It’s a well known fact that Darth Vader will slap the taste out of your mouth without as much as a second thought about it. This is known to all people. Even with the threat of never tasting something again, the Rebellion was formed. This group of ragtag rapscallions take on the Empire with the help of one Luke Skywalker, AKA the Apprentice of the Force.
Now that I’ve gotten through my ever so entertaining bout of alliteration, we can get down to the game. Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force is a new side-scrolling adventure game that’s, get ready for this, based in the Star Wars universe. The player takes the roll of Luke as he shoots and stabs his way through the entirety of the original trilogy, which is divided into chapters and is sometimes interrupted by cut scenes and the occasional vehicle mission.
Being true to the series, Luke starts off whining about power converters and not really foreseeing the fact the he’s gonna be in a car wreck before Empire Strikes Back. Of course, to actually put a game in here somewhere, there had to be a little deviation. I mean seriously, how much fun would it be to watch Ben Kenobi scare off sand people? Well, sort of fun, but that’s not the point. The fact of the matter is that this game is about Luke and his itchy trigger finger and we here at Game Over will NOT ignore the facts!
So, during your whirlwind tour of the trilogy you’ll fight a rancor, Darth Vader, about a million storm troopers and much more. Sounds fun doesn’t it? Well, it mostly is if not overly repetitive. I mean, it’s pretty great in the sort of way that you get to shoot guys with a gun in two dimensions, but it also loses its charm pretty quickly in the sort of way that you get to shoot guys with a gun in two dimensions. I mean, sure, there’s the lightsaber, but it’s basically the same deal except you have to get closer and it makes different sounds. So it’s not exactly the same deal, but you know what I mean. Then there are the force powers.
Use of the force in Star Wars Trilogy comes in the form of a few special jumps, blaster deflection and the old stand-bys like push and heals. Once these powers have been received, the game does become a bit deeper but you’ll still be fighting the same basic style of enemy. However, some of them will require a different avenue of attack to be able to defeat them.
Other than the shooting/stabbing/force aspect of the game, there are also a few deviations in the run and gun format such as the different vehicle combat levels. In vehicles, you’ll find yourself piloting an X-Wing against some TIE Fighters, going through the trench run and riding speeder bikes. Each vehicle level plays a little different than the last but all keeping a classic arcade theme to the way each mission plays out.
The graphics and sound in Star Wars Trilogy really do stand out. The main focus characters seem to have quite a nice repertoire of animated frames per model and move fluidly throughout the motions of each level, and the soundtrack really compliments the game combining the original Star Wars score with a few newly composed pieces. The game does really look and sound nice.
A real problem for the game is that it’s mostly repetitive and fairly easy to beat, weighing in between four and six hours. Each chapter is broken into several smaller segments that can be immediately restarted once you die, thus really removing any long-standing challenge about getting through a level. The levels themselves don’t offer too much challenge outside of boss fights as the basic enemies are as easy to kill as a few blaster shots. The only real challenge to most levels is the jumping puzzles that will often result in death if miscalculated. Luke does not like falling down holes.
When all is said and done, Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force is fun but not terribly memorable. Other than a few cool moments here and there, there isn’t a lot going on that can’t be gotten elsewhere. There are many other excellent side-scrolling games out there that offer a lot more play time, but those games don’t have the Star Wars name. So really, if you just adore 2d side-scrollers or can’t resist a Star Wars title, then go ahead and buy it but otherwise you’re really not going to be getting a lot of bang for your buck.