If Star Wars was in the dictionary, it's definition would probably read something like this:
(n) 1. Series of science fiction films created by director George Lucas. 2. License to print money for spin-off merchandise.
Yep, as that's the way it is with a lot of us game players that are fans of games and the movies, especially since this Star Wars game in particular isn't that great.
There was a guy who had one of the many "how to win at video games"-types of books and a newspaper column in the 80s. The one in particular that I'm referring to here was Michael Blanchett (I think his name was). When the internet was barely around during that time (and pretty much no one had it in their homes), and before it became commonplace to be able to rent videos, much less video games, Blanchett once had a guide on how best to try to save your money as far as buying home console games, which your best bet was to try games out first before buying them, although sometimes a game that seemed pretty cool to play in a store could have that coolness wear off after only a few hours of having it at home.
That was the way with Star Wars Arcade for me, since it seemed pretty neat at Funcoland, but I should have listened to all the video game critics (except for one) who slammed the game back then (which I'll get to that later).
Especially since, once I got it home and started watching the demo, watching a polygon graphic version of a re-creation of the first scene of the movie with the Blockade Runner being pursued by a Star Destroyer was a bad indication of how the rest of the game would be: back then, there was a problem with polygons (I don't know what the term of it was), which caused them to shift around a lot. Yep, the entire back of the Star Destroyer suddenly shifted and changed during it's pursuit. Not a good sign...
As far as the game itself goes, the majority of it involves shooting a certain number of T. I. E. Fighters before time runs out during a wave. Being another bad sign is having Admiral Ackbar ("ack" indeed!) from The Return of the Jedi giving you a mission briefing, yet *I* can do a better imitation of Ackbar than whatever voice actor they hired for this job did. Worse was (for me, anyway) when I discovered that there was NO way to change your controller setting, which is pathetic, since every other flight simulator/cockpit-viewed game I've played for my Sega Genesis (so far) allows you to change the controls, in case you can't handle the flipped flight simulation setup (unless there's some secret to do this that I don't know about).
At least the game moves pretty quick, though, providing a challenge for a while...well, unless the shifting of polygons distracts you too much, a glitch or something causes, at times, T. I. E. Fighters to vanish into thin air, and then the controls being too sensitive and the animation being very jumpy makes it difficult to see what's coming at you, which either destroys you, your shields, or has you careening into a wall (like during a Death Star round) as you avoid enemy fire, if you can see it in the first place (which knocks out another shield).
An obvious comparison would be to the Star Wars Rebel Strike game for the Sega CD, which all SWA (which is what I'm abbreviating this from now on) has over it is that it runs much faster and has better sound, but Rebel Strike was much better (and it wasn't that great to begin with), since it gave you different things to do (rather than just shooting T. I. E. fighters the whole time here; how one-dimensional), had many more sound effects and had a much more classic look to it, rather than using goofy-looking (at times) polygons.
Granted, to be fair, several of the things I mentioned before -- Ackbar's voice, slight graphic problems -- have just been nit-picky things. However, things get to be a REAL mess once you start your attack on the Death Star, which you're faced with massive slowdowns and you can't see what the hell is going on, ending the last of your lives real quick. Good luck trying to get past THAT wave!
So, in other words, just playing the same few waves over and over doesn't make this a very good game; they're going to get old.
Now, as I mentioned earlier about the bad reviews I read from several gaming mags from back when it was first released (except for one), for some reason, time has been kind to SWA: for some reason when I've seen threads on video game forums in regards to "what 32X games are good/should I buy?", I've seen this game recommended several times. Can't say I ever chimed in my vote for it on those types of threads, but oh well; 32X games are either fairly cheap or fairly expensive, depending on who you talk to, or how well (or not) e-bay is treating you. So all I can say on this matter is don't spend too much for it, and you really shouldn't bother, unless you're a huge Star Wars fan and/or you're trying to obtain all the 32X games possible (good luck with THAT one!! What's that real hard/expensive to get 32X European-only game, Darkxide?).
One last thing: as far as an arcade conversion goes, part of my game ranking is usually in regards to how close an adaption for the game was. But since the majority of the Sega Star Wars games (not the later-released Sega Star Wars Trilogy) went to Japan only, I can't rate the game in comparison to the original arcade version, since I never saw it anywhere over here. All I have is this game to go on, and I didn't like it too much.
Other than that, there's several good Star Wars games that have come out over the years on various platforms, so you're better off with one of those instead. 5/10