Computer & Video Games Stick to Being Airborne

Article excerpt

I was tremendously excited about Shadows of the Empire when I first heard about it, and delighted when it actually showed up at the Digital Ghetto. I thought that using the power of the magnificent Nintendo 64 to tell a new chapter in the Star Wars saga, one created by a first-rate-team at Lucas Arts, guaranteed an instant classic.

And upon popping the cartridge in the machine, it seemed at first that my preconceptions were correct. The first four levels allow you to fly a Rebel snowspeeder in the Battle of Hoth, fighting against Imperial probes and scout walkers, as well as the giant AT-AT walkers. The graphics are phenomenal, the feel of the flight mech anics is great, and the action is trem endously exciting. After completing the fourth level and holding off the Imperials long enough for the transports to escape, I was half-convinced that Shadows was the best video game I'd ever played.

But that feeling only lasted until I began the next section. Shadows is really a combination of several different kinds of games melded into one, and divided into 10 sections. Some of these sections are better done than others, and some are more fun than others. While obviously some of this is subjective, I don't think that I'm stepping out on a limb when I say that while the 3D action (or "Doom-like") sections are not as good as the flight sections, the Rebel Assault-like gunnery sections are downright awful. Of the 10 sections, I really liked the two devoted to flying. …