Review by GMitchell
"Great idea, lots of flaws, still great fun"
Star Wars: Demolition is, at the base of it, a really great idea. Basically, it's Twisted Metal/ Vigilante 8 taken into the Star Wars universe, not at all a bad premise. While initially very difficult to get the hang of, it wound up well worth my time and remains a part of my Dreamcast collection to this day.
You've got a choice of many different SW character/ ships to play as, and many open up as you beat the game. Each character has a very different set of abilities and control mechanics, so there is a good bit of learning to be done even after you've got the basics of the game down. Certain vehicles have excellent special attacks and terrible basic ones, and vice versa. Some vehicles are best used as battering rams, with all weaponry being merely secondary, while others need to avoid contact of all kinds to survive (Boba Fett!) and snipe from afar. Each stage hides important and valuable powerups, which one _needs_ to find in order to stand a chance of doing well in the more difficult battles.
Sometimes, it's best to have a 2nd player join to assist as part of a team - secret characters will still open up if the final stage is beaten, even if you've got help. The cooperative mode is surprisingly fun - your partner doesn't even have to know what s/he is doing to be of assistance, simply having another target out there for enemies to attack is greatly beneficial.
Graphics are really excellent, both on the Dreamcast and Playstation version of the game. Luxoflux has done a great job of making all the vehicles look great in 3d, from the Rancor Monster to the Snowspeeder. Level design is really great too - Hoth, Dagobah and others look really great and feel like part of the movie series. Having the Wampa hurl snowboulders at you in Hoth is just one of the many little touches thrown in that make levels entertaining.
Sadly, control is a rather frustrating issue. It can be overcome for the most part in time, but as a whole the vehicles all control...well. I guess like they should, as junked-out space vehicles on rough terrain. But it's frustrating nonetheless, and severely cuts into the game's fun factor. Fortunately for me, I'm a big enough SW fan and big enough fan of all destructive things that I got used to it in time and still managed to enjoy the game thoroughly, but some people may despise the control enough to hate the game from the get-go.
As a whole, I had a great deal of fun with SW: Demolition. My main advice to anyone considering the title is to have patience with the game if you buy it, and to not get frustrated when scores of enemies group-attack repeatedly. Just keep on your toes, keep moving, use your charged weapons wisely and the game's fun factor will shine through.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 05/29/01, Updated 05/29/01
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