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The sequel to the best selling Star Wars video game of all time returns with a whole new gaming experience that brings back all the fun of Battlefront, with some new twists thrown in.

New Features

Playing as a Force user

We all remember those hated Jedi and Sith that just wouldnt die no matter what we tried. Wed shoot grenades, missiles, even AT-AT laser cannons, but those stupid Force users would just keep getting up until we finally either ran them over or shoved them off a cliff. Worry no longer, my Battlefront friends, for now you can play as a Jedi. And I must admit, Ive never been so excited about being able to play as a Jedi in a video game. II didnt squash my hopes. Though at first playing as a Jedi may come off as an arcade like experience, after a while, you frankly dont care. From the terrifying dark form of Darth Vader, to the little green form of Yoda, prepare to wreak havoc on the battlefield. Obviously, the weapon you will be using as a Jedi is a lightsaber, and that is the only weapon you can use (as if you would possibly want anything else). You can attack with the saber or hold it in defense to block just about anything that comes your way until your stamina bar runs out. The Force will also be by your side as you fight, being used as your secondary weapon. Each character has a number of Force powers available to them. These powers range either from the dark to the light, the Sith characters using the dark side, and the Jedi using the light side. I can say, dont expect an experience like Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy or anything like that. Most characters only have two powers that they can use. I think that playing as a Jedi may be too much of an arcade like experience. The Jedi can jump very high (were talking ridiculously high) before the stamina bar runs out, and some of them actually hover above the ground and fly. Still, I truly am satisfied with the ability to play as a Force user in II One thing that very much surprised me was that not only can you play as Jedi and Sith, but as other heroes of the Star Wars galaxy as well, including famous characters such as Boba Fett, Han Solo, and others that youll love to use. Battlefront II certainly exceeded my expectations in this manner.

Launching into space

A number of space missions are available to play in, and I must admit that Im glad they have a training session to acquaint you with how to fly and be an effective pilot. It made it so much easier than having to figure everything out on my own. When I first purchased this game, I went immediately to a space level. I selected to play as the clones and launched the level. As I entered into an ARC-170 for the first time, I leaned forward in my chair, took off, and sped out of the hanger bay. As I began shooting wildly at anything that moved, I felt exactly like little Ani in Episode I. Lets try spinning. Thats a good trick. Upon getting an idea of how to actually pilot my ship (and blowing myself up a high number of times that I prefer not to mention here), I realized how much it looked just like the opening scene from Episode III. It looks exactly like that and feels like it as well. Contrary to my expectations, flying in space is even more fun than using a hero, and its probably what I spend most of my time playing.

New maps and vehicles.

New vehicles have been added that you can play in, which add more fun to the game, and to my extreme pleasure, more maps. I love getting to play in different Star Wars locations not shown in the movies. Some maps return from Battlefront I and new ones have been added, including locations such as Utapau and Mustaffar from Episode III. And, being a Star Wars fan, I am ecstatic that you get to play aboard the Tantive IV (Princess Leias flagship) and relive the first battle ever recorded in Star Wars history. The maps in II are outstanding and add so much more to the Star Wars experience. Also, upon exploring the maps in more detail, I am surprised at how closely they relate to the movies, not just in their look. Once, while playing as Luke Skywalker on the Death Star, I was fighting in the detention cell tunnel (from Episode IV). As usual, I was slicing through my enemies with my lightsaber blade as easy as a knife slices through pie, and I suddenly noticed one of the stormtroopers had disappeared. I turned around to see a hole in the wall that I had sliced through with my blade. I walked on through the opening, and realized that I was in the trash compartment. I quickly eliminated the annoying stormtrooper who was so rudely shooting me with his gun, and then took a better look around me. Yes, there were the two, familiar brown walls to my right and left, the mucky water up to my ankles, and the garbage all around me. This couldnt possibly be the trash compartment from the movie, could it My suspicions were confirmed as the two walls closed in and squashed me. Yes, there are plenty of surprises that Im sure still await me, and I look forward to finding them. A+ on the maps.

Storyline

The storyline follows the journals of the clone company, the 501st. You get to take part in a number of famous battles, including the Battle of Geonosis, the invasion of the Jedi Temple, and some other battles not well known. I was surprised to see Battlefront go after a serious storyline, and to be honest, I thought theyd fail miserably. I was wrong. They succeeded beautifully. They did an excellent job with it and I thoroughly enjoyed playing in it. I am also glad that the story doesnt just end at Order 66. It goes beyond that, and keeps interest easily.

Graphics 8/10

The graphics are great. The units themselves are done very well, though their look hasnt changed much since Battlefront I. The thing that mainly gets my attention are the maps. They look simply gorgeous and much better than the maps in Battlefront I. The movie cut scenes are pretty good, though I think they could have been done a bit better as well. They look pretty much like the graphics in the game.

Sound 10/10

Nobody does sound like Battlefront. Nobody. The voice acting for the clone troopers is done by the guy who plays Jengo Fett in the movies, so the in-game experience is very good when playing as the clones, and the cut-scenes sound great because hes the one narrating. The weapons sound wonderful. From a Tie-fighter roaring as it passes you in space, to the shot of a blaster rifle, to the hum of a lightsaber, everything is perfect. Excellent job there. The background music comes straight from the Star Wars soundtrack, including some songs from Episode III if you play at Episode III locations. One little disappointment is that the acting of some of the heroes and Jedi dont sound too good. Luckily, the characters dont say much.

Gameplay 18/20

Things havent changed much since Battlefront I, so the veterans will have no problem jumping into a game, and newcomers will pick up on things fairly quickly. Also, there are two training missions (one for regular play, and one for space). These missions cover everything youll need to know about how to survive on the battlefield. It was the first thing I did when I bought the game and was very helpful introducing me to the new features.

Appropriateness 42/50

This is a violent game. You kill your opponent using a variety of weapons, mostly involving shooting your opponent with a gun of some sort. There are other moments when you use other means to kill your opponent, including burning them with a flame thrower and cutting them with a lightsaber. There is no dismemberment and no blood. There are some mild curse words, including the d word, though I really havent picked up on more than that. Also, when you play in the story line, you do some questionable acts, including taking part in the Jedi Massacre at the Jedi Temple. This involves killing guards and various Jedi. And when you are playing in the storyline, you are the bad guys. Overall, this is game really does live up to its reputation of being the best selling Star Wars game ever. It deserves the bragging rights. I suggest it for all Star Wars fans and all gamers. Youre going to have a blast with it.

Final Ratings

Game 45/50 Gameplay 18/20 Graphics 8/10 Sound 9/10 Stability 4/5 Controls 5/5 Appropriateness 42/50 Violence 6/10 Language 8/10 Sexual Content/Nudity 10/10 Occult/Supernatural 10/10 Cultural/Moral/Ethnic 10/10

Final Score: 86/100

 

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System Requirements Windows XP/2000/Me/98/Mac OS X 300MHz, G3, G4 or G5 100MB HDD space 64MB RAM, 128MB for Mac 4MB video card memory

Story

Mandy is doing a school report about computers and she has asked her friend Michael to help her out. Michael tells her all about computer games since he plays them non-stop. During a session of Firewall Defender Eugene interrupts them and offers to let them try out his new invention that lets them play the game from inside a computer. Michael jumps on the opportunity while Mandy cautiously accepts. This invention is completely safe because there are safety protocols in place. The adventure truly begins when Michael deactivates the safety protocols and they have to face Seepi-Yu to escape from the computer world. In a nutshell this game is Adventures in Odyssey meets Tron.

How do they escape?

There are seven mini games that you have to beat in order to defeat Seepi-Yu. Many of the games have classic arcade game roots like Missle Command, Snake and Pac-Man. I enjoyed some of the games more than others and I like the fact that there?s an arcade mode letting me going back to play the mini-games without the story line cut scenes. Each game had four levels and four waves of increasing difficulty before moving on to the next level. There is a Hall of Fame that keeps track of your high scores.

How hard are the games?

Some of the games I was able to beat on my first attempt and others took me many tries. For seasoned gamers they can easily complete this title in a couple of hours. On the other hand, some of the games will pose a real challenge for young children. Many of the games require fast reflexes but others require thought. There are some logical games that will get you thinking in binary!

Graphics

The characters are cartoony but the mini-game graphics have a different feel to them. Many of the games require fast reflexes so sometimes it?s hard to determine, for example, the antivirus from the virus, as the shape is the same but the colors are inverted. Other than that I have no complaints as the graphics do the job.

Sound

The voice acting is well done in this game. Each mini-game has it?s own background music and chatter between Mandy and Michael. Sometimes the music is repetitive but it?s not annoying.

Bugs/Glitches

When you die one too many times in a mini-game it will set you back at level one wave one which is good. But often I found that the difficulty or speed did not revert back to the easier level, and this happened on several mini-games for me.

Appropriateness

This game teaches many good moral lessons including Responsibility, Respect & Loyalty, Value of Time, Choices & Consequences, and Moral Character. I find nothing offensive in this title.

Final Thoughts

The mini-games in this title were quite fun but the overall amount of game play will depend on the audience. I can see younger children struggling with some of these games and those who are skillful feeling gypped after beating this title in a couple of hours. I do like the replay ability of the mini-games. The moral lessons are great and I can see kids having fun while learning good values. You can purchase this and other fine Christian games at Covenant Games.

Game Play 15/20 Graphics 7/10 Sound 7/10 Interface/Controls 4/5 Stability 4/5 Appropriateness 53/50 (+3 for teaching good Moral lessons)

Final Score: 90%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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