While not exactly THE Star Wars game, it's still a pretty good game extremely fun to play despite its shortcomings.

User Rating: 9 | Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire N64
Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire was released in December of 1996, and it was part of the N64's lineup. While it met mixed reactions nd reviews, that didn't stop it from becoming a best-seller and a very popular N64 game.

SOTE takes place, in Star Wars chronology, between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, the three first levels take plce DURING Episode V.

In the game, you control Dash Rendar, a cocky mercenary who ends up working for the Rebellion. The game's ten levels consist in 1) Helping the Rebels during the Battle of Hoth, 2) Escaping Echo base, 3) Getting out of Imperial reach, 4) Hunting down a crazy robotic bounty hunter, 5) Searching for Boba Fett, 6) Getting rid of some thugs who try to kill Luke Skywalker, 7) Stealing a computer with important Imperial data, 8)Infiltrating a criminal's palace, 9) Blowing up said structure, and 10) Finally taking out the criminal. While the levels have quite some variety, since they involve swimming, flying apart driving from platformer levels, some of them aren't fun, such as Level 6, the driving one, due to dumb enemies and bad control. Platforming levels are very fun (at least for me) even if they have some noteworthy issues I'll tell you about later. There are two flying levels: the first, the third, and the last. Level 1 is very fun and has a lot to it due to the fact that you feel you're actually PART of the Rebels, taking out slow-moving giants and evading AT-ST fire. Level 3, however, is not as Level 1 due to the fact that the ship yor ride is not like the Speeder from the first level.

Since the platforming levels are 3/5 of the game, I have to give them a bigger space than the other ones. Said levels pretty much consist of killing enemies (in three levels there are some truly hideous and creepy ones), activating doors and, in Level 7, you get to solve a puzzle. You can pretty much guess what you have to do in each level since they're pretty straightforward, but despite being simple, this is the fun type of game you expect to beat in 2 days. You can use up to 5 different weapons which you'll find scattered around (along with other power-ups), being the only 2 you'll really use the Seeker and your default Blaster. To add up some replay value, in each of the 10 levels there are hidden Challenge Points. If you get them all in a difficulty level (Easy, Medium, Hard and Jedi) you'll unlock a special feature.

The game DOES have some flaws, however. First of all, the CONTROL. The character, when you jump, stays in the air for a ridiculous amount of time, which can be a pain in places with cliffs and ledges. Also, pushing the control stick gently forward will result in Dash making a HUGE step forward, which may make you fall off places, again. The jetpack isn't very comfortable to use, either, and it doesn't always go where you want it to. Also, a noticeable fault is the save system. Your game will only be saved whenever you beat a level, so if you've just reached the final boss after an hour of going through the level and he kicks your ass, it's time to go through the WHOLE level again. This applies to all levels.

Leaving the gameplay aside, the atmosphere, graphics and sound are excellent. The game's visual style and level design really make you feel like you're trying to infiltrate an Imperial secret base, and all characters and enemies look very nice. The music and sound effects are directly from the movies, so this one of the Star Wars games that most feels like the movies, with a very creepy menu theme.

So, it comes down to this:


1) Most of the levels are fun
2) Excellent visuals, sound and overall Star Wars presentation
3) Challenge Points and difficulty levels offer a little replay value


1) Noteworthy issues with saving and controls
2) The levels which aren't fun are directly BORING
3) One-player game, so don't expect to keep on playing it for much longer