Review by FireGryphon

"A generally well done game worth a rent at least"

Well...the sequel to one of the finest pieces of star wars software (at least for a console) has come...and perhaps you were wondering if it would be the epic game you were hoping for. This game most certainly does not deserve the term epic, but it can provide a fun experience, at least over a rental period. Here we go...

Graphics- The graphics were marginally improved over rogue. But it is a noticeable graphics upgrade (which it better have, needing the expansion pack). I found that the draw in distance has been greatly improved in most areas, but there is an exception. While you can practically see to the horizon, buildings pop in like they were just beamed down from the enterprise. This is especially noticeable in the space levels, where a gigantic space station can just shift in out of nowhere. On the other side of the coin, the Naboo ships look just awesome. Perhaps I'm just a sucker for good graphics, but I found the engine flares look much better, like an actual movie. The blaster fire looks slightly better to me too. Oh oh, some of the level textures look much better, for instance the snow has this nice gleam to it and the water looks reasonably like water. Uh, yep, thats about it.

Sound- Oh wow...its a shame it took them so many years to realize the sound potential of the big N. The guys at Factor 5 went all out on this one, and this can mostly be noticed in the music. Remember in pod racer how the music sounded all tiny and muffled, like that blown out amp in your room under that pile of clothes?!? Well no more, the music is almost cd quality, and the sound effects ring clear. This is what really brings out the cinematic feel of sections of the game. Definitely good.

Gameplay- Aha, now we come to the most important part of any game, the gameplay itself. Fortunately, BFN is NOT just a hollow game with an improved graphical shell. The game did have some exciting and occasionally innovative levels. Come on, you can't say it wasn't cool in the first level with the N-1, a space level, that you fell into formation with your wingmen as they chattered away about the strategy for this mission. The addition of hangars, where you can change your vehicle mid mission, is a welcome and well done one. The new vehicles are quite good as well, and like in rogue, the bomber is atrociously slow. There is one point of concern though: this so-called ''dynamic difficulty adjustor.'' This game is horrendously easy. The idea is that the game gauges your performance and adjusts the difficulty according to your estimated skill level. It goes way too easy on you. You will easily beat this game in a single rental period. This is the point where it falls horribly far behind rogue. Enjoy the thrill of barrel rolling while the metallic highlights on your ship reflect searing droid laser blasts, cuz in about 3 hours you will wonder where the game went.

Story- The story in my opinion is better than the one in rogue, as the authors try to add in a few plot twists and turns...betrayal, triumph in the face of destiny...and so forth. Don't expect to get to involved though, unless you've seen the movie and notice when the plot intersects that of the movie. Average if slightly above.

Control- Well the controls are pretty much the same, with a few modifications. First off, the bottom c button is not for linking your cannon fire anymore, it is for barrel rolling. What happened to the R button you ask? Well, now it is a ''tight turn'' button, like the power slide in futuristic racing games. These changes are generally for the better, as not to many people used cannon linking and the tight turn is more useful and accessible in most situations. Also, the intuitive radar is still there, so you shouldn't get lost if you know how to read it.

And that does it. MAKE SURE you RENT this game before you do anything drastic...I beat the game in the rental period and didn't care to play it again anytime soon, but it was fun while it lasted. If you are a total star wars freak, you will be delighted, that is unless you were one who thought Episode I was sacrilegious. Ah well, a mixed bag, but generally a good game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 01/15/01, Updated 01/15/01

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