By Tom Chick
I'm not exactly an authority on Star Trek. Two quick anecdotes to illustrate this: 1)
Once during a trivia game, a multiple choice question came up:
"Spock is what race?"
I picked Klingon from the list.
2) Once I was supposed to interview some guy named Terry
Farrell about doing voice work on a Deep Space Nine game, but
it fell through. I mentioned
this to an acquaintance who said, "Man, I would have loved
to have done that -- Terry Farrell is almost as hot as Jerry Ryan!"
This led me to make certain conclusions about his proclivity
that culminated in an embarrassing incident in which I tried to
set him up with a friend of mine from Hollywood named Giles.
I have learned from my mistakes that
Terry and Jeri are chicks and that Spock is a Romulan.
But this doesn't mean I'm any less of a Starfleet Command
fan. While waiting for
the release of Starfleet Command II, I have studied up on Star
Trek so I can appreciate the game better. For instance, those of you unfamiliar with Star Trek may not know
that the first interracial kiss on TV was an episode of Star Trek
when Kirk kissed some green alien woman.
It was an important step in achieving unity between whites
Back to the Academy
I start Starfleet Command II by
running through the tutorials.
The tactical ship-to-ship combat looks and plays almost
exactly like Starfleet Command I, which is a good thing.
But the interface is as obtuse as ever with wildly scattered
hotkeys and tiny buttons arranged so only a Starfleet Command
geek like me can find them. Fortunately,
everything's in pretty much the same place they left it last game.
The graphics look as good as they
ever did. The damage textures on battered ships are a
nice treat for the times you take a break from squinting at the
tiny buttons. The ships
look sharper when you zoom in tight -- something you'd never actually
do in a game, but it's nice to know it's there in case you want
to impress someone else in the room.
The updated engine supposedly sports some fancy new effects
that might also impress someone else in the room.
A few lessons into the tutorial,
I realize I know all this stuff and I'm ready to for the heart
of the game -- the campaign.
Quick point of interest: some of the voicework in the tutorials
is done by the actor who played Sulu. For those of you unfamiliar with Star Trek,
Sulu is the Scottish engineer played by DeFerret Nimoy, who recently
had a baby and then died tragically.
He was infamous for wearing a hairpiece.
Actually, Sulu might be the black woman who had something
in her ear. I'm pretty sure it's one of those two.
Now with Dynaverse 2! (almost)