Star Wars was untouchable in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, anything that was released in the franchise was an instant hit whether it was a movie (save for Episode I), novel, or video game. In 1998, developer Factor5 teamed up with LucasArts to release Star Wars Rogue Squadron for the Nintendo 64. The flight combat simulator put you in the cockpit of our favorite space fighters to take down the Empire. Along with a robust selection of missions, Star Wars Rogue Squadron offered bonus plots and backstories for some of our favorite pilots. We’re watching our six, in this Star Wars Rogue Squadron review!
Star Wars Rogue Squadron Plot:
The game begins like any classic Star Wars movie or game with a classic crawl of text to inform you what’s going on. Rogue Squadron takes place right after episode VI so the majority of the game is cleaning up what’s left of the Empire and destroying any plans of rebuilding. Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles formed Rogue Squadron to keep the Empire at bay. You’ll play as or interact with the following characters for the rebels: Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles, Dack Ralter, Wes Janson, Zev Senesca, Derek “Hobbie” Klivian, and Carlist Rieekan. What’s cool about Rogue Squadron is that all the characters have appeared in the original trilogy.
The story of Rogue Squadron is divided into four chapters. Let’s take a look at the plot in this Star Wars Rogue Squadron review. The game takes place six months after The Battle of Yavin. Crix Madine is an Imperial Officer who wants to defect and join the Rebels. The Empire knows where he is hiding on Corellia so they begin to bomb the planet in hopes of killing him. Rogue Squadron swoops in to protect Corellia and escorts Madine to safety to learn more about future Imperial plans.
With Madine now guiding his own unit of Y-Wings, Rogue Squadron and Madine team up to help provide Gerrard V (a planet) freedom from the Empire. During the battle, an Imperial officer named Kasan Moor is disabled. She is taken prisoner but decided to deflect from the Empire and join the rebels and with her help, the rebels launch attacks throughout Imperial Stations.
Rogue Squadron then puts all its efforts into stopping Moff Kohl Seerdon, a powerful Imperial figure who plans to use the power of healing bacta to his advantage on the planet Thyferra. To free Thyferra from the grasp of Moff Kohl Seerdon, Rogue Squadron shows up protecting the bacta facilities and its citizens while destroying the Imperial fleet and killing Moff Kohl Seerdon. There’s a bonus mission afterward that involves Wedge Antilles continuing to fight the dying Empire but it’s not connected to the main story.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron Gameplay:
In 1998 on home consoles, Star Wars Rogue Squadron was one of the closest ways you could get to piloting in our favorite galaxy, far, far away. It’s amazing for its time but some small complaints need to be acknowledged in this Star Wars Rogue Squadron review. First, I did experience quite a bit of slow down in later missions. Early missions are mostly smooth, but the more action on screen, the slower the game runs. Later missions will increase in difficulty, so it makes sense that there’s more action on the screen which will drop the frame rate.
I can’t remember if there is a difficulty setting, so whatever I played on during my Star Wars Rogue Squadron review was the “normal” difficulty but my goodness, it’s quite difficult. I played the majority of missions 2 or 3 times to beat it but there were a few that required 10 – 15 times to beat. In particular, the missions of “Raid on Sullust” and “Moff Seerdon’s Revenge” were brutal. I died so many times trying to beat those missions. One of the good things was at least the missions were addicting. Sure, I may have died or failed but it kept me coming back.
Each mission will award you a medal for certain accomplishments. There are time limits, collectibles, destruction bonuses, and other side quests to complete during your missions. I’ll be honest and had a hard enough time just finishing the missions for me to worry about the medals. You can change your view depending on how you want to play. Playing in the cockpit may sound the coolest but I preferred to stay outside the ship to better see my enemies. A radar screen is provided but I didn’t use it much unless it was directing me toward my next objective.
In my Star Wars Rouge Squadron review I fly a variety of different ships including the classic X-Wing. You also get to fly the more nimble and quick A-Wing, the slow but powerful bomber, the Y-Wing, and my personal favorite the Airspeeder. For someone anyone who loved Star Wars in the mid-90s this must have been such a treat. Each ship has different weapons and uses depending on your mission. The X-Wing is the jack of all trades, as it provides good offense, defense, and speed.
You’ll be destroying plenty of familiar ships from the empire along with some new ones. It was very satisfying watching them crash and burn to the ground or explode as you flew through the debris. The hardest enemies were the guided missile turrets that surrounded key aspects of missions. If you flew near them, your ship was most likely getting hit. You had to zoom by them and bomb them out before proceeding to your target.
This was the first game I beat on my N64. I hadn’t played an N64 since I was a kid and when I received one for Christmas I was excited to play some games that I had missed out on. Star Wars Rogue Squadron was one that I’d heard so much about but never played. I spent a weekend playing through it and for the most part, it was very enjoyable. All the sounds from the galaxy far far away immersed me in that cockpit. This was also before Disney destroyed and ruined the franchise so it was nice to play a game that didn’t include the terrible writing or casting of Disney. Thankfully, my Star Wars Rogue Squadron review didn’t have to deal with that crap.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron Review Score:
You’ll need to have quick reflexes and a happy trigger finger when it comes to piloting for Rogue Squadron. Missions are difficult but they are rewarding when you complete them. Later missions suffer from slow-down with all the action on the screen but when you’re flying your favorite ship and learning about pilots from the movies, you forget about the negatives. Rogue Squadron isn’t for the weak, but if you’re up for a challenge this is one of the best flight simulators, especially on the N64.
Star Wars Rogue Squadron scores an 8.4 out of 10.
What would you write in your Star Wars Rogue Squadron review? What was your favorite mission? What was your favorite ship to fly in Star Wars Rogue Squadron? Let me know your thoughts and comments on Star Wars Rogue Squadron, I’d love to read them.