Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force Review
Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force is an all-encompassing game in that it follows the adventures of Luke Skywalker from the beginnings of A New Hope through the final victory over the Galactic Empire in Return of the Jedi. This may seem like a dream to Star Wars fans, but in reality there is a lot of repetition along the way. When you take away the Star Wars story and characters youíre left with a basic side-scroller platform game with a few side-scroller vehicle missions thrown in to break up the monotony.
What Apprentice of the Force does right is to closely tie the game to the storyline of the three films. Each of the three episodes is introduced by the same scrolling text that the movies are famous for, along with the fanfare of the Star Wars theme song. The story is advanced before each level by hologram-like stills from the films along with text relating the story. It does a good job of tying the game into the filmsí storylines but donít expect a lot of depth here Ė this is strictly the Cliff Notes version of Star Wars. The gameís developers have also done a good job of capturing a lot of the music and sound effects from the films, which further give the game an authentic feel. The characters also look good, resembling their movie counterparts and animated to move smoothly and realistically. Finally, the levels themselves do a good job of capturing the diverse locations in the films including Tattooine, Hoth, and the Death Star.
|Fighting on Endor.|
This all sounds good so far, right? Unfortunately all of the work put into the gameís look, feel, and atmosphere canít hide the fact that it is a very basic side-scroller. Whether you are on Tattoine or Hoth, youíll still be running through levels, jumping gaps, climbing platforms, and shooting enemies as they appear from the edges of the screen. At the start of the game youíll only have a blaster, but as you progress through the game youíll eventually gain the use of a lightsaber and additional Force powers. Lightsaber attacks look cooler than blaster fire and have the added bonus of being able to deflect enemy blaster shots, but in practice one attack is as good as another. The Force powers give you additional moves such as double-jumps and gap slides, which are conveniently granted just as things like wider holes and low gaps appear in the levels. The game is not necessarily as bad as it is repetitive. Whether you are fighting sand people on Tattoine or Stormtroopers on the Death Star, you are faced with a long series of jumps while shooting at enemies that walk on screen to fire off an occasional shot while primarily serving as cannon fodder for your blaster shots. It just seems to go on and on and on, which is quite impressive considering that you can finish the entire game in a few short hours.
The game does throw some vehicle stages your way to break up the long stretches of platform action, but these are really basic as well. For example, piloting an X-wing down the trench of the Death Star involves pressing up and down on the controller to avoid the obstructions that appear at the top and bottom of the screen as you fly along. There are additional hazards such as TIE fighters giving chase and laser turrets, but as long as you keep one finger on the fire button and dodge the obstructions as they scroll into view youíll have no trouble completing the level. Other vehicle missions are basically the same, except that instead of dodging Death Star obstructions in an X-wing youíre dodging rocks and trees with a speeder bike.
While it is evident that a lot of work went into capturing the look and feel of the movies for the game, it is disappointing that the same level of effort was not put into the gameplay. Even taking into account the limitations of a portable game, the missions are too simplistic and repetitive to generate any real fun, excitement, or challenge. You know itís a bad sign when a game as short as Apprentice of the Force feels like it is a much longer game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 64%. Too simple and repetitive to recommend to anyone but a diehard Star Wars fan.