Star Wars: X-Wing review
Serious fun but with serious flaws

The good:

Control up to 4 Rebel starfighters. Missions pulled directly from the Star Wars Trilogy. Nice arcade-style training mode. Features several characters from the movie.

The bad:

Some versions of the game have major bugs/glitches that make progressing past a certain point in the game practically impossible without downloading patches (if possible). Poor graphics, even in hi-res mode.


The first space combat sim based in the Star Wars universe, X-Wing had a great concept at the time: You could fly in an X-Wing, Y-Wing, A-Wing, and B-Wing against the Empire and it's TIE Fighters and other craft in 5 campaigns, each with up to 20 missions. You'll attack Imperial forces, defend Rebel starships, and many more all leading up to recreating the famous Death Star Trench Run.
The controls are solid despite being a little complex due to using multiple keys on the keyboard to handle various functions (setting link-fire, adjusting weapon charge rates, etc.) The fighters handle like their movie counterparts so the A-Wing is very responsive while Y-Wings will feel sluggish. The view is primarily from inside the cockpit and sometimes you'll hear radio chatter (usually in text form) from other pilots or your astromech droid. A nice touch is sometimes after a kill you'll get some encouragement and there's also vocal acknowledgment upon issuing flight orders. The music is primarily remixed themes from the movies, with different themes for various events (get a kill, friendly craft enter, enemy craft enter, etc.) Nice but quickly gets repetitive.
The game's difficulty is adjustable so it's easier for beginners and tougher for experts, but one thing frustrating is the backup feature-it's not automatic so when you get killed/captured you could very well have to start all over again from the start. There are also a good arcade-style training mode and a series of historical/fantsy missoins, like making the Death Star Trench Run in a B-Wing and not an X-Wing! Also, as mentioned earlier, early versions of the game have major bugs/glitches that make progressing past a certain point in the game (namely Mission 5-2) impossible due to certain key goals not being attainable. This is very annoying because it means some players will never be able to finish the game unless you are able to perhaps get a patch directly from LucasArts. Hopefully later versions corrected the problem. Additionally if you're not loading the game from DOS you may have to make a boot disk (necessary programs included) and reboot your PC with it just to play the game...then redo the program another way just to restore your original PC settings!
Although these shortcomings are very problematic and lower the value of the title, while it lasts it's still enjoyable, especially the training mode. Give it a try if you stumble across it in a bargain bin, but if you have the choice get TIE Fighter or X-Wing Alliance instead.

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