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Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy (Windows)

78
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  James Kirk (159)
Written on  :  Oct 21, 2003
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

The most disappointing of the series.

The Good

The lightsaber is cool. A couple new force powers and improved ways of using old ones. Using the 3 different kind of sabers and the 5 or so colors is cool. You go to a bunch of different planets. The music and voices is ok. You can choose your force powers. You can choose the missions to some extent.

The Bad

First, choosing "Light or "Dark" force powers has ABSOLUTELY no bearing on the game. Get all "dark" powers and you can stay on the light side. Max-out on "light" and you can turn to the dark side. The force powers are very unbalanced. Grip lets you choke guys like Darth Vader and throw them around. This allows you to barely use your lightsaber and just throw stormtroopers and dark jedi down cliffs or into lava. The game can be extremely easy. Stormtroopers are sit there firing lamely at you while you block their shots. Dark Jedi will, if you fight them, then just get a short distance away, turn off their lightsaber (!?) and sit there, allowing you to shoot at them and\or recharge your force and health. The toughest part of a game is finding where to go and not falling off a cliff. The levels are linear and boring. No civilians or anyone else. For no apparent reason, thugs or other non-empire guys will attack you. Also, I don't think street (or roof?) thugs on Coruscant should have powerful weapons like the disruptor rifle and thermal detonators while the supposed powerful storm troopers just have blasters and the occasional repeater and "metal gun". The story is ridiculous. Something about resurrecting a ancient sith lord using force energy stored in a scepter "sucked-up" from places with lots of force. Since the people trying to bring the sith lord back to life are evil, why not use the power on themselves. After all, even Darth Vader made an offer to Luke to help him overthrow the Emperor in Empire Strikes Back. In the beginning of the game, you get to "customize" your character, choosing species, looks, etc. However, this weirdly has no effect what so-ever. No change in abilities or anything else. Same voices even!!! All the missions are described as meet with this and talk with this, etc. But that never happens. You are always ambushed, or the guy you were supposed to talk to gets killed and almost every level is fundamentally the same. The game also offers almost nothing about your character's past or anything. You just slash your way through a seemingly endless supply of the same 7 or so different types of enemies. The "basic" force powers, speed, push, pull, and sense, unlike what you here in the training mission, are rarely used for anything. You don't really need to push any switches etc. this brings up the worst problem, the lack of depth. You won't go through a city, getting stuff to trade with other people or interact with anyone in a non-linear basis. The galaxy is nearly lifeless. it seems that the entire galaxy has either your allies, or mercenaries, dark jedi, stormtroopers etc. out to kill you. Boba Fett is in one of the missions. Normally, this would be a good thing, but they totally make him more of a nuisance then anything else. Mostly, he will just fire bursts of laser fire as you deflect them back, hitting him with his own fire. Occasionally, he will use his flamethrower or missile launcher, but not enough to show him to be a deadly assassin. Finally, absolutely no puzzles!!! If your not hacking and slashing through enemies, wandering from room to room, you're putting your cross hair over everything to see if it can be affected by the force.

The Bottom Line

If you are a die hard Star Wars fan, wait a couple of years for the price to get down to ten bucks. if not, avoid it, as it is a complete waste of money. (I spent 50 bucks on it and learned the hard way)