January 25, 2002
Star Wars Jedi Starfighter - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
28/3/2002Electronic ArtsLucasArts1$99.95

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Lighting has been further improved.
The original Star Wars: Starfighter was a stunning game both in terms of design and technical achievements. Not only did the game capture the look and feel of the Star Wars universe, but it was a stunning demonstration of the PS2's real power, something that a lot of games failed to show in the early months. As a result Star Wars: Starfighter has become one of the highest selling games on the system to date. Almost a year later LucasArts are putting the finishing touches on the sequel which promises not only deeper gameplay and better graphics but, perhaps most excitingly, some glimpses of craft and other details from the upcoming Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie. Like the original game, however, the storyline has been kept quite separate from the movie as this game takes place between the events of Episode I and Episode II.

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Targeting many ships.
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 Star Wars: 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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That's got to be pretty hot.
As with the previous game Jedi Starfighter is essentially a flight sim where you will be defending or attacking depending on the mission while the game includes 3 new craft to pilot. The biggest change from the original is that the craft now have the ability to use the force to their advantage. These Force Powers include things such as Force Lightning, Force Shield, Force Reflex and Shockwave. These capabilities allow you to "use the force" to attack the opponents during the levels and have the potential to provide much more intense gameplay. The developers are also promising over 40 new craft (including massive capital ships, three new flyable fighters, new enemy craft, and more).

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Draw distance looks impressive.
The single or dual player action takes place over 15 story-based missions. The missions can be flown either alone in a single-player mode or an a co-op mode with a friend. With only 15 missions, which is quite similar to the original game, the game may be a little on the short side, but the replay value should hold the title up quite well in the long run. As with the previous game we can expect plenty of items and features to unlock, and hopefully LucasArts will put in some of those fun little codes as well.

Graphically, LucasArts look to have created an even more polished game then the original. The visual effects such as canon fire and lightning are stunning while the background scenery seems to draw further into the distance. Hopefully the one major problem with the original, slowdown, will have also been eliminated. The developers have certainly had enough time to get to grips with the Playstation 2's hardware.

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Those explosions look wonderful
Sound-wise Jedi Starfigher should follow the previous game fairly closely with plenty of orchestral music in the vein of John Williams' classic theme. This will set a perfect backdrop to the space combat on screen while we can also expect plenty of wonderful laser blasts and explosions to shake the room.

With the opportunity to spot both craft and storyline links to the upcoming Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie this game will be a no-brainer for most Star Wars fanatics. For those who aren't as interested in the Star Wars universe this game should still prove to be a tremendous purchase. If this game is anywhere near as exciting then the original, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, then this game should be something to keep an eye on in late March.