A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away Lucas Arts released their most beloved Star Wars game to date: Star Wars Battlefront. This week I decided to rent the much-anticipated sequel. Star Wars games have always been great. My favourite used to be Jedi Knight II but this one is clearly the champ. Heck, even if you?re one of those people who dislike Star Wars ? well, you don?t realise it but you?re actually the nerd ? you?re sure to like this game.
This is just one of those titles that?s so good it?s hard to believe it exists. I?m not the biggest Star Wars geek out there but I still know the difference between a Tie-fighter and an X-wing. The concept is so impressive that it has to be good; a Star Wars game in which you can use virtually any character or any ship in an all out war.
If you didn?t play BF2?s predecessor I?ll give you the skinny: it?s third-person action and you choose your Star Wars faction, e.g., dark side, light side, gungans, trade federation, to begin a conquest that spans the galaxies. In levels, you typically have an infantry of more than a hundred at your disposal. Depending on the level there are often vehicles such as speeders and weapons such as turrets you can take advantage of. For the most part all you have to worry about is defending and taking over territories. In the main one player mode, you need credits, which are awarded when you are victorious, to make progresss and so that you can unlock new soldiers and upgrades.
For the most part they actually didn?t change the game all that much. There are some serious differences, such as the fact that the battles are not always on the ground. In the one player mode I found I often had to defend a fleet of my ships from an attack of another fleet! This meant hopping in a an X-wing, making it across a m?l?e of enemy fighters and missiles, infiltrating the master ship and then taking it apart from the inside out.
Another new feature that most people who were excited about this sequel are sure to be pleased with is the new playable characters. In the original, characters such as Darth Vader and Luke, would be there with you on the field fighting by your side but you couldn?t control them, no you?d be stuck with the regular soldiers of the infantry ? not anymore. Now you can use credits to buy a special character for a level. I found that using these characters could turn the tide on what might have been an unsuccessful battle. And let?s just face it, frying enemies with force lightning thanks to Darth Sidious is always a treat.
I played the Xbox version but I know this title?s also available for PS2 and even PSP. I should mention that whenever I have a choice of playing a game on PS2 or Xbox I usually go with PS2 version simply because I prefer the controller. Yet, clearly Xbox?s games always boast the smoothest graphics. The lush forests, the detailed planets and stars, the vast mountainous terrains, all were beautifully rendered. It had me thinking about what we are really in for with 360.
I don?t have a membership to Xbox Live but this game was just screaming for it. I was able to play two-player co-op and the human element in a game like this really made a difference. Mind you, the A.I. won?t disappoint in the one player mode.
If you?re a Star Wars fan and if you haven?t tried this one, then you are actually not much of a Star Wars fan ? so maybe you have a chance of having a love life. Seriously now, this title is a good investment: it will last you a long time, it?s easy for people to learn so it makes for good multiplayer sessions and it?s got the always important fun-factor.
I haven?t dedicated any time towards talking about the PSP and now that I?ve owned one for a few months, I think it?s a good time for it.
For the most part I have been very happy with my investment in the PSP and most people I know who own one feel the same way. This gadget seemingly does everything: it plays movies, music, games, and on top of all that, with its wi-fi card it becomes a web browser and makes many of its games online compatible. However, to really take advantage of all these features you need really deep pockets.
It comes with a 32MB card and that obviously doesn?t make for holding very much ? especially music and video files. All you need to move files over is a USB cable.
I?ve had a really hard time finding a file converter that can make video files, such as mpegs for example, playable on the PSP. I already had the software to convert music files into the type that Sony favors because I used to own a mini-disc player but this still begs the question as to why Sony would make it a tad tedious to play music and movies. I mean, why not just make PSP compatible with MP3?s and choose a more common video file format? I suppose the developers thought that people were not smart enough to realize that UMD-movie discs are not a worthwhile luxury.
If you don?t have a wireless router at home for your internet connection you won?t be playing any online games, nor will you make use of the web browser. I actually have one and I must say it?s pretty neat being able to stroll wherever I wish at home and surf the net but I?ve been disappointed in the PSP?s online gaming aspect. For some strange reason, for whatever game I want to play online there always seems to be one, or no people in the rooms! It feels like there are two people who own a PSP sometimes!
Despite all these condemnations however, I am still in love with the PSP.
Visually, every game looks amazing with beautifully smooth resolution, colors and graphics. And although I mentioned those UMD-movie discs are expensive, I always notice a look of amazement on the faces of the people leaning over my shoulder on the subway trying to catch a glimpse.
PSP comes with a stylish pair of headphones with remote so that you can listen to music. Now as I mentioned, the memory card it comes with only holds 32MB, which gets used up fast, however if you can afford to shelve out a hundred dollars and hunt a 1GB card off ebay you?ll soon have lots of space. Sure it?s no ipod, but it?s still a great feature.
You can view photos and luckily this doesn?t require any bothersome file converter. I don?t know how much use people in general will put to this feature but I imagine if someone owns a digital camera it?s a nice option. Personally, I like this feature because it makes it so that I can have a wallpaper of my choice at the main menu screen.
Compared to the main competitor, which is Nintendo DS, to me, the PSP stands on top?so far. I am of course fully aware that we?re going to see the release of an online Mario Kart for the DS soon but man-oh-man Nintendo has been taking there sweet time to really take advantage of their hand-held. When Nintendo starts to get the ball rolling with the DS, don?t be surprised if I?ve switched sides ? and, of course ? don?t be surprised if that never happens.
I also chose to talk about PSP is starting to really build up a good selection of titles and I didn?t think it?d be a good idea to start critiquing them unless I put out my two cents with regards to the system itself. If you?re curious, the games I?m talking about are X-men Legends II, Star Wars Battlefront II and Grand Theft Auto; oh yeah, it?s that crazy.