Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Review #385: Star Wars Episode 1 - Jedi Power Battles

 Jedi's lamest battles.
 It was a great concept: Take a Jedi from the many introduced in Episode 1, and take them through various levels of beat'em up action, heck, take a buddy with you as well! It was a great concept. But why was the end result so bad?

 While Episode 1 dealt with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan's adventure, this game is a very, veeeeeery loose retelling of the movie, and in addition to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, you can play as three other Jedi: Plo Koon, Mace Windu and Adi Gallia. There're few but noticeable differences between all Jedi, from the speed and power of their moves down to their force powers. This is a beat'em up game, which means you'll traverse linear stages slicing and dicing your enemies. As you go through all 10 levels, scoring high amount of points will let you earn new combos, more health, more Force power gauge or even new force powers. And heck, you can even unlock a few other playable characters!
 It sounds awesome, doesn't it? But it all goes down the drain as soon as you gain control of your Jedi. You've three attack buttons, Low, Medium and High, and while performing the simple 2 and 3 button combos is easy, using the unlockable combos require some very weird timing. Moving while pressing buttons will perform unwieldy dash attacks, so you have to be staying still before pressing buttons if you want to use the useful attacks, which is kinda annoying, but you can get used to it. The force powers are a decent addition, but you have to unlock them by getting the highest amount of points possible in a stage, which, to be honest, is a drag, as you must search every nook and cranny for collectibles or destructible objects, which also halts the pace of the game.

 Level design is pretty bad as well, chief of its problems being the unnecessary amount of terrible platforming sections that have no place in this game. Your character won't project shadows over certain types of terrain, which is one of the worst sins a 3-D platform game can commit. Then there's also the cheap enemy placement that is sure to shoot at you as you jump towards platforms or push you off stages with their knock-up attacks. The game runs on credits, so hope to god you don't lose all your credits to botomless pits. Or to glitches, like getting stuck on a veranda. Or to poor checkpoint design which respawns every single enemy and might just respawn you in the middle of harms way. It's not an enjoyable game. At least you can bring a buddy along to lessen the tedium.
 Jedi Power Battles falls short of its fantastic concept. There were some great ideas at play, it could've been a great game, but... it's not.
3.5 out of 10

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