|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: October 22nd, 2003
|Factor 5 developed an action-packed new Star Wars game exclusively for Nintendo Gamecube. It came out right at the
start of the system's launch in USA, boasting high-sales, superb graphics, and a great use of the franchise. It's very fun,
but is it better than the first? Better than the third?
This is astounding for being released so early. The sound quality is clear and crisp. Factor 5 has always had high voice
compression, for the most realistic sounding voices. It's as if your teammates are right there speaking to you-well,
through a radio speaker, that is. Dolby Pro Logic 2 creates amazing 5.1 surround sound making the action come alive on
the screen and in your ears. This came late in the developmental process, and still turned out okay. You'll love the hours
of voice samples above all.
In addition to voices, the sound effects are incredible. Although you will hear many Tie Fighter sound effects repeat over
time, because of the way it is built in, you will almost never hear those sound effects in the same manner twice. What I
mean is, sometime they crash in front of you, to the right, left, behind, etc. Depending on where they are determines what
you'll hear. Also what factors it out is what your camera is showing. If you move around the camera during a crash, you'll
hear it differently and if you move your craft around a lot as well. It is so realistically tied in to what you'd hear if you
were really there. In your cockpit view, you'll hear many sounds inside the cockpit that vary per craft, which is also a neat
The music is mostly from the movies, some reproduced, some taken directly from the soundtrack. But the original score
in this game is amazing! There are lots of songs in this game, some are based on movie scenes, others just brand new.
Unlike the Nintendo 64 game (Star Wars: Rogue Squadron), the original music actually sounds like it belongs in the Star
Wars universe, not just for the game. It is very well done, and not very repetitive. I am just thrilled to hear this music
every time I play the game. With the sound effects and music together, you won't 'hear' of many other games that 'sound'
better. (No puns intended.)
Because the controls are so realistic, it is sometimes hard to understand how they work. For beginners, turning Auto Level
and Auto Roll on will really help. This will reconfigure your controls, so that you'll be in a neutral position when you let go
of the control stick. This is where it gets confusing. Sometimes, if you let go of the control stick you can crash into
something. But if you press down to move your craft away, the camera angle may distort your sense of direction and send
you somewhere else crashing. It's difficult to explain, but you'll experience it if you play the game.
The button controls, however, are much more flexible. A to shoot, B for secondary, Y for Targeting computer and X for
cockpit view. Instead of one button being all the available views, you can zoom in and out with the C stick; a smarter way
for camera control versus the Nintendo 64 version. You have to hold Y for Targeting computer. Because it gets hard to use
anything else while holding Y, many players choose not to use this. It doesn't help much anyway. However, you can find an
upgrade to allow you to press Y instead of having to hold it. That helps, but it's annoying to know that they didn't just give
you that option right away.
Another neat feature is that this game utilizes the pressure sensitive L and R buttons well for brakes and speeding and for
the control stick. And that basically wraps the control section up. All the logic and physics seem right inside the game, and
they even improvised the interface. The menus are fast and include actual movie clips in the background. This really gives
the game a movie-like setting, and remember, you see this even before the action starts. This game barely missed a 9.0, I
just felt that I have a few too many crashes playing this game.
Just amazing graphics everywhere. There's a blend of old and new. First the
framerate and resolution are high. Second, there's capabilities of a lot more
things on the screen at once. Finally, a graphics system that puts the gamer
right in the middle of the action. Rogue Leader shows off what Factor 5
specializes in-stellar graphics. Back when it came out, it was the name for best
graphics. Nothing beat the stunning light effects, and everything else to see on
There can be tons of Tie Fighters each with their own sets of shots flying
around you at once. Or maybe you'll spot some teammates and see them
shooting other Ties. It all looks resolved, and perfect for Star Wars fans. The
game features some movies right from the motion pictures. This is at the start
menu and when you pause the game. You'll see scenes from the movie in color
on the start menu, and in dark red on the pause menu, and they both appear to
be DVD quality clips.
I would have given this a perfect 10.0 if it weren't for sometimes slow
framerate. Overall, you'll be more than satisfied with this, though.
There are only 10 main missions, but they are much longer than the 16 of the Nintendo 64 version for the most part.
There are 5 bonus missions, and a Training mode as well. If that weren't enough, add in the awesome medal system that
allows you to unlock the new levels. In fact, some of the bonus levels may take you years of playing to get just right. It
seems frustrating, but it's really fun. If you don't feel like going for medals, just see if you can beat your own time in
completing a mission. Or you can make your own goals. Using your imagination will add to the self-replay value.
There are also loads of codes that unlock secret movies, a harder mode, music hall and more. Playing through the game
well will also treat you to cool new crafts. There are also hidden power-ups in each main mission, some easy, some hard,
that improve certain crafts; some that improve every craft. One really cool feature is the level "Imperial Academy Heist".
Although the basic level is the same, the craft you play with and the goals are slightly different depending on the time of
day you play! It's cool to see if you can beat it at both at the night and day setting! Speaking of night and day, Tatooine
Training is similar. There are four settings of day, and the level slightly changes depending on the time.
It would have been cool to see more time and date features, but you learn to live with what's here. This game will keep you
shooting Ties for a long time-even without multiplayer modes like in the third game.
Very well done AI. The Tie Fighters know if you're chasing them to get away, or rejoin with others. Some will even decide
to attack you. You can find that no Tie Fighters are idle; it seems like all of them are always doing something. The basic
flight design is the same as Rogue Squadron, but the arcade feel is somewhat lifted, giving this a better and longer feel.
Some people feel the flight levels are overused, and that some crafts should be playable in some levels. Well, this is true
actually. In some levels, you can play as other crafts rather than the default craft. The level will adjust to what craft you
pick such as cutscenes you see. There are plenty of levels, from space to ground. It seems this time around, there is more
variety instead of just all ground levels. Some take place solely on ground, some only in the air, and even some that have
some of both like "Prisons of the Maw".
The craft designs are each unique giving each one a different approach for levels that allow other crafts. It's almost like
adding more missions to the game. You should try to see which craft suits you best. One new feature is the ability to
control your wingmen with decisions. The D pad is used for controlling your wingmen's moves; hence the name "Rogue
Leader". You decide what is best for each situation, and each one obeys. You can even have them retreat if they get in the
You can also switch crafts during the level in some missions. Most of the time you have to do it to complete the mission,
but other times, you can choose whether or not to switch. Different crafts can be unlocked for more playability. You can
even play as Darth Vader in two missions. The design is very worthy of its score with only minor problems. You will be
more than satisfied with this game even after you beat everything!
Overall, you won't find much wrong. Although it's hard at first, once you get used to the difficulty, you will really enjoy
what this game has to offer. Even though Star Wars: Rebel Strike allows you to play these in multiplayer cooperative
mode, you cannot play these by yourself on that game and there are even some bonus missions that are exclusive to this
game. And with a very low price tag, you can't pass this awesome game down. This is one of the best Gamecube games and