byWesley Fenlon||August 19th 2008 at 12:50pmAugust 19th 2008 12:50 pm
Lock S-Foils in Attack Position. Not only is it a line any self-respecting nerd will recognize instantly, it's also the basis for many a successful video game from days gone by. It all started in 1993 with Lucasarts' X-Wing, which brought Star Wars to PC gamers in a big way. For the first time, they were really in the cockpit, fighting the Empire in glorious (by 1993 standards) 3D. However, it was the 1994 follow-up, TIE Fighter, that refined the flight-sim, Rebel-hunting gameplay to a buttery smooth degree of excellence. Well over a decade later, TIE Fighter still finds itself on many "Best of" lists. On the console side of things, however, it's an entirely different series that drew inspiration from the mighty X-Wing.
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron on the Nintendo 64 took players outside the cockpit (at least, by default) of the beloved X-Wing, but still placed them in control of the craft, offering an experience that was more shooter and less sim than the successful PC games. However, it was the superior Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II, released in 2001 with the launch of the GameCube, that brought the spirit of the X-Wing to consoles. Developer Factor 5 and Lucasarts also collaborated on a third entry in the series, Rebel Strike, which lacked the "wow" factor Rogue Leader had in 2001, but did little to harm the good name of the trilogy. Now, nearly five years later, Factor 5 has been off doing other things, when they really should've been working on a new entry in a series that may just have been Born for Wii.
Every week, Born for Wii digs into gaming's sordid past to unearth a new treasure fit for revival on the Nintendo Wii. Be sure to check out last week's entry in the series, Dark Sector, and for more great titles that deserve your attention, take a look at Virtually Overlooked.