Fixes the few disappointments of KOTOR, but climax falls way short.

User Rating: 8 | Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords XBOX
KOTOR was quite possibly the best game of the first half of the decade. There was very little to dislike about it, a couple of quirks in the combat system, and the relatively odd "upgrade" system to the various "special" in-game weapons.

KOTOR II fixes those, wonderfully. The additional stances, Force forms, and increased skills/powers are nearly perfect. The "crafting" of upgrades for weapons, armor, and lightsabers for conditional needs (ion for droid heavy areas, for example) is terrific.

The "prestige" classes are a nice touch... letting you change directions mid-game. If you started your "Jedi" out as a Force-heavy Consular and are sick and tired of taking a full-out beating in some of the tougher fights because you have less hit points than a baby Jawa, take the Guardian version of the Prestige class (Jedi Weaponsmaster / Sith Maurader) so that your next 15 levels are pure hack and slash mayhem!

Don't have enough skill points? Take the Jedi Watchman / Sith Assassin Prestige class and crank up your skills to silly heights (actually, to do that, take the base version of this class first, Jedi Sentinel... and just keep piling skill points on).

Now, as far as "drawbacks" of this game... well, for the first 90% of the game, there is very little. A couple of spots the game goes point-to-point linear on you without warning and you might not be as well-prepared as you might like (hence the old gaming axiom, save early and save often!).

Otherwise, the game is a terrific story and pacing up until you reach the "Final Conflict" (which I won't spoil here). I don't know what happened at this point (budget overruns? deadline approaching??) but all the good storyline, great development, and stylish flowing completely goes straight to hell.

The end sequences of the game are highly disappointing, disjointed, leave you hanging on 90% of the party, and generally has a very slapdash, "we done good enough" feel to it.

However, if you're willing to look past the anti-climactic ending to the exceptional gameplay that got you to that point, you are in for a wonderful second chapter to the Knights of the Old Republic saga.