Star Wars: Starfighter
Are you ready to fight in the world of Episode One?
I have to admit I've always been a great fan of George Lucas, and I am a fan of LucasArts, even if this company has sometimes failed to come up to the players' expectations. Of course, I'm not speaking of the adventure games for PC like the extraordinary Monkey Island series, Day Of The Tentacle, Sam'n Max, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis and all the others: these games will forever stay among the most extraordinary creations in the industry.
Here I'm speaking of many titles based on the Star Wars saga in which the emotions of the movies were mysteriously substituted by frustration. Among the worst ones, there are unfortunately all those games developed for PsOne, first of all the terrifying Star Wars: Episode One.
That's why I was a bit sceptical before inserting Star Wars: Starfighter disk into the Ps2. But I was wrong. The truth is that star Wars: Starfighter is one of the most exciting games based on the epic story created by George Lucas.
The events of Star Wars: Starfighter and the storyline of Star Wars: Episode One are contemporary; anyhow, with a simple yet interesting idea, the developers decided to create a completely new story, which gives a new perspective on the battles of the movie. In other words, many of the missions of the game will put you in the middle of the spectacular battles you have seen in Episode One, and with graphics that will completely amaze your eyes.
The game is divided into 14 missions, each with a variable number of objectives you have to successfully complete. There are three main characters in the game, each with a different spaceship, and from time to time you'll take the role of one of them: Rhys Dallows, a Naboo fighter, Vana Sage, a mercenary, and Nym, a pirate. They have on thing in common: their hate for the evil Trade Federation.
There are three difficulty levels and completing certain bonus objectives you'll gain medals. In this way you'll unlock many magnificent extra levels; unlike what it happens in other games, these extra levels are just as good as the main ones. Besides, two of these levels (Capture The Flag and Canyon Race) will let you play together with a friend. In fact, all the other levels have been designed solely for single player mode.
The missions are extremely varied even if the primary objectives are always things like "protect the ship" or "destroy the enemy base", clichés of any space shooter. It's important to remind that while many missions are classic deep space battles, others (the ones I prefer) take place on the surface of the many planets you'll visit during the adventure. This adds a good variety to this title, and it's one of the reasons that will make you play Star Wars: Starfighter more than once.
The control system is extremely simplified when compared to the classic space shooters for Pc. The spaceship is perfectly controlled using the two analog sticks, while the R2 and L2 buttons are used respectively to accelerate and decelerate. By pressing the R1 button you can activate the zoom function, which will let you fire at the farthest enemies.
Besides, each of the three ships you'll control in the game behaves in a unique way. The classic Starfighter piloted by Rhys (the yellow ship used by Anakin in Episode One) is extremely fast and agile but its weapons are not exactly. Nym's ship, the Havoc, has extremely powerful weapons like unlimited energy bombs, plasma scourge, and two triple-laser cannons but it's definitely slower than the Starfighter. Vana pilots the Guardian Mantis, probably the most equilibrated ship in the game.
Overall, Star Wars: Starfighter, while not introducing any particular innovation in the genre, can be considered one of the most amusing, gratifying space shooters ever realized. The sensation of fighting in epic battles is strong and constant, especially if you play the game in the darkness with good quality stereo handcuffs.