While it's not the prettiest Xbox game out there, let alone the best-looking Star Wars game, it does offer good control and entertaining gameplay.
Jedi Starfighter is the second Starfighter game to appear on the Xbox, and like its predecessor, it's an action-packed shooting game set in the Star Wars universe. The earlier Xbox release of Starfighter Special Edition was an enhanced version of the original PlayStation 2 game. Unfortunately, Jedi Starfighter didn't receive the same special treatment as its predecessor, though some steps have been taken toward optimizing the game to run better on the Xbox. Jedi Starfighter continues the story of Nym, one of the characters from the original game, and drops the other two in favor of a new character, Adi Gallia, a Jedi master with force powers. The loss of the other two peripheral characters allowed LucasArts to focus the storyline on Nym and Adi and give you more time with each. As a result, the new storyline can be quite engaging, and while the game plays almost identically to the original, a few improvements have been made in that regard as well. However, that's not to say that the game is without its share of flaws. Ultimately, the Xbox version is essentially identical to the PlayStation 2 version, and it shows.
You'll begin the game by taking the role of Adi Gallia, formerly a padawan learner under Mace Windu, Samuel L. Jackson's character from Episode I and Episode II--a notable Jedi master and member of the Jedi Council. In the game, Mace Windu has caught wind of a plot to draw star systems away from the influence of the Republic, which is being orchestrated by a mysterious character named Count Dooku. Such a defection would diminish the Republic's power and reduce the influence of the Jedi Council. Dooku enlists the help of Cavic Toth, a wicked man bent on taking control of the Karthak system and its rich natural resources to further his plan. Toth begins his power play in earnest by enlisting the help of the Trade Federation and a group of mercenaries known as the Saboath to help with the invasion of Karthak. As Adi Gallia, you're charged with preventing this invasion, as the majority of the Jedi are drawn away into other mysterious events, revealed in Star Wars Episode II. One of the first things you'll do as Adi Gallia is enlist the help of Nym, who joins in the fight in the same reluctant way that Han Solo did in the classic movies.
The Jedi Starfighter is a new craft that is introduced in Episode II. Sleek and triangular, it's a craft of simple yet effective design. Rather than using a set of secondary weapons like Nym's Havoc, the Jedi Starfighter offers only basic lasers and agile maneuvering. Adi Gallia's proficiency in the use of the force makes up for the lack of alternate weapons, however. Initially, you'll have a force shield available, which, as you might have guessed, brings up a protective field that prevents damage to your ship for a limited amount of time. Later, you'll gain force lightning, which emits a powerful electric blast that can arc from ship to ship, causing more damage. This attack works only on smaller craft, as the larger ships are more insulated and therefore immune to it. Much later in the game, you'll gain force reflex and force shock wave, which offer more powerful offensive and defensive effects. Force reflex slows time and lets you inflict more damage on enemies, as well as increase the maneuverability of your ship. Force shock wave sends out a circular blast that damages all enemies in your immediate vicinity.
In the missions where you find yourself flying as Nym, you'll have the powerful Havoc spacecraft at your disposal. Almost the polar opposite of Adi's Jedi Starfighter, the Havoc is a beast, with less maneuverability and much more armor. The ship also has a wider variety of secondary weapons that improve as you progress. You'll start off with an unlimited supply of energy bombs that will slowly replenish as you use them up. As time goes on, you'll acquire powerful missiles, proximity mines, and cluster seeker missiles as well. Toward the end of the game, you'll even gain control over a planetary cannon, which is particularly devastating when used against larger and slower targets such as Trade Federation frigates and missile boats. This weapon is quite entertaining as well, due to the fact that it feels as if you have a miniature Death Star at your command.
The control in the game is almost identical to the setup used in the first game, with a few additions. Instead of just using the directional pad to issue commands to your wingmates, as you did in the first game, you'll also use it to select your secondary weapons, whether they're Adi's force powers or Nym's bombs and missiles. As far as targeting enemies is concerned, you just hold down the Y button to highlight all enemies currently onscreen with a red indicator and then bring your targeting reticule to bear over a selected enemy. You can cycle through enemy targets by pressing the black button repeatedly--doing so brings up the nearest enemy or the last one to shoot you. Unfortunately, despite the two different buttons dedicated to targeting, you'll often find yourself frantically pressing the black button as you try to bring up targets that aren't immediately visible. This can be frustrating if you're searching for an essential target, and it can cause you to fail to achieve some of the bonus objectives on occasions. In the worst-case scenario, you'll even fail a mission altogether as a result of this.
- Player Reviews: 5
- Game Universe:
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer (GBC, N64, DC, MAC),
- Star Wars: Yoda Stories (PC, GBC),
- Star Wars: Demolition (DC, PS),
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (PC, GC, XBOX, MAC),
- Star Wars: Starfighter (PC, PS2),
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC, XBOX, MAC, IP),
- Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (PS2, XBOX),
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (PS2, GC),
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (GC, PS2, XBOX),
- Star Wars Galaxies (PS2, XBOX)
- Offline Modes:
- Number of Players: