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Star Wars Jedi Starfighter

Secret Level


Space Combat

1 - 2


In conjunction with some small film about some clones attacking, a new space combat game arrives.

It's here ladies and gentlemen. The next installment of the Star Wars saga has finally arrived and with it comes the very first Xbox game based on the movie, Jedi Starfighter. The game essentially parallels the events of the movie so some people may be lost if they haven't seen or heard of the events in the newly released Attack of the Clones. \While the game was originally made for the PS2 LucasArts has gone to great pains to advance the graphics and the overall experience given to the gamer.

First of all I'd like to say that the graphics in the PS2 version were no slouch. While there wasn't a vast improvement over the previous year's rendition the game still pushed the PS2 and came off clean and crisp with only minor framerate issues. In the Xbox version of the game, the LucasArts team upped the ante with higher texture resolutions and a brighter, more vibrant world. While there are changes most of them are unnoticeable by the standard gaming eye. When I asked some of my "less knowledgeable" friends to come in and give me their take on the differences they were hard pressed to find any obvious improvements. Unless you're some kind of gaming professional (like yours truly) you probably won't notice a huge difference between the two games. Does this mean you should pick up the PS2 version?

Framerate issues are sadly still a bit of a problem in the game. When the screen becomes cluttered with a large amount of enemy or friendly craft the framerate can drop to a painfully slow rate. While this was an obvious problem in the Playstation2 version of the game, this is absolutely unforgivable in an Xbox game especially one that is as visually unimpressive as this.

The gameplay of the game has thankfully been untouched from the PS2 version of the game. You pilot the all new Jedi Starfighter which is a very smooth and agile version that will have gamers remembers the good old days of the A-Wing used the Rebel Alliance… or would that be the good new days considering that Episode 2 is a prequel? Regardless - the vehicle performs nicely and is a welcome addition to both the movie and the game. You'll play as Adi Gallia, the wise Jedi Master or Nym the rebel smuggler. Gameplay differs greatly between the Starfighter and Nym's Havoc spacecraft. Each has four different special attacks, Adi's are entirely forced based and allow her to do all the Jedi things you'd expect short of a force choke. Nym's special moves include standard bombs and missile attacks obviously focused a more brute force rather than Adi's elegance.

Mission variety is obviously something that the developers spent a bit of time on as you'll take part in everything from escort missions to the standard bum rush on an unsuspecting Trade Federation base. Regardless of what your taste in missions is, you will likely be satisfied with the variety of gameplay that Jedi Starfighter brings to the table.

The one problem that plagued last year's edition (That would be Starfighter, no Jedi) was the length of the game, or lack thereof. Sadly the game had only one main area of play, that being of course the single player area. After completion of the game there wasn't much else to do besides for a few poorly put together two-player escapades that included a flimsy capture the flag and a very odd race between players. Needless to say, players needed more and the newest rendition most definitely delivers.

Thankfully in this year's version LucasArts has included a full two-player cooperative mode that will definitely have players playing for quite some time. Not only do you and a friend get to play through the game together but also a few new characters become available because of it. While none of them are very recognizable they are all quite powerful in their own right. Needless to say the co-op mode is absolutely extraordinary and gives the game a whole new level of fun.

The first time that I booted up and played through the PS2 version of the game I realized that LucasArts had gone to great pains to give us a look behind the development of the game by including production designs and concept art from the pre-production stages of the game. While it was all well and good for the PS2 version of the game I would have loved to see something substantially different on the Xbox. Sadly LucasArts has left the special features relatively unchanged save for two added trailers of Indiana Jones and Gladius. The unlockable single player missions and two players missions as well as the option for new spacecrafts are also completely unchanged.

Well now that I've gotten through the standard video game feature of Jedi Starfighter now it's time to set in on the Star Wars features of the game. The first thing that you'll notice is the sound. It's incredible. The classic John Williams score makes yet another star studded appearance along with the other ingenious scores, all produced under the masterful of John Williams. This is Star Wars at its best.

The musical scores are entrancing to say the least (Star Wars has always been incredibly powerful in an audio sense to me) and the voices given to the Starfighter characters are exemplary as well. New one-liners have been given to the characters which are both comical and moody depending on the status of your mission. While the voices allotted to the characters are all well done it's the special appearances by characters from the Attack of the Clones that really makes the game worthwhile. I won't give any of the cameos away for fear of ruining an otherwise hilarious experience but you've definitely got to hear to believe it.

The story of the game is well done although there really isn't anything ground breaking. You'll get a look at enemies from the brand spankin' new Star Wars film and you'll definitely be surprised by how closely they all resemble the actual villains in the movie. The clone and droid armies make appearances as well as the wicked trade federation. Once again the specifics of the story will be kept under lock and key for fear of ruining the game, but if you like the movie then you will most likely enjoy the story of the game.

The Xbox controller is put to good use by the game. You'll have the ability to fire lasers, utilize special weapons, accelerate, brake, zoom in (a very useful ability), and manually target enemies. Everything is handled with relative ease although sometimes you'll feel a bit cluttered by the controller setup due to the closeness of the face buttons.

Overall the game is essentially identical to the PS2 version with a few slight variations to give it a bit of Xbox pinash. And when I say a bit, I mean a very small bit (unfortunately). Thankfully the original PS2 package was a very enjoyable ride that will most definitely be enjoyed by Star Wars fans and space combat fans alike.

Nate "Gamer X" Ahearn
Almost cried at the end of Attack of the Clones. It was just that good.

Star Wars Jedi Starfighter: The Scores













The Final Word:  With the newly arrived Star Wars flick already having mauled its way through theatres there really isn't a better time for an all new Star Wars game to grace the market and what better than Jedi Starfighter to step up to the task? The game is well done, if not a little underdone for an Xbox title. Regardless it's an enjoyable game that is definitely recommended for people who have never experience the PS2 version.

P.S. to LucasArts - The Xbox has 4 controller ports and LAN capabilities…

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