GoG Gets X-Wing Alliance, Galactic Battlegrounds & More

Galactic Battlegrounds somehow looks both better and worse than it did at the time

Here is a question: do you like Star Wars? My mate Ian says it’s really good, so I should probably watch it sometime. Then again he also said Mad Men was good and that was just people in old suits frowning at each other. Apparently there are some videogames based on this ‘Star Wars’ too. Given it’s such an obscure movie I guess they’re boring art games in which all you can do is like walk and think and rubbish stuff like that? I bet there are no laser guns or evil cyborgs at all, so I won’t bother playing them. I mean, listen to the names: ‘X-Wing Versus TIE Fighter’, ‘The Old Republic II’. The first one sounds like it’s something to with equations, the second one sounds like it’s an Antiques Roadshow spin-off. Honestly, why do they even bother making these not-games for people who don’t like fun?

Anyway, like six of these old hipster indie games have just been re-released on ‘Good Old Games.’ I guess that’s an ironic title or something? They are old though – in fact, three of them are so old that they’ve never been released for download before. I guess the hipsters won’t like them now they’ve gone mainstream.

These are the games:

  • Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter
  • Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance
  • Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds Saga
  • Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces
  • Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.

This is the first time anyone’s been able to legally buy the first three of those on anything except a plastic disc. The last thee have been on Steam and stuff for ages though, so I guess this is a slow news day and shame on me for even mentioning them.

Some people seem to really like those X-Wing things though. I guess this is a big deal for them. Apparently old men who still own joysticks think they’re especially great. All six of these games are available on GoG now, which means they should work on modern PCs and not just your granddad’s IBM compatible.

Another six old Star Wars games are due for release on GoG.com over the coming days. God, why did they make so many of them?

68 Comments

  1. skalpadda says:

    To anyone buying KotOR 2, be sure to check out The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod. and patch it for widescreen (don’t forget the HUD files).

    And I have so many fond memories of XvT and XWA. Nowhere near TIE Fighter readings on the nostalgiatron, but they are some fine games.

    • J-Force says:

      You beat me to the consumer advice.

      I cannot recommend Kotor II without the content mod – it’s like playing Mass Effect 3 without the extended cut or any DLC.

      With restored content – it is a must play. Just don’t get too attached to your morality before you play.

      • X_kot says:

        I have only played the vanilla version of both those games – are those supplements that necessary? The ending to KotOR II is kinda incoherent, I get that, but would watching YouTube clips be enough, or is the substance of the game altered significantly?

        • J-Force says:

          It adds a large amount of closure. If you can manage that with Youtube clips then fine. For a new player though it improves the experience a lot as there are far fewere moments where you are left thinking ‘What happened with X, did I leave them to die?’

          • Ace Rimmer says:

            Fewer is right. The restored content mod helps tremendously, but there’s still a fair amount of incoherence and loose ends left to gloss over. The game is still a mess, albeit a significantly less impenetrable one.

            Anyone who has the slightest fondness for the genre and a bit of forbearance for the dated engine and the occasional narrative hiccup should play it at least once, of course.

        • skalpadda says:

          Apart from the ending the most notable thing it restores is the HK droid factory, which is a pretty kickass area and completes the story and character arcs for HK-47 and G0T0 (as well as the HK droids who are part of the main pantheon of villains throughout the game). There are tonnes of other bits of restored content and bug fixes throughout and it would be very hard to patch it together just by watching youtube videos. Whether it’s worth replaying I can’t say – depends on how much you’d enjoy playing the game again in its entirety – but on a new playthrough I cannot recommend it enough.

          There’s also the M4-78 mod, which restores a cut planet, but I haven’t played it yet and that location was cut in a much earlier and rougher state than the HK factory, with much of its quests and story elements refit into other parts of the game.

      • bleeters says:

        An interesting comparison, when content restoration mods are free and Mass Effect 3 dlc costs you fourty dollars.

    • vorador says:

      This cannot be stressed enough. The game was released half-finished, and this patch fixes it. The true KoToR 2.

    • derbefrier says:

      first rule of buying any game off GOG is to check their forums for relevent mods. If they are worth using chances are theres a thread about it in GOG’s forums.

    • jnqvist says:

      Oh,Kotor…how I miss thee. Time to boot the old chap,this time Kotor 2,give it another spin,this time with the restored content and widescreen fix. Never thought I’d be going back to it. It’s going to be really emotional.

  2. Thurgret says:

    I remember having some issues getting X-Wing versus TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance running on Windows 8. Or maybe that was just user error. GOG’s pretty good about including fixes for such problems, happily enough.

    Also, Galactic Battlegrounds was great fun, and consumed almost as much time as Age of Empires/Age of Kings in my youth.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yeah I had trouble with X-Wing vs TIE Fighter on Win 7 x64, but then I’m talking about the original game discs from 98.

  3. subedii says:

    Just holding out on Jedi Outcast now.

    • J-Force says:

      That’s on steam now for peanuts. You may want to pick it up now.

      EDIT: Sale ended

      • subedii says:

        I know. It’s been on sale a dozen times over I’m sure. I guess having the DRM-free version would be the final push I needed to get it.

    • Cash at Folsom says:

      An “it just works” GOG release of that game would be dangerous for me. Countless hours were spent in my younger days honing our own take on the popular “Jedi vs. Merc” mods: the Jedi would go stare at a corner while the mercs set up a camp for themselves, complete with mines and other traps [the basement of ffa_yavin was great for this]. Once the all clear came through the chat window, the Jedi would storm the makeshift base in all of their space wizard fury. Permadeath for all. It was sort of a proto-horde mode, I suppose, and good god do I miss it.

      • subedii says:

        I still remember being sucked into Outcast’s CTF mode.

        Almost nobody took Force Persuasion (and rarely Sight), they were all too busy focusing on the offense based skills to even consider them. Which just made it all the more awesome capping the flag from right under their noses without them even realising I was there until the guy guarding the flag got smacked down.

        Then Force Run > drop force field behind you. Worked better than most people realised.

      • J-Force says:

        I still pop onto the multiplayer for outcast occasionally. So many years and yet still a stong community.

        Wall running made for interesting duels.

    • Syphus says:

      All I want is Star Wars: Rebellion

  4. Rizlar says:

    That’s it, I’m buying the cheapest, bestest joystick I can find this weekend. Any recommendations?

    • Der Zeitgeist says:

      These are the Joysticks you are looking for:

      link to amzn.com

      • Premium User Badge

        Grizzly says:

        I’d rather recommend anything from the THrustmaster camp though.

    • vorador says:

      I own and recommend the Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas X. It’s reasonably priced and has a throttle stick. Saitek has a stick that is much better, but way too costly.

      • ResonanceCascade says:

        Pricey, yes, but Tie Fighter with an x52 Pro is soooo excellent. Been blasting away at Rebel Scum all week.

    • Cei says:

      Thrustmaster T.1600M. Job done.

      • Rizlar says:

        I wasn’t asking you.

        … but yeah, that looks pretty good. And cheap! Thanks to everyone for the recommendations btw. I remember this RPS article featuring some cheap sticks but it’s always nice to hear other people’s recommendations.

      • The True Turrican says:

        Seconding this. The T.16000M is by far the best you can get in the 50 whateveryourcurrencyis price range. The button feedback is less crisp than its competition’s and its throttle is probably the worst on the market, but it makes up for that with unrivaled precision, a sturdy spring and superior programmability (thanks to Thrustmaster’s notorious TARGET software). All other hall effect sensor sticks you’ll find cost more than twice as much and the only pot sensor sticks that come close to the T.16000M’s longevity and precision are the ones produced by CH, which seem to be getting rarer and hence more expensive by the minute.

        If I were in your spot, I’d steer clear of Saitek products. All of them, including the X52 series, go baggy way too soon.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Exactly this, the T.16000M focuses on precision and durability, while the buttons have a plastic feeling and the throttle is barely a throttle. It’s a deliberate choice: for such a low price, you can’t have everything.

          I really think it’s the perfect choice when it comes to under-100 euros joysticks: buttons don’t need that much precision and can be replaced with a keyboard bind, while throttle rarely needs to be precise (especially for relaxed flight sim piloting)(and most games will have several % steps that can be bound to any key, same with +1/-1 throttle command for accurate throttling).

          But you can never go cheap on the stick precision, it’s the thing you’ll be constantly using when playing flying games (sim or not), it’s the thing that will determine if you take-off, land or crash, if you hit or miss your targets.

          In my opinion the Logitech Extreme 3D Pro is too cheap on the stick (springs and sensor will age too rapidly), same goes with the F.L.Y 5 (a bit better imo, but still below the T.16000M).

          ps: TARGET is great but not that intuitive, and it ‘seems’ the T.16000M is missing a few scripting possibilities (offered by the other Thrustmaster sticks), but I haven’t dabbled much in it so far.

    • SuicideKing says:

      Logitech Extreme 3D Pro, if you can deal with a slight left bias on the twist axis (fix with a larger dead zone).

  5. Anthile says:

    Play KotoR2. Apathy is death.

  6. Catweasel says:

    I’m not sure what the point of releasing X-Wing vs Tie Fighter is without the multiplayer working yet. I thought they were going to save it for when they had their online service thing working.

    • Syphus says:

      XvT comes with the Balance of Power expansion which added a ton of great Single Player content that makes it more than worth it.

  7. Alexrd says:

    “The last three have been on Steam and stuff for ages though, so I guess this is a slow news day and shame on me for even mentioning them.”

    Yeah, why mention other options on where to get games? Monopoly is great.

    /sarcasm

  8. Laurentius says:

    Omg, how cool !!! XvT is game for multiplayer, as campagin is meh in comparison for other games.
    Xwing-Alliance is great ! It’s not as good as Tie Fighter BUT it works with modern graphics cards, so you can up the resolution and download ship models with better deteails and textures, so awsome.(X-Wing Alliance upgrade, google it). Go play it ! It’s great fun, I like a low key family story that is tied to normal SW big space opera war. Seriously play it ! I’ve just beaten it recently along with Tie Fighter and it is great fun. And then you will weep at the DeathStar run at the end, but when you finally do it it will be awsome as fuck !

    PS. Also SWKOTR2 is ace ! Download reconstruction mod and enjoy great game !

    PS2. If only GoG could get their hands on Starlancer we could finally put this Freespace nonsens to sleep.

    PS3. The moment I saw new model of SSD in X-Wing alliance i just forgot about the mission and just went for fly-by looking and this monster beauty.

  9. Scurra says:

    Please tell me that the Podracer problems have been sorted? The rest of The Phantom Menace might not have been much cop (although – heretic alert – it’s still better than pretty much all of Return of the Jedi bar the climax) but the Podracing sequence always felt like it was meant to be a game, and the game was great..

    • Alexrd says:

      Episode I: Racer hasn’t been released (yet). Hopefully it will come this thursday.

  10. Hebrind says:

    Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds is one of the best games I have ever played. And I’m not being sarcastic or ironic when i say that – it’s honestly one of the best strategy games I ever played in my life, ever. It’s Age of Empires II with a Star Wars skin, and 6 really different factions to play with, each with their own units and buildings.

    If you like AoEII and Star Wars, I can’t recommend this game enough.

    • Timbrelaine says:

      I’m so glad to see somebody say that. I can’t be quite as effusive because I’m not sure how much of the old fun was nostalgia, but Galactic Battlegrounds and its sequel were a cornerstone of my cheerfully misspent youth. Both games had almost-too-detailed scenario editors, and thriving mod communities, and my cousin and I crushed in multiplayer. Good times.

      • Hebrind says:

        Absolutely, those early teenage years whiled away re-creating the scenarios from the films, like the attack on Hoth or Han Solo’s escape from a Tatooine spice dealer… And some of the voicework in the game was fantastic!

        Nothing quite beats filling half a map with jedi, the other with sith, a smattering of heroes like Vader and Obi-Wan and pressing “play” while hundreds of the little guys duked it out. Incredible times.

    • Volcanu says:

      Actually, I’m one of those people that loves AoEII and loved Star Wars and I never warmed to it at all.

      I think (as you acknowledge) it was because it felt exactly like a modders re-skin of AoE II. It never felt Star Wars-y to me and the units didnt behave in the same way as they did in the films and the fiction, aswell as the scale being all kinds of wrong. It always made me think I’d rather be playing AoE II to be honest.

      Anyway – glad you loved it and dont mean to be the guy p*ssing on your bonfire, just sharing my experience/reactions to it. In theory I should have loved it!

    • SuicideKing says:

      Yup I love AoEII and Star Wars and the nuke troopers of AoE I (cheat: “photonman”) so this is perhaps exactly my kind of game.

      • Volcanu says:

        The car with the nuclear rocket launcher was also good, although I forget the cheat code for that…

  11. Creeping Death says:

    Right, there’s a few of these X-wing/Tie Fighter games available on gog now. Can someone tell me, as a complete beginner to the series, which should I grab?

    • MartinWisse says:

      See if you want to play as imperious jackbooted nazi or rebel scum and buy the appropriate game. X-Wing and TIE-Fighter are both great single person spacefighters, the other two are more multiplayer orientated.

    • Premium User Badge

      Aerothorn says:

      X-Wing is only a historical footnote – the mission design is simple and the game is brutally hard (often downright unfair). Tie Fighter, while challenging, is more even-keeled (at least before the expansions) and has more interesting mission design. It’s the Most Important of the lot, that’s for sure.

      That said, if you only want to play one, and haven’t played many space sims – Alliance is the way to go. It’s both more modern, and very slowly eases you into the game.

  12. somnolentsurfer says:

    Saw a picture of a Star Wars RTS and thought RPS favourite Force Commander was making a return!

  13. sicemma says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong but weren’t XvT and Alliance were both capped at 30fps? Has this been changed?

  14. MuscleHorse says:

    Really upset with the Mad Men comment.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      If there are others like you, then you would all be Mad Men.

      I think it’s great that Dark Forces is now available DRM-free and that it’ll probably run on my computer. Steam is a lot of things, but I don’t trust them to fix old games so that they run properly. I got Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight running on my Win 7 laptop with some tinkering and a HD model mod, so I don’t need them to get that game on GoG, but I’m curious to see what other games they’ll add. Masters of Teräs Käsi and Super Bombad Racing never came to PC fortunately, so it can’t be them.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    Wouldn’t mind revisiting Daft Horses again, which I’ve only played on the old PlayStation.

  16. SnowWookie says:

    Do EA or Disney or whoever has the rights to these things just not like money?

    Just release XWing/TIE Fighter/Alliance HD and people will buy it.
    History has proven that middle-aged star wars geeks will spend ridiculous sums of money on these things (I know, I’m one!)

    • SuicideKing says:

      EA is too busy deciding how to milk Battlefront 3 to the last bleeding penny.

  17. Booker says:

    It honestly annoys me by now, how everyone is supposed to be happy about the rerelease of old games the publisher is showing no love for whatsoever. Pretty much no goodies, they aren’t changed/patched in any way (they at least could have done a widescreen patch or ANYTHING) and if that wouldn’t sound shitty enough already, they are also rather expensive. 10 bucks for almost 20 year old, unchanged and unsupported games is a lot of money. It’s not like they are asking for 1,99 for the entire bundle.
    It’s just lazy what they are doing and for that laziness they are even being paid. Of course they’ll take the cash for games that they couldn’t bother doing the tiniest effort for.
    This offer is still unattractive in a sale…

    Is X-Wing Alliance even remotely playable nowadays? It only works with a joystick, if I recall correctly and I doubt anyone still has one of these weird flight sticks from the 1990s lying around – or the parallel port necessary to attach them. :P

    • Giuseppe says:

      I still have a joystick left over from when I was playing a lot of IL-2 Sturmovik. It’s nearly 15 years old by now, but it’s still in decent shape and, since it’s usb, it still works fine on any PC.

    • Det. Bullock says:

      They still cost much less than the old budget releases and are DRM-free, the “weird flight sticks” aren’t that rare, me and my brother still have ours, they are both USB and still work, and they were even cheap models, not those fancy HOTAS you see today.
      And we are not talking about games like the first two Wing Commander: apart from the learning curve of the first X-wing these games are still very much playable today, hell, Tie Fighter is up there with Freespace 2 as the pinnacle os the space combat genre, with XW/Tie and XWA as close seconds.

    • Bull0 says:

      My modern joystick works perfectly on the GOG tie fighter. I think you’re being a bit too pessimistic about the playability.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        Yep, the games used directX so any thing that get recognized as a game peripheral works with these games, and modern graphic acards aren’t a problem with XWA as it supports high resolutions (though not 16:9), XvsT instead gets no higher than 640×480 because it uses 2D interactive cockpits.

    • Syphus says:

      Probably because I don’t want a fancy new version of the game (though I’d never complain about updated graphics), I just want to be able to play the games on my current computer. I will gladly through $10 at that, especially since I was unable to get Alliance working on my computer by myself.

      I also have a joystick nothing fancy but it works perfectly fine.

  18. Haborym says:

    SWGB was a damn fine game. That, AoE2, and AoM are all pretty good games.