Lo! This quite-excellent news may have passed you by a week ago as it did me, so here as a public service, I offer you last week’s news: Stardock Corporation have acquired, from Atari, the rights to classic but never incredibly popular space fun franchise Star Control! They then immediately announced “now that we at long last own the rights to Star Control we’re figuratively burying it right beside that E.T. game which nobody also played but someone you know claims they did and you punched them for it. That was the right thing to do. Punch all liars!” Okay, I kid, they didn’t say that! Who ever would? No video game corporation is that evil.
Oft maligned, sometimes beloved, but only rarely punched creators of Fences, WindowBlinds, and I guess games that maybe people cared about Galactic Civilizations and Elemental, to name a couple, want you to know that they’re
rebooting revitalizing fuck it there’s no good way to say it making anew (that’ll work!) the cultishly well-liked Star Control franchise; specifically: “looking at Star Control II as a major source of inspiration.”
“Yesssss!!!” – Said seventy-six people on the internet (two on dial-up).
If you don’t know what Star Control is, or more relevantly, what Star Control II is,
[insert pretentious joke] you’re normal! If you do, I’ve got bad news for you: first, welcome back from your coma. Star Trek was right, we all talk into pieces of plastic at each other. Also, right before you went into your coma, they released a Director’s Cut of Blade Runner and it’s wayyyyy better! Oh, and remember how the Maple Leafs were just getting really good? Yeah, they still haven’t won a Cup since ’67. And their current coach probably has more brain damage than you. You missed Pogs too, but that was just a flash in the pan anyway. Oh, the bad news, right: you’ve missed 20 years. Everything you ever knew is completely different, but kind of the same. Except Nintendo, they’re exactly the same, so you’re up to speed on them.
But of course the eclectic and brainy denizens of Tap-Repeatedly all know what Star Control II is, so that entire last paragraph was just self-indulgent rubbish. All you need know is that the people who have made some pretty good space games are making anew (it’ll catch on) the Velvet Underground of space games. Really, in my humble opinion this is a much more tantalizing make-anew (going to have to work on that one) than, say, XCOM/X-Com/X-COM. Mostly because most Real Computer Game Playing Folk would tell you that “the best computer game of all time is 1994’s UFO: Enemy Unknown, also known as X-Com: UFO Defense.” Whereas regarding Star Control II they might say “it’s ninety-sixth” or “what is Star Control Two?” or “how about those Blue Jays? I think they will be winning the next four or five World Series, don’t you know.” It’s like how things that are precious should never have direct sequels (Shadow of the Colossus!) and things that are pretty darn average or just not all that well known should get sequels/make-anews (Star Control II!)
The renewed (anew / renew, that one’s perfect!) franchise will have its development begun this year, but Stardock is not committing to any release date just yet. Which is probably wise. Stardock shouldn’t commit to things, or tell people things. They should just do things and say “look, we’ve done that,” so that we can then be like “yes, I see you have. I shall investigate your doings.”
Condensed, too long & did not read version: Stardock’s full news release here.
Virtually punch the author of this news recap at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hooray! This is good news. I remember Star Control II. Of course, I called it “Star Control,” because that’s what they called it on the Sega Genesis. Stardock could take a lot of paths here, all of them tantalizing. Will they do a big update and polish, turning it into a tactical-combat intensive 4X? Or will the go retro and Kickstart a small, modest, Unity-powered game that’s light enough to run in a browser but keeps the old-skool Star Control flava?
I don’t know! But both would be good.
I never got into Star Control II much – by the time I played it, not that far back, it showed its age, and I have a notorious aversion to games that are too sandboxy – but this is still welcome news. I think the formula can be modernized somewhat in some really good ways, and if they keep it essentially what it was it’ll be in its own little niche, more or less.
Also, Pogs. Not a flash in the pan. Pogs are LIFE.
Whaddaya mean never popular? Star Control 2 was a big hit! At least from what I recall. It was a LOT of fun.
And “relaunching” is the verb you wanted.
Now if someone just will bring back Starflight.
long live the Vux!
So the new game will be called “Star Control 3: Aliens Ruin Your Shit,” right? ‘Cause I just started The Ur-Quan Masters and my shit was totally ruined by aliens.
So I thought I’d look at the manual for helpful and along with some helpful stuff about the various types of weapons I also found this passage, quoted verbatim: “The Space Melee mode that you’ve been losing at is set by default to ‘You Suck’ mode, in which the AI plays at the level of an arthritic baby. There is also ‘Shit-Ruiner’ mode, where your opponent hits EVERY TIME and uses crazy gravity-whipping strategies you cannot even DREAM OF. This is the mode that the full game uses.”
Seems like a great game, though!
That’s my sort of news delivery xtal! Laughed a few times through that!
I have no experience with Star Control; I dabbled with the open source Ur Quan Masters and was amazed at how… lively it felt, all these years later. It’s one I still want to play but it’ll have to fight off S.P.A.Z. and Space Rangers 2: Reboot. Of the three Space Rangers will probably get my vote with Ur Quan Masters being second.
As for Toys for Bob, they went on to develop the underrated Unholy War on the Playstation (which I want to do a My Idea of Fun on) and, later, the money-pit Skylanders.