Star Wars: Starfighter was one of the first truly impressive games released on the system. Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter features visuals very similar to those seen in Starfighter. The engine is the same, but thanks to many minor improvements, it seems slightly smoother.
The spaceships are more detailed, also thanks to an overall improvement in the variety and quality of textures used on their bodies. Nym's Havoc looks more realistic than in the first Starfighter and the Jedi Starfighter is a great looking spaceship. All the other classic spaceships - like the Tie Fighter and the X-Wing - that you can unlock playing the game are well realized, even if they pale in comparison to the movie-like models used in GameCube's Rogue Leader.
The environments look beautiful, detailed and filled with special effects, and many levels are really breathtaking. Land levels have the beautiful skies you've seen in the first episode, nice reflection effects on water and light effects; deep space levels show nebulae, stars, planets and enormous spaceships which recreate the feeling of the battles in the movies.
Special light and particle effects, after one year from the release of the first Starfighter, are still amazing, especially when you attack and destroy enormous spaceships and after a titanic explosion you see all the little pieces floating in the sky.
Since the engine is the same, the problems of the first Starfighter are still here. Slowdowns still occur here and there, and the overall framerate is not exactly stellar. Especially when playing in land levels, or when a great number of ships is displayed on screen, slowdowns become more evident; if you play in cooperative mode - and you will, since it's one of the best features of the game - these problems are even more frequent. Players who were waiting for a new Starfighter with graphics locked at 60fps or even at 30fps will probably be disappointed, even if these issues never compromise the gaming experience. Besides, when looking closely at buildings, big spaceships or mountains - and it happens often if you make good use of the zoom function - the textures appear blurry and the objects reveal their polygonal nature. Unfortunately, Jedi Starfighter pales in comparison to the movie-like visuals of GameCube's Rogue Leader.
Anyhow, the truth is that Jedi Starfighter is a beautiful game; simply, after one year of amazing looking titles released on Ps2 and other next-generation consoles, the overall effect is not the same you might have had when playing the first Starfighter.
It's a Star Wars game, and it offers exactly what you would expect from it: epic orchestrated music themes composed by John Williams taken directly from the movies, good quality sound effects, and above the average voice acting and dialogues.
Sound effects are sometimes surprising; you can actually notice the difference between the sound of the lasers of two different ships, and this happens also with the extra ships that you can unlock playing the game. The Tie-Fighter, for example, has green lasers with that unforgettable high-pitched sound that you've heard in the movies. Overall, great sounds.
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter features only 15 missions in the story mode. Anyhow, this is a truly addictive game, and if you like the genre you'll surely play it more than once. There are so many juicy extras to unlock, including five extra missions, and the possibility to play all the missions in cooperative mode is another reason to replay this game for a very long time.