Objects in mirror are losing.
Under the twin suns of Tatooine, Little Annie Skywalker showed us what young jedi
are made of. In Episode 1, he saves Naboo, captures the heart of the Queen (I
guess he's got a thing for older women), and shows us that a midichlorian infestation
isn't such a bad thing. And somehow he also was able to scare the Jedi council,
play with Jar Jar, and become the Podracing champion in his spare time as Watto's
very privileged slave. What a guy.
Eight years have passed since the events of Episode 1, and like the Olympics,
it's time for another Podracing Championship. I guess we'll see if the French
judge is on Jabba's payroll, too. Hehe.
Naturally, Anakin has returned to defend his title and this time around, there
are plenty of challengers who would gladly take it from him. Get ready Podracing
fans, Star Wars Racer Revenge is about to blast off.
If you've never heard of Star Wars Podracing, let me summarize briefly. Take
a chair, tie it to two big engines and send it off on a hazardous track against
several other racers. Pretty much anything goes, so any racer can eliminate
the competition through brute force. The infamous Jabba Desilijic Tiure (a.k.a.
Jabba the Hutt) [Wow. You know his real last name? You get a jedi
wedgie. - Ed.] sponsors this perilous sport that has become all the rage
in the Star Wars universe.
Like many other racers, Revenge offers a few basic modes. There's Single
Play in which you can practice all of the unlocked tracks, Versus Mode, where
you can go head to head against a friend and up to six other computer controlled
racers, and of course Tournament, which is the real meat of the game. It's obvious
that just enough was done to get this racer off the ground, so you won't find
any unique gameplay modes here. Poodoo.
At least you'll get to race through thirteen cool courses set on planets like
Ryloth, Gamorr, and Mon Calamari. The track design is pretty good, with plenty
of obstacles and shortcuts, but no outside sources come into play. Remember
the Podracing scene in Episode 1? The part of the race where Tusken Raiders
took pot shots at the racers? In Revenge, none of that happens. No Tusken
Raiders, no crazed Gamorreans running around, no wildlife wandering onto the
Eight racers are initially available for you to choose from, each with specific
characteristics. You'll also go on to unlock a ton of other aliens with over
twenty racers making the final cut. As you win races, you'll gain 'truguts'
that can be used to upgrade your pod in Watto's repair shop. You'll be awarded
additional truguts for any racers you knock out of the race. It's nice to see
this kind of customization in a game that doesn't offer much besides pure racing.
The racing itself is pretty darn good. Controlling the racers is a snap thanks
to simple arcade controls. It won't take long for you to learn how to race like
a pro. Also rockin' Jabba's throne room is a blazing framerate. You'll fly through
each race at top speed and never see a hiccup. Even when things get nasty with
all eight racers onscreen, things continue to run smoothly.
The graphics are generally pretty smooth and colors are vivid. The textures
look good and again, the framerate really makes this baby move nicely.
The game retains the top-quality Star Wars sound that fans are used to, with
plenty of audio tracks and sound effects that seem to come right out of the
movie. Surround sound makes it even better.
Aside from the limited depth that the game offers, Revenge is held
down by its extremely easy difficulty level. I never lost a race in my very
first Tournament. Furthermore, there's no option to increase the difficulty,
so you're stuck running rings around the competition.
Even with its bare bones gameplay, I still have to admit that it's a fun ride
smacking other racers off the track. It's just too bad that there isn't much
game left. Once you've completed Revenge (in one evening, no less), there
isn't much of a reason to keep playing.
Star Wars Racer Revenge is a decent Star Wars racer that just doesn't
do enough to keep you coming back for more. It's like the developers didn't
want to go the distance to make this game great. It's still a great weekend
rental, but even the Jawas wouldn't be able to do much with it when you're through.