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     " The voice acting in the game, however, would do well to stay in the background…way in the back…further…further…Huh? I can’t hear you…Perfect! "

      Title: Star Wars: Starfighter by LucasArts

      Format: Shooter for PS2

      Reviewing Monkey: Simi N.

      The Hype: Fly awesome star craft some straight from the movie, and some never before seen! Huge 3D worlds provide stunning backgrounds for your adventure! Be three different pilots in your quest to save Naboo from the evil Trade Federation.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: When you buy this game you had better invest in a drool guard or you can kiss your controller goodbye. Every inch of every object in this game is absolutely amazing. The player and enemy ships are absolutely beautiful. Even the hordes of ground troops, including tanks and sometimes groups of individual droids, are awesome to look at. And everything is crisp and clear, and the game runs very fast. I have played every regular mission and a few bonus missions, and no matter how many enemies are on the screen (and we’re seriously talking’ upwards of fifty to seventy five enemy craft at once) there is never a trace of slowdown. The cut scenes weren’t very impressive, but then who really cares, since they comprise so little of the game. 5 out of 5

      Sound: The sound is clear as day and straight out of the movies. The music is of course awesome (since it is also taken directly from the movie), but is too quiet. We monkeys, even though we have large ears, realize music like this shouldn’t just be in the background, it should be right in your face! The voice acting in the game, however, would do well to stay in the background…way in the back…further…further…Huh? I can’t hear you…perfect! Ok that does seem harsh; the acting really leaves more than a little to be desired, but is largely dummied down by the script. 4 out of 5

      Game Play: All of those out there who swear by Lucas Arts’ PC Star Wars space-flight games should proceed with caution when deciding whether or not to play this one. This is not an in depth flight simulator. The game has a very arcade feel to it. The controls are simplistic and, to an extent, unrealistic. The left analog stick serves as a joystick, and various face buttons (square, X, circle, or triangle) are used for weapons and targeting. There are also some cool moves like boost and brakes on the shoulder buttons where you also find perhaps the coolest function, the zoom. As a part of this simplistic setup you no longer have the challenge of saving your laser energy, or rerouting power to and from shields. That is all taken care of for you by your astro-droid. While this may upset some gamers out there it really is a must because having to learn the amount of button combinations necessary for a long list of commands would be quite annoying. Basically this adds up to a roaring good time as you hop into your ship and head out to "take off every zig"…uh that is, kill every droid. 4.5 out of 5

      Level and Environment Designs: You have the target in you sights. You’ve already got in a few good shots and now you just have to finish him off. Suddenly the target drops off the screen low and to the left. You are an experienced pilot and you know you can overtake him by making a more severe turn almost straight down. You push up on the stick, and the last thing you see is the ground rushing, way too fast, right at you. After a few minutes of scratching your head your small monkey brain realizes that dog fighting near the surface is much different from fighting in space. You will learn this and other lessons flying in the many different environments this game has to offer. And not only will you never get bored with your surroundings, you will find that the order in which similar levels are placed is really well thought out. After a couple of space missions you fly a few on the surface, then go back into space for a couple before heading back to the surface of a different planet, and so on. The levels look awesome are vastly different, and all provide their own unique challenges. 4.5 out of 5

      Multiplayer: The multiplayer function in this game is cool…probably. I really couldn’t tell you how exactly cool it is because I can’t access it. Allow me to explain (but be prepared to hear some bitchin’ and moaning’). The two multiplayer levels in this game have to be unlocked! What’s that you say that is sooooooo lame? Well it gets worse. Not only do you have to beat the game to unlock them, you have to beat the game and every bonus mission while completing all bonus goals on each to unlock them. But the levels do sound pretty cool. As far as I know there is a level where two players get to race each other through a canyon, and another level where you get to play capture the flag. And eventually I will beat the game with all bonus goals, but by the time I’m good enough to do it, who will want to play with me? But the game was never advertised as a multiplayer (even on the box it doesn’t mention it) so I can’t score it too low. 3 out of 5

      Replayability: The game is more fun than hell (except for the last level, which is only fun until the halfway point where it becomes rather arduous. There are three difficulty settings to choose from. So there is the possibility for greater challenge. The really cool thing is that you can play any of the levels you already have any time you want to. So while you may not go through the entire game after you’ve beaten it, it is almost certain you will at least go back and visit some of the more interesting and fun levels. 4 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: In this game you play as three different characters (one at a time) who are all pilots and who discover a plot by the Trade Federation to invade Naboo. You can’t let that happen, so the three pilots band together and do everything you can to thwart the Trade Federation. The premise of the story is pretty cool, but there isn’t nearly enough background on any of the characters. Leaving the player with the feeling that he doesn’t really know them. 3.5 out of 5

      Instructions and Learning Curve: The game is much simpler than many other Lucas Arts space shooters and, thus, is easier to pick up. In the beginning of the game there is a short training session that will get you started. The missions seem to get harder as you progress through the game, but the fact that you can revisit any mission at any time allows you to practice and build up your skills. The manual also tells you what moves the different buttons perform, but you really can’t expect to be good just from memorizing it. This game requires a person to play in order to be good. 4 out of 5

      Installation and Real System Requirements: Finally! Finally a game has come out that checks both memory card slots automatically (thank you). The game uses a small amount of space on you card too. The game does tend to take a while to load though. I can’t say for certain this game uses PS2 technology to its full potential, but it certainly looks and feels like it does. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       This game is awesome. It is fortunate that games, which have both awesome graphics and great game play, make it onto the scene. Often times one seems to be more important to the programmers than the other. Not so in this game it is an all around great title, and is one that everyone should have.

      The Good: Stunning graphics, great music, cool levels, a decent story, and the ability to fly the N-1 (the Naboo fighter seen in Episode One).

      The Bad: The voice acting wasn’t all that great, and you have to go through way too much in order to unlock a two-player mode.

      The Overall Ugly: This game boasts some of the best graphics and most enjoyable game play seen on the PS2. Definitely a must have for everybody.

      What it's Worth: This game is worth market, no question.

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