Starflight 2 is the sequel to the groundbreaking Starflight and the precursor of the legendary Star Control series. It is not about the voyages of the USS Enterprise, despite what it may seem.
The game begins with the Spemin, once just another weak alien race, who have become the galaxy's most feared faction by possessing sophisticated equipment of unknown origins. You (and your crew) must find out how they got their sticky gelatinous hands on such advanced technology.
The game's character creation is only average, so don't expect something out of an RPG. Ship creation is also average, but it works okay. As for the star base... it doesn't appear any more original than the rest of the game, but serves its purpose quite well.
Now the storyline in the manual may not seem important (for the most part, you will be exploring unknown space). But you'll think otherwise if you encounter a Spemin ship, as the story reveals that they have plasma bolts, class 6 shields, and phase devices. The Spemin will also demand that you give up about half your current power supply (Shyneum), which you must do if you wish to avoid obliteration of your ship (and I do mean total destruction).
Fortunately, the galaxy isn't completely inhabited by aliens that want to raze your ship. There are several other alien races that don't want your head on a platter, and with whom you can trade. Of course you'll also want to discover new planets (I hope).
Planets appear in several different forms: water, rock, gas, and fire. Water and rock types tend to be inhabitable, and those composed primarily of gas or fire tend to not be. You will know the planet is inhabited if it has a Humna Humna trade buoy.
When planets are inhabited by a spacefaring race, the player will encounter their spaceships. Luckily, you can communicate with other ships (this wouldn't be much of a space game if you couldn't) by means of three dialog state commands: Friendly, Hostile, and Obsequious.
Your ship is immune to damage, but your characters are not, and they take any hits that occur (quite nasty considering dozens of aliens can kill you in a few moments). So try to avoid annoying the aliens, or you may be vaporized.
In case you've messed up somehow, your ship also comes equipped with a class 1 shield and a class 1 laser. Unfortunately, these are weak (They're class 1, what did you expect?) and most enemies are tougher than class 1.
Exploring a planet is easy, but making sure you have enough fuel to get there (then finding your way back) is another thing. Your ship can land on planets (unlike larger ships), but since you can't fly around with it, you also have a Terrain Vehicle. This vehicle has a laser with two settings: "stun" for animals, and "kill" for aliens. Unfortunately, the laser takes a lot of power (and several shots) to kill aliens.
You can find minerals and creatures on planets, and then trade them to aliens. In fact, you can find anything in the game on planets, except standard and specialty trade goods, artifacts, and ship parts. You can also find ruins of previous civilizations on some of them (Good luck finding out what their purpose is!) Hostile aliens that want to destroy you can also be found on some planets.
All aliens do not trade in the same manner. Some like to trade a lot, and others may want to bargain a little. Fortunately, you’ll have a few standard trade goods, but their value is limited. Each type of alien wants something different, and most primitive species can't use spacefaring trade goods anyway.
The sound in Starflight 2 is quite good, and graphics are also on par (aliens look like aliens and starships look like starships). No complaints here, I give it a 4 out 5.
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