For me, this defined Star Wars...
I got this game in Christmas '96 when I was a whole lot younger, and it's something I'll always remember. I'd wanted this game for 2 years, having obtained the demo version from a magazine. It was worth the wait (although I wish I hadn't had to), and I ended up ruining that Christmas by playing it the entire day! Didn't get far, of course. It betters X-Wing in a fair few aspects (I got this before X-Wing), and it is very appealing to take the side of the ''bad guys'', so to speak. You get a far wider range of craft selection in this game, from the standard TIE Fighter to the futuristic Missile Boat. The new speech effects in-game are enjoyable and provide yet another sense of "realism" to this fantasy universe.
I feel the game tagged off a bit when you begin to fight traitors in every mission. It gets fairly confusing fighting craft that appear to be one of yours, yet you end up getting a laser going straight through your engine.
The sound effects in this game are relatively poor, apart from the voices. I have to say I much preferred X-Wings 'classic Star Wars' sound effects. The game can also crash, and the sound gets stuck, resulting in a required reboot.
The Bottom Line
There are bad things, as with many games, but this game is brilliant. I recommend the Collectors Edition for people who have not yet obtained this game. The 'more realistic' version that comes with X-Wing/TIE FIghter and X-Wing VS Tie Fighter Limited Edition is not worth the hassle. It requires a fairly fast pc with at least Win95 to run properly, which is a very unlikely combination in this day and age, so I strongly advise getting the original editions.
This game defined Star Wars for me, and it's not too late for it to do that to you.