An improvement in every way!
Written By: Haden Blackman
Directed By: Daron Stinnett
I liked Starfighter, but I was left wanting more, or if not more at least better. I’m happy to say that Jedi Starfighter is an improvement in every area over Starfighter. It’s still a little rough around the edges in some areas, but those moments are quickly forgiven. Whereas Starfighter was merely fun, Jedi Starfighter is fun and requires some effort while also providing a much deeper story. I like to see that kind of progression in my video game franchises, sadly things don’t always turn out that way.
Let’s start with the gameplay. Jedi Starfighter does continue to suffer from the problem of below average collision detection. Too often I found myself bumping off of other vessels or the ground when I shouldn’t have been anywhere near hitting said structures. Thankfully the collision detection going awry is rare and not a major detriment to the game. Once again I have a personal problem with the game due to my motion sickness. This isn’t something I hold against the game however, merely a helpful heads up for any other gamers out there who suffer from motion sickness like I do.
One area where Jedi Starfighter is noticeabley better than its predecessor is in the graphics department. Whether in-game or watching a cut scene the graphics look great. Obviously they don’t hold up to what we see today, but they don’t need to, they merely need to hold up to their time and age, and they do admirably.
Another area that has been vastly improved is in the challenge of the game. Some levels, such as the fight above Nod Kartha, are insanely difficult. You can’t just plow your way through the battles anymore, now you need to employ wing mate based strategy as well as strategic use of the Force or your secondary armaments. Speaking of which, playing as a Jedi was cool, mainly because of the Force powers at your disposal. They added an extra layer to the strategy behind the game and changed how I would usually attack certain missions.
Lastly, as far as gameplay is concerned, I need to touch on the variety of the game. It could have been monotonous at times, but the developers must have been aware of this because they break up any developing monotony with frequent character changes and field of battle changes. The game is well balanced between planet bound levels and levels in space, and it is balanced in level objectives. You aren’t always on the offensive, nor are you always relegated to defense. If that wasn’t enough, you are constantly switching between Adi Gallia and Nym, the game doesn’t wait around for the aforementioned monotony to set in.
In the first Starfighter I enjoyed the story, but it was rather light and superfluous. That is not the case in Jedi Starfighter. This time you feel like you are a major player in the universe with the story as it unfolds before your eyes. The story is deep, with plenty of characters and a unique feel to it. Some of the periphery characters could have used a little more fleshing out, but the story moves by so fast that you don’t have time to dwell on any particular character for that long.
Jedi Starfighter is also quite humorous and doesn’t restrict itself to cut scenes. The banter between the characters while in action helps to add to the story. That’s not to say the story is perfect, because it certainly isn’t. One of your compatriots, Reti, runs afoul of a certain bounty hunter, Jango Fett, and disappears, but the story offers no resolution to this fact. There’s also an odd cut scene that makes one question the validity of Trihexalon. It’s the scene when Cavik Toth casually breaks a vile on the ground, killing the Trade Federation representatives nearby. The problem is that Toth and an associate of his are standing in the same vicinity. Why weren’t they affected, why didn’t they die? Still, the holes in the story aren’t incredibly damaging and can be worked around quite easily.
There may be some places where Jedi Starfighter is a little bit rough, but the smoothed out portions are in the majority. As far as Star Wars flight combat games go Jedi Starfighter is easily the best I have played. The gameplay is surprisingly tight and the story has more depth to it than I imagined it would have. If you are a Star Wars fan you really can’t go wrong with Jedi Starfighter.