You must realize you are doomed

Originally posted at GameSpot on June 20, 2008

Conquered the galaxy this past Wednesday, June 18th, 2008, as the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Crushing the Republic never felt so good. Again, Star Wars: Battlefront II shows why it has some great replay value.

I think the game also shows how really little you have to do to make me happy as a Star Wars fan. Have some good locations, decent gameplay, and a very shallow “strategy” mode thrown in, and I’m good. Don’t misunderstand me – I really enjoy galactic conquest mode; it’s just that it seems to be the most basic of strategy that they could have used. (Actually, I think that would go to the conquest mode in the first Battlefront)

Be that as it may, my point is that I do enjoy the conquest mode of the game because it does just enough to be fun. I would like to see much deeper strategy, but the essentials are there: 1.) You conquer the galaxy and 2.) Actually, you only need the first one.

The ending was particularly satisfying; I don’t usually buy bonuses, I go right for the soldier types and fleets. I saved a hero bonus, however, for the last battle which ended up on Yavin 4. Darth Maul was the “hero” of choice, and I simply crushed the clones. Taking every spawn point they had except their base, I was able to run them down again and again before they could regroup. The last kill was a tossed light saber up at the last Republic clone, up in a high turret. . .it was beautiful.

As the CIS victory montage played, the feeling was sweet – and I’m sure I grab another round with a different faction soon enough.

Post tenebras lux

Now witness the power of this fully-armed and operation battle station!

Originally posted at GameSpot on January 10, 2008

This past Christmas, my wife bought me the Original Trilogy on DVD. Why am I writing about that here? Because it serves the purpose of illustrating something I enjoy about games – the ability to enjoy your favorite worlds even more. I enjoy the inter-connectivity between the different mediums, from music to movies to games. I like being able to watch the DVDs, which moves me onto Battlefront, which leads me to listen to the soundtrack the next day.

I do recognize the dark side, however; sometimes you can get overwhelmed with a brand so much that it becomes ad nauseam. That hasn’t happened to me personally yet with Star Wars, although it is everywhere you look sometimes. If do get sick of seeing a brand everywhere, it’s usually because I don’t enjoy the product in the first place.

For example, I don’t mind seeing Darth Vadar’s face plastered everywhere, but seeing High School Musical cake decorations makes me a little sick. Still – I can’t get too bent; it’s only because I like one brand and not the other.

Back to the gaming side of things, being able to jump in the game world of a movie I’ve just seen is very gratifying – especially when it comes to Star Wars. Each time I re-watch the movies, I think of the environments I’ve been to – I’ve been on Hoth countless of times in everything from a Imperial uniform to a rebel speeder to Jedi fatigues (thanks to Battlefront, Shadows of the Empire, and Jedi Academy for those). I’ve been in the carbonite freezing chamber on Bespin (Battlefront), a cargo hold on board the Executor (Dark Forces), and flown down the Death Star trench (X-wing).

Playing those games means I identify more with each of those scenes when they’re up on the small screen – which enhances the overall experience. Yet another reason I’m glad video games are around.

Post tenebras lux