Review by Sparhawk

"Speeders. Boats. Fighters. Coolness"

What, you were expecting a good opening line? Anyway, the review:

Graphics (with Expansion Pak): Brilliant. Everything from the backgrounds to the ships is sharp and well-textured, with slowdown being extremely rare.

Graphics (with Expansion Pak): 10/10.

Graphics (without Expansion Pak): Nothing you wouldn’t expect from a game optimized for the Expansion Pak. It’s blurrier, less detailed, more blocky, more foggy, etc. However, there is still little to no slowdown, which is a plus.

Graphics (without Expansion Pak): 7/10

Sound/Music: Classic Star Wars music. And if you don’t like Star Wars music, I don’t even know where to begin insulting you and your taste. Sound effects are excellent, with lasers, missiles, and explosions all sounding good. The one exception would be the Gian Speeder’s Heavy Laser, for which the high-pitched sound gets kind of annoying, but that alone isn’t enough to keep BFN from earning a 10 in this category.

The voice acting, however, is. It’s often cheesy and mostly just plain bad. I swear, if I hear “Lieutenant, where’s our cover?!?!?!” one more time, I’m going to throw up. Or smash my N64. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

Sound/Music: 8/10

Play Control/Interface: A few annoyances keep this from a perfect score. First of all, there’s no “Restart Mission” option at the pause menu. You have to choose “Abort Mission”. It will then take you to a screen that tells you what a horrible person you are for failing. Then you go to the high score screen, back to the opening screen, the “which save file?” screen, mission select screen, then you can restart the mission. Really, would it have been that hard to put a “Restart Mission” option in? Also, there’s a problem where you bounce off of a hill and angle straight towards the sky, ending up at a weird orientation.

Try playing with the Gian Speeder. Since you can fire while charging your Heavy Laser, you’ll usually be doing so. Due to the weird control setup, your fingers start to really, really hurt.

The several control schemes (like in Rogue Squadron) do help, although it would’ve been nice if control were completely customizable.

Play Control/Interface: 7/10

Ingenuity: It’s Rogue Squadron-BUT WITH GROUND STUFF!!!

Ingenuity: 3/10

Plot/Story: Average. The first and last few missions basically follow the plot of Episode 1, but the middle ones are somewhat more original. The story follows Lieutenant Gavin Sykes of the Naboo Security Force as he and his captain try to stop the Trade Federation invasion. Whee. Isn’t is cool?

Plot/Story: 6/10

Gameplay: It’s Rogue Squadron-BUT WITH GROUND STUFF! Oh wait, I said that already, didn’t I? Ummm…okay.

Basically, the point of the game (after beating it) is to earn medals. You can get Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum medals. Platinum are the “hidden” medals, which you only get for beating missions in insanely fast times, with insane numbers of kills, with insane…you get the idea. Get medals to go up in rank, unlock new missions, etc.

They’ve expanded on Rogue Squadron with ground and water vehicles. You now get the Flash Speeder, Gian Speeder, Heavy STAP, and Trade Federation Gunboat in addition to your air vehicles.

“But Mirai,” you say, “You haven’t said anything about the actual gameplay!” In a word: fun. The air combat isn’t quite as well-done as Rogue Squadron, but it’s still great. Unfortunately, there isn’t as wide a variety of air craft as there was in Rogue Squadron. The ground combat is rather sweet. They’ve added some cool new weapons (Heavy Laser) and of course, the ground combat. I’ll shut up about that now.

One issue I do have with this is that there aren’t as many straight blow-everything-up missions as in Rogue Squadron. The final mission, unlocked by earning all Golds, is extremely fun, though.

Gameplay: 9/10

Replayability: Plenty, since you can always get better, even after you’ve earned the Platinum Medals. And you’ll never get tired of killing Jar Jar Binks.

Replayability: 9/10

One thing that didn’t fit into any of the categories but nevertheless deserves mention here is that the N64 logo smashes Jar Jar Binks at the start. That alone should be enough to make you buy it.

Final Ratings
Graphics (with Expansion Pak): 10/10
Graphics (without Expansion Pak): 7/10
Sound/Music: 8/10
Play Control/Interface: 7/10
Ingenuity: 3/10
Plot/Story: 6/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Replayability: 9/10


Overall Rating: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/09/01, Updated 11/08/01


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