Star Trek Month - Star Trek 25th Anniversary (NES)

Star Trek 25th Anniversary - NES

"Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his was the most... human." - Admiral James T. Kirk, Star Trek 2: Wrath of Khan

I had delayed the posting of this final article due to the passing of Leonard Nemoy happening on the same day I had planned on finishing up Star Trek month.  There isn't a whole lot I can say about him as I never met him or seen him at comic or sci-fi conventions.  He is and will always be Mr. Spock to me.  A man who was trying to find the balance between logic and being human.  Outside of acting he was also a very accomplished director and writer for the movies.

To this day Star Trek 4 is still one of my top 3rd favorite Star Trek film after First Contact and Wrath of Khan.  He wrote and directed it and it moved at a pace that didn't feel like a sci-fi movie but it was a welcomed change.  After some brief cameos in The Next Generation he took a break but returned later to cameo in both the last Star Trek films(the second one being the last time he acted as Spock).  He even lent his voice as Mr. Spock once more for Star Trek Online narrating the first several chapters of the game.

However it is now a somber experience to bring you the last game for Star Trek month.  Star Trek 25th Anniversary is the first major star trek game to focus on the Original Series and allowed us to control the trio of Kirk, Spock and McCoy as they travel the galaxy in search of adventure and the final frontier.

Star Trek for the NES does have many great thing going for it.  The graphics is obviously the star attraction as certain scenes capture the look and feel of the Original Series.  The caricatures of the crew, especially Kirk and Spock during the elevator dialogue scenes are surprising and seem to push the boundaries of the system.  The set of the bridge as it rotates to each crew member like Ohura or Scotty replicates its nicely.  Now the worlds that you run around and explore look like generic standard NES graphics but with some refinement similar to what Sunsoft has managed to do with their games on the system.  The multiple environments all look nicely detailed and have a lot going on.  grass sways, lights and consoles blink in underground labs, city streets and bar look grimy and run down.

Unfortunately the music in the game isn't as well received.  It get kind of grating early on once you beam down to your first planet.  High pitch whirls and whistles fill your ears and make you want to turn down the TV.  In 1992, most of the developers managed to make some amazing music in their games with the limited audio the system offered.  The sound effects are also just a bunch of generic buzzes, and bops and what not that you've heard in so many other games.  Nothing to really get you excited for playing this game.

One thing I do remember about the NES version of the 25th Anniversary was how fast paced its gameplay was.  The main part of the game is the free roaming adventure areas where you can control the trio and interact with just about anything.  You can have Spock scan carious items to identify, combat various dangerous lifeforms and solve various puzzles.  The quests involved a multitude of things ranging from reactivating old technology to acquire Dilithium crystals to freeing the infamous Harry Mudd to acquire an item.  There's quite a lot to do.

Unfortunately there were some drawbacks on the game, mostly the combat.  During away missions, firing your phasing at a target was very difficult due to the angle you fired at.  You literally had to get yourself in harms way multiple times just to get a single shot in.  There's also the lack of space combat because there is only one space battle in the entire game.  A very slow and clumsy battle against a Romulan Warbird.  On top of that its very diffucult and you are going to do the battle a few times before besting the Romulan ship.

Overall I found that I enjoyed the premise of the game the most.  The Enterprise was slingshot to a far off vector in space and have to scavenge enough Dilithium crystals to make the voyage home.  The plot device apparently centers around a planet called Sigma Iotia where the population is living like 1940's mafia lifestyle because a previous starship left a book about the mob many years before.  Well somewhere went wrong on a visit there for the Enterprise and now the crew had to find their way back to the planet to fix whatever happened.

That pretty much boils down to what the game is about really.  Its a surprisingly decent game that with a little fine tuning and better music, could have been great.  The atmosphere is there and the personalities of the Enterprise crew is captured perfectly in all their 8 bit glory.  If you ever want to check the game out, it is easy to get your hands on and its very affordable. I got my complete boxed copy off eBay recently for $20.

And with that, Star Trek Month comes to an end.  Thank you all so much for reading and stay tuned for more stuff in the future. Live Long and Prosper.

No comments: