REVIEW: Star Wars Starfighter Part 1

The year is 2001. The greatest system ever crafted by human hands, the PLAYSTATION 2, has been raging the game industry for a year now; already defeating the Dreamcast by the sheer will of its existence.

But there was always something on the horizon, and it was that blasted STAR WARS ROGUE SQUADRON 2 for the Kidtendo Kiddycube.

Those self-entitled Sheep always got the best Star Wars games on consoles, with their Shadow of the Empire, Rogue Squadron, and Episode 1 Racer; while we Cows were stuck with bantha poodoo like STAR WARS DEMOLITION and STAR WARS JEDI POWER BATTLES.

It was awful!

To make matters worse, Rogue Squadron 2 looked amazing. It looked like the same graphics of the STAR WARS EPISODE 4: A NEW HOPE SPECIAL EDITION! Why couldn’t we have something like that?

But luckily, the awesomeness of the PS2 inherited a NEW Star Wars flight game, one based on the new STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE movie (no one spoil the movie for me, gonna watch it tonight on VHS wearing my Princess Padme cosplay! I heard it was good!). The game was STAR WARS STARFIGHTER!

Not going to be stuck in the 80’s Original Trilogy like the Sheep! We get to fight for Naboo!

From game director Daron Stinnet and writer Matthew Jacobs, Starfighter unites not only the gameplay of the Rogue Squadron and X-Wing games, but three different storylines with three different playable characters into one.

The galaxy stands on the brink
of war. In the Outer Rim, the
greedy Trade Federation is
mobilizing a secret army to
strike at peaceful Naboo.

Amidst growing tensions, Bravo
Flight trainee RHYS DALLOWS
prepares to fly Royal Escort
and protect the Queen.

Meanwhile, the mercenary
VANA SAGE has undertaken a
dangerous assignment for the
Trade Federation, a mission
that will lead her to a perilous
discovery.

And on the planet Lok, the
pirate captain NYM prepares
for his next raid, unaware that
the Trade Federation is
planning a deadly gambit that
will spell doom for his
homeworld and force three
unlikely heroes to save the
galaxy…

It sounds like fan fiction already.

The game begins with a early 2000’s CGI cutscene featuring a Naboo Starfighter (the game delivers what it says on the box!) pilot called Rhys Dallows. His mentor, Essara Till, makes him (and by extension, you) to take a fairly long tutorial of the game mechanics as you fly through a dangerous and tight canyon with enemies (!).

For what it seems to be almost immediately after that, you are on a mission to escort the Royal Starship, with Padmé Amidala inside (!!), to a meeting with the Trade Federation (you know where this is going).

The first real mission involves you protecting the Royal Starship from oncoming enemy fighters as it tries to jump back into Hyperspace (which for obvious gameplay-related reasons, they can’t do it until the ship warms up, you defeat a number of enemies, go into an asteroid field, defeat a number of enemies, get out of the asteroid field, defeat a number of enemies, and complain that you fired at Padme’s ship).

Albeit a simple (and repetitive) mission, it can be hard to keep track of what you are supposed to be doing at all times. The nature of the game pushes you constantly to going for the closest enemy target, making it very unintuitive to pay attention to the background chatter, which you can’t always be sure if it’s just for show or they include some important gameplay objectives. Even if it did, you can complete the mission by completely ignoring everyone else and destroying all enemy targets at the Easy difficulty levels.

To pilot your Starfighter efficiently, you will need to use not only your lasers but your (seemingly endless) supply of Proton Torpedoes, which can go after an enemy by their own and follow them until they are hit (the AI is a little problematic, since if you fire it from a certain angle, the torpedo will never be able to hit the enemy and go around in constant orbit around the enemy forever).

The mission ends with your ship getting disabled and your mentor being killed in action. What happens next? I don’t know, wait for Part 2 in two years!

About the author: The Cow is an avid lifelong fanboy of all things Playstation. Having grown up with Playstation systems and games, he can’t imagine a world where people think gaming means anything other than Playstation. He became a game journalist and looks up to one day live up to the professional practices of IGN and Kotaku.

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