Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope. Review

Star Wars: Obi-Wan Info

genre

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players

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Publisher

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Developer

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Release Date

  • 01/01/1970
  • Out Now

Platform

  • Xbox

rating

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.

A long time ago, at a trade show far, far away, LucasArts showed off their first

original action game for the Xbox. Known simply as Obi Wan, this third

person action title would follow the early adventures of young padawan learner

Obi Wan in his struggles against the Trade Federation and a mysterious new foe

called the Jin’ha. Since then, Obi Wan has grown in the ways of the Force,

but it’s pretty obvious he still has a thing or two to learn.

Obi Wan takes place before (and during) the events of Episode 1, when

our young jedi friend was still training under Qui-Gon Jinn. As the title character,

you’ll slash your way through 15+ levels including Coruscant, Naboo, and even

Tatooine. It’s pretty much a nonstop lightsaber-fest, with not much else in

the way to slow you down.

The hands-down coolest thing about Obi Wan is the Force powers. Remember

all of those cool little tricks that were in the movies? There are a bunch of

them you can do here.

Let’s say you’re walking down a dark alley in Coruscant when, all of a sudden,

a surly Rodian bounty hunter pops out brandishing a nasty looking Klatooine

handblaster. You could: (A) use the Force to rip the gun from his hands and

then cut him down with your lightsaber; (B) use the Force to smash him up against

the nearest wall then chop him up with your saber; (C) use the Force to somersault

over him, then cut him down again with your lightsaber; (D) use your lightsaber

to deflect one of his laser bolts back at him; (E) use the Force to hit him

with a nearby heavy object, making it unnecessary to dirty your lightsaber;

or (F) just skip all of the fancy stuff and hit him with the lightsaber. With

so many possible actions, being a jedi has never been more fun.

Just swinging around your lightsaber is pretty cool as well. Instead of relying

on the buttons, Obi Wan makes use of the right analog stick to control

young Kenobi’s strikes. Push ‘up’ and he’ll execute an overhand swing, while

pushing ‘right’ or ‘left’ will result in the appropriate side strike. Blocking

is made easy by simply pushing ‘down’ and double tapping the attack directions

will result in combos. That’s not even including the attacks that happen when

you kick in the Force!

But after basking in the warm glow of the Jedi’s abilities, things begin to

head toward the Dark Side. The actual control of Obi Wan himself is very loose.

Just running around can be troublesome, often causing you to get into an awkward

position in battle. If your lightsaber skill is up to par, it won’t kill you,

but it certainly doesn’t help in a few of the game’s platformer jumping bits.

The level design generally turns out to be just a cut above boring. For much

of the game, you’ll be running through Spartan environments with very little

in the way of interaction. Considering all the nifty Force powers you are bestowed

with, I would have liked to see some cool hidden areas or alternate pathways

that could only be found when you used the Force.

There are also a few times when your progress just stops and you don’t know

what to do next. It’s pretty frustrating to say the least. At least there are

some outdoor bits to keep the monotony of corridor battles at bay.

Delving deeper into the Dark Side, you’ll find the occasional framerate crunch.

It doesn’t happen too often, but it’s in there enough to notice. I must admit,

though, that on one occasion the slow-mo action made the lightsaber battle actually

look cooler – kind of like a crunchy lightsaber bullet

time.
And no, I’m not talking about the smoothed out Force power slowdown.

Rounding out the the list of Force flubs is the graphics, specifically in

regard to the characters. I’ve never seen jedi look so blocky (well, except

maybe The Phantom Menace). It’s only mildly annoying during play, but

the cut-scene close ups might make you wince.

At least we still get that great Star Wars sound. I mean, what would a lightsaber

battle be without that classic snap hiss

of those trademark blades?

Surprisingly enough, Obi Wan also includes a two-player Jedi Battle

mode for you to enjoy with a friend. Progressing through the main mode will

earn new characters from the Jedi Council, but none of the really cool guys

like Yoda are available. Too bad it’s just you and another jedi whacking away

at each other. A nice addition, but it won’t make you that much stronger in

the Force.

After Darth Maul has fallen and the galaxy is made a little safer, it’s easy

to see that being a jedi is pretty fun. Bashing bad guys with Force powers and

swinging that saber is plenty cool. But the evil control, level design and graphics

from the Dark Side can turn a good jedi like Obi Wan bad. A wise jedi

would rent.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

2.5
Rating
Great Force powers!
That great Star Wars sound
Sweet lightsaber control
Not so sweet Obi Wan control
Dull levels
Blocky graphics