"Star Trek: Echoes from the Past" was released for the Sega Genesis in 1994, to little fanfare. But to any and all Star Trek fans, this game has it all... everything you like about the show is here. Diplomatic negotiations, phaser fights, space battles, warp speed... maybe I'm being a tad too nerdy here, but nothing I've encountered captures the spirit of the show like this.
The thing is, though, is that because it's based on The Next Generation, it can't really be classified in one genre... it merges together platformer, strategy, and RPG elements. Take this typical scenario: Youre flying to a certain planet on a distress called sent out by a person in need when you encounter an enemy vessel. Attempting to sway the enemy, you communicate with them via communication screen. They find you to be a threat, so they attack. You then control your Enterprise in a space battle on a coordinate grid. Once you defeat the alien vessel, you choose 4 crew members to beam down to the planet to solve the scenario. A scenario can include rescuing a hostage, killing slavers, conducting a search for missing Federation members, or searching for a cure for a disease. Each mission is varied, and includes a plethora of background detail for you to dig into, in order to completely understand the history of the situation, and how it can be fixed.
The graphics and sound are very reminiscent of the show; the music is represented very faithfully, and the graphics are detailed right down to the character faces and uniforms. The planets feature elaborate ruins and grandiose palaces, and each race is represented in their fullest on the communications screen. Warp speed is a pretty nifty effect as well, seeing the stars flying by in different colors.
There are things to pick apart, though. The space battles, while fun at times, can draw on for far too long, and become irritating as you're attempting to answer a distress call. Also, while on the planet surfaces, some missions can take far too long (up to half an hour or more). Last, and most importantly, is that if you're not a fan of the show, it may get very tedious. While some may enjoy it for is attention to detail and great strategical situations, others may find it bland and dull.
And so, I will give the game 2 grades: one for fans and people who are into statistics and depth, and one for action gamers who crave twitch fighting action.
Grade 1 - B
Grade 2 - D+
Nice review. I had never even heard of that game until now. I'll keep an eye out for it if I ever run across it.
It's supposed to be a refreshing and solid Star Trek outing (compared to the recent titles... ugh) and is set in the original timeline.
This time, though, it's going to focus more on action and less on character... much like the original Gameboy game you were referring to!
[QUOTE=Alienblue I think you should say "people who dislike RPG & Strategy elements" may not like this, because the ACTION is very limited. Not that this is a terrible game, just thought you should point out it's not for all gaming tastes. Nice review though.[/QUOTE]
He did point that out. He even gave 2 reviews; one for people who like action games, and one for people who are okay with slow-paced games.
As I said good review.
[QUOTE] That's a necessary evil for a trek game since, unlike star WARS, TREK is more cerebral and more about character then action[/QUOTE]
When you say that it implies that the plots to star trek episodes are in some way deep. They really aren't nor are the characters. This is especially bad in the last few series, now I quite enjoy the original trek. To an extent anyway I've always been a Dr.who fan myself as far as TV goes. But anyway, I would be hard pressed to think of any characters or plots outside of the classic series that you could call at all cerebral. Honeslty I think dull describes TNG and voyager better than anything, never saw more than an episode or two of DS9. Sorry this is so off topic, but it's rare on this site to ever have a good chat abotu sci-fi stuff.