March 31, 2002
Star Wars Jedi Starfighter - Review
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The ice covered mountains impress.
The original Star Wars Starfighter was, and still is, a terrific game. It was one of the first demonstrations of the true power of the Playstation 2 hardware with some spectacular visuals and terrific gameplay. Almost a year since the original release the sequel has hit the shelves, and it's better in almost every regard. The developers have removed most, but not quite all, of the slowdown added in many more craft and created a much more realistic universe. Those of you eagerly anticipating the release of Attack of the Clones in cinemas will be glad to know that the movie and this game have many story links.

The galaxy is in turmoil as the events of Star Wars: Episode II rapidly approach. Mace Windu dispatches one of the Council's top Jedi - Adi Gallia - to investigate disturbances in the Karthakk system, as a secessionist movement threatens to expand. Using the Republic's new prototype Jedi starfighter, Adi Gallia sets out on missions which lead into events depicted in the Episode II film. She quickly gains an upper hand in space battles through Force powers, but will these be enough to counter the massive fleet of the evil Captain Toth and a mysterious figure that threatens the very foundations of the Galactic Republic system?

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Incoming enemy ships. Time to move.
Jedi Starfighter is set across over 15 story-based missions although the developers have been kind enough to include several training missions to complete as well. The biggest inclusion to this game is the 2-player mode where you can invite a friend along to assist in completing the missions. It's a tremendous addition to the game and adds much to the overall longevity of the title. Yet another inclusion to the game is the way in which the pilots can now use the force to their advantage. These Force Powers include the impressive Force Lightning, which attacks several enemies with lighting bolts as well as the Force Shield, Force Reflex and Shockwave.

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The effects in the game do impress.
There are very few problems with this game, in fact its pretty much spot on. Perhaps the option to control weapon and shield re-charging would be a neat feature as there were numerous occasions when I wanted to charge the shields quickly to avoid being blown to bits rather then keep trying to destroy the enemy. Another slight annoyance is that there is only around 15 missions in the game, a few less then I would have liked as the game can be completed rather quickly, although unlocking all the options may take quite a few days.

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Jedi Starfighter includes many craft.
Graphically, LucasArts have shown with this game that they are among the premiere Playstation 2 developers. Few games have as much vibrance, colour and action on screen. It's not uncommon to have hundreds of laser blasts and well over two dozen targets on screen at once. The detail on the ships is impressive with some wonderful texturing, especially on the larger craft. The cut scenes, as well as telling the story, are wonderful to look at. Even the 3D polygon version of Mace Windu (Samual L Jackson in the movies) is quite impressive and instantly recognisable. The only drawback to this game is that at times when it gets particularly busy with several explosions there can be the odd moment of slowdown. If you suffered through the first game you will be impressed by the improvements made.

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Using force powers adds to the game.
Like the previous game Jedi Starfighter is filled with plenty of John Williams' classic theme music from the movies. It integrates perfectly with the action on screen and changes according to the current mission. The sound effects are also impressive with plenty of explosions and laser blasts throughout each level. The biggest improvement over the previous game is the amount of radio chatter and information during each level. This radio chatter alerts you to incoming enemies and advises you of targets to keep an eye on. The only way in which this game could be any better in the sound department is to include Dolby Pro Logic or DTS surround sound. Still, I'm not complaining with what's here, not at all.

Star Wars Jedi Starfighter is a superb title. The vast aray of ships and weapons available is most impressive but the gameplay is the most impressive of all. Gone is most, but not quite all, of the slowdown resulting in a much smoother game. I'm not quite too sure yet how much of this storyline ties into the movie as LucasArts claims but there is certainly a mission called 'Attack of the Clones'. Star Wars Jedi Starfigher is certainly a must have for Star Wars fans, and should be given very serious consideration by everyone else. This game is tremendous.

GRAPHICSIt's cleaner then the original, most frame rate problems are now fixed.
SOUNDStar Wars music and sound effects, no surround sound disappoints.
GAMEPLAYFluid and fast gameplay, but more control over shields would be nice.
VALUETerrific fun over the 15 missions, but there still should be even more.
OVERALLA terrific game that has many improvements over the original, but still lacks the quantity missions overall which may disappoint some.

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