Star Wars: Episode I Battle for Naboo
Review by AWing Pilot
"Best Star Wars game? No. Best Episode One game? Most definitely."
Star Wars: Battle for Naboo for the Nintendo 64
A pseudo-sequel to 1998's Star Wars Rouge Squadron for the Nintendo 64, Battle for Naboo brought vehicular combat to the aging system both in the air and on the ground. This is by far the best Episode One game to be released since the movies premiere in 1999 even if the rest of the games were arguably bad.
The graphics in this game were a sight to see when the game came out in 2000. Factor 5, like all of their games, went all out on this one and it showed. The ships are all spot on and animate great. Even more impressive is the level layout and surroundings. They look as good as they did in the movie and as your cruising down a Theed street you'll get the chance to really appreciate what work went into the graphics. From individual bricks on a street to the very impressive lighting effects on all the craft, the graphics here are top notch and still stand up among Next-Gen games. Battle for Naboo also supports the N64 ram expansion for an added boost to resolution. Great just got better
Another Lucas product with great sound. Every thing here sound just like it does in the films. From the laser bolts to the ship engines to the Roger Roger of the battle droids as you smash them to bits everything here is great. Even better then the sound is the great orchestral music from John Williams. From the minute you put in the game you are treated to great stirring music that one way or the other brings the battles to life. Duel of the Fates is of special notice. An added and equally as impressive feature is full audio commentary for all the games levels. This is amazing for a cart game and boosts the score.
Nothing really new here. The controls are spot on from Rouge Squadron. Ships handle well on the analog stick and the buttons are mapped out in a working order. You of course can switch everything around the way you want it which is nice. A good control scheme never has the player looking at his control and that's what's accomplished here. One small problem with the land ships is to be had with the aiming. It feels a little loose and hard to get used to.
Game-play consists of 15 missions both in air vehicles including the N1 fighter which was made popular in TPM and a few variants of the same craft including the Police Bomber. Most of the missions are on the planet side of the battles sans the final which re-creates the epic space battle that ended the film. The ground vehicles consist mostly of go here and destroy this types of missions but you will be too immersed in the graphics and sound presentation to really notice the slow pace A lot of fun is to be had here especially in the dog-fighting levels. There are also three extra missions to unlock; one even has you playing as a certain popular Sith Lord.
All the stages have multiple goals to reach to obtain better medals which in turn unlock new missions. This proves to be a boring experience as you fight sometime impossible statistics to gain a level that was obviously put together on the fly. Overall there are three missions to unlock by beating the original fifteen with the best score.
This game is a great Star Wars experience to be found among the sea of mediocre games that bear the name. You can find a copy online for around 20 dollars and if you still have your Nintendo 64 then you this is a great purchase if you enjoy action games. Star Wars fans owe it to themselves to have this game in their collection. If you are looking for a good Episode One experience, this game is it.
Overall Score: 9/10
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 01/26/05
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