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Ethos Video Game Reviews
Saturday, 17 March 2012
4.8 out of 5.0
Now Playing: Metal Gear Solid HD Collection (2011)
Topic: Playstation 3

    

     The Metal Gear franchise is one of the best and most respected in all of video game-dom. It revolutionized the stealth genre and is also considered, in my opinion and amongst others, one of the finest examples of how video games are comprable to major motion picture films. The series is known for its unforgettable characters, its signature stealthy gameplay, it's complex yet ever-compelling story, and for being the killer app in video game cinematography. So when Konami released the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection for both PS3 and Xbox 360 in the latter part of 2011, I was thrilled.

     MGS HD contains three, technically five, Metal Gear games. It has Metal Gear Solid 2, Metal Gear Solid 3, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. The first two were for the Playstation 2, and the latter for the Sony PSP handheld. For an added bonus, contained on MGS 3 is the original Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake for the MSX - a Japanese console. All of that great gameplay for just 50 dollars, and now, it can be found for only 39.99 at most stores! What a steal! Most games today are 60, so you are getting a tremendous value here.

     I don't need to review these games one by one, as they are historically, all considered to be great. I would say that the best of the bunch from this collection is MGS 3, and it also looks the best graphically. Speaking of which, the HD upgrade to the visuals made a significant difference from their PS2 and PSP counterparts. The graphics pop on these new games and they feel as if they are brand new releases. I also thought the original control schemes held up amazingly well considering how old the PS2 games are. As for Peace Walker, the game controls a heck of a lot better on the PS3 than the sometimes stiffly inplemented controls of the PSP. The range of comfort is drastically improved when using the PS3 controller.

     My only gripe is that the original Metal Gear Solid from the Playstation 1 was not included. So at times, it feels as if this collection is a tad incomplete. I would have loved to seen Solid with PS3 like visuals - it would have been a total knockout! To be honest, I've always preferred the original Solid to the games included on this collection, but that is not an insult to this bevy of games - I guess I'm sentimental about the original. In any case, while the HD Collection does not feature the first game, it is still very much worth having, because you are obviously being treated to some of the best games made in this generation, bar none.

     MGS HD Collection is part fan-service - for us die-hard Metal Gear fans, and partly for those who may have never experienced these games in their original glory. Honestly, it's a no brainer, this is a game that must be owned. !

     P.S.: I would suggest getting this game for the PS3 if you have that system. The Metal Gear games have always played better on the Sony platforms. Take my word on it.

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 3:08 PM EDT
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Sunday, 23 October 2011
4.9 out of 5.0
Now Playing: Max Payne (2001)
Topic: Playstation 2

    

     Max Payne is one of my top 10 favorite video games ever. What a way to start a review, eh? Seriously, it is. I have played this game countless times since I got it nearly ten years ago for the Playstation 2, and I am continously thrilled to play this profound masterpiece. I've always had a love for the film noir genre; think to the great gangster movies of the 1930s and 1940s that starred Humphrey Bogart, James Cagney, or Edward G. Robinson. Films like The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon, or Double Indemnity come to mind. Anyway, Max Payne offers a modern tale in this somewhat by-gone era of storytelling - and the story is told in a brilliant manner using some cutscenes but mostly by a comic book cell style format, which was new to me back in the day.

     There is a lot to see in this game, while not an "open-world" game like Grand Theft Auto III for instance, you do have a nice bit of exploration at your disposal, if you should desire to pursue your curious side. There are always things to inspect and discover, whether it is simply opening up lockers or drawers for more bullets or painkillers (Max's way of regenerating health) or to listen to TV or radio broadcasts that further flesh out the story, it certainly feeds our curious nature. Plus, with these rather expansive levels, you are given a large variety of weapons, and can use your arsenal as you see fit. Early on, I stuck with the Berretta pistol, the shotgun, and the Desert Eagle mostly. Later in the game, I usually weilded the machine gun and kept the shotgun handy for close-quarters-combat. The depth in weaponry is astounding if you really think about it, and it keeps things fresh throughout.

     Another highlight of this game is the dialogue. The comic-book style cutscenes feature some tremendous monologues from Max himself (voiced brilliantly by James McCaffrey), and invoke Nordic religious texts, Satanic texts, love, revenge, despair, shattered dreams, morality, and mortality. Also, if you take time to listen to the enemies yap away with each other, it can often be laugh out loud funny. Some of them get frustrated with one another, some talk about movies, or some have some generally heart felt things to say...until you blow them away obviously...but then again, they are out to kill you so, someone has gotta bite the dust.

     As the game progresses, the plot thickens greatly. It never becomes too complicated, but things start off on a relatively small scale in terms of objective and such, but things explode and encompass things on a more grandiose, corporate level. The complexity of things never hinders your desire to keep playing and moving forward, as you always feel compelled to see whats next - perhaps largely thanks to the chapter structure of the game - the chapters are kept fairly short, some longer than others of course, but never too long. It is structured like a great novel, always keeping the suspence palpable.

     I've said a lot about the comic-book style of the game, but haven't delved into the graphics of the actual game itself in action. While it is a game from 2001, fairly early in the PS2's life cycle, it still holds up pretty well today. Sure, some things look a little blocky and pixelated, but overall, it is strong. I have also played Max Payne on the original XBox, and yes, it does look a lot better on that system, but I still prefer to play it on the PS2, I suppose I am more comfortable with the control style of this platform, at least for Max Payne anyway. All things considered though, it has a great look.

     If I have any quams with the game, they lie in the psychedelic dream sequences. They are the only reason as to why this game does not get a perfect "5 out of 5" rating. If you have played them, you'll know they are completely infuriating. To be frank, they are some of my most hated video game levels in history. They go on way too long, they are absurdly confusing, and greatly disturbing. They certainly get their point across, but the screams of the baby are just too much to stomach sometimes in these sequences. Thankfully, you can enter a cheat code to skip these, and continue on with the good fun of the rest of the game. They happen at the very ends of Acts 1 and 2, and they don't dominate the game, which is a relief! In Max Payne 2, these dream sequences are exponentially more tolerable and easier to follow. Lesson learned I suppose.

     Aside from that, Max Payne is virtually flawless. It provides you with thrilling action gameplay, an unforgettable presentation inspired by the best of the film noir genre, a fantastically deep story that keeps you interested and in suspense, a great atmosphere (New York City is undergoing its worst winter storm in history throughout the duration of the game), it has attitude, heart, and intelligence, and ultimately it is grand fun. To me, it is one of the defining video game experiences of my life, as it has left an indelible impact on me. There is a reason why this game is in my Top 10 Favorites of all time, I hope you'll play it too and see why. Wow, all that, and I never mentioned "Bullet Time!" Another awesome feature of Max Payne is "bullet time" where you, by the click of a button, slow the gunplay action down and get a Matrix-like effect, giving you the advantage over your enemies - it's unique and very helpful, and cinematically, it looks great too.

     Play this game. It's just that good.

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 6:40 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 23 October 2011 6:46 PM EDT
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Sunday, 16 October 2011
3.2 out of 5.0
Now Playing: Castlevania (1999)
Topic: Nintendo 64

    

     The 3D era of gaming changed the landscape forever. One can compare to the film industrys' transition from silents to talkies in the late 1920s. Once the movies could talk, they never went back to silent. The 2D to 3D transition for video games hasn't been quite as severe, but certainly is quite potent on its own. There is still a large audience for the 2D style, especially with all the retro titles out there today a la New Super Mario Bros. Wii. For the most part however, games have radically progressed, and clearly for the better - though some classic games, the real old ones, are hard to top.

     Most of the big name franchises made their 3D crossovers by 1999, by the time Castlevania was released for the Nintendo 64. Mario and Zelda led the way and made it an art form. Metroid didn't make a splash on the N64, but came back huge on the Gamecube with the Metroid Prime series. All of these major mainstays in gaming largely succeeded. Some struggled - Mega Man made an awful transition into 3D with the disastrious Mega Man 64. Could Castlevania succeed?

     Often referenced as Castlevania 64, it is a largely uneven. It isn't perfect, but it doesn't completely falter either. When I first got this game I expected great things - any press on the game made it seem like it was awesome. My first encounter with it was one of wonder, but the 3D graphics nowadays appear blurry; then they looked pretty good. It opens with a beautiful title screen with someone playing the Castlevania theme on violin and sets the tone instantly. You have the choice to play as either Reinhardt or Carrie. I always prefer Reinhardt because he gets to use the whip, harkening back to the good old days of Simon Belmont. The controls though are a little sluggish as it seems the game wishes it were faster than it is. If the action had a little more punch, it would have been far better.

     The camera system is also a bit problematic, as was fairly common back in those early 3D games. The camera doesn't always catch up to you when making sudden movements, which can be detrimental during precise jumps and so on. It also lacks music - it barely contains any at all. Perhaps it adds a sense of realism, but Castlevania games have always excelled in that field, and it is just a bit of a letdown. Though, one could argue it does excentuate the sound effects, which are in fine form here.

     I have criticized this game a great deal, but I don't want to discourage you from playing it. It is still a pretty good game despite its flaws. It lacks a certain "wow factor" that Super Mario 64 and Zelda: Ocarina of Time had, but then again any game developer would be hard pressed to make something better. Castlevania for N64 has its strong moments, it does often have a spooky atmosphere, which is what you are looking from this franchise. I would recommend it if you can overlook its shortcomings as it certainly does have some entertainment value.

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 10:05 PM EDT
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Sunday, 9 October 2011
Ethos Video Review
Now Playing: Resident Evil (1996)
Topic: Playstation

     The game that started the zombie craze! The original Resident Evil from the Sony Playstation is the subject of the newest Ethos Video Review. Click the link below to watch the video. Thank you always for watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLb9PxLnFYE&feature=channel_video_title

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Posted by ethosreviews at 12:13 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 9 October 2011 12:14 AM EDT
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Tuesday, 4 October 2011
4.0 out of 5.0
Now Playing: The Orange Box (2007)
Topic: XBox 360

    

 

     There are tons of video game compilation packages available out there today - some are better than others. Few are as good in content and affordable as The Orange Box, originally released for the XBox 360 in 2007. By the time I bought it, it was only twenty dollars, which was a total bargain - I believe the original price was no more than forty. In any case, The Orange Box is a great find for 360 owners.

     It contains essentially five lengthy video games for a fraction of the price. One of the most memorable first person shooters from the Xbox era, Half-Life 2 is the real star here. It is featured in HD glory (rendering the original Xbox version looking muddy and ultimately obsolete), and it is still a blast to play today. It also features new chapters in the Half-Life saga in the forms of episodes, entitled Episode One and Episode Two. So if you loved Half-Life 2, you'll surely love the upgraded visuals and the extra content for that game.

     Team Fortress 2 is also included and I frankly don't have too much to say in regards to this game. It isn't something that is my forte particularly, and while it isn't a bad game, its not too compelling compared to the rest of the package. It has its moments, but isn't as detailed as Half-Life 2 or as mind-bending as the other brilliant inclusion, Portal. I would say that The Orange Box is worth getting just for Portal alone! It is one of the most innovative and down right clever games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. It isn't the longest game, but it has a brisk pace that keeps your attention and requires it - since it will keep you involved with its intellectual puzzle solving. You'll meet one of the more interesting characters in gLados, a sarcastic, mocking, yet incredibly fascinating AI that supervises your progress throughout the odd experiment of Portal.

     For such a low price, The Orange Box defines what it means to get bang for your buck. It is absolutely worth your time, even if you just play the original Half-Life 2 or Portal.

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 11:05 PM EDT
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Friday, 23 September 2011
4.4 out of 5.0
Now Playing: Uncharted: Drake's Fortune (2007)
Topic: Playstation 3

    

     Considered one of the Playstations 3's great triumphs, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is indeed just that. I did not get the chance of playing this game when it first came out, but it was certainly a pleasure to do so recently. This game always intrigued me, but at the same time, I often shied away from it. It reminded me a lot of Tomb Raider, and I have never really been a big fan of those games. It's not the type of game I dislike, I just always thought those really old Tomb Raider games on the Sega Saturn or the original Playstation were just so broken. However, the concept of archeology and adventure for hidden treasure is a thrilling one.

     Uncharted: Drake's Fortune is not simply a Tomb Raider game with a male protagonist. It is a Hollywood blockbuster thrill ride on the video game medium. It packs a lot of action, loveable heroes, a compelling story, and some witty and sometimes hilarious dialogue amongst the starring characters. Nathan Drake (descendent of the historically important Francis Drake) is the star here and he is a terrific lead for a game. He has just the right swagger, yet down to Earth nature about him that makes him so likeable. I also really liked the female love interest in Elena, a spunky reporter who is thrilled by the adventure and plays as a perfect partner to Nate. And of course, there is the grizzled, cigar chomping Sully - Nate's confidant and good friend.

     These loveable characters embark on a grand adventure to find the lost treasure of Sir Francis Drake, and the journey to find the fortune is a breath taking one. From the incredible graphics that detail the island setting, to the impressive Hollywood musical score, to the extremely tight controls and top notch gameplay, Uncharted has it all. It features some dizzying heights as Nathan Drake fearlessly leaps from rock to rock, building to building. It's a very complete game that essentially breaks down to three simple components: 1. A cover and shoot system. 2. The leaping mechanic. 3. Puzzle solving. And while all three sound incredibly simple, and obviously have been seen before, they are so well implemented here, you never get bored or find it repetitive. I thought I would, but I never felt the need to stop playing.

     The pacing of the game is what keeps the flow going so well. It's a relatively short game, I probably beat it in I suppose 8 hours or so, spread over the course of a week, and I was thrilled from beginning to end. There was a lot to like about this one - for instance, even from the outset, I was intrigued by the games  concept as it draws in from a historical perspective, weaving in the mystique and allure of the adventures in which popularized Sir Francis Drake. There has been a lot rumor in history as to what sort of adventurous exploits he was up to, and this game feeds into that even more so - quite brilliant!

     I highly recommend this game as it is a fast paced good time from beginning to end. It stands out to me as one of the PS3's biggest surprises. Obviously nowadays, the Uncharted series is a big PS3 exclusive franchise, and I can see why as the first game is just so good on so many levels.

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 7:46 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, 23 September 2011 7:49 AM EDT
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Wednesday, 9 March 2011
3.5 out of 5.0
Now Playing: NBA In The Zone '98 (1998)
Topic: Nintendo 64

   

     Sports games are annual events. Each year a new sports title is rolled out, and diehard fans scoop it up without question. For a long time, I was not like this, but nowadays, I indeed plunk down the cash for the newest baseball or basketball game. NBA In The Zone '98 was the first five on five basketball game on the Nintendo 64 way back in the day. For years, it was the only console basketball game I had owned. My preference on simulated basketball was the NBA Live games for the PC, beginning with the awesome NBA Live '98. With so many sports games out there to choose from, some do indeed stick inside ones mind and memory forever, and In The Zone '98 is a prime example of such.

     I remember quite clearly that my brother and I saved up our allowance just to buy the newest basketball game. Mind you, games back then cost an exorbitant 70 dollars. Yes, $70. In today's day and age, most games are $60, and we complain about the price. $70 is just insane, but we all went for it. We couldn't resist! The games looked so intriguing!

     It is now 2011, 13 years after the In The Zone '98 was released, and I still for some reason play it today. With some of the best basketball games of our generation at my fingertips like NBA Live '10, and the amazing NBA 2K11, I still take the time to revisit In The Zone '98. It must be the sentimental value. It must be the incredibly blurry graphics. Maybe it is my pure love of the game of basketball. Maybe it's the legends that are featured in the game - Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, Hakeem Olajuwon, Allan Houston, Charles Barkley, and Roster Player. Who? My mistake, I mean Michael Jordan...just not to confuse you, Roster Player is a white guy with #99, but is also the starting shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls. Either way, it's all awesome!

     The gameplay is pretty basic, and the features are practically unplayable without sapping an entire controller pak to save it all. It doesn't matter though. It's all about the exhibition in this game. It's pure fun. No glitz, not a whole lot of razzle dazzle, just a simple game with big time players. It has its own unique charm.

     Nowadays, you can find In The Zone '98 in retro game store bargain bins for a dollar or two - a long way from 70. And though it is a game that is largely forgotten by most by now, it will always have a special place in my heart.

 

-Kurt L.

 

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Posted by ethosreviews at 10:07 PM EST
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Sunday, 13 February 2011
Ethos Video Review
Now Playing: Back To The Future III
Topic: Sega Genesis

     The newest Ethos Video is here! Time to play a bad game for a change! Enjoy the newest video (and I use the term "enjoy" loosely, as this game is pretty awful)! Thank you always for watching!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuepStE9nrY

 

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 1:03 AM EST
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Thursday, 30 December 2010
5.0 out of 5.0
Now Playing: Fallout 3 (2008)
Topic: Playstation 3
    

     Easily one of the most engrossing video games I have ever had the pleasure of playing, Fallout 3 is simply a masterpiece from beginning to end. With its indelible landscape of the DC Wasteland as the anchor, this game achieves what few games have ever have done well - and that is to put the game literally in your own hands. You make the decisions, and you, the player, can essentially, single-handedly, determine how future events unfold.

     Naturally, like any other game out there, Fallout 3 does indeed have a story that progresses you through the game, but ultimately how you reach that destination is up to you. The premise is simple and quite endearing - you are a young man in search of his father (brilliantly voiced by Liam Neeson by the way). Amazingly, you start off as a little baby, and I've never seen a FPS game starting you off as a toddler! As brief as that is, it is still quite a welcome surprise. I digress.

     The true brilliance in Fallout 3 lies in the unknown - and what I mean is how things exactly will play out. From the early goings, you realize that essentially every action you take, or any word you say, will reflect how people react to you as a person. There is a "Karma" rating. If you rob or kill someone, you get "Bad Karma." If you save someone, or do generous or gracious acts, you get "Good Karma." Based on how your overall Karma rating is, the world around you perceives you to be as good as your actions are. It is a fascinating system. I generally prefer to have as much Good Karma as I possibly can, but that if I need to do something a little dangerous, or something outrageous, I will not hesitate, as I am simply following my own path.

     One of my favorite moments early on as I was just understanding the game was when I first emerged from the Vault in which my character was born and I first travelled into the depths of the Wasteland. I came across this small, ramshackle house and went inside. I spoke to the innocent homeowner about the Wasteland to gather more information, and when she went into the other room, and I wandered into her kitchen in search of food or a weapon for survival. I remember seeing a knife on the table and wondered if I should take it. If I did, that would be stealing, but I needed a weapon to survive out there - at least to start. I ultimately stole the knife because my primary goal at this point was to survive as best I could. I got a little Bad Karma from that action, but over the course of the game it obviously blew over. But the very idea that I pondered so much about robbing a knife is something I've never done before. What other game could make you think so much?

     Another brilliant time was when I was negotiating with a group of vampires who were terrorizing this town I wandered into, and being a good samaritan, I wanted to help this town out. I thought to go in guns blazing against these blood thirsty vampires, but decided not to, but rather use my own intelligence and speech to influence them not to attack the town any longer. I remember it being a sketchy and uneasy conversation, but eventually we came to an understanding and the vampires left the town alone. Wow. Since when can that happen in a video game?!

     There are countless times in Fallout 3 where I have taken the diplomatic approach. Sometimes I did not, like at this slave camp. I remember not caring for the way the brusque guard was talking to me, so I blew his head off with my shotgun and rescued the slaves. It was awesome.

     There really is a lot to say about Fallout 3, and I know I haven't discussed every facet of the game, and without going on and on for pages on end about it, let me just say that this is a truly incredible game. Graphically, it is a powerhouse. The action is pretty tight with a wide variety of weaponary. While this game may have the occaisional bug or hiccup when playing (once or twice it froze on me), 99.9% of the time, this game plays flawlessly and it just blows you away every step of the way.

     Believe me when I tell you this game is incredible. If you've never played it, you simply must! It isn't overly complicated with its leveling up systems and all that stuff in some more conventional RPG's, Fallout 3 is relatively easy to understand, and it becomes a supremely fun game to master.

     Fallout 3 is on my list of Top 10 Favorite Video Games of All Time. It was my pick for the 2008 Game of the Year, and it still leaves a tremendous impact on me to this day as much as a game can impact you. This game sort of reminds me of that quote from the Terminator films..."No fate but what we make." Brilliant.

-Kurt L.

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Posted by ethosreviews at 10:26 AM EST
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Tuesday, 5 October 2010
3.8 out of 5
Now Playing: Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (2003)
Topic: PC
   

     Seems like lately I’ve been on a bit of a Star Wars kick. All the movies have been on TV lately, and it has gotten me in the mood to go back and replay some of the games in my collection. The fact I recently completed Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast’s review, it seemed like a good idea to follow up with the next installment of the Jedi Knight franchise, Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.


    Being Jedi Outcast was such a success in my book, I was pretty excited for Jedi Academy and bought it day of release. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have my doubts however. One of my biggest concerns was the fact the face of the franchise, Kyle Katarn, wasn’t the main playable character of this game. Instead players will be able to create their own Jedi to be, Jaden Korr, from a slew of different create a character options. These options include the typical items such as male and female, facial feature, and clothing design. The more interesting aspects are you can also choose from a variety of different races, like the Rodian for example. Another nice feature is you will have the ability to create your own lightsaber, by choosing different hilts and blade colors. In the later levels, you will also gain access to dual wielding sabers, and the ever popular double bladed variety. That means players won’t have to go through several average levels just to get their lightsaber, you’ll have it from the start of the game, and odds are it’s the only weapon you’ll want to use.


    Having the ability to create your own character isn’t necessarily a bad thing for this game, but it does have some draw backs that docks a few points from the overall feel of Jedi Academy. For starters, Jedi Academy’s plot isn’t as nearly well polished as its predecessor’s. Jedi Academy’s story revolves around Jaden Korr learning the ways of the force, and of course the fate of the galaxy is at stake. After Jaden, and his (or her) friend Rosh are assigned to their master, Kyle Katarn, the cookie cutter adventure begins. I know that sounds harsh, being as a whole Jedi Academy really isn’t terrible, but Jaden’s quest to become one with the force doesn’t have the emotional impacts Jedi Outcast had. Although it does have decent moments, Jedi Academy’s story lacks the overall maturity that the Jedi Knight series has been known for. Mainly do to the fact players have control over which mission they will complete next out of 3 series of 4 possible missions instead of having a standard linear experience. Another flaw to Jedi Academy’s story is in the voice acting. For the majority of the time, the voice acting is fine, but being players can choose between a male and female character, that ultimately means there must be a male and female voice actor for Jaden. Any time Jaden speaks, no matter what the sex is, the characters lines feel like they have simply been copied and pasted into place. On occasion, some character’s lines even slightly overlap one another, and this just take a player out of the entire experience.


    Jedi Academy’s game mechanics are where this game really comes to life, as it builds on the foundations set in place by Jedi Outcast. The main focus here is pure action from start to finish, and its pretty rewarding. As to be suspected, Jedi Academy is also a mix of 3rd and first person perspectives. While using the large array of blasters, bow casters, and other authentic or unique Star Wars weapons game play transfers into a first person shooter. Using ranged weapons can have its advantages, but in terms of this game feels a bit unnecessary being players will have access to their lightsaber from the get go as I mentioned earlier. Being the lightsaber is going to be the main weapon of choice, the game will almost exclusively be a 3rd person adventure. Unlike Jedi Outcast, the ability to enter a first person view for saber combat has been removed. Some might miss this feature, but Jedi Academy has plenty of new attacks and character animations to take its place which makes fighting feel much more diverse. These new attacks and animations only become even more unique once the player is given the choice to upgrade to using two lightsabers or the double-bladed lightsaber. The addition to these two choices really brings the action to life, as your character will be able to do more devastating attacks.


    And what would a Jedi Knight game be without force powers? Well, it wouldn’t be Jedi Academy that’s for sure. Jaden’s greatest ally, the force, has also undergone some changes since the last installment of the Jedi Knight franchise. The force is just as powerful as it was in Jedi Outcast, there are just more force abilities players can take advantage of. There are both light side abilities, and dark side abilities. The light side powers, which include Force Healing, Force Protection, Force Absorption, and the Jedi Mind Trick are generally defensive abilities that are used to aid Jaden. The dark side powers are a little bit more interesting. They include Force Grip, Force Lightning, Force Rage, and Force Drain. These are Jaden’s offensive abilities, and are pretty darn cool. The biggest change to the force in Jedi Academy, is the fact players will have control over which abilities they want to focus on. That means if you are the master of your own destiny, and Jaden will truly reflect your personal play style.


    Multiplayer has also returned with Jedi Academy, which added a lot of life to the overall replay ability of the game. All of the same modes that were offered in Jedi Outcast are still intact, and players can choose to use a pre-made character like Luke Skywalker or Kyle Katarn as their online avatar. Of course, their Jaden Korr is also playable online. Like Jedi Outcast, the amount of gamers still playing online has diminished over the years although some still remain. In its day, I spent many hours playing Jedi Academy’s multiplayer and it is a blast. If you can’t find a human opponent, you can still play against Bots. Although its not the same as playing against someone else, its still worth playing.


    Graphically, Jedi Academy isn’t drastically different than Jedi Outcast. Being Jedi Outcast had some pretty decent graphics, I’m not too disappointed in how Jedi Academy looks although it would have been nice to see a little bit more in terms of that “wow” factor. I also ran into compatibility issues Jedi Academy while running Window’s Vista (what else is new right?), so setting this game to run with in Windows XP mode will definitely save you a lot of heartache is trying to run Jedi Academy with a newer operating system.


    Sure Jedi Academy didn’t take a huge step forward for the Jedi Knight franchise, but I can say with absolute certainty that I had a lot of fun playing this game. When you want some intense lightsaber action, and feel like tossing some storm troopers over a ledge with Force Grip, Jedi Academy is definitely a worthy investment.

Written by RB

Over and Out

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Posted by ethosreviews at 1:04 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, 6 October 2010 8:47 AM EDT
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