Monday, February 12, 2007

Kahhn!!! The Star Trek Legacy review

Multicultural space cowboys who battle fierce aliens, seek out new life and civilizations, have cool gadgets and seduce curvaceous green babes while boldly going where no one has gone before. That’s “Star Trek,” one of the greatest and most popular television shows of all time and one of my personal favorites.
Like millions of other Trekkies, I’ve been following the exploits of the Federation since getting hooked on original series reruns as a kid. Now this amazing universe is available in video game form in “Star Trek Legacy.”
As a fan I’m excited about playing a Trek game but as a gamer who knows the poor history of television shows turned into games (see “Starsky & Hutch”, “Dukes of Hazzard”) I’m a little leery.
So is the game any good? As Mr. Spock would say, it would be illogical not to pick up this title.
In “Legacy,” gamers play as the five main Trek captains (Archer, Kirk, Picard, Sisko, and Janeway) that cover the timeline of the series. As you would expect, the plot is vintage Trek. Its complicated, involves the Borg and neatly ties the franchises together.
Game play consists mostly of starship battles, lots of them. You’ll trade shots with Romulan, Klingon and Borg ships but the combat is much more complicated than just shooting photon torpedoes at an enemy. “Legacy” is about tactical combat, controlling one to four ships to fight as a group. This game requires more brain than brawn.
“Legacy’s” game play does have a very steep learning curve (a lot of ships to control, always diverting power and making repairs, ships maneuver slowly) but if you’re willing to be patient the payoff is worth it. Getting to be a participant in massive battles with phasers blasting away, taking heavy damage and starships filling the sky is impressive.
The game presentation is solid with nice graphics, particularly the starships, but where “Legacy” really excels is with its audio. The sound effects are authentic Trek, and the five captains from the show provide their vocal talents for the game but not their likenesses (sorry, no shots of William Shatner squeezing into a Starfleet uniform).
Online play is also available, giving you a chance to test your skills against other Trekkies. Its not very deep and doesn’t offer too many options but its still a lot of fun.
While “Legacy” warps deep into the Trek universe, it does have one very annoying flaw. The levels are way too long, lasting between 30 - 60 minutes. This wouldn’t be so bad if you could save during a mission but that’s not an option, you either beat the level or play through it all over again. Yikes!
But hey, who cares about a poor save feature when you get the chance to cruise outer space with Picard and Kirk? It sure doesn’t bother this Trek fan. Now if you’ll excuse me, Data needs me in transporter room 3.
Star Trek Legacy
Cost: $39.99 - $59.99
Players: 1-2 (4 online)
Formats: PC, Xbox 360
Category: Space Combat Sim
Rating: E 10+ (Everyone 10 and up)
Grade: A
Terry’s Top 5 Star Trek Quotes
1. Spock: Logic dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
2. Khan: Ah, Kirk, my old friend. Do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? [dramatic pause] It is very cold in space.
3. Kirk: Kahhnnn!!!
4. Scotty: I canna change the laws of physics!
5. McCoy: I’m a doctor not a (bricklayer, psychiatrist, mechanic, engineer, scientist, escalator, magician, coal miner).

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