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Star Control 3

aka: Star Control: Kessari Quadrant, Star Control: The Kessari Quadrant

[ All ] [ DOS ] [ Macintosh ] [ Windows ]

Critic Reviews 68% add missing review

Coming Soon Magazine (91 out of 100) (91%)

Since the announcement of its development in 1995, the third title in the Star Control series has quickly risen on top of the most awaited sequels among other hype titles such as Falcon 4.0, Lands of Lore 2 and Privateer 2: The Darkening. Not only were people anxiously looking forward to this first collaboration between Legend Entertainment (the developer) and Accolade, but also the series' aficionados who were eager to fling themselves into new perilous adventures across the galaxy. But let's reassure them both, Star Control 3 is worth the wait, and once again, it will draw you into its epic universe.

Oct 1996 · DOS · read review

PC Games (A-) (91%)

Overall, Star Control 2 was funnier, more colorful game, but Star Control 3 supplies a superior gaming engine, excellent online help (including a tracking system for hints), a sophisticated strategy-based colony system, fine Super VGA artwork, and far better game balance. Internal comparisons aside, Star Control 3 is a delightfully challenging game that's sure to please fans of the series and newcomers alike.

Dec 1996 · DOS

PC Player (Denmark) (91 out of 100) (91%)

Star Control 3 er gennemarbejdet, originalt og morsomt på de rette steder, og det er det, der skal til for at lave et godt spil.

1997 · DOS

GameSpot (9 out of 10) (90%)

Doogs, Ktangs, Spathis,… Daktaklakpaks? After playing Star Control 3 for a few hundred hours, these will be household names to you. In fact, the four interstellar races mentioned above are but a few of the motley cast of characters that you're either allying with or warring against in this epic space oddity. And Star Control 3 is a vast oddity, integrating real-time strategy and action elements with the exploratory playability of an adventure title into one game. It may take up eons of play time to finally solve, but one thing's for sure: you will become absorbed in the Star Control universe that unfurls before you.

Oct 3rd, 1996 · DOS · read review

RPGFan (86 out of 100) (86%)

Although it isn't spectacular by today's standards, Star Control 3 is a good game in all categories, even if I didn't want to give it that. However, it earned its score in all of them, despite my cries to give it otherwise. Overall, SC3 gets an (Uhmmm… think, think…) 86%. Yeah, that'll do.

Sep 17th, 2000 · DOS · read review

Game Revolution (B+) (83%)

In all Star Control 3 is a good game that maintains the excitement and feeling that made it's predecessors classics, while adding enough improvements to insure it's niche in gaming history.

Jun 5th, 2004 · DOS · read review

Gameplay (Benelux) (83 out of 100) (83%)

We kunnen alleen maar hopen dat 'Star Control 4' een meer geavanceerde combat interface, een beter uitgewerkte kolonie-managementsysteem en geen domme Ethnics Council meer heeft. Dan wordt het vast en zeker het spel van de eeuw.

Feb 1st, 1997 · DOS

Privat Computer PC (82 out of 100) (82%)

Star Control 3 er et originalt, men ikke 100% frisk bud p√• en genre, der ellers domineres af meget seri√łse spil. Det er nemlig ikke s√• charmerende som Star Control 2.

1996 · DOS

Power Play (81 out of 100) (81%)

An jeder noch so kleinen Stelle Dialog merkt man, da√ü hier nichts dem Zufall √ľberlassen wurde. Ihr werdet nicht nur pr√§chtig unterhalten, sondern mehr als einmal mit psychologischen Kniffen in Versuchung gebracht, die Seiten zu wechseln. Mit seinen genau austarierten Spielanteilen Adventure, Action und Wirtschaft wirkt ‚ÄúStar Control 3 zu keiner Zeit langweilig, sondern verf√ľhrt euch eher dazu, die Maus nicht mehr aus der Hand zu legen. Alles, was an den beiden Erstlingen nervte (Orbit ansteuern, umst√§ndlicher Rohstoffabbau) wurde konsequent verbessert oder gek√ľrzt. Alles, was ihr in der Vergangenheit lieb gewonnen habt (vertraute Rassen, Lieblings-Kampfschiffe) ist wieder mit von der Partie und wurde mit neuen Charakteren und Technologien angereichert. Bis auf einige Situationen, bei denen ihr unvermittelt vor dem Game Over stehen k√∂nnt, macht das nur Pluspunkte f√ľr den renovierten Klassiker.

Nov 1996 · DOS

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (80%)

To some gamers, the different elements of gameplay will be a welcome change, and those with an open mind might find themselves totally engrossed by the STAR CONTROL story, the hilarious dialogue, the great character interaction and even the fun Hyper Melee module. The strategy element tends to bog down at times, and adventure game purists will probably be too frustrated with this module to continue playing. But If you take this game for what it is, and don't restrict it to the classic definition of an adventure game, then you'll discover a truly stellar experience.

Dec 1996 · DOS

World Village (Gamer's Zone) ( ) (80%)

Disappointing music aside, SC3 is a quality recreation of the now-classic galactic romp: Star Control II. The combination of spoken voice and puppets lends a cinematic feel to the game. Though the game is short, I had too much fun to notice. Still, Legend's spin adds nothing noteworthy to a proven formula and, in a few places, falls short of Reiche and Ford's masterwork. Star Control 3 is, however, one of the better games to appear on the shelves this year.

1996 · DOS · read review

PC Action (Germany) (80 out of 100) (80%)

Veteranen aus den ersten beiden Teilen werden Star Control 3 lieben. Genre-Freaks k√∂nnten hingegen entt√§uscht sein, da es sich um kein gew√∂hnliches Adventure handelt. Jedoch ist die Story nach wie vor un√ľbertroffen. Bereits nach kurzer Einspielphase hat es einen gepackt, und bis man ein Star Control durchgespielt hat, vergehen Wochen.

Nov 1996 · DOS

Computer Gaming World (CGW) ( ) (80%)

To some gamers, the different elements of gameplay will be a welcome change, and those with an open mind might find themselves totally engrossed by the STAR CONTROL story, the hilarious dialogue, the great character interaction and even the fun Hyper Melee module. The strategy element tends to bog down at times, and adventure game purists will probably be too frustrated with this module to continue playing. But If you take this game for what it is, and don't restrict it to the classic definition of an adventure game, then you'll discover a truly stellar experience.

Dec 1996 · Windows

PC Games (Germany) (78 out of 100) (78%)

Guter Nachfolger f√ľr einen wahren Klassiker. Zwar handelt es sich bei Star Control nicht um ein perfektes Spiel; insbesondere die Schw√§chen in dem neuentwickelten Schlachtensystem, zu Beginn der Story und im Design der Aliens fallen gleich ins Auge, dennoch entpuppt sich das Spiel bei genauerem Hinsehen als lohnenswerte Investition. Einsteiger sollten sich auf eine steile Lernkurve einstellen, Veteranen werden sich hingegen gleich wie zu Hause f√ľhlen. Gyper Melee, der schnelle, actionorientierte Flottenkrieg, steht sowohl im Einzel- als auch im Multiplayer-Modus zur Verf√ľgung. Star Control 3 ist mehr als eine Summe seiner Teile und hinterl√§√üt einen √ľberdurchschnittlich guten Gesamteindruck.

Nov 1996 · DOS

Gamezilla (70 out of 100) (70%)

Star Control 3 was sort of a letdown for me, primarily in the adventure game portion. If you really work at it, the game can be won in 5 hours (forget any long nights and lost sleep), and it's really quite anti-climactic. After all, I didn't buy the game so I could play hyper-melee; I have Star Control 1 and 2 for that. I was hyped about the adventure game, which fell dramatically short of my expectations. The races were shallow and did not interact with each other very much, not to mention the flat storyline and dull ending. I guess it's my new $40 hyper-melee game. In the end, I must give Star Control 3 a 70 out of 100 for a short, flat adventure game with some redeeming graphics. I sure hope Accolade comes out with another Star Control game soon. I'm still a loyal fan with hopes of a more exciting, interesting installment to come.

1996 · DOS · read review

PC Joker (62 out of 100) (62%)

F√ľr den dritten Teil der SF-Saga wurden Alienmasken gebastelt und vor dem Bluescreen gefilmt ‚Äď blo√ü, um an Ende Videosequenzen zu haben, die auch nicht √ľberzeugender wirken als die gezeichneten Portr√§ts des Vorg√§ngers. Ansonsten geht es wieder darum, in einem Mix aus Adventure, Strategie, Action und Wirtschaftssimulation das Universum zu retten. Absolute Highlights sind dabei einmal mehr die sarkastischen Dialoge mit den Au√üerirdischen (alte ‚ÄěStarflight‚Äú-Kapit√§ne werden sich gleich zu Hause f√ľhlen), w√§hrend die Steuerung manchmal etwas umst√§ndlich arbeitet.

Dec 1996 · DOS · read review

Gamesmania.de (60 out of 100) (60%)

Ein Name wie Star Control macht den Eindruck als ob es da riesige Raumschiffe, exotische au√üerirdische Wesen und m√§chtige galaktische Imperien geben w√ľrde, aber in Wirklichkeit ist Star Control ein altes Arcade-√§hnliches Spiel mit zus√§tzlichen Spezialeffekten. Wenn Du schon mal so lange nicht mehr auf der Szene warst, dann ist die R√ľckkehr schon schwierig, und wenn Du dann wieder zur√ľck auf die B√ľhne kommst, dann funktionieren die alten Tricks, die uns auch mal gefallen haben, eben nicht mehr.

1996 · DOS · read review

Mac Addict ( ) (60%)

Star Control 3 has a multiplayer mode; it's limited to Hyper Melee. Fight friends on the same keyboard, or over a modem, serial, or network connection. Star Control 3, although dated, proves entertaining for fans of the series or gamesters who like interactive adventures without total strategic conquest. Sometimes less is more.

Aug 1998 · Macintosh · read review

Reset (5 out of 10) (50%)

Gra nie naleŇľy do pozycji, do kt√≥rych z przyjemnoŇõcińÖ powraca sińô po jakimŇõ czasie. Daje sińô wyczuńá brak bardziej rozwinińôtego wńÖtku strategiczno-ekonomicznego, na kt√≥rym STAR CONTROL 3 z pewnoŇõcińÖ bardzo by zyskaŇā.

Oct 1997 · DOS · read review

PC Player (Germany) ( ) (40%)

Man sollte den potentiellen Spieler von Star Control 3 an den Stuhl fesseln, sonst rennt er weg: Mit Ausnahme der Gespr√ľche f√§hrt Accolade schlichteste Grafik auf, um sein Nadel-im-Heuhaufen-Geschehen zu verkaufen. Die Online-Hilfe nach dem n√§chsten Ziel befragen, Artefakte finden, mit Volk X reden, Schiffe upgraden - das ist so ziemlich alles, was man machen kann.

Dec 1996 · DOS

Macworld ( ) (40%)

The universe faces destruction from tears in the space-time continuum. You can save the universe by repairing the tears, but it's probably not worth the trouble. This science-fiction adventure lacks a modern game feel, with stale character interaction and clumsy fighting modes.

Feb 1999 · Macintosh · read review

Retro Spirit, The (2 out of 6) (33%)

Likevel skal spillet ha litt skryt for å inneha en del svart humor til tider. DA jeg ikke vil ut med spoilere i denne omtalen, lar jeg dette være en inspirerende side av spillet som dere får avdekke selv.

Dec 21st, 2007 · DOS · read review

MacGamer's Ledge, The (Mac Ledge) (1.5 out of 5) (30%)

Star Control 3 is an ambitious game by 1996 standards. MacSoft is to be praised for having the perseverance to port this game, and for doing a fine job with what was given. Unfortunately, I can't recommend Star Control 3 to anyone whose friendship I care about. Afraid I was being too harsh, I consulted several reviews done by PC publications in 1996. A few reviews heralded this final chapter in a groundbreaking saga, but most saw it as a disappointment, even considering its past successes. There are probably Mac gamers who are so bent on new adventure/strategy game experiences that they can overlook the difficult learning curve, glaring age, and mediocre story line to find an entertaining experience with Star Control 3. With so many other excellent offerings by MacSoft, Accolade, and others, I just don't see why anyone would want to.

Nov 28th, 1998 · Macintosh

Mac Game Gate ( ) (20%)

This game is totally pointless, a waste of money and just simply bad. Frankly, it sucks. There's no other way I could put it, it's the truth. If you want a space adventure, go for something that lasts more than 15 minutes, need I say that this don't?

1998 · Macintosh · read review

Player Reviews

An exceprt from the SC3 staff meeting...

The Good
PROJECT HEAD: Okay, staff, let's really take this alliance building, diplomacy thing full tilt on this one.

DESIGN STAFF: Sure.

The Bad
HEAD: How's the dialogue coming along?

SCRIPTWRITER: Uh... well... um... I like Juicy Fruit?

HEAD: Okay, let's rip it off straight from SC2, shall we? How's testing coming along.

RESEARCH STAFF: We've got Bob the Janitor and our pet gerbil playing SC2 right now, sir.

HEAD: And...?

RESEARCH: Bob's getting upset because the gerbil keeps beating him at HyperMelee.

HEAD: Right. Let's dumb down the artificial intelligence. Have the enemy fly in some random direction as soon as combat starts. Okay, what have we done to research the plot?

RESEARCH: We watched the "Friends" marathon.

HEAD: And?

SCRIPTWRITER: I have a secret friend.

HEAD: Sounds like that man's making progress.

DESIGN: Yes, sir. He doesn't think he's a plank anymore.

HEAD: Okay, about the plot.

RESEARCH: Well, Bob the janitor is having trouble understanding what's going on in SC2, so we figured we'd make it a little less complex.

HEAD: How much less complex?

RESEARCH: About as simple as an episode of... well...

HEAD: Let me guess, an episode of "Friends," right?

RESEARCH: Could be, yes.

SCRIPWRITER: Cheez-Wiz is the opiate of the masses.

HEAD: Comission that man to write that Star Control novel we were talking about.

RESEARCH: Ah, "Interbellum."

HEAD: And make the Spathi sound like Woody Allen!

DESIGN: We can make all the villains TOTALLY one-sided dorks!

RESEARCH: Bob's eating his 3DO controller...

HEAD: Take out all the planet exploration features!

DESIGN: BACK TO MIDI MUSIC!!!

HEAD: Create TWO WHOLE MINUTES of CG movies!

RESEARCH: We can use random goobers as voice talent!

SCRIPTWRITER: I have my own Tandy, you know.

The Bottom Line
GERBIL: This is gonna suck!

by Vance (94) on Jul 10th, 2000 · DOS

Much better than everyone wants to make you believe

The Good
In the first place this is an adventure game. The game has a superb story and you are a key player in it. The story starts out rather simple and gets more exciting with every new race and artifact you discover.

The alien races are very well made. Apart from the races you already know from Star Control 2, there are a dozen new ones, each with their own particular voice and music. The dialogs are very well written, the voice recordings are well done an the races are highly interesting.

If you played Star Control 2 (SC2), the game will tie up lots and lots of loose ends from that game. I don't know if everything that is being revealed was already decided upon in SC2 but it all ties in very well with the original story.

When you are stuck with the story, you have some sort of on board computer on your starship that will give you clues. Sometimes so many things are happening in the story that you just forget something you are meant to do and then this feature comes in handy.

The Bad
The strategy part of the game isn't anything challenging and you cannot really fail at it. Do not play this as a strategy game - you will find it very boring.

The ending is absolutely disappointing. After such an epic story, you get a short video sequence and some spoken text as you see the credits scrolling down. SC2 did much better in this regards.

There seems to be an occasion of bad event scripting in the game. I'm not sure if you can actually get stuck with the story but it can become very tiresome at one point if you didn't do something in the early game. Unfortunately this will make you want to start the game over.

The Bottom Line
The target audience for this game undoubtedly was the people that played SC2 before and it is not recommended playing it without having done so. While it is possible, lacking all the background story information from SC2 will make the game much less comprehensible.

Unfortunately, the fans of SC2 received this game very badly. The fact that it wasn't from the original creators generated a lot of bias against it even before it was released. Since it was somewhat different from SC2, most of those people saw their prejudices confirmed and didn't really give it a chance.

To me, SC2 was one of the biggest games of its time and still is today. SC3 isn't as good as it if you compare it directly, but it's very different and stays very true to the original story setting. It's less strategy and more story telling. At this it succeeds and even surpasses SC2 in my opinion.

If you found the resource collecting in SC2 tiresome at some point (I sure did) and preferred interacting with other races and being a diplomat, you will love this game.

by vulture (15) on May 1st, 2008 · DOS

A half-decent game that tends to be more tedious that entertaining.

The Good
I think the best part of the game is that it made it possible for Vance Hill to write a very humourous review on it.

Seriously, though. Unlike the other reviewers here, I have not had the oppurtunity to play either of the first two SC games (yes, GASP!). I bought this game because I've heard good things about its predeccesors, and many computer gaming magazines were very hopeful for a good game.

So, from the point of view to someone new to the series:

The concept of the game is rather good. I like the fact that they blend the different styles of adventure, strategy (to a very limited extent), and combat. Until then, I had never experienced a game that blended these things together.

I thought the back stories to all the races were positively fascinating.  Again, I hadn't had any previous experience with the SC universe, so this was all new to me.

The characters voices were fitting with the races, although a few of them tended to get annoying after a while.

 Two-player meelee can be loads of fun.  For a quick fix that doesn't have to take more than seven minutes.<br><br>**The Bad**<br>     The dialogue.  True, I liked the backstory, but everyone kept on TALKING.  I enjoy dialogue in a game, but only to a certain extent.  At the beginning of the game, it can take a while to get into because (wanting to know the gaming universe) I explored all possible conversational options with every new race I met.  And when you're talking to one race for that long of a time, interest is lost no matter WHAT they're saying.

The colony building is minimal.  It could have been so much more.  The sliders were annoying.

There is no way to prematurely end combat.  My biggest problem with combat is when the enemy tries to run away from you.  This usually happens when their shields are nearly depleted.  They stay as far from you as possible, and you have very little chance to hit them.  One time I had to wait for my opponet to plow into the nearest planet.  Whoops.

 The star map is very annoying.  Trying to find the certain solar systems you need to get to can be a pain, but luckily there is a search feature.  Similarly, with travel you need gas.  Sure this makes sense, and it might control gameplay for the first little while.  But it doesn't seem like that great of an idea when you're parked at a planet, waiting ten minutes as your gas tank slowly fills up.

On a final note, some of the events are timed.  For example, Universe X might only implode itself on Day 32, or you don't see your first talking Cow until Day 1403.  This means that even if you finish a bunch of tasks, you might not be able to progress until these days arrive.  I left my computer running while I took my dogs for a walk.  Is that what makes a thirlling game?  Inspiration to exercise?  I think not.<br><br>**The Bottom Line**<br>It had some good parts, but with so many bad parts, it's hard to reccomend.  Try and find Star Control 2 (according to the reviews I've read).  And when you find it, can you burn me a copy?  :)

by Kevin Olson (8) on Jul 12th, 2000 · DOS

Cut SC3 some slack!

The Good
I played this game for the first time recently (2004) after not having played SC1 or 2 in nearly a decade. So unlike seemingly ever other reviewer that has torn this game apart, mostly by comparison to its predecessors, I really enjoyed it! It was similar enough to the original games to give me a little nostalgia rush, yet unique enough that it was playable for its own merits. The plot reminded me a lot of StarCraft, with its twists and constantly shifting alliances, and the dialog, while a little long winded and repetitive at times, was entertaining.

The Bad
Okay, so there were holes in the game, and not just a couple of them. Colony management was glitchy, melée battles were far too easy once you acquire some of the new ships, and there were a number of minor game bugs, like planet stats not appearing correctly on some unimportant planets. And some of the game over sequences were like something out of a bad Choose Your Own Adventure Book (like when you choose to ally with the Crux, and get dropped to a death screen that says "You join the Crux. And then you die." And yes, sometimes it was tedious to wait for fuel reserves to build up. But overall, these things didn't outright ruin the game's playability, in my mind at least.

The Bottom Line
Cut the game some slack. Don't expect a masterpiece, and don't compare it to either of the original Star Control games. It's not even an Accolade game, and you can always expect some inconsistencies when a new company releases a sequel to a classic series. Just keep your expectations realistic, and enjoy the game for what it is - a bit of good simple fun.

== A RETRACTION ==

[This edit posted several months after my original review.]

Having just replayed Star Control 2 for the first time in nearly a decade, I just couldn't let my review for Star Control 3 stand without an important clarification.

StarCon 3 is almost EXACTLY like StarCon 2. Vance's review said it best. It appears that the Legend Entertainment Company LITERALLY took StarCon 2 and said to themselves, "Hey, this is a great game, and if it aint broke, don't fix it!", so they added digitized voices for each race, jazzed up the graphics and audio a touch, dumbed down the combat difficulty and AI, and re-released the all-new Star Control 2b for the next generation.

Let me emphasize this again - this game has the EXACT same plot, same storyline, suspiciously similar dialog, the same beginning, middle and end. The same goals, the same aims, the same alien races, the same ships. They renamed the Hierarchy to the Crux. Threw in a brief backstory with a one-line reference to StarCon 2 just so that people don't forget that this is supposed to be a sequel to it rather than a remake of it. But this game really is StarCon 2, revised.

Don't get me wrong, the game is still great. Of course it is, because StarCon 2 was great and this has better graphics and voiceovers! But play this as a sequel to the original Star Control, or heck, even as a standalone game. If you play the series in chronological order back to back, you are going to be left with a sour taste in your mouth when you feel like you've just played StarCon 2 through twice.

So, I correct myself - I said above, enjoy Star Control 3 on its own merits. Now I say, enjoy Star Control 3 on its own, period. Unless you prefer the nostalgia of an original game, in which case just play Star Control 2 and overlook this unimaginative remake altogether.

by Vaelor (374) on Feb 6th, 2005 · DOS

Great adventure, fascinating story - poor strategy part

The Good
The adventure part is really superb - Legend standard at its best. The character races are highly elaborated and the voice recordings are really enjoyable. I often caught myself laughing heartily while listening to the whining Spathi or abusive Vux. The story could easily pass as an award winning SF novel.

The Bad
The strategy and colonizing part is a spoiler. I resigned to cheating and edited the required resources in the save file just to get the story going. The combat section is best done in watch mode with the AI set to max for the own side. When you subsequently switch from manual to auto mode you can even select your ship and then let the CPU do the dirty work.

The Bottom Line
A fascinating, deep story worth exploring. The rest of the game design is better left unspoken...

by Wimp (65) on May 14th, 2001 · DOS

Way under-rated!

The Good
the story was top notch -- easily as good as sc2. It is a SHAME I blew off this game back when it was released due to the change in developer and the added colony-management feature.

The Bad
the colony management portion of the game was so-so, but in sc2 the mining did get old and the colony management is simple and easy to set/forget.

The Bottom Line
When SC3 first game out, I blew it off just like everyone else did. For the dame reasons -- it wasn't made by the original developers and they added colony management which wasn't true to SC2.

I loved sc2 so much that I replayed it this year, 2010. After I finished it I decided to give SC3 a try and absolutely loved every minute of it. Even more than replaying SC2! It was all new content. The sc3 story fit perfectly into the sc2 world and far expanded it. It wrapped up numerous unfinished story components of sc2 and added many new elements. The new races were done very very well, the old races were also done well. I think anyone who has fond memories of sc2 owes it to themselves to go back and give this a try without the biases that kept you from playing it back then.

by aaron hollingsworth (1) on Apr 13th, 2010 · DOS

A mediocre sequel to a true legend.

The Good
Most of the voice acting fits the motif if you ask me, and HyperMelee is fun even if many of the SC2 ships are missing..

The Bad
Many aspects.. for example the MIDI musics aren't very good, the GUI looks pretty drab and the story quite doesn't match SC2 in excellence.. not to mention that this game is boring. Seriously.

The Bottom Line
A sequel to SC2, but not made by the same people, and it shows.. very well. SC3 is an ok game, just that, ok, but if you compare it to SC2 it is like a comparation between the sun and a worn candle.

Anyone would be better off playing Star Control 2.

by RmM (68) on Oct 21st, 1999 · DOS

This is what happens when games are designed by committee

The Good
Ummmm... the CD-ROM makes a lovely coaster.

The Bad
The plot was horrible. It was an awkward slapping-together of old Star Control 2 plot lines (much of the dialogue taken out of Starcon2 verbatim) and poorly thought out new ones. Most of the time you were simply waiting to be fed instructions from the hint sytem. (It's a sure sign that a game is bad if it needs an integrated hint system).

The combat was poorly-balanced. Unlike the old Star Control 2 melee, which I still play on occasion, the ships tended to be horribly lopsided, hard to distinguish from each other and boring to fly.

The music is terrible, especially when compared with its predecessor (why they went back to MIDI music from MOD is beyond me). While some of the voice talent is quite good, this is neutralized by the fact that the dialogue is quite horrible.



The Bottom Line
"An eloquent argument for why Accolade should stick to sports games"

by Jonathan Daggar (4) on Nov 8th, 1999 · DOS

Not a bad game, if you judge it on it's own merits.

The Good
The storyline isnt bad at all, and some of the dialogues are quite amusing - even if they are a little to long winded in places. As long as you don't compare it to SC2 (as others seem to do) then you'll probably enjoy the game.

The Bad
The colony managment parts seem to have been an after thought (I played the game right through barely having to manage the colonies at all.)

The Bottom Line
Keep your expectations low and you'll be ok

by Marrsy (57) on Jan 15th, 2001 · DOS

A good game of diplomacy

The Good
I've played SC2 several times and still needed 3 attempts to finish this one. Each race has its own agenda, power, behaviour and motives, which do not relate to one another (for instance, the Doogs have the best ships in the game, but are quite and passive), alliances are made and lost unexpectedly and distributive thinking is required, as well as paper use, because the hint system is bad.

There are many traps in the endless dialogues and one mistake can end the game.The key is to adapt your behaviour for each race and not make moral judgements.

The colonization process is tedious, but rewarding for your space travel. Also, you have to remove precious crew from your ships in order to colonize (30-50 people is decent for any new colony, having 10000+ resources) but the population in your old worlds will increase very slowly, which makes ship building a fast way to get people, even if you'll never use them in combat.

Fancy ship designs are not the best, but each one is unique and probably useful to destroy another. So far I'm using just Utwig, Doog, Ur-Quan,Chmmr(less) and Claircontlar ships in encounters.

The story manages to get real and keep your attention for hours (even if it's scripted). The times waiting for event X to happen can be used in exploration and colonisation.

The Bad
The search system is simply terrible. Each time you need to get to star X you have to carefully look for it in the unexplored and explored ones, because only the colonisation sites appear as valid targets for search. And if you cannot find it, let a second to rotate the galaxy and search again manually. That's simply painful.

The dialogues are very, very, very long and repeated each time you encounter the same race, even if the events who triggered it are long gone. That is making this game an interesting training option for these diplomatic talks :) For instance, each time you encounter Daktaklakpak and not want to kill them (so that you appear as good in the eyes of the League) you have to pass through 12-13 dialogues and have to remember the correct answer each time. But after a while you'll be responding instantly, without bothering about what the other said.

The combat is annoying, boring and very long, interrupted just by an occasional crash into that little tiny planet, then you're trying to get away from the grav pull and find yourself crashing again into that unrealistic space anomaly.

The Bottom Line
If you're deeply involved in politics, your girlfriend left you, or you're trying to convince yourself to give life another chance, this game is a must, but try to win it without watching the walkthrough. Carefully write on a sheet of paper every aspect worth mentioning, because it requires more time and attention than the previous version, which I loved.

by lucian (36) on Sep 25th, 2005 · DOS

Enraging on every level

The Good
I won't mince words here. I hated this game, and I still hate it with every fiber of my being. I have bought some really lousy games over the years, but Star Control 3 is the one I think of when I think about absolute wastes of time and money. The one glimmer, iota if you will, of glee Star Control 3 gave me was when I plucked it off of the store shelf, brought it to the register, and bought it. I had THE sequel to my beloved Star Control II in my hands, and I drove 120 miles round trip to get it. Star Control II has a universe so rich and deep that it would take a team of the worlds largest collection of numbskulls to screw up the sequel.

Enter Legend Entertainment.

The Bad
If I had written this at the time when I removed the Star Control 3 CD from my CD tray and chucked it across the room, I could have written an encyclopedia length entry here. But let's start with what I remember now, and as my blood pressure rises, I may remember more.

When I first opened the box, I noticed a very barren manual. Sure, it told me how to play the game, but I was looking for a little more. The Star Control II manual (like the Star Control I manual) had a backstory and background in order to prime the player to enjoy the immersive environment of the game. Not only did Star Control 3 NOT have that included in the manual (to any significant degree), it also included a (apparently) hastily printed addendum on a small slip of paper warning of a bug. Basically, it said if you wanted to play Star Control HyperMelee over a LAN, DON'T HIT THE PLANET because the session will fall out of sync. In essence, they pretty much said that a major advertised feature of the game (network play) was broken and by scrawling this disclaimer on a slip of paper, they absolved themselves of the crummy coding and had no intention to fix it. Since I wanted to play the game on Kali, I was a little disappointed. Disappointed even before I had even got home and unleashed this horrible game on my PC's hard drive. Not a good sign.

The ships were so incredibly unbalanced in Hypermeelee that it was possible to have fights where the battle would NEVER end. There is a defensive Crux ship that would spawn shields and has virtually no offensive weapons. If this ill-conceived ship fought a ship with light offensive weapons (or Heaven forbid, ITSELF) the fight could last for hours, or even DAYS if allowed to play out. Some of the new ships were useless beyond belief, and they ripped out several Star Control II ships for no apparent reason (aside from the fact that they weren't races represented in the game... but Star Control II put in ships like the Androsynth and the Chmmr despite their absence as space faring races in the Star Control II adventure game. Star Control 3 had neither. No Thraddash, Zot Fot Piq, Supox, ad nauseum).

The 3D battle mode was next to worthless, in that worthless would be a step up. The perspective was so askew that fighting in this mode was like an exercise in banging your face against concrete.

I could go on about Hypermelee, but I'll just boil it down to "dreadful" and "complete waste of time". My friends and I used to play Star Control I and II hypermelee for hours, laughing and having a good time. After a hour with Star Control III, they never wanted to play it again.

SO, let's move on the the adventure part of the game.

If you have read the other reviews, you'll know that Star Control III is just a retelling of Star Control II. The Utwig break their Ultron. The Ur Quan start fighting the Kor-Ah. But it gets worse than that. The original ideas they DID have just stink. The Mycon have rebellious youth who get all whiny and feel like picking daisies. You meet a race of bacteria who have taken up residence in a cow (that was native to your homeworld) and travel space for some reason. The Crux races seem to have no idea what was going on around them . For example, I had most of the Crux races allied with me, and the "lead baddie" Crux leader race hyperjumps in and tells me how bad the war is going for me (despite the fact he only had about THREE original races in his alliance and I was kicking thier rear ends every time we met). It all felt so derivitive, so scripted, so outright unpolished.

So let's talk muppets. One of the big selling points I saw for this game in the ad copy was that the aliens were designed by professional Hollywood puppeteers. I would like to know what other work these guys have done, because the puppets are really lousy. I mean, they're not sock puppets by any stretch, but some of the effects and attempts would be laughable if they weren't so annoying. The humanoid characters (human and Syreen) look like they were born with some bizarre soft-skull disease. There is a race of aliens that eat these fuzzy things that perch on their shoulders (for some reason these creatures live to be eaten by those alien lizard guys) so they dash into their open mouthes as though they were fetching gold bars from the lizard's throat. You could almost see the string pulling the fuzzy things, and Cookie Monster of Sesame Street fame looks more convincing eating a cookie than these lizard guys eating those suicidal fuzzy creatures. If the guys constructing the puppets were professionals, the puppets must have been thrown together on some drunken weekend without the proper tools or materials.

Which leads us to the voice talent. In all, it is pretty amateurish (the budget must have gone towards constructing those puppet monstrosities) but the one that really stands out in my mind is the Doog. As you may have guessed, the creatively named Doog are a canine race that looks like a cross between a bulldog and a cromagnon.The guy doing the voiceover sounded as though he wanted me to "tell him about the rabbits" as he stroked a dead mouse in his pocket. Despite thier portrayal as the most dimwitted race in the game, the Doog had somehow mastered the art of interstellar warfare. They constructed a ship that would tear nearly every other ship to ribbons without doing anything more than holding down their fire button. The best ships in the game, like the Avatar, would be no match for a Doog ship piloted by the worlds worst pilot. Which leads to a certain disconnect between the race and the ship they fly. Sure, the Doog sounded like Lenny, but man oh man could they construct a ship like no ones business.

And the music... oh Lord the music. After being enthralled by the MODs of Star Control II, Star Control 3 followed it up by offering us MIDI. Yes, the same music that was the staple of every teenage web designers website back in those days were now tinningly chiming their way from my computer speakers to my ears. Aside from being annoying and dislikable, they were forgetable in every respect (in comparison, I can hum nearly every Star Control II tune despite the fact that I haven't played the game for over ten years).

So let's move on to technical support. I know if you get your hands on a copy of Star Control III, you won't have the luxury of having your questions fielded by a crack team of support specialists standing by the phones at every waking hour, and ready to pounce on every e-mail arrival chime. Well, I bought this game brand spankin' new on the day it was released, and I didn't have that luxury either. I encountered a "show stopper" bug which would not allow the game to continue, so I fired off a rather curt e-mail. My comments and questions were ignored wholesale. I pointed out bugs, inconsistancies, and quality control issues. I asked questions and tried to get them to tell me how I could continue my game (a trigger failed to happen, so the game could not continue past the point I was at despite trying for endless hours to figure out what I was missing... I finally realized I didn't miss anything, it was simply a show-stopping bug). I had apparently bought an orphaned piece of software. Orphaned seven days after wide release. While this is more common nowadays, this was the first time I encountered it. After waiting and firing off some follow up messages, I realized that Legend wasn't going to support this "space opera extrordinarre" and I hurled the CD from the drive.

Yes, I said I encountered a show-stopper bug. I am surprised none of the other reviewers on Mobygames have had this experience. Since this game was never patched, the bug is still out there somewhere, waiting to slap an unsuspecting player across the face. A piece of software can do nothing more insulting to a player than to end a game prematurely by not allowing them to continue past a certain point. My hours of gaming time were utterly wasted. In retrospect, I imagine that the bug may have been a blessing in disguise, as I can't help but to think that the game would have never gotten better. But just as I sit though a crummy film in the hope that it will somehow redeem itself, I had to try to play Star Control 3 through to the end. I never did, and I'd bet I spent my time doing better things back then. Like darning socks.

This game is garbage, through and through. While time may have dulled my rage at the creators of this product, I shall put out this warning: This game should not be bought or played by anyone at any time. If your time is a precious commodity yet you have the choice between playing this game and throwing playing cards into an overturned fedora, choose the later. It's time better spent.

The Bottom Line
Hm... How would I describe this game to others... While bad software and misburned CDs are often referred to as a "coaster", try to think of something more creative to do with the CD, manual and packaging of Star Control 3. While having your end table shielded from a cold beverage's condensation is a swell thing, it is a purpose far greater than this piece of crudware is worthy of.

by APFelon (19) on Aug 2nd, 2005 · DOS

Horrible. Simply is.

The Good
The graphics are OK, I guess.

The Bad
Everything! It's a poor sequel to what I perceive as the greatest game of all times. Even the graphics (which are somewhat better) aren't half as good as in Star Control II. It lacks the elaborate, amuzing dialogues from II, the fast pace action, the broad plot and interesting twists...

A huge disappointment in every respect.

The Bottom Line
Don't touch that, and hope you don't know where it's been.

by Tomer Gabel (4539) on Aug 3rd, 1999 · DOS

Terrible abuse of a good title by accolade

The Good
... .... .... hmmm...... neat box, you can store things in it!

The Bad
Everything really, I just hate it... I hate accolade 2... They should just let the ancient ones do this one, they are much better at it.

The Bottom Line
Dont waste your money on it. Star control fans should also keep your hands away from the big disapointment...

by necr0n0mic0n (2) on Oct 3rd, 1999 · DOS

Simply terrible.

The Good
Umm.... Duhhhhhhhhh... Tell me about the rabbits, George.

The Bad
Where to begin? The gameplay is a joke, all around. The Strategy element is dull, and waiting for colonies to produce fuel for your mothership causes the game to drag horribly. The plot is excrutiatingly linear, and while it may SEEM like you're doing things, in fact you're just cruising around waiting for the game's clock to hit Point X, at which point your computer pops up and tells you where to go next. The dialogue, when not ripped straight from SC2, is poor. The new alien races are almost uniformally poorly-thought out, and either stupid or excessively silly. The captured claymation video is almost always bad, and the humanoid characters are hideously deformed. Oh, and they absolutely destroyed the play dynamics of the series by attempting to move the gameplay into full 3D, and the new ships available to play throw the previously perfect balance of the battles way off. Finally, extra demerits for completely ruining what had been a wonderful series.

The Bottom Line
How would I describe this game to others? With words entirely inappropriate for a family site.

by WizardX (116) on Jul 13th, 2003 · DOS

Plus 40 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Jeanne, Big John WV, Apogee IV, PCGamer77, Caliner, Cantillon, Tim Janssen, Patrick Bregger, Wizo, Scaryfun, JudgeDeadd, Alsy.