Star Wars: Jedi Power Battles Review

For PlayStation

Rating: Average
   For some reason, I was actually looking forward to Star Wars: Jedi Power 
Battles despite LucasArts' horrible track record.  I was disappointed to 
find that it's what I should have known it would be all along: Yet another 
unexciting Star Wars game.
   Jedi Power Battles uses "classic" gameplay mechanics that were never 
really that classic in the first place.  Here's the basic flow of the 
gameplay: Move to the right, kill a few enemies; move into the background, 
kill a few enemies; move to the right, kill a few enemies, and so on.  
There isn't enough variety in the game because even though the setting 
constantly changes, the basic flow of the gameplay doesn't.  There's not 
much difference between the first few levels and the last few levels in 
terms of what you actually do.
   More than half of the enemies in the game can be avoided simply by 
running like hell until the screen won't scroll to the right anymore, at 
which point you have to kill a couple before you're able to move on.  The 
enemies almost always chase after you mindlessly rather than shooting, even 
if they have a clear shot at you.
   No game with jumping control this bad should have any platform elements, 
but sure enough, Jedi Power Battles does.  It sometimes seems that your 
character jumps in a randomly-chosen direction when you press the jump 
button, regardless of what you're pressing on the d-pad.  Also, sometimes 
the game is so dark that you can't see a gap in the ground until you fall 
into it.  Of all the games that LucasArts could have drawn inspiration from, 
they seem to chosen the original Turok and its nonsensical platform 
   One particularly annoying thing about Jedi Power Battles is that the 
playable characters don't automatically line up to face the nearest enemy. 
You can make them do this by holding down R1, but you shouldn't have to.  
It's annoying to have to spend most of the game holding down R1 when 
there's no good reason your character shouldn't automatically use a little 
bit of common sense and face the nearest enemy.
   Jedi Power Battles often forces you to use trial and error in figuring 
out where to go and what to do next.  Are you supposed to jump into that 
big hole in the ground?  Well, jump in and find out.  If you move on to the 
next area of the game, then you were supposed to jump into the hole.  If 
you die, then you weren't.
   There's not much to like about Jedi Power Battles, and that statement 
comes from someone who is a big fan of Star Wars.  The character models are 
small and not adequately detailed, the boss designs often require you to 
use a certain tactic repeatedly until the boss finally explodes, and even 
the music leaves something to be desired.  Star Wars' trademark dramatic 
music is great when it's used sparingly, but overbearing when it's used for 
most of the game.
   The only really cool thing in the entire game is the ability to deflect 
shots back at enemies with your lightsaber, and this isn't anywhere near 
enough to carry the game on its own.  If your favorite scenes in The 
Phantom Menace were the ones where the heroes repetitively killed battle 
droids, you'll love Jedi Power Battles.  Everyone else should steer clear.

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