1. Star Wars: Rogue Squadron series (GameCube)

rogue squadron screen

The first of the three Factor 5 games was designed on the principle that the Hoth level in Shadows of the Empire on the Nintendo 64 was a lot of fun. A full-game with flying levels was released for the N64 and Windows, and it surprisingly became a retail success and eventually spawned two sequels. The first one, Rogue Squadron, was a technical achievement for the Nintendo 64. It utilized the N64 memory expansion pack, which increased the resolution from 320×240 to 640×480. This made an enormous difference in the visuals, and once you saw what the Nintendo 64 was capable of graphically with this, there was no going back.While the game was a marvel, it did have its flaws, as the craft moved kind of clunkily, and on occasion the difficulty was too much to bear–going back through it in more recent years, I sometimes wonder how I managed to earn as many gold medals as I did when I was 10 years younger.

The second game was a launch title for the GameCube, and despite this is still one of the best looking games on the entire system. That isn’t a knock on the Cube either, as it was behind only the Xbox in terms of graphical prowess last gen; Factor 5 was just that good at squeezing every ounce of power and detail out of a system. Look at the above shot again, and then see what they pulled off on GameCube, just a few years later below:

rogue leader screen

The number of enemies on screen increased, there were more varied missions, and the amount of gameplay taken from the movies increased as well, once LucasArts started to see how that would make longtime fans happy. When the third game released, also on GameCube, Factor 5 managed to improve the visuals even more, add, in some parts, at least twice as many enemies on screen, and also include a two-player mode that let you play through Rogue Leader. The most incredible part of this is that, despite playing in split screen, with twice as many enemies on screen at once and two very detailed rebel craft front and center, the game did not suffer a dip in performance, and looked just as incredible as the single-player mode.

Writing this post has now made me miss Factor 5. I always hoped that they would work on a Star Fox game for Nintendo that utilized the Rogue Squadron controls and mission sense; they know how to treat source material, and there may not have been anyone out there capable of better flying controls on a console using a standard gamepad.

What are your favorite licensed games? I’m sure I left some people’s favorites off–I never was big into the first-generation Disney games, some of which are surprisingly good platformers–so let me know in the comments what you love(d) from the licensed realm.

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About The Author

Marc Normandin was gaming editor of Blast from 2008 to mid-2010. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected], or follow him on Twitter @Marc_Normandin

4 Responses

  1. Eddie Makuch

    awesome list! loving the Star Wars love. Personally I loved the Simpons games. I know they had some uber flaws at times, but with 100% authentic voice acting, even in today’s games, jeeze that’s a feat in itself.

    I would have put Goldeneye as #1, but only because I played that game religiously in my youth. Before school, every morning for years, honestly. The varying levels of difficulty, the FREAKIN’ sweet multiplayer that is today a point of reference for all multiplayer enabled titles, the classic and awesome weapons, and the total bad-assery of the level design. I mean really, how can it not be on XBLA, or the VC yet?? I would buy a copy for myself, and for anyone who hasn’t played it!!! Also, somehow enable it to be online multiplayer? and I promise you, you’d have millions of gamers playing a 10 year old game over the internets!.

  2. herc

    man you should have herucles action game for ps1 on here it was great!
    and it followed the movies story to the teeth!!


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