Old 3D Graphics Nostalgia: SkyRogue


I first discovered SkyRogue during a discussion about games with really old, basic, early 90’s 3D graphics. I’m talking about stuff like the original Virtua Fighter or Star Fox — bright, hard polygons with no texture filtering whatsoever. SkyRogue seems to be an indie attempt at that kind of style, which I’m honestly surprised didn’t happen earlier.

I’m not fully sure why, but I happen to have a thing for the kinds of graphics produced by the earliest attempts at 3D polygons. Not PS1 and N64, but earlier than that, before we had things like shading. The original Virtual-On might be a good example. SEGA’s System 1 arcade board is where a lot of these kinds of graphics came from. I think it’s because back then, those kinds of 3D graphics represented that first step into what then felt like virtual reality. To me they still sort of represent VR — a very fake attempt at creating a real 3D world I guess. That might even be part of what drew me into Ultima Underworld which feels like a modern 3D RPG but with DOOM’s graphics.

Well SkyRogue basically feels like an Ace Combat game but with graphics about a half-step above the original Star Fox. The controls on a 360 pad feel pretty much the same — the left analog stick rolls, you lock on and fire missiles, even the interface looks very similar. The only difference is that the game, right now, is hard as hell (or I’m playing it very wrong).

I don’t even know if I’ve been able to destroy a single enemy in all the times I’ve booted up the alpha. The missiles you get are very short range and the enemies — enemy fighters, SAMs, and ships, are very accurate when they shoot. I usually only last around 30 seconds per attempt.

What’s impressive about SkyRogue right now is its development. I think the guy who made it did the original alpha in a matter of hours back in august and has just been releasing successive alpha builds in the months since. The 13th alpha came out a few days ago.

Despite that quick turnaround the game already has multiple selectable planes with customizable loadouts that include weaponry and parts. The developer is already making balance tweaks in regards to enemies and weapons. Oh, and each alpha is concurrently released on Windodws, Mac, and Linux.

I’ve seen a lot of people do deliberately low-polygon models as art projects and things like that but I’m actually a bit surprised I haven’t seen this stuff make it into actual indie games yet.


  • Shin Megami Tensei IV is like $30 on the eShop right now. http://t.co/kcowLDHm89
  • My Steam user review for Dark Souls is now up. http://t.co/nQbLIOR0gi
  • Skyrim just made it to 20 million copies. That makes it the second best-selling RPG ever, right behind only the first two generations of Pokémon games. http://t.co/S37LxtztBd
  • If anybody cares, BioShock Infinite is out on Mac now.
  • The return of Kyle Pope’s Edit List? po.st/sfQpUH
  • Blast from the past for N64 owners man. youtu.be/Y0tNFSO_3dQ
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One thought on “Old 3D Graphics Nostalgia: SkyRogue

  1. GavinHerbert says:

    Great read, very informative. Love those old school graphics!

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