Star Wars is an arcade game produced by Atari and released in 1983. The game is a first-person space simulator, based around Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. More specifically the game’s action covers the Battle of Yavin. The game is composed of 3D color vector graphics. Considered one of the most popular video games of all time, it was greatly successful in its day, particularly in the wake of the theatrical release of Return of the Jedi. It was later produced as Star Wars: The Arcade Game on the Atari 2600, the Atari 5200, the Atari XE, the ColecoVision, and the Commodore 64. In 1991, an updated version of the game was released for the NEC PC 98-01 and the Sharp X68000 systems under the title Star Wars: Attack on the Death Star. This version featured a long introductory cutscene at the beginning of the game.
I first remember playing this game in a sit-down cockpit version; it was an incredible experience and this quickly became one of my favorite games of all time. The versions of the Star Wars music and digitized voices that played in the game made the whole thing feel incredibly immersive and the clean, colorful vector graphics enhanced the experience even more. It is still, to this day, my favorite Star Wars videogame ever released.
Sadly, emulation of this game is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, of course, the wonderful “grip” controller with dual fire buttons is not present and you have to either use a standard controller with lack of precision or a mouse controller that just doesn’t feel the same and turns the game into a point-and-click experience. Secondly, I have been unable to really replicate the look of the original vector screen with MAME. Perhaps there is some sort of graphical effect or shader that I don’t know about that would make it closer, but as it is, I actually have to increase MAME’s brightness setting to make the vector graphics stand out more, making the game look washed out as a result. Still, the core gameplay experience is there and is absolutely solid and fun. But this is another retro game that I wish I was able to play on the original hardware.