Star Wars has had many games in the past and they have all been decently good to great in the past. This one plays out like the Rebel Strike Star Wars game for Gamecube, but the gameplay is more refined. Could this game keep up the solid reputation of the Star Wars games or would it end up crushing out hopes? Only one way to find out!
Well, usually I would go into the plot right away, but that's tougher than expected. There is definitely a plot, but you continue to switch characters are you go through the levels and while I do like the main, main character the most, the others are still cool. It's just hard to follow the story and you're really just focusing on the action. I'm sure that the story is very engaging and epic, but you won't remember it by the time that you complete the game. Instead, we shall spend our time focusing on the gameplay and graphics.
The graphics hold up pretty well for the most part. The ships look good and the energy attacks are also solid. It reminds me of the retro N64 (Awesome) days while also throwing in some modern Gamecube action into it. The graphics are definitely a + and the only parts that don't look very good are the humans. Still, they play a very small role in this and what really counts are the battles.
One of the reasons why I like the Starfighter series so much is that it finally takes Star Wars back to its roots. Originally, the whole concept of Star Wars was about how there would be climatic battles in space and how it would be awesome. After the first few Star Wars films, they started to diverge from that. In this game, fighting in space is all that you will do and it's definitely a great experience.
The gameplay is essentially a 3D shooter. You can play it in first person mode or seeing from behind the ship. In this game, I find it a lot more convenient to use first person mode and you can attack foes that are incredibly far away. The game was definitely designed well because in most other shooters, you simply cannot attack from that far away. The blasts would just fade away into nothingness and you would have to wait until you are closer. There are usually dozens of enemies that continue to attack while you have to try and fend them off. You are able to lead your comrades into battle, but I never really used the function. By the time you tell your comrades to destroy an object, you will have basically finished the job.
Most of the missions involve destroying a lot of enemies and protecting your allies. There are 15 missions in Story Mode and it doesn't drag on. The game could definitely be considered to be on the short side and it could have used some more levels. I'm not sure that 15 levels would have really cut it for me if I had bought the game at retail price, but for the bargain of 4 dollars, I'm all right with it. It's still no excuse to be such a short game, but there is a decent amount of replay value through bonus missions.
You only have a few weapons to use in the game, but they're all that you truly need. You have rockets which do heavy damage, but they do run out of ammo quickly and you cannot reload. There are energy grenades that automatically replenish and also deal great damage, but they are harder to aim as they cannot travel great distances. They are best used from a high point to drop on unsuspecting enemies. Of course, nothing beats the classic machine gun style energy bullets that you can fire to take down any enemy given enough time. You have complete control over your vehicle and you can turn it around as you dodge enemy attacks and counter. By turning it around, I mean that you can make your vehicle fly sideways or even upside down as you do 180s and 360s. Yes, this is one of the best pure shooters out there and the gameplay would usually make the game an 8/10.
The only reason that this game does not crack an 8 is because the gameplay does not have enough support from the other modes. As I've mentioned, the game is pretty short and the story is completely forgettable. If the game had been longer and if the story had been more memorable, then I likely would have given the game an 8. It was just lacking something. Maybe an epic 2 player showdown mode would have added to the score and likely would have made the game an 8.
Overall, this is a fun Star Wars game. It's not going to be hailed as one of the all time greats and you may not even remember it after a while, but it's very fun and is that not the main function of a video game? Ultimately, having fun is the most important part of playing a video game and this one definitely succeeds. I highly recommend this game as long as you don't mind the lack of length and you definitely need to like the shooting genre. If you didn't like Star Fox Assault or Robotech's aerial combat system, then this is not the game for you. This game only features aerial combat, but it's some of the best space fighting that I've encountered. You will not want to miss out on this game!