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Star Control II
The Star Base
A Classic PC Video Game from 1992
Wanna hear about a kick-ass game, from the past, that rocks? In 1992, a video game company, Accolade, published one of the greatest video games for the PC. The game has since won several awards, (including best musical score) and developed a cult following. The game has become such a sensation with its fans that those with sufficient programming skills volunteered their efforts, while utilizing the games open source code, to adapt it for play on contemporary PCs. The game is Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, and its fantastic!
The game was created by Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford who worked for (and probably still work for) Toys for Bob. The new, free rendition of the game is known as The Ur-Quan Masters, since the original title is copyrighted (or trademarked or some shit like that). The game is the second in a trilogy, however, the third installment was done by a different set of folks that just wanted to turn a buck. Consequently, Star Control 3, like Robocop 3, sucked donkey nuts, and is considered non-cannon by just about any self-respecting fan of the originals.
Cover Art of Starcon2
Set apart from the other 2 in the trilogy
The first Star Control game was a strategy/action battle game that, although fun, lacked many of the sweet features of its sequel that made it so unique and captivating. Starcon2 is more of a role playing game, (which also kept and expanded upon all the fun action/battle features of the original) and allows the player a wide breadth of freedom as he/she explores countless star systems and interacts with a plethora of alien races while trying to save mankind and its ET allies from enslavement/destruction by the monstrous dicks, the Ur-Quan.
Cover Art of Starcon 1
Characteristics of Star Control II
Many say that the most appealing part of this game is the atmosphere of mystery and discovery. Several subplots are developed within the main story that are intriging and compelling. The player is, at times, invited to play the role of detective, (or archaeologist) as he/she searches for clues to unlock ancient mysteries of the galaxy and its crazy inhabitants.
The player must also play the role of interstellar diplomat in attempts to win allies to help with the main objective of defeating the Ur-Quan freaks and other malevolent races among the stars. Anyone who can recall the series of books, Choose Your Own Adventure, can appreciate how the game allows the player great freedom in choosing the course of events that unfold. The game actually lets you choose from a list of phrases and sentences in interacting with characters in the story. Depending on the player's choice of words, responses can vary widely. You can try to be their friend or insult the hell out of them and piss 'em off, just like in real life. (That is, if you can recall ever speaking with extra-terrestrials).
And of course there is the kick-ass battle mode, or Super Melee, as it is called in the game. When diplomacy has failed, it's time blast some fools out of the stars! The game really picks up the pace here for some fast action, shoot-em-up, ship-to-ship combat. With well over 20 different unique brands of ships, all with there own kinds of weapons and special abilities, the destructive possibilities are endless. Missiles, lasers, homing projectiles, hot plasma, tractor beams, globs of green goop, independently launched fighters and space marines, living fungus spores, sheilds, hot vagina, and health regeneration are just some of the abilities of this wide variety of battle ships.
Super Melee: Battle Mode Ship Selection
Top Notch with only slight imperfections
All in all, this is a well rounded game that can pull the player into it's own universe of mystery, discovery and quick action battle. The story, plots and sub-plots, taken together, are enormous. If Hollywood were to make a series of movies out of the story, it would, quite likely, rival Star Wars.
Sounds like an exaggeration? Consider this: the new Star Warshave that piece of shit, Jar-Jar Binks, which, along with obvious overuse of CGI (which comes out looking far inferior to the models and muppets of the original movies) brings the series down a few notches. Star Control can now easily compete with Star Wars.
The one drawback of Star Control II is the graphics. Although the game was cutting edge at it's time of release in 1992, graphics have come a long way since then. Despite this, the visual side of the game is still impressive with it's bright colors and animations. The iconic representations of items, ships, planets and aliens are still visually appealing and entertaining.
Oh, there's one other potential drawback- the voices of a couple of the alien species sound kinda, well...gay. While most of the voices have been done very well, there are 2 or 3 aliens that sound down-right annoying. In my opinion, the alien race know as the Arilou, sound like creepy child molesters, but that might just be my take on it. In any case, the voices can be turned off if this becomes annoying to the player and the text of the conversation can be read from the screen.
Star Base Commander
Despite a couple of imperfections, I must say that this game is one of my all-time favorites and continues to be fun to this day as it is for many others that I know. In fact, there is an on-line petition site created by fans who are demanding another sequel to this game, this time, done by its original creators Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III. Starcon2 has it's own Wikipedia page and several other fan pages devoted to it, including www.juicey.net63.net which contains, or links to, everything Star Control related. The game undoubtedly warrants a page in video game history and I definitely recommend it as one of the best fuck'n video games of all time.
And you can download it for free!
An Ur-Quan Kzer-Za Ship Captain
- Starcon2-Configuration of Controls
One big headache you will run into when playing The Ur-Quan Masters for the first time is configuring the controls. The guys who set this thing up were sadists. Their aim was to discourage the average person...