Star Raiders Review
By Brian Egan |
As a crackerjack pilot in the Atar Academy, you're called upon to help defend humanity from the mysterious Zylons. (This isn't a reference to the Cylons of the recent Battlestar Galactica series. It's a reference to the original game's Zylons, who were themselves a reference to the Cylons of the original Battlestar Galactica series.) The story initially attempts to drum up a sense of camaraderie between your character, Ruiz, and his friends at the academy, but there's too little time spent on this for it to amount to anything, and the monotonous narrator imbues the tale with all the excitement of a legal document.
Once you climb into the cockpit, the real problems begin. Star Raiders has a sorry excuse for a tutorial. Your ship can transform into three configurations: the slow but powerful turret mode, the balanced assault mode, and the speedy but vulnerable attack mode. The tutorial missions give you paragraphs of text to absorb about the best uses for each of these three modes, but this information isn't actively reinforced by the very basic tasks that follow. As a result, once you find yourself in real combat situations, it's tough to get a handle on when to switch from one form to the next, and on the different control schemes for different forms.
Sadly, it isn't even worth the amount of time and effort it takes to learn the controls. The game is just plain out boring. You should definitely pass on this game.