TIE Fighter

TIE Fighter
LucasArts Entertainment
Retail price: $29.95

TIE Fighter Picture

Have you ever wanted to be evil? Have you ever wondered what would have happened if Darth Vader had defeated the Rebel Alliance? Well, now’s your chance to join The Dark Side! LucasArts’ “TIE Fighter Collectors CD-ROM” is your opportunity to suppress the puny Rebel Alliance… and hey, it’s kinda fun!

The story of TIE Fighter picks up after the Death Star disaster. Vader is teed-off, and he wants revenge for the destruction of his great weapon. Yes, TIE Fighter is not just shooting and explosions (although that’s great), but is also a great story. Even better, the story is accompanied by some great cut scenes, instruction and dialogue, audio, and more. In TIE Fighter, you’re a trainee pilot who gets to fly seven of the Empire’s best fighters. You fly 104 thrilling, fast-paced missions. Do your duty, and you’ll be favorably rewarded. Foul up, though, and you’ll get some harsh discipline from your supervisors.

The graphics and sound in TIE Fighter are indeed better than that of the earlier LucasArts releases (such as X-Wing). Ships are especially realistic, and the surrounding space (with planets, debris, etc.) is convincing. Explosions, which you’ll see a lot of, are very nice, long lasting disasters. Ah, the destruction. The in-battle animations, cut-scenes, and chases are very well designed. Overall, the graphics are very crisp and believable. Sound has also been improved from previous games. Remember the dull, “Sesame Street” type music that was in the X-Wing release? Well, the sound and music in TIE Fighter is well defined, full, and changing. Changing in that it uses LucasArts’ Interactive Music and Sound Effects technology, which alters the music in response to the actions of the player. This technology, surprisingly, works very well and adds to the excitement of the game.

While you can play with the mouse or keyboard, controlling the ship and learning the commands is nearly impossible… Survival will be hopeless. Whatever you do, don’t get this game without getting a joystick. If you don’t have one, get one. A high-quality, $80 joystick is not necessary. A good flight controller joystick will do (these run from $30-$50 in mail order catalogs), and will make you appreciate the game more. Don’t expect a joystick to keep your hands from the keyboard, though. The keyboard is used often because of the many commands and controls that a joystick cannot do. The game does take a while to learn, and I suggest you play the training missions to master the controls before you set off into battle. The training missions really help you improve and master all the keyboard controls. It’s worth it, unless you want to die in battle on your first mission.

“TIE Fighter Collector’s CD-ROM” is a great buy for any fan of Star Wars, and for anyone who likes space flight action games. The graphics are impressive, the sound and ‘smart’ music is stimulating, the game is stable, and the play is never dull. Once you learn the numerous commands in training, you should be in good shape. If you don’t have a joystick, get one before you purchase TIE Fighter. You’ll be glad you did… It’s simply a great game.

Power Macintosh, 16MB of RAM or more, 2X CD-ROM drive, about 10MB hard disk space

MacMice Rating: 2.5

Shay Fulton (classmac@aol.com)

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