Review by Joshua Griffin
Star Wars: Demolition is the latest title from the gaming arm of George Lucas, LucasArts. It's a solid title with fun gameplay and a very original concept. I enjoyed the game and it should make it's mark as a standout in the first generations of the Sega Dreamcast. Look for more exciting titles from them on the platform as well, including Episode I Racer and Jedi Power Battles.
Jabba the Hutt is furious that the pod races are being outlawed and has come up with the most intense game for his minions to wage on. Demolition combines the most feared warriors and bounty hunters in the galaxy coming together in various arenas all across the universe. It's winner takes all in this wild ride of demolition and destruction.
There's a few titles already for the Dreamcast that have merely been ports of existing titles: Episode I Racer originally appeared on the Nintendo 64 and Jedi Power Battles first came to life on Playstation. Just recently a third title entered the mix, bringing new life to Sega's powerful beast. Enter Star Wars: Demolition, a hot new title that is enjoying a simultaneous release on Sony's aging game system and to the next generation systems on Sega's Dreamcast as well.
What did we think? The first impression you'll get is the wow factor seeing your favorite vehicles brought to real life in 60 frames per second. Every detail of nearly a dozen craft are brought to life in the game, with each having it's own unique set of attributes which lend themselves to success or failure depending on your abilities. Not to metion the fact that these beautiful ships get torn to bits and pieces with amazing battle damage leaving wires damgling and
beams of power arching across open wounds in the various crafts.
The graphics are a standout when compared to any other Star Wars title on any system, and that's a big deal. In a day of mediocre titles in the universe, it's about time we got to look at something beautiful. Think of Rogue Squadron for the N64 with twice the polygons and three times the frame rate. Not to mention the high screen resolution making the big screen I was playing the game on spring to life with vibrant colors and detailed textures.
I didn't really care much about the story to be honest, I just wanted to blow stuff up. And that's what I had to do. I played the game for a while by myself, enjoying difficult missions and versus battles against the CPU opponent. But joining in with a friend is where the real fun is, taking out the other guy on the couch with your Swoop bike while he's tramping around in his AT-ST. You can have up to four players all at once jamming the screen with
furious attacks and lazers, though the Sega.Net is not supported.
Speaking of which, the vehicle choices are wildly different, putting pod racers against the Rancor. Ouch. Some of them make for some wild combinations and you may be surprised just how powerful Boba Fett is in just his back pack. Alternate weapons, charging and the Force powers all add to the gameplay that is intuitive and fast paced. Even a Mortal-Kombat style finishing move series is included, much to the delight of the crowd.
Where do you fight? Try the Naboo-Battledroid Battlefield memorial or running the streets of Mos Eisley. Jumping into the swamps of Dagobah and aboard the Death Star II are truly unique and major kudos to the design folks who had the foresight to include some of Star Wars most memorable locations. Each battlefield also has unique hidden paths and refill stations, keeping the battle moving along and adding twists to the getaway, making retreat a real option in the aftermath of battle.
The sound in this version was fantastic and the music was very original and inspired from the different themes of each planet. You'll enjoy the kooky feeling of Naboo, the foreboding themes of Dagobah and the familiar tunes inside Jabba's palace.
Every game has some aspect of it that didn't totally appeal to the gamer inside of me, and a couple of things just didn't feel right.
I needed more camera angles. Sometimes I felt trapped within the few angels provided, and occasionally the size of the vehicle, particularly the ATT, blocked the screen. And after a battle if I changed the view from vertical to horizontal it would always change back when the next round started. Ugh, annoying much? First player cameras worked well, though after some amount of playing you will certainly notice some wild camera action, like it couldn't make up it's mind what to do.
Another negative aspect to the game was that the walls weren't really there, and sometimes your vehicle could run halfway up the wall or part of it even disappear. At times Boba Fett could be totally inside of the wall! And due to the technical limitations there was some amount of 'draw in,' though not nearly as much as we've seen previously on N64 games. Also the use of fade in and shading helped tremendously in hiding the cheat used by the designers to keep up the refresh rate.
Getting to gameplay issues, at times it seemed like everyone was against me in the battle, when I thought they should have been taking each other out as well, not just me. Oh well, I'm tough and like the odds, but that is going to turn away the casual gamer or influence the person playing the game at the kiosk before buying the game.
And the game was quite hard to control at first, though that was quickly remedied after setting up the controls how I wanted them to be set. Let me also say that while there are a few comments here about the dark side to this game, it in no way invalidates the title as a fun romp in the SW universe. Dreamcast gamers in general will enjoy this game, and I think Star Wars fans will also embrace it favorably.
From the opening movie to the middle of the battle, the Dreamcast version of Demolition is a fun, unpredictable and exciting multiplayer battleground for you and all of your Jedi friends to see who's the greatest in the galaxy. TFN highly recommends this title that despite a few shortcomings displays the power of the Dreamcast, LucasArts and your Jedi skills.
88 out of 100
E3 Original Announcement of Title
Cover Art for Demolition
Announcing Demolition Going into Production
GameFan's Preview of Demolition
Concept Gallery at LucasArts
Teaser Video of the Game
Hints at Tips at the Official Site
For comments or questions email the TFN Games Staff
and thanks to Joshua Griffin for the review!