I really lucked out when I ended up buying a house 15 minutes away from the Galloping Ghost Arcade. Opened in 2010 in Brookfield, IL, Galloping Ghost Arcade has fast become the largest arcade in the world with 599 games available to play. Yesterday, that total hit 600 with a Mystery Monday reveal of SEGA AM3 and LucasArts’ Star Wars Arcade. This Model 1 game released in 1993 to Japanese arcades and remained an exclusive. Few machines are known to exist, with only three listed on Aurcade as being publicly playable in the US. The game is best known for its SEGA 32X port, which is a faithful home version of the game. However, having now played both I have to say that the arcade version feels much bigger and livelier, with a higher polygon count, more ships and more hazards. Interestingly, I did not notice the Y-Wing as being playable in the arcade version, with the one and two player co-op modes both piloting the X-Wing fighter.
Star Wars Arcade
While the heyday of the original Star Wars trilogy video games in the 70s and 80s belonged to Atari, during the 90s and early 2000s our favorite arcade game maker (that’s SEGA, if you’re wondering) internally developed a three games that blew the Atari arcade experiences out of the water. The arcade games I am referring to are Star Wars Arcade (by SEGA AM3 and LucasArts), Star Wars Trilogy Arcade (by SEGA AM8 and LucasArts), and Star Wars Racer Arcade (by Sega Rosso). These games were exciting for a number of reasons. For starters, you had some of the best SEGA arcade talent behind the titles working with some of the best arcade technology of the time. [Learn more about SEGA’s arcade development in the 90s]
I know old Atari arcade games have their charm, but when you’re dealing with a franchise like Star Wars that leans so much on visuals, sound and music I’d much prefer to know what I’m looking at rather than trying to figure out what tiny wireframes are trying to convey. Personally I found Star Wars Racer Arcade to be the pinnacle of Star Wars arcade experiences, as it felt 1:1 to the film in every aspect. But today, for the latest entry in our SEGA Tunes series, I wanted to look back at the Star Wars arcade experience that kicked off the SEGA trilogy of arcade games, the aptly named Star Wars Arcade.
That awkward sexually infused ad we featured at the beginning of the month wasn’t the only 32X ad rapper Chill E.B. starred in. He also featured in this other, considerably better advertisement that focused on the math rather than the weird sexual innuendo one could infer from two consoles hooking-up.
That math is pretty sketchy though, as it often was in these ads. Much like how bits and blast processing were little more than marketing terms that oversimplified complex technology, the math here seems to have very little basis in fact. I could believe the 32X being significantly more powerful than the SNES, but I sincerely doubt that the 32X was four times more powerful than the 3D0. The console that was two and a half times more expensive at the time, and even though it was being sold for a significant profit by companies that didn’t see a dime in software profits I find it hard to believe that the 32X could have simultaneously over-powered and underpriced the competition, at least without magic. The fact that the 3D0 produced better looking games doesn’t help SEGA’s case, either.
Of course, the 32X died off so quickly we likely never got to see what the hardware was truly capable, so who knows? Either way, this ad is one of the best that the 32X got. It emphasized what the consumers cared about: graphics and games. It highlighted the right and actually demonstrated what the 32X was capable of. The math may have been bullshit, but at least the games weren’t!
That’s right, gang! My Life with SEGA has decided to celebrate the ill-fated 32X on its 20th anniversary by rehashing its not-so-exciting adventures in a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars Arcade! Yeah, baby! This time, AJ is not alone. AJ and his faithful sidekick Mickey Mac, are going up against the Galactic Empire in a desperate attempt to see the fuckin’ ending!
If you wish to see the original solo – pardon the pun – review of Star Wars Arcade, you can find it after the break!
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This week, AJ strikes back with an all out attack of the 32X in his review of Star Wars Arcade.
The adventure continues in Star Wars: Episode II – Rise of the 32X, where I review Star Wars Arcade. Yeah, it’s a port of the SEGA-produced arcade game from 1993. Now, SEGA has made some miraculous conversions, such as Virtua Fighter 2 for Saturn and Crazy Taxi for Dreamcast….
Should this 32X exclusive be counted among them?
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