|Publisher: Aspyr Media Genre: Strategy & War|
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G3 @ 333 MHz RAM: 64 MB 4x CD-ROM Graphics: 800x600 @ 256 Colors|
Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds also features exhilarating multiplayer support via the think tank I like to call GameRanger and TCP/IP. Multiplayer modes include such favorites as Death Match, Terminate the Commander, Monument Race and Defend the Monument. Multiplayer action is what truly adds value to SWGB.
Now, letís talk civilizations for a moment. Each civilization in SWGB has their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, the Trade Federation boasts a highly advanced army of droids that donít require the building of shelters, but their workers gather resources less efficiently than those of the other civilizations. The Galactic Empire is host to the most powerful mechanized ground units in the entire galaxy, such as the AT-AT. However, the Empire lacks advanced naval units such as those possessed by the eco-savvy Gungans. The Gungans can produce submarines that are able to attack undetected by normal means, but they lack the mech technology of the rest of the civilizations. The Wookies can field mighty, blade wielding melee units, which are perfect for taking down mech units that canít fire on targets at close range. These are all necessary checks and balances for any RTS. Speaking of unit varietyÖ
Unit variety in SWGB is absolutely astounding. There are Stormtroopers, Rebel Soldiers, Bowcaster toting Wookies, X-Wings, TIE-Bombers, Bounty Hunters, Battle Droids, Sith Lords, Gungan Submarines; this game has just about every staple the Star Wars universe has to offer. There are 300 total UNIQUE units in SWGB. Each civilization is a totally different gaming experience. With such variety, there are so many ways to take out an enemy. One can build a massive air force if the enemy lacks appropriate anti-air support. If anti-air support is present, mayhaps a massive ground assault with troops & mechs would be best. Of course, large-scale naval assaults are also possible. This game will keep any RTS guru busy for hours on end.
Next up, is Star Wars: Galactic Battlegroundsí user-interface. Being based on the Age of Empires engine, at first glance Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds looks very much like Age of Empires II. The gameís pre-mission intro, mission selection and options screens are basically straight out of Age of Empires II, the medieval graphics being replaced by those from Star Wars. The in-game interface is also a virtual carbon copy of that which is found in Age of Empires II. Anyone who has played Age of Empires II will easily be able to pick up SWGB.
Now, for those unfamiliar with Age of Empires II, SWGB boasts a nice point & click/control+click system. Players click to select units or buildings and control+click to issue commands, such as attack and movement. SWGB is a fine reason for gamers to secure a multi-button mouse. Furthermore, each in-game icon contains a detailed tool-tip, thus most players should be able to check their manual at the door. SWGB also sports a keyboard shortcut for every single game command, each being fully customizable. For example, I changed the hotkey for building a Farm from E to F. This game is a breeze to navigate.
Lastly, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds comes with a fully functional Scenario-Editor. With the Scenario-Editor, players can create their own missions, with as much detail and professionalism as the gameís single-player campaign. For creative types out there, the Scenario-Editor will prove to be quite useful.
Graphics: As Fetching as Princess Leia, Deadly as Mara JadeVisually, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds is quite lovely. In many ways, Battlegrounds looks much like Age of Empires II. Character animation is excellent; Wookies lumber about convincingly, X-Wings fly in formation and the Trade Federationís droid infantry marches and kills with cold efficiency. SWGB also contains some of the largest units Iíve ever seen in an RTS; the Imperial Walkers are absolutely massive. Buildings are also a sight to see, particularly the Gunganís bio engineered pieces of architecture and the Royal Nabooís lavish structures. Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is very pleasing to they eye.
Sound: Werenít You in a Band on Mos Eisley?Aurally, Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds will be a real treat for Mac gamers. Just about every sound from each Episode of Star Wars has made it into this game. Lightsabers hum just as they should, blaster rifles make that unmistakable sound that never heralds anything but death, R2 Units beep in their chipper manner and even the battle droids clank while they march just as they did in Episode I. The soundtrack is also comprised of various Star Wars tunes. Ready those headphones and SoundSticks folks; Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds shall rock thy universe.
Conclusion: Begin Landing Your TroopsIn a nutshell, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is an outstanding RTS for our platform and a gem for all Star Wars fans. Sporting a deep combat system, immersive single-player campaigns, smart A.I., a Scenario-Editor, multiplayer support and authentic Star Wars graphics and sound effect, this game is a must for any aspiring galactic warlord.
Now, I close with a question. On The Simpsons, when Mark Hammil visited Springfield, what role did he play at the local dinner theatre? The first person to answer correctly wins their very own copy of Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds. (Note: We have a winner! The correct answer is "Nathan Detroit")