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Reviewed: Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Publisher: Lucasarts
Developer: Lucasarts
Genre Type: 3D Platform Shooter/RPG
Price: $49.95
Required System:
Reviewer's System: PII233, 96MB Ram, 8GB HD, Riva 128ZX video card (8MB PCI), Win98
Related Games: Star Wars Episode 1: Racer and SWEP1: The Gungan Frontier
Overall Rating:
Author:Michael Ahlf      Date: July 21st 1999
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Final Breakdown

Gameplay: 

Decently fun, with only a few problems marring it. The roleplaying aspect is something to enjoy, while the fights and some scenarios feel contrived.  Gameplay won't drag the game down but it won't bring any special mention, either.

Graphics: 

The graphics in the game, from cutscenes to play screens, were awesome.  Visual effects for weapons and things were well done, and the player and enemy models likewise.  The only problem? This great graphics engine wasn't used much, with the locked camera angle leaving players unable to enjoy most of the great scenery from a decent perspective.

Sound and Music: 

Lucasarts, always a powerhouse in the music and sound department, does it again here.  The lightsaber sounds, enemy droid sounds, and swelling music make this a game you could just sit and listen to for a while. 

Multiplayer: Nonexistent

If only something had been done for this... it would have been a REALLY cool touch, given how much the storyline was messed with anyways, to be able to play the game in a cooperative mode of sorts. As it stands, once you have played the game... you've played the game.

AI Intelligence and Difficulty: 

The AI in this game bombs... nothing tries to dodge your shots intentionally, save perhaps Darth Maul, and the majority of the game's enemies can be dispatched with barely a scratch to the character.  The worst part is the aim -- just keep moving (or sometimes just stand still) and the chances of damage become almost nonexistent. The saving grace? They're droids. They're supposed to be cannon fodder... and the other enemies are smart when they are supposed to be.

Controls and Interface: 

While the game keys were very customizable, I found it rather distressing that the controls were as touchy as they were in the keyboard.  Combined with some pretty precise jumps, the controls make "save early, save often" a necessity.

Overall: 

While it isn't the greatest game in terms of replayability and accessibility, I'd certainly suggest the game for anybody who likes games that don't require extremely tedious hours to beat.  Just watch out for the plot twists -- it isn't even close to the movie.
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Added:  Wednesday, July 21, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Score:
Page: 4/4

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