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   Review : Star Wars : Starfighter »  


 Star Wars : Starfighter - Preamble
 Date  : Feb 11th, 2002
 Genre  : Simulation
 Developer   : LucasArts
 Author  : Jin-Ning Tioh

Late last year, LucasArts released its critically acclaimed space-combat simulator Star Wars : Starfighter for the PlayStation 2 platform. Following in the tradition of Rouge Squadron, players command a variety of starfighters including the Naboo N-1 Starfighter and the Guardian Mantis into furious arcade-style space or atmospheric battles. Easy to pick up and play, Starfighter came kicked up a notch with a better flight mechanics, significantly improved graphics, an original and enjoyable story as well as several other unique features. So naturally, both gamers and members of the press received a pleasant surprise at last year's Electronic Entertainment Expo when they saw Starfighter plainly running on a PC at the LucasArts booth. According to LucasArts, the game was originally designed for the PC to start with, so the decision to port it back to the PC was an easy one. Gamers reeling from the catastrophic disaster which was Star Wars : Battle for Naboo can now rejoice as little has been changed in terms of gameplay, and several bugs including the frame rate issues that plagued players during large-scale battles fixed.

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All this takes place during the events of Episode I : The Phantom Menace, although the storyline only runs concurrently with the general happenings across 14 rather short single-player missions. Players bear witness to events happening at the time as one of three main characters - Rhys Dallows, Vana Sage, and Nym. Rhys Dallows is a Naboo starfighter pilot, orphaned from Bravo Flight when a meeting with the Trade Federation turns ugly. After his trainer Essara and the rest of his squad is blown back into stardust, Rhys is left for dead drifting in space, until a Toydarian salvager named Reti repairs Rhys' ship before joining him on a mission of revenge to find and permanently cross off Essara's assailant. Vana Sage is an ex-pilot turned mercenary. She worked for the Trade Federation briefly, but now seeks payback after being double-crossed during a testing run against Trade Federation fighters and discovering a secret droid factory gearing up for war. Unfortunately, she is unable to deliver this information to the Naboo in time, as the alien Nym managed to temporarily imprison and delay her. Nym is a space pirate whose base was destroyed in retaliation for the hijacking of a Federation freighter. Teaming up together against the common foe, this unlikely heroes will soon find themselves head over heels in the battle against the Federation army, battling in the epic finale to destroy the Droid Control Ship over the planet of Naboo.

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