Shadow Squadron (Sega 32X, 1995)

Contrary to what my eyes want to believe, Shadow Squadron isn't a licensed Star Wars game. It was developed and published by Sega for the 32X in 1995, and is a spiritual sequel and light upgrade to the Star Wars Arcade. It's usually noted for a fairly strong effort for an early, open, 3D shooter on a home console, but criticized for being aesthetically bland and fairly repetitive. It's inexpensive and competent, a strong combination relative to the rest of the 32X library, so I recommend it if you own the hardware.

I'm no expert on the game; I've never played it on real hardware (I'm not positive my 32X even works), and have only emulated it for a few minutes to mild amusement. As a more common member of a less common library, there are many reviews more knowledgeable than I could provide. I recommend the SegaBits review for a positive, relatable look, or the Classic Game Room video review below.

I'm reminiscing about this game because of the other memories attached. I bought it around Halloween of October 2017 in the Orlando, FL, metro region. I was on an amazing vacation with my wife and a great family friend (whom we hadn't seen in a long time) to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios. Our love for the Harry Potter franchise escalated to unreal levels on that trip, and it's the source of most of my profile pictures to this day.
I picked the game because it was complete (if fairly battered), inexpensive, and in a library from which I owned (own, still, actually) one other game (Virtua Racing Deluxe). The employee recommended it when I told him I liked finding good value in fairly obscure places, and per the reviews above this was a perfect suggestion. I wish I could remember from which store I bought it... but I can't. Based on a map of my likeliest route, I believe it was either Royal Empire Gaming or Cybertron Video Games; both get strong reviews and feature photos in line with my memory, so... thank you both, I guess? Regardless, I'll keep Shadow Squadron on the 32X forever and ever as a memento to a tremendous vacation... and because it doesn't suck.