Space Games

Today I want to talk to you about Space Games, now this will not just be about Space Combat, but games in space. Expect games such as Mass Effect and Star Trek:Online to be talked about, with that warning done, why not come and journey to the final frontier of gaming, and see why people keep journeying there. I’m not going to bore you with the history of games set in space and which was the first one to be released, it was Spacewar! for the DEC PDP-1 which was a computer and the game was used as a demonstration model for the power of the computer and was released in 1962, because it would be a very long, boring list and most probably full of more disappointing results than the Arizona Diamondback’s back in 2004. However, despite the bad games and bad adaptation of movies into games in space, there have been some rather good games that have been set in space, and while this is not a Best Space Games Of All Time list, it will serve to highlight some of the better games that have come here from a galaxy far, far away.

To me there is only one type of Space Game, which tends to be completely spread out over a selection genres including: RTS with Empire At War and Sins Of A Solar Empire, MMORPG’s with Star Trek:Online and The Old Republic, Shooters with the Star Wars:Battlefront series and upcoming Warhammer 40k:Space Marine. This means that there are plenty of targets for me to attack and otherwise berate for their bad gameness, but this is about the good ones, and this means that I could just list out my personal favorite space games and be done with it but that would be lazy and wrong. Therefore, I will be giving you my favorite games from the final frontier and tell you why they are on the list, this is also totally different to just making a list. Honestly. Oh, and don’t be disappointed about a lack of Metroid in the list, that is on a different list.

5. Mass Effect 1&2. Yes, they may have the pacing of a fat man on a treadmill, and some truly labyrinthine conversation trees, but it was made by Bioware so it all makes sense. The gameplay was pretty good in the first one, and then it was streamlined in the second one. It had good characterization and the graphics were pretty damn good. Yes, it had it’s problems, but no game is perfect and therefore the flaws in this game made it seem better, because they highlighted the truly outstanding bits. [spoiler][/spoiler]

4.Super Mario Galaxy 1&2. You may be surprised to see this on the list, but ask yourself why. Is it because it was a bad game? Or because it was a Mario game, and Mario is used about as often as water is drunk? Yes, it may be Nintendo making more money from the biggest sell out since Faust. Yes, it is pretty much just a re-skin of every Mario game ever. But it was a good game. Thats the problem, I may not be Mario’s biggest fan, but every time I expect the next game to be a giant pile of tiger feces sitting obnoxiously on a pile of pancakes, it surprises me. And while this might not be the best mario game ever, Super Mario Land 2:6 Golden Coins takes that title, it is the second best. The level design was always interesting, and while the story is pretty much the same as always but this time, IN SPAAAAAAAAAACE! It was different enough so as not to make you just to go through the actions of beating a Mario game, which i’m pretty sure every single gamer has got imprinted into their DNA, you wanted to pay attention to the game so you could go to all these places to see how the level was different. Maybe it was just me, but this is also my list.[spoiler][/spoiler]

3.Star Trek:Online. Probably one of the better MMORPG’s I’ve played, and far and away better than it’s current space competitor EVE Online, which isn’t so much as something you play when you get home from work, but something you have to go to work so you can pay for it. Star Trek:Online (STO) gives you the ability, as I’m sure every single MMO or RPG has to give you by law to customize every single thing about the two things you will be looking at all game, which in this case in you and your spaceship. The sheer fact you are allowed to create your own starship means that you are also able to name it, which meant I was flying around in the U.S.S. Phailhaus, but it looked cool and more importantly, so did every other one that I saw flying around. This meant that I never got bored when I was flying around because it meant I was able to see so many different ships. The customizer that you get when you are creating you avatar has such depth, you can create your own race, which meant that every time I visited a Starbase I spent about half an hour wondering around trying to find custom aliens, just to see how creative people had gotten. While it has it’s bad points, they were always outweighed by the good points.[spoiler][/spoiler]

2.Space Invaders. You really thought I wouldn’t mention Space Invaders. Wow. Anyway. Many people consider Space Invaders to be the first space game, but as mentioned earlier in the post, Spacewar! (that exclamation mark is actually part of the title) was earlier. However, Space Invaders stands out above nearly every other game from that era because of it’s addictiveness, it’s idea and the difficulty curve. While saying that a game is good because it’s hard probably isn’t the best way to say it was awesome, it makes sense with Space Invaders, it’s balanced ease of play with a difficulty curve that made it so that every new level was it’s own challenge. I loved this game, but not as much as I love the top dog.[spoiler][/spoiler]

1.Star Wars:Battlefront 2. You might be asking yourself, how is this a space game, when more than half the game take place on different planets. Well, the answer to that question is that the space combat alone would have made an awesome game. But the inclusion of the parts on the ground, mean that when you do get up into space, you see the awesomeness of it. This is because it’s contrast to the bits on the ground. Being able to fly around in an X-Wing or Tie Fighter can’t be underestimated. Nevertheless, I don’t feel my descriptions can quite do the game justice. You should, in face go and play this game. It was on the PS2, so it’s probably quite cheap now. I was playing it earlier today, and it still rocks.[spoiler][/spoiler]

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