Review by the bored wanderer
"Mediocrity thy name is Obi-Wan"
Obi-Wan places you in the role of the young jedi as he fights his way thru mindless levels based roughly off the story in The Phantom Menace. While the concept is a good one it's a shame it turned into such a dull game. Bland graphics, bad level design, a poorly told story and lackluster controls turn what could of been a fun game into one of the more boring gaming experiences I've had in a long time.
Gameplay - 4.2
The first thing you'll notice when you start playing this game is the controls. The buttons are all well laid out and the swinging of the lightsaber is controlled thru the use of the right analog stick. Pressing certain directions with the analog stick will yield various swings and there are a few more moves that you can do by pressing directions in order. Pulling back on the stick will block lightsabers and hand to hand weapons as well as deflect laser bolts back at the enemy firing on you. At first the use of the stick to swing your lightsaber is quite enjoyable. However as I become more and more experienced with it I found it to be far too limiting. Your pretty much stuck with the same boring moves that you figure out early on and fights end up being extremely repetitive after just a few hours in. If they had deepened the control scheme and possibly allowed some progression as your character becomes better the use of the analog stick could of been highly entertaining. It's unfortunate that this innovative control scheme is so poorly implemented as I would of liked to see a sequel that tried to deepen the use of it.
The levels in this game are some of the most poorly laid out that I've played on next-gen systems. The general theme in a level is to have you running around killing the same enemy after enemy after enemy after enemy until you are so bored that you think you'll take a break to watch some grass grow. The levels seem like they were designed to slowly wear you down with numbers than to ever throw any real challenges at you. Nearly all the levels are tedious to a degree that must be experienced to truly understand. One of the few saving points of the awful level design is that after some levels you will get to do some one on one jedi fights. These are probably the most enjoyable part of the game as it comes semi-close to entertaining. It can be quite fun, at first, to duel in these but once again the fun is sapped away by the controls. They would of been a lot, and I mean a lot, more enjoyable to play if the use of the right stick had been deeper.
The difficulty involved in completing the game is rather high but it's not a result of good ai or level design or anything else besides the huge numbers they throw at you on the later levels. It's one of those games that is just plain frustrating not fun to overcome. I gained no sense of accomplishment in beating it instead the feeling it leaves you with would be more akin to surviving torture and then escaping.
While a few moments in the game you will find enjoyable the overall gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. I tried very hard to enjoy the game as there is something deeply fun about just swinging around a lightsaber but the more I played it the more mediocre this game became. Hopefully, someday they will attempt another game that uses the right analog stick in this way and deepen it to a level where it is actually fun to use.
Story - 1.4
The attempt at including a story in this game is absolutely pitiful. I could go back to games on the nes that had stories told better. While the game progresses thru the course of the first movie and even starts before the movie it is done in such a manner as to leave you wondering where the heck the story was. There are no cutscenes, there is no in game storyline. All that is present is a few lines of information in between levels and your knowledge of the movie, if you've seen it. I really have no clue how this could of been so overlooked in the game unless they thought since the movie was so bad it would be best to just ignore the whole story. Simply put, if you need a story at all in a game avoid this one.
Graphics/Sound - 3.6
This is an xbox game and it is exclusive, the graphics should be pretty good right? The answer is yes they should be but when you see this game you'll think you are staring at a playstation 1 game. There is absolutely no detail in anything including your character. Without going into a lot of detail, nearly every aspect of the graphics that can be bad are. There are no redeeming aspects of the graphics at all.
The sound is ok but nothing special. Most of what you would expect is present but nothing really stands out. That said, it is one of the parts of the game that I won't lay much criticism on as it does the job well enough.
Play Time/Replayability - 4.4
For an action game, there are quite a few levels to go thru and it will take some time to beat it and master the game. Unfortunately the game would of been better off if they had made the levels shorter as they are extremely unexciting and boring to play thru. There is little to do in the levels besides hop around and slash up those who wish to kill you, which incidentally, is everyone. There is little use for trying to explore much in the game though powerups will be found laying around and in boxes, however you'll find them just playing normally anyways. The replayability is awful except for the jedi fights one on one. They can be somewhat entertaining but besides those I had absolutely no interest in playing thru this game after surviving the campaign.
Final Recommendation - 4.0
Unless you enjoy causing yourself undue pain avoid this title. It can be bought relatively cheap as it is now a platinum hit but don't waste your money there are much better action games to get or star wars games for that matter. If you must play this game to see for yourself, please rent the game for I know of very few people who enjoyed it enough to own it. I highly regret wasting anything time, money, brain cells and the like on this poorly implemented excuse for a game.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 12/17/03
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