|Nintendo Reviews Rating:
|Posted: December 11th, 2003
|The Rogue Squadron series continues on Nintendo Gamecube! The third game features a lot of new things. But are the
new features good enough to make this better than the last game? Read our full review.
Factor 5 always wants to deliver clear sound in their games. Last time they had Dolby Pro Logic 2 (5.1 Surround) This time
they went the extra mile by placing Dolby pro Logic 2X (7.1 Surround). This make the game sound extraordinary! You
won't notice much of a difference at first, but when you really compare Rogue Leader with this, you'll hear the extra
quality to this one.
The sound effects for this game are varied and spruced up. There are now more sound effects including more Tie Fighter
effects, and more effects from the weather conditions. Sound effects flying from your right speaker to left can also seem
different because you pick them up individually. This may sound confusing, but to make a long story short, the sound
effects are better.
Now for some disappointments. The new voice samples are well done, if a little over-dramatic at times, but Denis Lawson
doesn't do the voice for Wedge Antilles this time. Denis Lawson was the original voice of Wedge in the movies and
sounded great in Rogue Leader. If that wasn't bad enough, in the cooperative levels, his voice was also replaced with the
new guy. Speaking of which nearly every voice from Rogue Leader was changed except Luke. Although it's nice to hear
something new, I did like the Rogue Leader voices a lot.
The music is very well done as usual, but this time around there weren't many new samples. Almost all of the music is
from Rogue Leader. Although they all sound great, it would have been nice to hear some more new music. At least they
spruced up some of the old ones by adding a few extra instruments or accompaniment. These additions add up to a
somewhat new sound experience, but very satisfying.
Most of this game is exactly like Rogue Leader, and the flying controls are no exception. Nothing has really changed,
except for no C Stick camera control, but that's okay as the controls have still remained responsive. The AT-ST controls
are also well designed. It turns its head slowly, but that was purposeful. Those controls are also responsive and shouldn't
even give beginners trouble.
The speeder bike controls seem fine at first, but after driving one around for a while, some things are a bit wacky. First
off, when you jump off a cliff, the gravity pulls you in a weird way. It seems to pull you at an 70 degree angle and then you
have to brake and pull up to avoid a deadly collision. The problem is that it seems it really shouldn't pull you at that much
of an angle and there should be more time to pull up. Sometimes you have to crash like that to complete a mission. A
good idea is to just avoid these situations. Otherwise, the speeder bike's controls are just fine.
I don't see why so many other reviewers thought the walking controls are bad. I think they are just fine. Now I see where
there could be improvement. Players have no control over the camera in these modes, but usually that isn't a problem. It
is a problem when you're in a room full of enemies. Fortunately, your radar will help you find them. There are so many
ways around the lack of camera control, so this really isn't a major issue. Jumping can be a problem, as it feels distorted.
You'll find out how frustrating it can be in "Trials of a Jedi".
I wished they released this game on two discs. Not doing this caused lots of issues. The loading is slow, and it really gets
annoying going through menus while it slowly loads. The other issue is freezing. This game tends to freeze a lot because
the game has to load so much when the disc space has so little. These issues would have been resolved if they had released
this on two discs. Considering how much there is in this game, it would definitely be appropriate. Overall, the controls are
good, with only some issues that could have been worked out.
The graphics are amazing! They are slightly improved from the last game
in most areas including lighting, and shadows. The particle effects system
was placed to make the graphics look so stunning. The score for graphics
remained the same from Rogue Leader, because there are some
framerate issues particularly in multiplayer modes. Nevertheless, those
are minor and there really isn't much else to argue about. This is one of
those games that makes you want to play in progressive scan mode so
badly, although most of us don't have access to that. If you haven't seen
this game in action before, prepared to be dazzled!
The replay value is very high! There are 19 levels in the single-player mode; 5 being bonus levels. Although the difficulty
in this game is much easier (I beat this in two days, while Rogue Leader took me two months), there is a fourth type of
medal after gold. You get this medal for beating the best statistics ever for that level. The game has a set score, and most
of them are hard to achieve. In Rogue Leader, you would get these medals for beating each one on Ace mode.
There are more extras including bonus crafts for both single player and versus modes. There are even some special levels
that you can unlock in versus mode. In the special features, you can unlock a documentary, commentary for each level as
you play them and arcade games. Although these are similar to Rogue Leader, one new thing is the arcade mode. That's
right, you can unlock three classic Star Wars arcade games faithfully restored thanks to Atari! A big list of passcodes are
available as well, but you'll have to find those out in the media yourselves.
A lot of the replay comes from multiplayer modes. The cooperative mode will take you just as long to beat as the original
Rogue Leader does, but that means it should take you a couple of months, unless you've been practicing for this. The
versus mode is a lot of fun and has many ways to play. You can set time limits, score limits, stock limits; basically just
about as many ways to play as Super Smash Brothers Melee. Despite all of this, the main goal is to try to earn golds on
every level-not an easy task. With all there is to do with Rebel Strike, you'll be playing for years to come!
Being the third game in the series, there had to be something new that the developers could add. They used different ways
to play each level as a new approach on the series. Now you can play in an AT-ST (also an AT-PT in versus), a speeder bike
and even walk on foot to accomplish missions. This approach is similar to that of Shadows of the Empire, released for
Nintendo 64 seven years ago. While Shadows of the Empire focused more on walking and shooting than flying, Rebel
Strike obviously focuses more on flying than walking and shooting and the other things.
In that aspect, Rebel Strike should be better because there are 19 levels versus 10 levels in Shadows of the Empire, right?
Well, not exactly. This game has some levels where you walk and fly around; or some that involve AT-ST walking, then
ground walking. This actually allows for better levels for the most part. The problem is, the levels lose the feel that Rogue
Leader had. Although it's nice to have variety, I feel that gamers just wanted more complete flying levels and we wouldn't
have minded no new features if this was followed through.
Despite the old feel loss, I think of all these things would have crossed somebody's mind, had they not have added new
ways to play levels. People would complain that there wasn't enough original creative things to keep the game going.
There isn't too much advanced from Rogue Leader. Everything that made Rogue Leader so spectacular seems said and
done now, such as the menu screens and options for playing the game. Even the graphics seem very close to Rogue Leader.
Overall, though, Rebel Strike doesn't disappoint. The difficulty was lowered just enough to allow for more players to enjoy
this over Rogue Leader's frustratingly hard levels at times, but kept at such a level that players are still challenged and
kept entertained while playing. I feel the formula for Rogue Squadron games wasn't lost, pleasing fans of the series, like
me. I can't wait for the next one, and Rebel Strike will keep you and your friends busy for a while to come.
Before I forget, there's even GBA connectivity. Now you can have a friend control your wingmen with a Game Boy
Advance plugged into controller slot 3 while you play the main game by yourself on single player modes. On multiplayer
modes, although only two people can actually control the game and play against (or for) each other, two Game Boy
Advances can connect for control of wingmen allowing four players to play. So with the proper equipment, four players can
play this game. The GBA connectivity is near flawless and adds loads of replay to those accessible to it! You may be
disappointed by the ground levels, but the rest of the game delivers what we wanted anyway. The design is above average
and shouldn't affect your outlook on the entire game considering all the better aspects. If you're looking for a good
multiplayer game, get some friends, Game Boy Advances and cables and get ready to play an awesome one.
As said above, you will love Rebel Strike. Although technically, the scores are a bit lower than Rogue Leader, there's no
reason to stay away from this game. It's a must-have for fans of the series, multiplayer gamers and people who just want
some dogfight action this winter! Although many other sites disagree with me, I think the 8.9 is well deserved. I won't let
some ground shooting level design mistakes ruin the entire experience.