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The graphics and sound fluctuate. The pix are sharp overall, but the first-person view-screen visuals lack pizzazz. The soundtrack's repetitive Star Trek movie theme will drive you crazy. Trekkers will enjoy this Academy, but only for a semester or two.
Alas, even though the programmers sneakily confined the action to a "viewscreen" that's less than half the size of a TV screen, the gameplay still slows down too much for my liking. Sloppy programming or the wimpy "32-bit" hardware? Ya gotta wonder. The verdict: a shooter for Star Trek weenies only.
As in the Super NES version, Starfleet Academy has many options, scenarios and a simulator to practice your battling techniques and miniscenarios. This game does not exploit the capabilities pf the 32X - I was expecting more out of the graphics and sound. The game would be better off if there was music and cleaner graphics. Overall, Trekkies might find it enjoyable because of the familiar sights and sounds from the popular series, but once again, I was expecting more.
Can you believe it? Two 32X games in the same issue? You'd think someone bought the thing. 32X's graphics and sound capabilities are used effectively here, unfortunately this game is boring. Trek geeks can test themselves in a number of areas to see if they have what it takes to dawn the uniform of a Starfleet officer. Yawn. They should make fewer Star Trek and more Star Wars games.
Overall this is a pretty poor game. The ambition was there, but they just didn't seem to know how to put it all together and make a game out of it. It's still good as a waste of time if you're a serious Trekkie, though if you are you've probably played the PC version which is actually a good game that I'll recommend well before telling you to spend your money on this. Starfleet Academy: Starship Bridge Simulator was an overall disappointment and could've been much more than just a simple port had they put any effort into it. Even with its moments of nostalgia it's still one of the reasons why a black cloud hangs over the Star Trek video game franchise.
At heart, this is a glorified Star Raiders clone with better graphics but far worse gameplay. You have access to layers of menus with all sorts of data and instrumentation, but only a geek versed in Star Trek techno-babble could digest any of this garbage. The first person shooting "action" is painfully dull. The enemy ships are fully 3D, but their movements are sluggish and the AI is idiotic. Being an academic environment, there's also opportunity to meet and socialize with your fellow space cadets. Here I stumbled upon the single redeeming feature of the game: a pool table! That right, you can challenge classmates to a game a pool, which is by far the highlight of this cartridge. The pool balls are huge but they rotate nicely and the game is easy to play. As you can deduce, Starfleet Academy really isn't much of a game. It's probably the worst 32X title I've come across.