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Star Raiders Returns!

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IronHound
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Star Raiders is the original space combat simulator, and now the franchise is back after 25 years of absence.

Atari is pleased to announce that Star Raiders has been released on Xbox Live Arcade and Steam for 800 Microsoft Points/$9.99, with a PSN version coming whenever Sony decides to bring the PlayStation Store back. Offering "a new compelling storyline, striking visual style and exhilarating single player gameplay," the new game is actually the third entry in the series, some 25 years after its predecessor Star Raiders II.

The original Star Raiders, released in 1979, was a graphical version of the text-based Star Trek game, which tasked players with flying to various quadrants of the galaxy, defending starbases and eliminating the attacking "Zylon" forces, an oh-so-subtle nod to Battlestar Galactica which had first aired in the previous year. It was the first example of what we now know as the space sim genre, and despite its crude graphics, remains fun to this day.

1986's Star Raiders II began life as an adaptation of the movie "The Last Starfighter" but was later rebranded as a sequel to the 1979 classic game. Its gameplay was somewhat different to the original game, featuring planetary attacks and a wider variety of enemy types to battle both in free space and in orbit.

The new game apparently "pays tribute to the original while ushering in an all new, captivating episodic experience" and "offers familiar battle elements including space warps and galactic tactical maps with all new features like radical battle transformations and customizable ships." Intriguing.

But is it as good as the original? Why not try it out?

News Article

Steam Page

Official Site

Thoughts? I never played the original.


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Pinback
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Looking at some of the game play vids on YouTube it reminds me lot of Star Ixiom on the PlayStation.

Gatling Gears looks good.


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DarkOne
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Star Raiders looks very bland sadly, I was expecting something a little better than what was shown in that video. If it comes to the PSN I will probably pick it up. If anyone has played it though would like to hear some feedback.


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Geraldine
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Yes I agree Star Raiders does look a bit like Star Ixiom. As I have that I think I will give Star Raiders a miss, now Gatling Gears does indeed look a lot better bet, a Walker re-make? Well almost! 🙄


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The old stock characters and generic story line makes a return. 🙄

Looks very much like a shmup/ Japanese anime.


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BrianRubin
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It's awful, don't even bother. I'm a spaceship whore (yeah, I said it), so I got it sight unseen. I tried FOUR DIFFERENT ways to control the damned thing, mouse and keyboard, keyboard alone, joystick and gamepad and they allllllllllllllllllllllll sucked. Apparently this was made for the 360 then ported over in such a way that it'll ONLY work well with a 360 controller. I've not found anyone to complain to about it, so I don't even know if it'll ever get patched. Save your money folks and steer clear of this one. I've not felt this burned by a space game since The Tomorrow War (blech).


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Geraldine
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That's a shame Brian. I myself have been burned too quite a few times with horrors like Rise *cough* Of *cough* The Robots **cough cough** on the miggy 🙄 For general advice, always look for reviews, demos, wait until a game matures a bit with patching or (if it's a space sim) ask here. You have to be brave to buy an unknown game, but I have done this myself more than once. Only occasionally has it turned out well. In fact the last game I can think of I did that with was Bioshock 2, but the bloody thing would not work in XP 👿 And dont even mention Halo 2 👿 👿 On the plus side I also "blind" bought Solders Of Anarchy. All the mags slated it but I loved it.


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DarkOne
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Thanks for the update Brian. It is ok for a developer to code the game to a specific platform like the 360. But if they are going to sell it outside of the console market they need to create two different control schemes to make the game fun. It sounds like they basically just ported it and didn't give it any play-through on the PC using pc mouse/keyboard. My guess is that they play tested on the PC using the 360 controller which you can use on the PC. Hopefully more people will speak up about this issue, I just think in the back of my head that whenever people see another space game fail they just group them all together and then it makes it harder the next go around to sell that person a space game.


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Geraldine
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Agree with you there Darkone, a badly implemented space sim can really hurt the genre by putting folk off. It seems the norm these days for devs to sometimes release their games in a buggy state and get their paying public to beta test their product. I dont agree with this, but I can understand why they do this as publishers can be very pushy to get their games onto the market as soon as they can, even if the devs tell them it isn't ready. In Star Raiders case, I do hope they will patch the game very soon. A few nicely made games (and they are out there) could once again get people to sit up and notice this too long neglected gaming genre.


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starlord
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I still wonder why some people only rely on the steam system to market their games: some of us don't necessarily have internet on the rig they are using to play games...

furthermore I do not know much about steam since I don't usually purchase games that way, but I found for one the whole "internet activated" scene ridiculous: what is steam was to die one day? then how would those games be activated in the future?

It's such a pity the retail days are gone... all was so simpler back then...


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Pinback
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I am the same I much prefer to have a physical box copy of a game rather than a DL.

I don’t think they will abandon retail altogether in the short term I noticed that Team 17 announced that all their games were going to be DL only, but just recently I have seen that there remake of Alien Breed is now available on disk for the 360.

Although in the long term as more and more games are released online, the box games will get harder and harder to find.

I would guess the big move over to DL will come when the consoles move to digital downloads only.


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starlord
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some retail games now require a steam activation, yet again I find this ridiculous!

Just a question, how are we going to be able to keep track on every game out in the market in order to preserve them from oblivion when they will be obsolete?


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Geraldine
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Yes, that is a genuine concern of mine too. All we can really hope for is that there will be places on the web that will preserve them for the future. This has certainly been the case for many Amiga classics. As for the download only thang, its down profit margin. It is cheaper to release a game for download only because the publishers dont have the packaging and DvD mastering costs to consider. Advertising can be done cheaper too. It is a shame though, that greedy publishers dont pass on those savings they make in the form of cheaper game releases for the buying public! 👿


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starlord
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it is indeed!


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DarkOne
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starlord wrote:
Just a question, how are we going to be able to keep track on every game out in the market in order to preserve them from oblivion when they will be obsolete?

I don't buy too many downloadable games only because of just that fact that who knows when that game will no longer be available? At some point the publisher should make the game distributable without DRM or having some sort of Steam, Impulse or GG account to be able to download and play. Most downloadable games on these services usually loose their appeal after 6 months and usually have to dig deep to find them and only reappear when special offers and discounts come up. I hope Atari does work a bit more on Star Raiders and fixes user complaints and control issues.


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BrianRubin
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starlord wrote:
I still wonder why some people only rely on the steam system to market their games: some of us don't necessarily have internet on the rig they are using to play games...

furthermore I do not know much about steam since I don't usually purchase games that way, but I found for one the whole "internet activated" scene ridiculous: what is steam was to die one day? then how would those games be activated in the future?

It's such a pity the retail days are gone... all was so simpler back then...

Really? You're gonna dig up that old chestnut? Pardon me whilst I vacate off your lawn.

Seriously, I think you guys are forgetting that digital distribution is SAVING PC gaming. Do you see a lot of PC games in Gamestop? Best Buy? Walmart? Target? Hell no, their selections are small, finite and limited to certain titles. Digital distribution gives nearly everyone a fair shake, from small indies like Gratuitous Space Battles and Space Pirates and Zombies to larger AAA titles. I think y'all need to open up a little more to the power of DD. 😉


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Geraldine
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That's a good point Brian, but the problem of accessing these games in the far future remains. Will we have to one day, rely on abandonware sites to play such titles as Mass Effect 2? It may seem un-important right now, but given enough time if the usual retail site goes down, then it's titles go down with it.


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starlord
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Precisely: given the fact that I've been involved with SPS in preserving some amiga and acorn archie games that is something I can't take lightly!

Also, I may be oldschool beyond relief (even though I understand that DD is indeed saving many games today) yet I HATE the internet dependent part: why is that even considered as a necessity especially for us purchasing a single player game?

it is true that today's video game industry is heading a somewhat questionnable path IMO, with an industry bent only on superproductions which encourage only a select "niche" of videogames to make it through commercially speaking... However I think that the idea of digital download is only a stopgap to the problem: mass realisation might be an answer but it surely is hypophetical at best...

one of the possibilities for this to occur would be the occurance another video game crash like in the 80s, given the fact that development is remotely linked to national economies, and since we are currently dealing with several ecomonical problems, that could happen (as it could not of course. Just my thoughts on the question)...

While I would like your insight on this, I'm quite sure I'm not following topic, so please pardon me! 😀


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BrianRubin
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Geraldine wrote:
That's a good point Brian, but the problem of accessing these games in the far future remains. Will we have to one day, rely on abandonware sites to play such titles as Mass Effect 2? It may seem un-important right now, but given enough time if the usual retail site goes down, then it's titles go down with it.

This is defeatist and paranoid, in all honesty. Steam, for example, makes MILLIONS of dollars a year, and it just gets bigger every year. You think that's just going to go away? The more people that get access to high speed bandwidth, the more popular digital distribution is going to become. Impulse was just purchased by Gamestop, for example. It's not going anywhere either. Even the others like Gamersgate and Direct2Drive are pretty dang solvent.

I too once had a hard time letting go of the notion of physical media. "I'd much rather have a disk and a manual," I once said. However, digital distribution, for the most part, is much better. It allows developers to get more money, it allows us to get games more easily and it's a win-win for everyone.

So yeah, cling to your physical media, while you can find it in the stores. 😉


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starlord
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True, but for instance, gametap didn't stay...

Also, this wouldn't be the first time. I'm not paranoid: I speak of experience... How many times do I recall having wanted a particular title from a company that they simply stopped providing support for (well at least a keycode for the program), and the sad truth is that winning everyone of them was an epic battle! Truth is no matter how well a company is doing you can never be sure of what's going to happen tomorrow (I've seen this before), so they should at least think of the "in case" scenario: it's only fair for us who are financially supporting the company.

Which brings me to yet another thing: Stop using those "one time, three times, or five times" activation keys! if we buy a game today we (or at least I) consider having the right to do anything with it on a personnal level, and that includes uninstalling it or reinstalling it on another computer I might have replaced at leisure. This is one of the limitations that was unheard of in retail days.


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BrianRubin
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starlord wrote:
True, but for instance, gametap didn't stay...

Also, this wouldn't be the first time. I'm not paranoid: I speak of experience... How many times do I recall having wanted a particular title from a company that they simply stopped providing support for (well at least a keycode for the program), and the sad truth is that winning everyone of them was an epic battle! Truth is no matter how well a company is doing you can never be sure of what's going to happen tomorrow (I've seen this before), so they should at least think of the "in case" scenario: it's only fair for us who are financially supporting the company.

Which brings me to yet another thing: Stop using those "one time, three times, or five times" activation keys! if we buy a game today we (or at least I) consider having the right to do anything with it on a personnal level, and that includes uninstalling it or reinstalling it on another computer I might have replaced at leisure. This is one of the limitations that was unheard of in retail days.

Gametap didn't sell games, they were only a service that provided access to them, you never owned the games, so it's a bit unrelated. I honestly do agree with the limited activation nonsense, but from what I've read, most companies will give you more keys if you write and ask 'em. Anyway, sadly the retail days are mostly gone when it comes to PC games, and that's just the reality of it. I certainly wish PC games dominated physical store shelves as they once did, but they don't, so the best way to acquire PC games these days is usually through DD.


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Geraldine
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BrianRubin wrote:
This is defeatist and paranoid, in all honesty. Steam, for example, makes MILLIONS of dollars a year, and it just gets bigger every year. You think that's just going to go away?

No, I am just being realistic. I have seen many changes in the game market from it's birth in the late 70s, both good times and bad. If its taught me anything, it's that nothing (no matter how successful) remains forever. I do hope though you are correct Brain 🙂

I certainly would not like to see Steam, Impulse or any other online retailer fail but who really knows what the future holds? Like Starlord, I too would like to see a fall back position put in place. You know,....just in case.

Its better to have something in place you will never use, rather than go for the want of a place with an archive of gaming greats. Note, I am not talking about pirate sites here, instead I am thinking about places like GOG who buy the rights to old games and release them DRM free. Certainly a good thing in my view. Still, this only goes partway to a solution for those of us who have already bought these games. In my view these online retail site sites should start building these redundant "safe" archives and explain their usage in their policies. Would it do any harm to know that no matter what happens, your games will always be there for you or your children even?

Also, perhaps a 10 or 15 year official rule could be introduced into the gaming industry. Any game once it reaches this age, would be deemed as distribution free. That way fans of the games could maintain their own archives legally. More or less this is just what happened to many Amiga classics. Without those sites out there preserving the past, many gaming greats from that platform would have been lost forever. Just my thoughts 😉


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starlord
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I second this, and add regarding your argument on keys being provided by companies that some companies actually don't even have to close in order to discontinue sales or support of their previous games at leisure... I for one appreciate the liberty of being able to buy what I want when I want (even if second hand) and not to be dependent on anyone when my items are bought!


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Pinback
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Good point about nothing remaining forever after all in the last 40 years or so we have had Paper tape, tape, disk, cart, CD, DVD, BD and Digital Downloads

It possible DD might be a with for us only for a few short years, if you look to the end of the decade and if game distribution system like on demand or cloud gaming takes off. Then it quite possible that we won’t even be downloading anything, just paying to hire a game like a video rental.

If any one looking for a thread on Star Raiders this ain’t it. 😆


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Geraldine
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Yes it has gone off topic a bit............... 😕


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