New Publisher at GOG: Lucasarts\Disney

This is fantastic news, something we’ve been waiting for since first started up!

First up, we’ve got the space-sim X-Wing, an important event in PC gaming history. There had been star wars games before these, but a fully fledged simulation was something new and amazing. You were right there in the pilot’s seat, throwing the X-wing into loops as you evaded TIE interceptors, or gritting your teeth and staring down the sights as you closed for a strafing run on a Star Destroyer.

For variety you had the agile A-wing and the heavily armed, but clunky, Y-Wing. To add depth, you had to keep an eye on energy levels between lasers, shield and engines – nothing too complex, but a system that forced you to decide which factor was more important in a given situation. All this to a great score that not only featured familiar Star Wars themes, but changed on the fly to match events, using Lucasarts’ imuse system.

If there was one point against X-wing, it was that it was rather unforgiving – if you had to, say, protect a friendly ship you basically had to know ahead of time when and where enemies would hyperspace in, or you could never be there in time to protect it. The sequel TIE fighter eased back on the unfair map design, and then improved on X-wing’s strengths with a huge range of ships (6 or 7 fliable) and a wide range of missions. It’s probably one of the top few finest PC classics of the decade, in fact, still one of the greatest games of it’s sort to this day.

(for both games, and gog have included both the original and the 1998 versions with texture-mapped graphics, although those latter ones dropped the responsive sound-track for just CD-audio).

Like a lot of 30-somethings writing on websites I could prattle on here if I don’t watch myself. Let’s move on to the point-and-click adventures that Lucasarts were also known for. The most important release in this department, since it’s the first time it’s been seen on digital distribution, is the original Sam and Max. It’s a great example of the offbeat, wacky humour that made Lucasarts stand out over the competition. There’s also Fate of Atlantis, and the Monkey Island special edition, which were already on Steam but we’re always happy to see DRM-free releases.

The front page promises more to come. I’m particularly hoping for Day of the Tentacle. I also wonder if we’ll ever see their old World War 2 flight sims, like Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe.