Another movie-promoted game, but isn't all that bad.
I'm not a huge Star Wars fan, in fact the last Star Wars game I played was Shadows of the Empire
and The Phantom Menace
so for me this was really a new experience. This game is like so many of the many games made to promote movies, you can feel the rush they had to make the game, but still it has some good points.
I like how they kept with the movie, following it almost to the letter at times, but added extra content to it without really deviating from it. Getting to fight as Yoda against the Clones at the Jedi Temple, playing as Anakin as he decimates the Temple and fight Mace Windu, getting to tear apart Grievous with Obi-Wan and then fight off his own clones, I love this.
It also incorporated scenes that were a concept for the movie, fighting through the bowels of the ship and fighting Grevious' magna-guards as the ship is turned upside down, it's a nice touch, it's like your watching the movie and experiencing and interacting with deleted scenes all at once.
I also like how cutscenes from the movie were incorporated, spliced in with the in-game cutscenes to further the story while at the same time not giving away key plots in the movie, except for the ending. It does give away the ending for the movie, but it was kind of a gimme, since everybody knew that Anakin would become Vader just not how, but I do like how they did it for the game.
While in the movie it showed Obi-Wan tearing apart Anakin, the birth of the twins and Vader's construction, the funeral, the giving away of Luke while the game's was much more straightforward and in my opinion better. Right after you see Anakin torn apart in the in-game cinema it cuts to the movie scene where he is rising up like Frankenstein with the Imperial March blaring loudly, that actually gave me goosebumps, it immediately takes it to Obi-Wan giving away Luke. Simple and straight forward.
I do like the two player head-to-head battles you can have against a buddy, even better is that you can use characters from the original trilogy as well, whereas can you play as Luke and take on Grievous. The co-op mode is novel and can be fun with a buddy, the only problem is that if one dies the game is over, almost like Battletoads in a way.
While I did like the cutscenes and the fact you get to play as so many characters and experience new surroundings, this game did have some really, really bad flaws.
The thing that stood out to me is the in-game cinemas where the graphics just look jagged. Now I do have to admit the environments are nice, the character modeling looked like crap. Obi-Wan looks OK, but regular battle droids look like they were going to be cell-shaded but the outline was forgotten, the clone troopers look like they were modeled after 14 year olds in Halloween costumes and Anakin looks like a cross between Seth Rogen and a Hobbit.
What also killed it was the horrible voice acting, sadly they didn't use the actually actors just stock footage, although I have to admit the guy who did Anakin did sound like Hayden Christensen and so did the guy who imitated Ewan McGregor, sadly though the guy who did Mace Windu's really butchered the role.
While they do try to imitate their movie counterparts, they just sound emotionless, especially Anakin, it's almost like you can see the guy reading from a teleprompter. Plus there's inconsistency as well, for example on the first stage you have to jump down into a hole a destroy a control panel and to disable a force field generator, Obi-Wan will tell you what to do in the most calmest of voices, but they second you get down he yells out the instructions like someone is holding a gun to his head.
Plus repetitive lines can get on your nerves, Anakin commenting on Obi-Wan for destroying a droid "Nice one Master", or Obi-Wan telling Anakin to "Use the force" or worst yet Yoda "Attacking the clones are". Now I have to admit the first couple of times he say's it is funny, but after the 20th time you want him to shut the hell up.
Sadly the gameplay can get repetitive too, run here, battle these guys, jump here, pick up power-ups, beat more bad-guys, fight boss, next. After the few stages you just can't wait for the game to be over. I do like the control scheme, there is a lot to learn, but once you get used to it, it really isn't that bad, the only problem I have is when you use the left analog to deflect shots, especially turrets. The problem with it is that when you perform the move, your open to attack to enemies with melee weapons and it can wear out your analog stick (experience talking there). The "alternate" ending was OK, but was nothing to write home about.
The Bottom Line
While the cutscenes make this game at least worth a look, the bad acting and jagged graphics will make your eyes and ears hurt. But the chance to play as head-to-head against many main characters throughout the Star Wars universe can offset them easily. If you are looking for this game it should be easily found, especially in the used bins, mine I actually got new at a Wal-Mart for $9.00, so that tells you how bad they wanted to get rid of this.
All in all, if you're a casual fan of the Star Wars franchise, at least give it a rental, but if your not really into Star Wars and want to start out, skip this one, actually try out the new Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (preferably PS3 or 360, I've played the PS2, but just by looking at the next-gen versions it looks better, but I'll get to that another time).