e_0

I own it, and I can't think of a reason for a "better" joystick, and every reason to not get something less than this. It gives you more than enough buttons to assign in the games that let you (like Freespace) and has the throttle and twist functions as well. Really, you can't go wrong with this guy.

So I started playing X Wing again. I loaded my old copy up with Dosbox. The graphics are something to get used to again, but overall, I'm happy to be back in the cockpit again.

I killed two mice playing X-Wing, then broke down and spent $100+ on a Flightstick Pro to play a game I spent $50 playing. Yikes.

I recall one harrowing mission early in the B-Wing campaign, defending the prototype B-Wings as they flew agonizingly slow from their docks to the mother ship while being assaulted. I was so messed up early on, structure in the red, low energy state, I zoned into "Everybody dies, BUT YOU FIRST IMPERIAL DOGS!" state where I just wanted to inflict maximum damage before becoming space junk. After a 20 minute death grip on the joystick, the mission was over. Mission success would be 50% of the B-Wings making it. They all made it.

Thurston:
I killed two mice playing X-Wing, then broke down and spent $100+ on a Flightstick Pro to play a game I spent $50 playing. Yikes.

I recall one harrowing mission early in the B-Wing campaign, defending the prototype B-Wings as they flew agonizingly slow from their docks to the mother ship while being assaulted. I was so messed up early on, structure in the red, low energy state, I zoned into "Everybody dies, BUT YOU FIRST IMPERIAL DOGS!" state where I just wanted to inflict maximum damage before becoming space junk. After a 20 minute death grip on the joystick, the mission was over. Mission success would be 50% of the B-Wings making it. They all made it.

Amen. X-Wing defined against-the-odds video gaming for me (as well as joystick related hand cramp). I became so bloody minded and determined not to let the rebel alliance down. I think only Ace Combat Fires of Liberation, Red Baron, and US Navy Fighters came close to replicating that feeling of desperation. The console generation hasn't seen the depth of gameplay that used to be on offer in air/space combat, which is a shame because I stopped PC gaming about 6 years ago. Or is that the sweet voice of nostalgia clouding my judgement?

Bat Vader:

Grouchy Imp:

senordesol:

Seconded. I have fond memories, but it would look insane with a modern face lift...hopefully the modders are on it.

Oh, c'mon. The game has great mechanics, a great setting, great story and great pacing. Who in the hell cares how the game looks by today's standards? It's still the same game underneath it all. If you enjoy the game for the game then the graphics don't matter, and if you don't enjoy a game without all the pretties why the hell are you playing it?

Most times graphics don't matter to me but this is one time where they do. The graphics are just a little outdated for me.

Well, to each their own. Personally, I remember watching the X-Wing intro sequence for the first time and being blown away by how good it looked.

What a game... need an updated version now

When I got the first Rogue Squadron novel I laughed at the very first couple pages.

The author felt my pain. I HATED the Redemption Scenario with a passion. Now I get to subject myself to that again. Oh the wonders.

(By the way, if you like Star Wars or this game I recommend the novels. Stackpole and Allston took a pulp video game based concept and knocked it out of the park.)

Jhereg42:
When I got the first Rogue Squadron novel I laughed at the very first couple pages.

The author felt my pain. I HATED the Redemption Scenario with a passion. Now I get to subject myself to that again. Oh the wonders.

(By the way, if you like Star Wars or this game I recommend the novels. Stackpole and Allston took a pulp video game based concept and knocked it out of the park.)

Seconded all of this. Even the Expanded Universe pilots loathe that mission. In another book in the series they test some new pilots by pitting them against a deliberately impossible sim (without telling them that it's any different from the other ones they've been running) to see how they react to failure and the simulated deaths of all their comrades. They kill like 50 TIE Fighters before getting swarmed and slaughtered.

What is the Redemption Scenario? Is that the training mission where you recreate rescuing Admiral Ackbar?

 

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