Star Wars: Episode 1 Battle for Naboo Review

Nebojsa Radakovic
Star Wars: Episode 1 Battle for Naboo Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 1

Publisher

  • LucasArts

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC

rating

Let ’em have Naboo if they’ll also take Jar Jar.

Every gaming platform from the Atari 2600 to the PS2 has had its fair share

of the Force, though the PC has enjoyed some of the brightest titles. From the

X-Wing series to the Jedi Knight games, the Star

Wars license has led to some really good PC games. Of course, stinkers like

Force Commander and

Rebellion have clouded the scene a bit. Star Wars: Episode 1 Battle

for Naboo
falls somewhere in the middle.

In the spirit of Rogue Squadron,

Battle for Naboo is an arcade style shooter that pops you into the cockpit

of one of seven different vehicles and sets you off on a bunch of different

missions. From Speeders to Police Cruisers to Trade Federation Gunboats, each

vehicle gives the game a whole new feel.

Probably the most notable feature of BfN has to be the sound. From the

very first screen you are enveloped with a rich, powerful symphony. In classic

Star Wars fashion, the whole game is filled with breathtaking musical scores

that fill the room with energy. But wait, that’s not all.

The folks at LucasFilm are fortunate enough to have the original sound effects

from the movies at their disposal, so when you pull the trigger, the familiar

sound of a blaster fills your ears. Kudos to LucasFilm for keeping things real.

In staying with the cinematic tradition, BfN carries on through the

cut scenes by fading to letterbox format. With the well-rendered ships and cool

sound effects, you’ll be reaching for the popcorn between levels in no time.

The textures in BfN are right out of your choice of Star Wars flicks.

From ground surfaces to the hulls of huge smuggling vessels, this game simply

looks great. The single graphical shortcoming lies in the fact that your immediate

surroundings are the only distinguishable features. Though it doesn’t ruin the

gameplay, there’s more pop-up here than a toaster factory. Sure, the sky looks

good, but everything past 200 feet is hazy. Were those prescription goggles

that Anakin sported? I don’t think so.

Gameplay

feels a bit contrived, as the levels play about the same each time. Whether

you’re on an escort mission or off to destroy a satellite, shooting baddies

is pretty much the name of the game.

And what stupid baddies they are. The enemies in BfN follow a pre-determined

pattern; they seem to have no AI to speak of at all. If you keep getting shot

down in the same place over and over again, just apply brakes and the enemies

will zoom right past you. Then hit the gas and apply the necessary amount of

laser fire up the thermal exhaust. I think someone’s been stealing a bunch of

droid fighters from Warlord Zsinj. With the attention to graphics and sound,

a little thing like AI must have gotten left on the developers’ table.

At least the control is on point. The speeders hover nicely a few feet above

ground and turn easily while the Naboo fighter is as agile as a pigeon (have

you ever watched a pigeon fly? They’re gooooood.) Aiming can be a little challenging,

but with such stupid AI, the only thing it affects is your accuracy percentages.

Game developers seem to be constantly challenged with defining world boundaries;

every method has been used from the picket fence that surrounds Spyro’s

little world to the endless loop of 4X4 Evolution’s boundless environment.

But lately, LucasArts has been using silliest one yet. As you approach the point

the developers felt was the end of your environment, you hit some sort of invisible

force field that bounces you back and totally disorients you. It happened in

Starfighter and it

happens here.

It would have made more sense to have speeder levels set in ravines that were

too steep for a speeder to climb, and for space to loop around like in Defender.

It’s just odd to engage in a dogfight in space and hit an invisible wall that

shakes you up and throws the nose of your ship in a random direction.

Strangely missing is any sort of multiplayer. Maybe the denizens of Nar Shadda

smuggled the plans out of the Lucasarts office, but it’s just not right to have

the keys to a Naboo Starfighter and not be able to show off against your friends.

But even with its shortcomings, Battle for Naboo is pretty fun. Maybe

it’s the whole ambience set by the slick graphics and powerful sound, but for

having so many complaints, I keep going back for more. So if the Alliance is

lagging on sending you that acceptance letter, and your droid is getting a little

antsy, this may tide you over for a while.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

2.5
Rating
Star Wars sound
Nice graphics
Tight control
Stupid AI
Invisible boundaries
No multiplay