Or more likely, return to the days of old.

I’ve always been a fan of Lucasarts. I used to love their past library of titles, both computer and console. But it’s been a while since the company has captured my attention like it used to. Sure, I enjoyed the LEGO Star Wars and Indiana Jones games, and actually was a big fan of Force Unleashed (mostly for the story, and barring the Star Destroyer control level). But my biggest love for the company was in the 1990’s with PC titles like Jedi Knight and X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter, and the fare for the SNES, Nintendo 64, and the Rogue Squadron games for the Gamecube.

For quite some time now, Lucasarts has been exclusively focusing on games based off the Star Wars prequels for a while, and as a result, a lot of their original titles just simply went on hiatus. Fortunately, it seems that Lucasarts has been remembering more of its roots over the Summer.

It’s always something of a double edged sword when it comes to a company re-releasing their back catalog. If a company doesn’t release their older, out of print games, then fans complain about not being able to have access to these classics. On the other hand, if a company relies too much on their history, people criticize them about not coming up with new ideas and milking past successes.

In the digital age, there’s little excuse not to keep some of these classic titles in rotation. We’ve actually seen a lot of these titles rereleased on Steam, and now the Wii seems to be reaping the benefits of the console side, releasing one of my favorite SNES games of all time: Super Star Wars.

I actually got this title over the Christmas of 1992. I beat it the first day, and then kept playing it over and over. It was amazing for its time, and even after a replay, the title still retains its charm today, though I think the Jawa that designed the interior and exterior of that particular Sandcrawler was a sadistic madman.

Jawa 1: “Well, I’ve got the new security system installed. Picture this: On the outside, we have attack droids, flamethrowers, moving platforms and cannons on top of the vehicle. On the inside, I’ve placed laser gates, pits with rotating spikes, armed our fellow Jawas with thermal detonators, and even if an intruder does get in, the bottom of our home is lined with lava pools.”

Jawa 2: “Wow, that’s pretty industrious of you, Phil. Um, just one question…. Where do we sleep now? For that matter, where do we store the droids? You know, our source of income? Kind of why we’re out here in the desert in the first place….”

Jawa 1: “Oh. Er, well, there is a spot for at least one droid in the back. We can set it behind the giant fire breathing beast I’m letting roam the bowels of our vehicle.”

Jawa 2: “One droid?!? Fire brea…. There’s something wrong with you, man. I’m so not talking to you right now.”

Still, it makes for a great gameplay scenario. Actually, it kind of doesn’t as these are easily the most mean-spirited levels of the game. The rest of the game is stellar, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

But this renaissance goes well past that galaxy far, far away. We’ve also seen the release of a very nice update of the first Monkey Island game, as well as the new Tales of Monkey Island installments. Even the Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings titles features an unlockable in the form of Fate of Atlantis. Most console gamers may be familiar with Lucasarts Nintendo 64 fare, and beyond. Any experienced gamer, however, will tell you that the heart of Lucasarts was found in their point and click adventures. Even today, they are beautiful titles with smart dialogue and clever puzzles.

While rereleases aren’t exactly a new concept to Lucasarts, their older games have fallen by the wayside for quite a few years now. I know they’ve had a few internal shake-ups over there recently. I’m speculating that they put someone in charge that remembered what made Lucasarts so cool in the first place. I for one am glad. There’s a ton of history behind the company past just Star Wars, and it’s good to see them remember that.

If you’re ever curious about the history of Lucasarts, there’s a great book that you may want to check out. Considering the user-friendliness of Steam, and the diverse console line-up of the Wii’s Virtual Console (whenever they remember that the service exists), there’s a great opportunity to experience a lot of these games that have been buried for far too long.

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Filed under: classic gamingindiana joneslucasartsstar wars