TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

Volume Number: 18 (2002)
Issue Number: 10
Column Tag: Reviews

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds

by Michael R. Harvey

    Ed. Note - This is only going to hurt for a second, then a little pressure, then it's going to hurt really bad, so just try to breathe. You might smell a burning smell, just ignore that.

What's this? A game review in MacTech? Isn't that one of the signs of the Apocalypse? Actually, no. Doing an entire games issue would be, and we aren't there, at least not yet.

No, this is more of an intervention than the end of the world (although it might feel like it at first). Have you looked in a mirror lately? You're pale, your posture has gone to hell, and the IV of Dr. Pepper isn't helping your complexion out. It's high time you stopped coding for a bit, and do something else with all the processing power at your fingers. Something frivolous. Notice we aren't recommending you actually turn the computer off, and go outside for some sun and fresh air. We can't expect miracles right out of the gate. We'll start with baby steps. You can still have the bad posture, and the Mountain Dew injections, but let's try some completely wasted fun time. Let's play a game. And why not play one ported by those geniuses at Westlake Interactive and published by the folks at Aspyr, the company that has published some of the best titles the Mac platform has seen the past several years.

Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is a recent release from Aspyr. As you might have guessed by now, it is a game from the LucasArts guys centering around everyone's favorite space opera, Star Wars. This game is from the real time strategy category, similar to Command and Conquer or StarCraft. Built on the Age of Empires 2 engine, you are able to take command of one of six different factions, from the evil Galactic Empire, to the Naboo, to Wookiees. You are then tasked with missions, and complete them through managing your resources, trading with your allies, building your forces and defeating the enemy. Good times!

The system requirements for the game are actually quite tame. A G3 processor, 64 MB RAM, a video card capable of displaying 256 colors. Not too taxing for almost anyone, is it? Network play can be done over a LAN, or even with a 28.8 modem (although more is always better when it comes to gaming, as it is with most things). The graphics look great. Units, and structures are rendered with good detail. It is easy to discern who is who. The sound is quite nice, as well. You can see, and hear, the effort that went into the details to make the Star Wars universe come alive on your screen.

If you are already familiar with Age of Empires 2, this article is not for you, go outside already. If you're still with me, and have played Age of Empires 2, you are pretty much ready to go. Galactic Battlegrounds uses many of the same interface controls and command keys. As with Age, having a multi-button mouse really helps out. That right button gets a work out in this game. Control clicking so often gets to be a drag, and we just can't have that.


If you are unfamiliar with this type of gaming, you might want to start out with the Basic Training missions. In these, you will be led by Qui-Gon Jinn in how to establish your base, gather resources, build units and structures, and conduct battle. It's not absolutely necessary, though. The controls really are quite simple, so you can jump right into the game if you wish.

Game play revolves around either single player or multi-player use.

In single player mode, there are a few options for game play. You can choose to play the Campaigns. These are a series of missions you are tasked to complete. You become one of several characters from the Star Wars universe. The campaigns take you through much of the mythos of Star Wars, not only the movies but the novels, as well.

You also have the option of playing stand alone missions. In these games, you set the parameters, such as number of opponents, type of map, and starting resources. The game then puts you on a map, and you fight it out based on the rules you established. Included as part of the game is a scenario editor in which you can create your own maps, and play conditions. These can be shared with other gamers, as well as you being able to play scenarios created by other users.

There are two ways to engage multiplayer action. One is where the host sets up the games rules, and other gamers join in. The others access the hosts game either over a LAN, or over the internet. All connections are via TCP/IP. If the gamers are on the hosts LAN, they will see the game automatically. Users coming in over the Internet will need to know the IP address of the host to join the game.

The other method of play in Galactic Battlegrounds is via Game Ranger. Game Ranger is a freeware application that helps you link up with other Mac players, and set up online games. Recently, Scott Kevil, Game Ranger's author, released a public beta of version 3.0 which adds support for OS X. If you do not want to load up beta software, you will need to boot into OS 9 to play online via the current version of Game Ranger. However you access it, Game Ranger is a very worthwhile tool to have for gaming. It currently supports over 50 game titles, and is Mac only.

This game is a great ride, and wretchedly addictive. The many detailed options you can change and tweak will allow you a vast array of game possibilities. You will definitely waste a goodly amount of time on this title. Plan accordingly. The only drawback you may run into is with the difficulty settings. Easy is too easy. There isn't much challenge. The enemy just waits for you to come mop the floor with them. Jumping from there to normal could be a shock, as the normal setting will smack you around handily if you're not ready for it. Hard is, of course, hard, but it keeps your pulse rate up.

It is unfortunate that so many of the games created around the Star Wars universe don't make it to the Macintosh platform. It is always a treat when companies like Westlake and Aspyr secure the rights to one of the many great titles LucasArts produces. Galactic Battlegrounds is no exception. Hopefully we will get to see more of these games in the near future. And in fact, we will very soon. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is currently in development for release later this year. Galactic Battlegrounds has an MSRP of $50, and is available from almost anywhere Mac software is sold.

One last note. Kudos to Aspyr for their packaging of Galactic Battlegrounds. The box is small, and compact; just big enough to hold the CD, manual, and technology chart. Not one of these 47 pound monstrosities that hold one CD. They saved a tree or two. Good for them.

http://www.aspyr.com/

http://www.gameranger.com/


Michael R. Harvey

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

ExpanDrive 5.4.6 - $49.99
ExpanDrive builds cloud storage in every application, acts just like a USB drive plugged into your Mac. With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from the Finder or... Read more
Apple Pages 6.1.1 - Apple's word pr...
Apple Pages is a powerful word processor that gives you everything you need to create documents that look beautiful. And read beautifully. It lets you work seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices, and... Read more
Apple Numbers 4.1.1 - Apple's sprea...
With Apple Numbers, sophisticated spreadsheets are just the start. The whole sheet is your canvas. Just add dramatic interactive charts, tables, and images that paint a revealing picture of your data... Read more
Apple Keynote 7.1.1 - Apple's prese...
Easily create gorgeous presentations with the all-new Keynote, featuring powerful yet easy-to-use tools and dazzling effects that will make you a very hard act to follow. The Theme Chooser lets you... Read more
Espresso 5 - Powerful HTML, XML, CSS, an...
Espresso is back. For people who make delightful, innovative, and fast websites -- in an app to match. Espresso helps you write, code, design, build, and publish with flair and efficiency.... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.47 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Dash 4.0.3 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
Posterino 3.3.6 - Create posters, collag...
Posterino offers enhanced customization and flexibility including a variety of new, stylish templates featuring grids of identical or odd-sized image boxes. You can customize the size and shape of... Read more
Together 3.8.3 - Store and organize all...
Together helps you organize your Mac, giving you the ability to store, edit and preview your files in a single clean, uncluttered interface. Features Smart storage. With simple drag-and-drop... Read more
iClock Pro 3.4.9 - Customize your menuba...
iClock Pro is a menu bar replacement clock for Apple's default clock. iClock Pro is an update, total rewrite and improvement to the popular iClock. Have the day, date and time in different fonts and... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Minimalist puzzle game, Cuts, free on iO...
If you're looking for a gorgeous puzzle experience on iOS devices, developer Gamebra.in's aesthetically interesting puzzler, Cuts, is discounted to free on the iOS App Store right now. [Read more] | Read more »
Anime tactical RPG, War of Crown, comes...
If you're looking for another tactical RPG fix to go alongside your Fire Emblem Heroes campaigns check out Gamevil's newest, anime-inspired tactics RPG, War of Crown, which comes out tomorrow. [Read more] | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin adds new modes,...
MU Origin, Webzen’s highly popular fantasy MMORPG is getting ready to shake things up for the second time this year, as a new update makes its way to the Google Play and App Store from today. Introducing new systems, modes, and events, the land of... | Read more »
Blizzard is looking to hire a mobile dev...
A new thread on the popular video game rumor forum, NeoGAF, uncovered an interesting job listing over at Blizzard Entertainment. It appears the studio behindStarCraft, World of WarCraft, Hearthstone,andOverwatch is looking to bring on a new hire... | Read more »
Legend of Zelda meets Cooking Mama in ne...
Dungeon Chef is what happens when you mix the RPG elements (and style) of a Legend of Zelda game, with cooking elements. Although, now that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also has cookingelements, so maybe the gameplay is not so novel.... | Read more »
ChordFlow (Music)
ChordFlow 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: ChordFlow is a chord sequencer with a unique 4-track polyphonic arpeggiator, extensive chord library, MIDI out and Ableton Link... | Read more »
The Walking Dead: A New Frontier is out...
The newest season of Telltale Games'The Walking Dead is well underway. After the release of the third episode, "Above the Law" about a month ago, episode four, "Thicker Than Water" is hot and ready for more zombies and gut-wrenching emotional... | Read more »
Best games we played this week
Another week, another new wave of mobile games do dive into. We've dug through the list of apps that came out this week to tell you which apps are worth your sweet time. And while there weren't too many games this week, there were some big ones.... | Read more »
Vignettes (Games)
Vignettes 1.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Vignettes is a casual but unique exploration game without text or characters, where objects shapeshift as you spin them around... | Read more »
Get Me Outta Here is an 80s retro shoote...
Are you ready to fight some aliens? Because Crescent Moon Games has released the retro shooter Get Me Outta Here on iOS devices today. [Read more] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

HyperX Ships Pulsefire FPS Gaming Mouse, Winn...
Your reporter is a longtime fan of gaming mice for general purpose coomnputing use, finding them typically superior in comfort and performance. HyperX, a division of Kingston Technology Company, Inc... Read more
Penske Truck Leasing Unveils “Penske Fleet” M...
Penske Truck Leasing has introduced a free mobile app called “Penske Fleet” to benefit its full-service truck leasing and contract maintenance customers. The mobile app enables Penske’s customers to... Read more
DEVONthink To Go 2.1.3 For iOS Adds New Declu...
DEVONtechnologies has updated DEVONthink To Go, its iOS companion to DEVONthink for Mac. Enhancements and bug fixes in Version 2.1.3 include DEVONtechnologies’ new decluttering service for clipping... Read more
Use Apple’s Education discount to save up to...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple Watches available sta...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished Series 1 and Series 2 Apple Watches for 14-16% off MSRP, starting at $229. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each watch. Shipping is free: Series... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros, Apple refurbi...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $360 to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 15″ 2.6GHz... Read more
13-inch MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 o...
Overstock.com has 13″ MacBook Airs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP including free shipping: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (sku MMGF2LL/A): $869.99 $130 off MSRP - 13″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air (sku... Read more
15-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale for $1...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
15-inch 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pros on sale...
Amazon has 2016 15″ 2.7GHz Apple Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $150-$200 off MSRP. Shipping is free: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray (sku MLH42LL/A): $2599 $200... Read more
Apple now offering Certified Refurbished 13-i...
Apple is now offering Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros for $270-$300 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.9GHz... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple (United...
# Apple Solutions Consultant Job Number: 56881986 Middletown, NY, New York, United States Posted: Apr. 17, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** As an Apple Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**489879BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000402-Utica-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Read more
Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & *Apple*...
# Music Marketing Lead, iTunes & Apple Music Job Number: 56868140 Culver City, California, United States Posted: Apr. 17, 2017 Weekly Hours: 40.00 **Job Summary** Read more
Best Buy *Apple* Computing Master - Best Bu...
**498001BR** **Job Title:** Best Buy Apple Computing Master **Location Number:** 000356-Manassas-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.