With release of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition for the Mac App Store and Steam, it seems like a great time to reflect on the presence of Star Wars titles in the gaming world. What game genres and corners of a galaxy far, far away have been mined to success or done in overkill? Where can the franchise go from here? GameAgent aims to make some suggestions for the future.
Gamers have gotten their fair share of handling The Force and lightsabers in the Jedi Knight series, controlling Kyle Katarn in Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy. The Force Unleashed series expands on these ideas and delves into the Dark Side of the force, fully exploring the abilities and bitter betrayals inherent in evil. We’ve gotten real-time strategy in Empire At War, kart-like racing with Pods, ship combat in X-Wing and the Rogue Squadron series and platform action with the Super series back on the SNES (and on Virtual Console). We’ve even gotten an MMO and a quality RPG. Between the previously mentioned Force-related games, the Battlefront series, Bounty Hunter, and Shadows of the Empire we’ve received a glut of first and third-person shooters. The forthcoming 1313 title promises gritty, realistic gameplay in the vein of GTA games. So what’s left?
We all know Lucas isn’t about to leave this cash cow alone any time soon and he may be running out of new ways to draw from the well. Not to worry George, GameAgent gives you a rundown of game genres and characters that have yet to enjoy a day in the proverbial gaming sun.
Jawas and the Collecting Phenomenon
Despite the relative popularity of these adorable little Tatooine residents, they’ve never been prominently featured in a game. We all know these guys love to collect junk and scrap metal, why not give those gamers that love the art of collecting a Jawa experience? Think of something similar to Animal Crossing. The player would live in a Jawa village, interacting with the other residents, trading parts and droids to build better collections and gain more money for higher quality products to sell in markets.
To add an extra element of fun, throw in an Antique Roadshow angle to the game. Have players join groups or “trade unions” with other members of the community, hop in your Sandcrawler and travel the open desert, visiting other communities, trading, selling and getting item appraisals. This is how players would interact with their friends and other players around the world as we visit each other’s communities or attending a regional trade fair. Throw in some Steam play or Game Center interactivity and you’d have a surefire hit amongst a strong section of gamers. It could even work as a social Facebook game. You know, like Farmville…except not lame.
Oppose Trade Blockades Like Phoenix Wright
While the Imperial Senate got a fair amount of screen time in the prequel trilogy, no games have given us access to the inner workings of a galactic governing body. The easiest way to do this type of game would be in the style of the courtroom battles of the popular Phoenix Wright series, functioning like a choose your own adventure book, with multiple options that come up as different topics are discussed on the senate floor.
Imagine taking on the role of Princess Leia (pre-A New Hope) fighting to save the senate as a governing body, rallying support, giving speeches and campaigning. During the days of the prequels, one could take on the role of Jar Jar (shudder) or a wide array of other world representatives as you try to influence galactic law, blocking trade agreements or trying to change history so that Palpatine isn’t elected as president of the senate. Okay, so the political process isn’t the first topic that springs to mind when interactive gaming fun comes to mind. But Phoenix Wright has proven it is possible, so if it could start anywhere, the complicated politics of Star Wars seem like a great place to start.
Star Wars: Cantina Rock Band
True, interest in the rhythm game genre has waned since it’s heyday (can anyone say Guitar Hero overkill?), but this still has potential as fun little addition. There were two bands prominently featured in the original trilogy, Firgin D’an and the Modal Nodes, whom were the Cantina Band in the bar in Mos Eisley, and The Max Rebo Band, performing a hip-shaking number in Jaba’s palace at the beginning of Return of the Jedi. Why not gives these great tunes and characters a moment in the spotlight as downloadable player skins or offer their songs as an add-on track pack? The existence of something like this is easy to justify: any Star Wars fan worth his salt can at least hum you the cantina song, if not Max Rebo’s as well. If it could be adapted for the format, who wouldn’t want to rock along to “Duel of the Fates?”
Even if they didn’t go the Rock Band route, it could at least be a fun little iOS game similar to Rhythm Heaven, where users tap and swipe along to the music while watching familiar Star Wars characters move around the screen “performing” the music you’re happily tapping along to. Star Wars music is so celebrated and memorable; it’s honestly baffling that this hasn’t been explored at all.
Make The Kessel Run in 12 Parsecs
It’s a crime that the only real racing game in this universe of fast and interesting ships involves pod racers. Unless played in the arcade, this title was pedestrian at best, hardly a racing game worth of the Star Wars name that preceded its title. Give gamers what they really want: the chance to fly the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field, or to make the legendary Kessel run. There could be standard “tracks” to race other ships in either a Mario Kart (use of lasers, missiles) or Ridge Racer (purely about speed, ship stats) style.
If not that game mode, then there could be single player speed runs, navigating tricky terrain, trying to top your best time. Throw in Game Center support and you could compete with your friends to see who could finish the Kessel Run in fewer Parsecs. The Rogue Squadron series gave players the opportunity to fly Beggar’s Canyon and relieve Luke’s early years shooting Womp Rats. Isn’t it about time we’re able to relive the Millennium Falcon’s greatest feat?
Remember, if these become games, you heard it here first. Would you play any of these games if they were released? Are there any Star Wars games that don’t exist yet that you’d love to play? Let us hear your galactic wishlist in the comments!