Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith TV Games

-Jakks Pacific (2005)

 

Summary:

Here is the best proof why the Jedi were extinguished.

My Thoughts:

Usually I canít stand Jakks Pacificís Plug & Play TV Games. I feel like theyíre rip-offs, especially when you can get many of these games (and more) in compilation discs for the various consoles for a similar price. Since this was a Star Wars themed controller and these are all new Star Wars games, I figured Iíd give it a shot.

The Darth Vader controller is rather large and a little heavy. Itís probably almost as big as the original Xbox controller. There is a control stick, A and B buttons, pause and power. With only two action buttons the games arenít that complex, but theyíre actually simpler than you probably think. I wasnít expecting much from these games and I received less. The five games on the controller all have graphics and sounds that could be done on a NES. In this age of surround sound the controller features the awesome power of mono sound. Thereís nothing like hearing the NES style sounds coming from one speaker of my 5.1 setup. I know the sounds are simple, but at least give me stereo sound. How many people have a mono TV anymore?

Another big issue is the control stick; it feels cheap when you move it and a few games are a little hard to control. One of the biggest issues is that itís difficult to even enter your initials. Whatís worse is that you can enter you initials for scoring a mere twenty points, which is all youíll get the first few times you play some of these games.   

Coruscant Attack

Coruscant Attack is the game I had the highest hopes for but, because of some screwed up backwards game design, is actually the worst of the five. The pics on the box make it look like a top-down arcade style shooter and, essentially, it is. Anakin must pilot his new Jedi Starfighter and battle Trade Federation droid fighters and capital ships. Sounds like fun right? Itís not.

The control stick is not used to fly the ship, but to rotate it. The ship is placed right in the center of the screen and the boosters are always on. With the placement of the ship you canít see where the droid fighters are coming from. Youíll be flying in one direction and suddenly fighters will appear right in front of you. The lasers can only fire so fast, so shooting down the fighters right when theyíre discovered is usually out of the question. What you could do is quickly turn around, press the drift button, rotate the ship back towards the fighters, and then fire the lasers. Although, doing that doesnít work half the time. What youíll ultimately end up doing is hold down the drift button and coast in one direction, until you see enemies, rotate the ship, and then destroy the fighters. The whole control scheme is way too complicated for a game like this.

The droids would be easier to find with a radar screen; too bad there isnít one. If you can survive destroying all the droid fighters when youíre flying blind, you can take on a battleship. If you can survive that then itís on to more waves of droid fighters and more battleships. Most of the time youíll end up dying in the first couple stages because of the atrocious control, so itís better just to move on to a game that is actually playable.

Droid Invasion

In Droid Invasion, Obi-Wan must prevent the droids from taking over the Republic. Between stages he travels across the galaxy to fight on Naboo, Geonosis, and Mustafar because he is the only one person left alive, and well, you canít expect Jango clones to do all the dirty work. Droids walk from the top of the screen down to Obi-Wanís position. If the droids reach the wall then Obi-Wan falls over dead, whether he was hit with a laser blast of not.

Obi-Wan is getting old and his skills with a lightsaber are weak. He has forgotten most of Jedi training because the only way for him to prevent the invasion is to deflect the droids shots back at them. Depending on where the lasers hit the saber, Obi-Wan can angle the shots at other droids. Obi-Wan is confined to a tiny wall at the bottom of the screen where all he can do is move side to side. Sometimes power-ups will fall from fallen droids. Still jealous with saber-envy from Episode 1, Obi-Wan is able to make a purple double-sided lightsaber. The force push shoves the droids back and the shield is good for a laser hit.

After a couple waves of battle droids, super battle droids, and destroyer droids. Obi-Wan must fight a boss. The bosses are Trade Federation tanks and those ugly-ass spider walkers. The best tactic against the bosses is to stay in one spot in the middle of the wall with the lightsaber held up to deflect any incoming shots. With battle tactics like that its no wonder the Jedi got killed off.    

Grievous Onslaught

You remember the game based on Episode 1 and Jedi Power Battles where Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and other Jedi ran around doing their lightsaber thing to droids, right? Grievous Onslaught is a stripped down, simplified, and crappy version of those. Anakin must run around Grievousí flagship and destroy droids on his way to rescue the Emper... uh, I mean Senator Palpatine.

Unlike the fading skills of Obi-Wan, Anakin can actually destroy droids by swinging his lightsaber. He can also deflect their shots back and pick up some power-ups like Force push, shield, and stun. If Anakin is shot or merely touched by a droid, heís dead. So much for him being "the one.Ē This game takes a lot of practice because getting killed is very easy. If and when Anakin finds the Senator, he must fight Grievousí Guards just to see Palpatine vanish. Palpatine gets moved to another part of the ship and Anakin gives into his anger because of the infuriating controls and gameplay. The controls are sluggish so dodging or deflecting laser blasts in time is difficult. I succeeded more in becoming more irritated the longer I played this game than I did fighting off the droids.

Gunship Battle

Gunship Battle is a lot like the old game Choplifter. You fly the gunship picking up clone troopers and dropping them off so they can invade Separatist installations. The gunship is equipped with lasers for the enemy ships flying around and proton bombs to destroy droids, tanks, anti-air gunsÖ and your own troops.

If you can avoid killing off your own troops and prevent the Separatists from doing the same, you can take over the Separatist base to win the stage. You pick-up clone troopers and move them to the targets, but anytime you want to pick a couple up, and you already have troops onboard, the others will get off. Instinctively youíll move the gunship to pick up the ones that just got off, but then youíre other troops will disembark sending you into a quiet rage. Only a squad of four clone troopers can be on the field at the same time. What happened to the sheer numbers of clones we say in the movies? Theyíre not all dead yet.

If you do destroy the gun installations the droids will attempt to rebuild them. The clone troopers can take those over, but they can also lose them if the droids prove to be too much. Itís best to try to secure the guns before the base; otherwise youíll have plenty of trouble when attempting to secure the Separatist base. Gunship Battle is pretty difficult and is a somewhat decent game, but isn't enough to save the controller from it destiny.

Utapau Chase

Utapau Chase is more of an overhead shooter than Coruscant Attack was, but is similar to the classic game Spy Hunter. Here, Obi-Wan must chase down General Grievous while riding a big lizard. Speeder bikes try to foil Ob-Wanís ride, but the lizard can swing its tail to knock back the speeders that try to ram the lizard from the side. Oddly, the lizard is equipped with lasers and shields making Obi-Wan a part of the Dino Riders clan.

The power-ups are pertinent throughout the game. The lasers can be upgraded and the lizard can get some clone trooper type armor. Extra lives are also in abundance to prolong your suffering of playing this game and because the lizard dies so easily. If the lizard runs head first into a wall or just rubs up against it, it dies. Your lizard will be constantly falling over until you realize that even touching the walls is bad. The streets also have crevasses in them, but the lizard automatically jumps over them... when it's in the middle of the hole, not before.  

When Obi-Wan is finished running through the streets, he fights General Grievous on his stupid-ass wheel bike. Grievousí tactics become more daring when getting into the higher stages. For example, he starts off moving from side to side, but before long heíll move diagonally to crush Obi-Wan.

Because this TV Games controller was Star Wars, I was trying to find some redeeming value, but I couldnít. The higher stages I got to the more I wanted to stop playing. I just didnít care about saving the Republic or saving anyone anymore. It was mindless, not mindless fun, just mindless. I canít recommend this controller to anyone but those who want Atari quality gameplay with a Star Wars theme. Then again, the old Atari Star Wars games were fun and much better. The best thing about this was that it was easy to re-package so I could return it to where I bought it. Keep your receipt, kids.

Score: 4.5

-Shawn