I played the X-Wing collectors edition, then TIE Fighter, then XvT, then Alliance. I still play XvT a lot, though I really wish I could connect it to the internet and play (The networking portion is apparently too old to work with modern systems, but I have some hope I will find a workaround)
The campaigns are great and all, but leaving out the multiplayer is a huge mistake. Just because some people can't hack the competition doesn't mean there aren't others out there who love the abuse!
I love honing my skills then challenging other players to a duel. Gets my heart pumping and provides a challenge no AI can match.
Biggest mistake in Alliance was not providing a more XvT feel for the 'simulator' portion, as far as mission selection, awards, etc. XvT was awesome, a true test of starfighter gaming skills, and it was nice to be able to track your performance by mission so you could tell what needed work (or, looking at it another way, where the challenges lay)
I say it's high time to complete this series the right way. For that , we need five things, in addition to the obvious graphics and sound improvements:
1.Campaigns for those who love the story aspect, and lots of them. Include the original X-Wing and Tie Fighter campaigns, XvT and BoP missions, XWA Campaign, as well as two or three new campaigns for Rebels, Imps, and Pirates.
2. An XvT-like interface for practice and multiplayer, and a good, fast multiplayer client. The ability to play Campaign missions in this mode (perhaps after beating them)
3. A REAL mission builder along with a quick skirmish/melee maker, so even when we kick the crap out of the game for a year and start getting bored with the stock missions, we can always just make new missions and pass them out to our friends for even more hours, nay days, of fun.
4. FAST gameplay and killer AI, and of course systems management. I don't mind adding it to a console, but for cripes sake, don't take away the system management! That's a HUGE part of the experience. In fact, we could add a couple of more things to make it even better-- Fuel management (yes, you could run out on a long mission, or get a leak) and single/multiple engine failures that affect flight characteristics. Also, a 'float' mode (kicking off the stabilizers) so we could use more 'realistic' space flight tricks (think Battlestar Galactica). Imagine kicking your stabs off and flipping around to shoot at the cloud of ties behind you...
5. Finally, and perhaps most important, a complete shipset from the Star Wars Universe. With the advent of the prequels, the books, and everything, I think it's high time we got a chance to REALLY fly a Naboo fighter, a Kuat Delta 7 Aethersprite, Yuuzuan Vong ships--there are lots of new toys out there! Going back to campaigns--we could have campaigns for these ships as well, or at least the ability to make campaigns using the editor. XWA gave us the most flyable ships ever, and to me, this was a huge leap forward.
If they are going to make one more X-Wing game, and then cut us off for ten more years, they should at least have the decency to make it the BEST of everything that came before and then some!
The only reason the space fighter sim genre is 'dead' is there hasn't been anything worth playing put out for a while. With the right game, the genre would be back--especially if you could have games of a couple hundred people going multiplayer in HUGE battles set in the SW universe.
I would lose more hours of my life to such a game than I would care to admit.