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Fan Review

Aragorn327 and Lord Homer?s Guide to: The Sand Arena (2) (i.e. Geonosis Battle Arena) with the Jetpack Mod. (A very fun combination)

Well, basically, you fly around and shoot stuff! Ha ha, we jest. Lets get a bit more into shall we?

The level itself is nice. It?s a general circular sports arena with the four pillars in the pit from AotC, and with four ?prongs? sticking out a bit from each side (north, south, east, west). At the bottom of two of these are doors that lead to a corridor, which has an elevator at the end, allowing you to get to the top of the arena without that pesky force jump?however, you probably have the jetpack mod on, so its not to important. The level itself is very large, and nearly all of it is outdoors, a refreshing change from most of JO?s levels, and it makes it a nice place for the Jetpack. The level has great sound, playing AotC music at you during your game, which only stops when you initiate a duel, during which you get your battle music from JO. The music?s only downside is that it can drown out the normal sounds a bit, but after a minute or two, you get used to it, and it doesn?t bother you at all.

Weapons placement is fairly good. In the pit, weapons and their ammo are placed between the pillars. In the center of all four pillars is a rocket launcher and two sets of rocket ammo. This is a very important spawn point in the game, as the homing mode of the rocket launcher is very very useful in picking off flying opponents, assuming they don?t have time to force-push the rockets away. Just take shots at them when they?re a bit preoccupied, and hopefully get off two shots, or more if you can. Next to the other pillars are the Golan Flechette Weapons. There are two of them, at that means four sets of ammo. At the top of the arena, there are a few Imperial repeaters, so plan on using these weapons a lot, because the ammo is probably the easiest to get. Also at the top level of the arena are the Stormtrooper rifle and the Disruptor. Nice weapons, but ammo is scattered throughout the stands, and its all fairly spread out, which is annoying. The Stormie rifle is nice if you?re running around on the ground, or if you?re inside the extremely small portions of the map that are interior, however, getting ammo for this weapon is annoying. Ok, so on to the Disruptor. This is arguably the best weapon on the map; depending on whose hands it?s in. If you are a good sniper, you can fly quickly, stop, switch to the zoom, charge up and fire easily gaining kills, especially if you have a nice shot at one of the weapon spawn points. However, you have to stop for a moment to do this, which could let someone hit you with a rocket. If you?re not quick with this weapon, you?ll want to fall back on something steadier like the rocket, and take your time to get missile locks. Apart from the player?s skill, the it is also annoying to get ammo for the Disruptor, as it is spread sparingly throughout the stands, but since you?re not constantly spraying fire out like with the stormtrooper rifle or the repeater, its sort of a trade off. There are some trip mines, more stormtrooper rifle spawns, and thermal detonators inside, but they really won?t help you much with Jetpacks enabled.

Well, that?s basically it for the map and weapons, so now for some info on the Jetpack Mod. The jetpack itself just has a flame come out of your skin?s back, so it can look strange if not used with the Jango or Boba Fett skin. Anyway, you bind the Jetpack to a key, so you can turn it off whenever you want. You can fly with it exactly like you did with the flying cheat from the original Jedi Knight. Your jump key makes you go up, and the crouch key directs you down, and apart from that, everything is the same. Or more simply, if you want to go up, just look up with the mouse, and move forward. The Jetpack makes you move faster than you normally would, so you may forget about Force-speed- don?t! It?s a nice trick if you need to evade your enemies, and may startle them so they forget to turn it on for a few seconds, which could give you the time you need for whatever you may be doing. Remember to keep moving and flying about, or your enemies will have an easy time firing at you from some point in the sky. Using the jetpack also changes the way you will use weapons. The Lightsaber is basically useless for offence, unless you turn off the Jetpack and duel on the ground. You can use it to block shots effectively, but you can also get shot at from new angles, so you?ll need to be careful. Your Bryar can be used with some accuracy, but because the level is large and people are flying around, you may want to opt for another weapon. The Stormie rifle is also useful, but more so if you can catch someone picking up ammo. Flying around shooting is a good way to miss a lot and waste your ammo, but if you can catch someone taking off, you can get some nice hits on him or her. We basically covered the use of the most of the other weapons earlier. A random hint for the Repeater and the Golan is you use the secondary fire shot on those below you, as you can really do some heavy damage with these.

I?d (Aragorn327) like to mention something on my preference with Force Powers. I prefer using the Light-side powers, and really think they are the most useful on this map. Dark Lighting is really the only good use of the dark-side on this map, and it can be overcome with absorb. Grip is nearly useless, as even if you manage to drop someone, they?ll be able to fly away. It?s also hard to grip them, as they will be flying around. Light-side allows you to heal, which is very useful on this map, as the fighting can get very tough and furious, and absorb will stop lighting, pull, grip, etc. Of course, you may disagree with me, just thought I should mention it.

One of the best parts about the map is being able to recreate some of the moments from the Arena Battle in AOTC. You can recreate the huge battle between the Jedi and Droids, or recreate the (rather short) duel between Mace Windu and Jango Fett. Just being able to do that makes this map worth the download.

Finally, we should mention that CTF and CTY will be very strange when played on this map with the Jetpack mod, as it takes about 5 seconds to fly to the opposing flag. Most of you time will be spent hunting down the enemy flag carrier (nearly the whole game), coupled with the occasional race to score before your opponents can retake your flag.

Overall this is a great level, and when played with the Jetpack mod, it becomes even greater, and you and your friends can have a lot of fun. (A superbly awesomely great review by Aragorn327 and Lord_Homer)

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