Courtesy of the amazing folks at GOG.com (the GOG stands for Good Old Games), what are by far two of the greatest computer/video games ever wrought by mortal hands have gone on sale today, ready to be enjoyed by a new generation or by those who have longed to reminisce about those heady days of the early Nineties.
|Stick it to the Empire in|
X-Wing was an astounding and revolutionary game in its own right and when it came out early in 1993 it took the industry by storm. With a brilliant combination of 3D graphics, rich user interface, an immersive storyline and balanced yet incredibly challenging gameplay, X-Wing was the Star Wars experience that everyone wanted but few thought we would ever get. This was the combat simulator of its time and even by today's standards it holds up incredibly well. At last, players could join the ranks of the Rebel Alliance in the fight against tyranny, with a variety of fighters: the X-wing, Y-wing, the ever-slippery A-wing and the powerhouse B-wing.
|...or blow Rebels to smithereens in|
And as of today GOG has made X-Wing and TIE Fighter available and 100% compatible with modern systems! If you're still playing these classics with old CD-ROMs (or even the original floppies), you'll never again have to juggle disks. For $9.99 each you can download a DRM-free single-file installer and set up either game (or both) on any moderately-equipped system from Windows XP on up.
Incidentally, for the ten bucks you're actually getting two flavors of each game: the original DOS version and the "Collector's Edition" that ran on Windows and required a joystick (the DOS games could be played with a mouse). The Windows-based Collector's versions have prettier graphics. But the DOS ones have the iMuse MIDI score that changes dynamically as events in the game are triggered (i.e. the Imperial theme starting up as a Star Destroyer suddenly arrives on the scene). The Windows editions have Redbook WAV audio instead (meaning it doesn't change per combat conditions). Personally, I'm going with the DOS versions at least at first. Having an iMuse score with the game itself more than justifies the price tag.
So what are we waiting for? Mash down here for X-Wing and aim here for TIE Fighter!
These two games have been the most hotly-demanded on any modern game-delivery platform and now after years of yearning GOG has given both Star Wars fans and general gamers alike what they've wanted more than most. And along with these two GOG is as of today also offering other classic games from the LucasArts vault: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (which some will argue is really the greatest PC game ever and not without reason), Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, The Secret of Monkey Island, and the very twisted Sam & Max Hit the Road. More LucasArts games are promised for the near future (maybe I'll finally get to play Full Throttle...)
So there it is: X-Wing and TIE Fighter for modern computers at long last. Go get one. Or the other. Or get both. Now. You know you wanna.
(I'm holding off until after I finish writing my book. Getting to play X-Wing again is going to be a present to myself :-)