Gaming Nostalgia: Star Wars: Rebel Assault

Rebel_Assault

For younger gamers just starting out, this is a good game to practice reflexes using either a joystick or the mouse…

There really is no easy way to describe Rebel Assault 1, other than perhaps as an arcade-esque on-rails shooter. Ok, that was kind of easy. For me, Star Wars: Rebel Assault 1 was one of my childhood favorites on my family’s old “dinosaur”(as I dubbed it) Macintosh computer. The game basically takes the storyline of A New Hope and bits of The Empire Strikes Back and melds them together as players take on the role of Rookie One, who is nothing more than a silent Luke Skywalker without the pre-ordained destiny of Force-Wielding Mastery. The story takes players from Rookie One’s training on Tatooine to the Hoth Base defense, to the attack run on the first Death Star. Certain major plot points are altered (obviously) such as Rookie One being the pilot that destroys the Death Star and not Luke Skywalker. Most of the original characters have been left out, such as Han Solo and Chewbacca. But Darth Vader remains the central villain.

rebel-assault_pilot

However, the story is not the primary reason that you play the game, as it is with most if not all video games. It’s the gameplay. Much of the gameplay revolves around the player steering a targeting reticle left, right, up, and down that also tilts your ship in these directions which is used as an object/obstacle dodging mechanic. The ship itself moves along a strictly-defined path, most of which is done from a cockpit perspective. The game occasionally shifts to top-down and third person perspective, which gives the gameplay a very arcade-esque feel as the real object of the game is to dodge incoming obstacles (like asteroids) while shooting down mostly TIE Fighters and turret emplacements in various dog fighting scenarios.

rebel-assault

The game attempts to change things up in one level by having Rookie One go through the Hoth Base on foot in an attempt to reach his X-Wing before being captured or killed. However, the gameplay in this instance remained largely unaltered as the point was simply to shoot the storm troopers by shifting the target reticle left, right, up and down. By today’s standards, the controls are a bit of a mixed bag, but it also depends on what you are using. I found the joystick controls to be the optimal way to play the game, but that was also a 7-year-old version of me that was captivated by anything and everything related to gaming (although in many respects, that still holds true). The keyboard was probably the worst way to play the game, so your best bet would be to stick with the mouse.

rebel assault_ hoth base_ouch

As far as comparing it to today’s standards, this is a game that would not hold up to the current market. It is meant for younger, less skilled players that don’t hold video games in high expectations or for those who played this game as a kid (like me) and enjoy a bit of nostalgia from their childhood.

Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Hours In Length: Roughly 4-5
Final Score: 7.0 / 10

Pros:
– It’s Star Wars
– A chance to re-live some of the classic Star Wars moments
– Graphics were good for the time
– Shooting Mechanics can be satisfying when you have mastered them
– A good starter game for younger, less experienced gamers.

Cons
– Repetitive Gameplay
– Controls are a bit on the sluggish side
– Story is basically an altered version of a classic movie


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