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"A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away..." is the mantra of the famous original Star Wars trilogy. The main emphasis in Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter is the space-based dog fighting in that far away galaxy — part of the reason for the series' success. As you begin the many missions of the game, you're introduced to the fighting abilities of your ship via a training mode. After you master this aspect, you're able to move on to the battles and combat situations.
In Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, you choose to be an Imperial or Rebel pilot. Either side has a variety of different ships from which to choose. In addition to the familiar X-Wing and TIE Fighters, there are a few more spacecraft available that might not be as well known. Fly solo and take on the Imperial Empire or Rebel Alliance by yourself or join a game over the Internet to compete in dog fights with others! You can also host your own game and wait for other gamers to join you.
The two factions each have separate missions. After choosing which side to play, there are five different options: Exercise, Melee, Tournament, Combat and Battles. Exercise takes you on training missions to hone your skills prior to engaging in battles. Melee combat simulations are designed as arenas in which pilots test their abilities against one another. This mode supports one player or up to eight in multi-player mode. Tournaments combine three or five melee missions and are designed to find the greatest all-around pilot. The pilot or team that scores the most points wins, just as in melee combat. If you're more interested in the missions depicted in the Star Wars movies, Combat mode fits the bill. It follows the original situations where the Rebel Alliance is up against the Imperial fleet in certain missions. These are single missions that include hit-and-fade attacks, raids, convoy escorts, support of boarding operations and capital ship engagements. Lastly, Battle mode is a combination of three or four combat missions with two battles available from which to choose: Quick Strike and Imperial Fleet Operation or Clean Sweep.
The many ships available include the TIE Fighter, TIE Interceptor, TIE Advanced, TIE Bomber, Assault Gunboat, X—Wing, A-Wing, Z-95 Interceptor and Y-Wing, the latter four being Rebel ships and the other five Imperial. Every ship has basic front lasers as well as warheads, beam weapons and countermeasures. Warheads include Concussion Missiles, Advanced Missiles, Mag Pulse, Proton Torpedoes, Advanced Torpedoes, Heavy Rockets and Space Bombs. Decoy, tractor and jamming beam weapons are also available while countermeasures are either chaff or flare.
In addition to weapons control, the crafts have a plethora of shield, power, throttle, steering and wingman commands. During combat, you can adjust your speed, increase shields and direct your wingmen. In multi-player games, an option is available to communicate with gamers playing on your side. ~ Nick Woods, All Game Guide