Star Control 2 replayed

I’ve digging through some “classic games” over the past few months, for two reasons.

  1. I’ve played video games since Pong, so from my own experience, I have a good understanding of the cultural and technological significance of video games from different periods of time; this informs my video game experience.

  2. I’m flat broke.

I’m about fifteen hours into Star Control 2 right now.

The 2D graphics have worn the past 10 years better than the bad 3D graphics in games from just five years ago. The art is not particularly fabulous, but when I see the black-widow form of a Kohr-Ah battle group, I don’t need a lot of fancy art to be nervous. I know what three Kohr-Ah can do in a fight; if you’ve forgotten, fight them and be reminded.

The dialogue went for humor and succeeded. You can try to convince the purely evil Ilwrath of the merits of relativistic morality: By forming a society based on evil, they are actually good when they cause evil. You can listen to the Zoq-Fot-Pik explain how they became civilized. And WHAT ARE THOSE GLOWY THINGS?

The digital music was way ahead of its time 10 years ago. Today, with the 3DO remixes, the music sounds just as good as always.

At its core, you fly a ship around, picking up valuable minerals, capturing life forms, fighting enemy ships, forming alliances and having these amusing conversations.

All of these things are just as great as they were the day the game came out. 2D graphics don’t age like 3D; since the primary element of 2D graphics of that era is art and not technology, the style may be out of date but the tech is fine. The same is true of the music. I appreciate the humor more now than I did then.

But the key to keeping a game fun after all these years is making the game itself fun. It is. It’s still fun to fly around from star to star. It’s still fun to blow up shit. It’s still fun to just fly into a system and see what’s in it.

It was a great game when it came out and is still a great game today. In my mind, that makes it one of the greatest games ever.

I will definitely try to get into this soon. I was a huge fan of Star Control 1 in the old days, but had an Amiga at the time and I don’t think SC2 was released for that system (not that I was aware of, anyway).

What, SC2 is a superb game and may be one of the best games ever?




Ur-Quan Masters is such a gem.

One of my top 5 game experiences ever. Probably number two on that list. It’s had a permanent spot on my HD through 4 computers now, and if only I could get my wife to play super meele with me. Maybe if someone ported it to the GC or something.

Actually now that I think of it, the GC’s controller wouldn’t be so bad for it. L to thrust, and A for fire, B for special, and Y or X to bring up the menu while out flying around in space saving the galaxy. Toss in the new re-mix packs and the 3D0 speech, I’d buy it and a few copies for my friends.

I got Star Control 2 and played the entire thing through in a weekend. Pretty much 40 hours of non-stop Star Control 2. Even the optional “get the Yehat on your side” quest.

Without a doubt it’s one of the best games out there, oldest game after X-Com still worth playing. (And I don’t mean to replay it from nostalgia, but to actually offer it for the first time to someone)

I actually think the original MODs are better than the 3DO remixes.
The art and universe is fantastic.

Too bad I haven’t met too many Toys for Bob games aside that. (Played the Horde a little)


Oldest game after X-Com still worth playing? I dunno, I’d say Asteroids, Ms. Pac Man, Ultima V, Ultima VII, Warlords (if you can find 4 paddles), M.U.L.E., and Tetris are still worth playing – to name a few off the top of my head.

(And I’m not just talking about nostalgia, btw. Tetris for instance remains a perfect game.)

Populous 2.

Yum. I could never decide which of the two is better. They’re just two of the best gaming experiences I ever had, and haven’t been surpassed ever since.
It also paid to never get rid of my ancient Pentium I. I’d never get these two to run on a current PC.

I downloaded the Star Control 2 remixes from the Toys for Bob website. I really like them, but I wouldn’t want to replace the original songs with them.

t also paid to never get rid of my ancient Pentium I. I’d never get these two to run on a current PC.

One word: DOSBox

Or if you can’t find the paddles, play the PC game. :D

I’ve found that a lot of my old favorites, replayed now, are not as much fun.

Doom 2 bored me.

I had trouble getting into Starflight and Wasteland due to clunky graphics and interface elements.

System Shock 2 was fun, but flawed.

Galaga’s still fun for a few credits’ worth of play, but you can’t get 20 hours out of it.

Total Annihilation does more for me than any other RTS, but that ain’t sayin’ much.

The original Dune’s MT-32 music, which sounded so incredible back when, sounds pretty dated now, and there’s only about 25 minutes of it.

Star Control 2 is the only one so far that’s as much fun, if not more fun, than it was the first time around. When I learned that Ford & Reiche brought in the guy who designed Starflight to help with the full game, it all made sense.

O.K. Games like Tetris are ageless. I agree.

But for games with a plot it is much harder then for simple one level repeating games.

The special thing about X-Com and Star Control 2, which probably lets them stay so spetacular, is that you don’t really have a successor to their style. (Though many tried successing X-Com, most have failed totally, some are decent)


I’ve been playing a lot of Master of Magic lately. Runs real well in XP, actually. I find it to be more compelling than most of the games that are out now. Where’s that sequel?