Review by Joshua Griffin
Star Wars: Demolition is an unusual title from the game factory of Lucasarts. It's a solid title with decent gameplay. I enjoyed the game but it wasn't quite as exciting as I had hoped, though it is a good last generation title on the Sony Playstation. LucasArts has released several titles for the system so far, and though this will mark one of the last it is a great chance to return to the universe we love so much.
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.
Comparisons to the amazing Dreamcast version aside, Star Wars: Demolition is a fun title with many strong points. It supports two player head to head battling, and sits somewhere above the average game appearing this Christmas. That having been said, it is also one of the best SW games on the platform to date.
It's based on the engine Luxoflux used in the successful Vigilante 8 and sequel, and if you liked those titles you're in for a treat here. Imagine all of the impact of a vehicular combat game with a motley crue of Star Wars vehicles? Wild idea, and something that deserves our attention.
The graphics are good and quite detailed, the arenas come to life under the mast head of destruction and competition. Tons of power ups, killer combinations, lots of special effects and devastating explosions will rock the combatants, destroying the environments as well as the players. Nice reflections of the sky in the landspeeder windshield, splashes in the Dagobah swamp, original power ups and all of the vehicles you love in all their glory. It's about the most the Playstation can offer, though it only gives a hint at what the PS2 will afford.
Exactly like the Dreamcast version just slightly less appealing visually, 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. Unfortunately many of the vehicles are locked, and there's certain to be a few hidden ones as well. Did I see a Cloud Car on Dagobah?
Where do you fight? Try the Dune Sea or Hoth. Jumping into the swamps of Dagobah and atop Cloud City 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 good, though a few of the sound effects get annoying with repetition. The music was a strong point and you'll quickly identify with as faithful to the franchise and well done.
Just like the Dreamcast version of the game, several points stick with me as negative after a few hours of playing.
Something you can't avoid in such an ambitious title is the draw in distance. Because of the Playstation's processor, the draw in rate is much closer in the wide open environments that I would have liked. A more powerful system will render to infinity and beyond in the future, so this is a byproduct of the open spaces the game thrills on.
Camera angles weren't as much of a problem in this game since the vehicles are smaller and the environment less detailed. In multiplayer it was a bit difficult to get my bearings initially, and the control setup again had to be modified to my liking, which was quite different than the designers set it up originally. I think pushing up on the control pad for acceleration is far more effective then having a gas button. You'll just have to figure it out once you pick it up.
And when you run into the wall, I expect some kind of crash bang boom effect, but instead the Playstation was confused on what to do next. The vehicle twisted and turned, reeling from striking an area I couldn't navigate in. A bit more time in development and realizing real space in the game would have helped tremendously and to me this is the most glaring flaw in the game. There is no remedy for this problem, and tends to be frustrating.
So there's a few points that stick out in my mind as separating this from a truly stellar release. It's addicting and fun once you get past the slight learning curve.
Considering it's one of the last Star Wars titles to appear on the aging Playstation, check out Star Wars: Demolition for a good time against the CPU or a friend. An original concept that works better a generation ahead but comes out just fine on Sony's machine. A wild concept, well executed, and much more fun that you would think.
75 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
IGN's Review of the Playstation version
Hints at Tips at the Official Site
For comments or questions email the TFN Games Staff
and thanks to Joshua Griffin for the review!