emnii's Colony Wars (PlayStation) review

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  • emnii has written a total of 14 reviews. The last one was for Red Faction II

LASERS! IN! SPACE!

 

This is one I started before, and just now finished. Except that Colony Wars was one of the first games I ever owned on Playstation, so really it's taken me about 10 years to finish it.

I got Colony Wars way back when it was new to complement my new Dual Analog controller. This was before the days when it was the Dual Shock, and the analog sticks had indents on top rather than rubber domes. I still have this controller because it's probably my favorite one. The grips on it are larger than the grips on a Dual Shock, much more like the revised Xbox controller's grips. The controller fits better in a larger, adult pair of hands. Enough about the controller though.

Colony Wars has branching missions, which is rare. With a couple exceptions, you get three tries to finish an act. If you fail all three, you take the bad branch. It's not game over, it's an easier set of missions with a more subdued tone, since you're not good enough to complete the prior set. The League doesn't make as much progress but you get to keep playing. If you pass two of the three, you get the good branch. The missions are harder and the League does better on their goal towards freedom.

Way back when I got this game the first time, I couldn't bear to lose a mission and get sent to the bad branch. So after the first couple acts, I quit playing because the game only lets you save between acts and I didn't have the patience to play the missions over and over until I beat all three. I ended up trading the game in.

A couple years ago I found it and both of its' sequels at Game Exchange. Overwhelmed with nostalgia, I bought all three. It turns out I'm a much better pilot or grasped the gameplay mechanics better this time around, as I basically breezed through the game until the last set of missions. Once again, my inability to let failure win took over and I put the game down.

This weekend I decided that enough was enough and it's time to finish it. I didn't get the best ending but I got the second best ending, which is the ending considered canon in the sequel. There aren't many Playstation space dogfighting games but even in the face of other games of the genre, Colony Wars holds up. The graphics are good (for the platform) and the missions are fun. Sounds are good, and voice overs are well done. Of particular note, James Earl Jones does the voice of the narrator between acts and gives the somewhat trite storyline justice.

 Overall, this is one worth adding to the collection if you're a space dogfighter fan or just a fan of good PSX action games.
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