Reviewed by Mark Isaacson
Based on the events of the movie of the same name, it is your task to defend the galaxy from the evil Count Dooku and Jango Fett as one of three Jedi, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Mace Windu.
The first thing you will notice when powering up this game is the scrolling intro aka the movie, followed by a selection of movie stills to fill you in on the story (no need to explain that much here). A nice touch by THQ, no doubts there. A choice of three Jedi, as mentioned above, is also a nice touch.
Moving onto to the actual gameplay itself, there are a range of Jedi moves (from the always handy lightsabre to a selection of force abilities) that will help you as you guide your way through the many platform levels. Thrown into the mix are 1st person shooter levels, using the scalling techniques the GBA has now become famous for, allowing you to play a hand in important scenes from the movie and a chance to face key characters Jango Fett and Count Dooku.
All seems well at first, but I couldn't help but get the feeling that something more could have been accomplished here. I wanted to play as Yoda, and battle as a Clone Trooper in the Clone Wars (I'll have to wait for the PS2/GC title for that I suppose), or at least play a friend in an arena battle or Jedi-Sith duel.
The problem here is that AOTC looks good on the outside, and some of the insides work well for a time, but once you accomplish the tasks at hand there's no reason to warrant a second go. A lack of multiplayer options is a pain since the GBA handles 4 player games very well, and althought the 1st person levels are great, they do seem a little under cooked and loose their sparkle after the second go.
I'm not saying the game is bad, of course not. What I am saying is THQ has established a formula for something great, with a combination of different genres, a selection of characters and solid graphics and sound all-round. AOTC could have been something even bigger and better, but falls just short of that accomplishment. Throw in a few more characters, some unique perspectives on the movie action and some multiplayer options and this would be a winner easily.
That's what makes the wait for the new title just announced even worse, since all of those ideas I've just listed will be included (hopefully) in the next GBA title. Joy!
Let me make a suggestion to the fine folks at THQ. Please, please port over the classic Star Wars SNES series to GBA, so I can show the many young readers here that are yet to play the fine trilogy what a true Star Wars platform game is like. And remember this series in your dreams as you develop the next lot of titles. :)
The opportunity is here to develop some find Star Wars titles for this system, but AOTC needs a little more spit and polish to be called a great. There's plenty to like about it, and the 1st person levels are great at first, but it falls short of greatness thanks to a lack of extra features and multiplayer options. But it stands as the best option for handheld Star Wars gaming, that's for sure.
Give this a rental at least, hunt around for the SNES trilogy if you are yet to try it, and keep in mind the next Star Wars title for GBA. That sounds promising.
For comments or questions email the TFN Games Staff