The entry in the series succeeded in turning the collective heads of Star Wars fans everywhere, now LucasArts is back with a deeper more refined gaming experience. We take a look at what you can expect.
The Star Wars universe has been littered with noble attempts at gaming greatness, but sadly most entries went the way of Episode One and sucked... big time. However once every millennium, a game comes along bearing the Star Wars name with greatness inside that the franchise deserves. Star Wars Jedi Starfighter has recently been announced as coming to the Xbox, making a star studded transference from the Playstation 2, and it looks to bring with it a continuation of the same greatness that was present with the original Star Wars Starfighter: Special Edition.
The first Starfighter game for the Xbox was great in its own right. The quick gameplay and deep storyline gave the gamer the feeling of playing through a real Star Wars movie. While the game was fun, it was a fleeting feeling thanks to the rather short-lived single player mode. The multiplayer aspect of the game, though robust when compared to the PS2 version, was not everything that one could have hoped for. This time around LucasArts is looking to remedy its previous mistakes and make Jedi Starfighter a game for the ages.
Jedi Starfighter for the Xbox will feature two story modes to play through. The obvious single player mode will be offered, as you'll play around with any of the game's two playable characters. While this may sound fairly standard and familiar when compared to last year's title, the real fun gets going when you select the cooperative mode of the game. You and a buddy can combat the Trade Federation while playing as a completely new set of characters available only in the co-op mode. Playing the game singly is fun enough, but having the ability to do it with somebody else really adds a lot to the game.
Other multiplayer aspects are unlockable as you progress through the game, but there is no word on what will make it into the final Xbox version of the game. We expect to see the dogfighting and race features of the two player feature beefed up a bit for the Xbox version of the game.
The story of the game also thankfully follows the same mold as the first entry into the series. In Star Wars Starfighter, players skirted around the Episode One storyline, and Jedi Starfighter will do the same (although with an Episode Two story). While you'll still be facing off against some familiar foes, this time around the enemy's objective is different and the style of gameplay has been shifted just a bit. Rather than destroy plot details for those that have yet to play the game, suffice to say that lameness has been avoided.
Characters of Jedi Starfighter will be a large part in the storyline. As I stated before there are two main characters offered during the single player missions, of which there are over 20. Adi Gallia represents the mighty Jedi master that you'll be able to control as you zoom around the universe. Force powers will be at your command, as you'd expect from a Jedi and you'll have speed unlike any other character available in the game. Our good buddy Nym makes his triumphant return to the series in Jedi Starfighter and parades around in his standard Havoc spacecraft. Nym's craft features clunky controls and is a bit more sluggish, but features heavier weaponry than Adi's ship.
Rather than piloting your standard fighter spacecraft, you'll be thrown into the first ever Jedi Starfighter, which will be used in the upcoming film. Along with the Jedi Starfighter comes a load of Jedi powers that you'll use, guided by the almighty force. Force powers include force lightning, the ability to slow time, and a few other goodies that that should be kept "hush-hush" for that element of surprise.
The standard elements of Star Wars greatness will be firmly placed. The original John Williams score will make it into the newest Star Wars rendition as well as a few other tracks that you may have heard. The special effects are something that only LucasArts could deliver. Close your eyes, and you are immersed in the Star Wars universe. You'll need to open them quick, otherwise you'll get blasted, and your life as a Jedi will be over.
The voice talent from the original return, so Nym's voice won't be different. As a matter of fact, the voice talent in the original Starfighter game was one of the pleasant surprises. In Jedi Starfighter, the voice acting is identical to the first and features brand new voice talent for the plethora of new characters that have been added as NPC's (non playable characters) such as Jango Fett as well as a few other suprirse cameos (as if Jango Fett wasn't surprise cameo enough).
LucasArts knows how to bring a came over from one console to the next, and Jedi Starfighter will be no exception. Wave goodbye to blurry textures and all those painfully slow framerates that the old, beleaguered PS2 hardware offered to gamers and welcome in new crisp and clean visuals that glide smoothly throughout the Star Wars world.
One of the more pleasant surprises of the game is the addition of a load of special features that gave an inside look into the production of the game for the PS2. Is it possible that the special edition title that LucasArts is slapping on the Xbox version of the game could shed more light on the production pains that LucasArts went through to bring the game to the Xbox? Only time will tell, but it certainly would be a smart move.
Coming to the Xbox version f the game is an exclusive level set in Coruscant. All in all, over 20 levels will be present for gamers to play through. The story is great, and the game really delivers on the audio and visual fronts. This game will deliver Star Wars gaming like no other title has before.
The track record for Star Wars games has always been a bit spotty. LucasArts has formed a respectable track record on the Xbox thus far, and with several other recent releases. Will Jedi Starfighter continue on the trend? We'll have to wait for the game's release for the answer to that question but so far everything points in the direction of this game being possibly the best Star Wars game yet.
Nate "GamerX" Ahearn
Likes the game enough to play it on the PS2.
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