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Star Wars: Jedi Star Fighter Review - PS2

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Star Wars: Starfighter was released over a year ago on PS2. A near perfect console space shooter, with an emphasis more on action than strategy, it received critical acclaim from gamers and critics alike. So how does the follow up, Jedi Starfighter, measure up??

Set just before and during the events of Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Mace Windu sends Jedi Master Adi Gallia on a mission to make sure Captain Cavick Toth, an ally of the Trade Federation and Count Dooku, doesn't take control of the Karthakk System. Still trying to free his home base, space pirate, Nym teams up with Adi in a pivotal campaign for control of the galaxy.

Gameplay

The reason why Starfighter was so successful was partially due to it's excellent control system. Jedi has made a few tweaks, which really add to the game. Players get to control 2 ships in this one, Adi's Jedi Starfighter (very quick and agile but with light armour) and Nym's Havoc (slower than the Starfighter, but with excellent secondary weapons and armour). The Starfighter doesn't have any secondary weapons, but you will have access to 4 force powers. Holding L1 and hitting the particular directional button activates Force shield (a shield encloses the ship, reflecting enemy shots for a limited period of time), lightning (a lightning bolt hits targeted craft as well as any near it), reflex (puts the rest of the ships in slow motion while you can turn and fire normally) and shock wave (radiates in all directions causing damage to surrounding enemies).

You only initially have access to shield and lightning. Once again, R1 is the sniper mode, zooming in on targets a long way off while L2 and R2 are both brake and boost respectively. The contrasting ships soon have you developing different approaches to missions, depending on what you're flying and your objectives.

The missions in the game are either land or space based. Objectives are set before you start but can often change mid-mission. There are also bonus objectives (which you are told) and hidden objectives (which you aren't told) that, if completed, open either single or multi-player extra missions, bonus ships (including X-Wing, Tie Fighter and Slave 1) or bonus material (creator commentary, game trailers and artwork). The environments and objectives have just enough variety to prevent you from feeling that you've done this before. As before commands can be given to your wingman, ranging from destroying/protecting a target to protecting you.

Halfway through the game though, you obtain access to an orbital cannon, which takes over your wingman commands. The cannon is similar to the Death Star, and it's great to have the ability to target an enemy base and have it blown up from outer space. The learning curve is quite steady and only a handful of missions had me having to play them 5 or more time to get through. At times there can be ... (continued next page)