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Star Wars Demolition


LucasArts 2000

Sony Playstation



You know, like most people I really like Star wars. For a time I collected all the toys, saw all the movies on opening night at midnight like a dumbass, I even got the Mace Windu light-up replica lightsaber. But it hits a point where too much of a good thing becomes detrimental. It's not always a good idea to whore out your franchise because the marketing department says it's a good idea. Yeah you may make a few extra million dollars but in the long run you do a lot to ruin your brand reputation.

Case in point is Star Wars Demolition, which is essentially Twisted Metal but with Star Wars characters in it. The story goes that Jabba the Hutt creates vehicle based Gladiatorial contests to take the place of the dangerous podracing sport that has since been banned by the Empire. Thus a large disconbobulation of different characters and vehicles are thrown together to blow each other up for fun and profit. Problem is some of the vehicles are pretty stupid. Since this is Star wars it would make sense to make them fly around in X-wings and Tie Fighters, right? Instead we get some characters in air speeders, another in an Imperial walker, even one guy riding the back of a Rancor. However cool this sounds it definitely ain 't, it actually comes off pretty silly. You get one guy in a rebel air speeder fighting Boba Fett with his little jetpack. Then another guy shows up riding the Rancor. Just doesn't come off right.

The characters you get to play are pretty cool. You get the aforementioned Boba Fett along with Darth Maul (who seems to have to be in every Star Wars game whether he has anything to do with the story line or not) but you also get some less mainstream characters like Bossk and Aura Sing (which is far as I know this is the only game that features the Dark Jedi bounty hunter as a playable character.) Rounding out the roster are a group of no-name characters based on Star Wars alien races (the wookie, the Jawa, the Imperial soldier, etc.)

The actual game plays semi-decently. Each character has a standard blaster along with a secondary weapon (either missiles or proton torpedoes or something) along with a special weapon. Gameplay consists of driving around the ring and shooting at the other guy. Problem is the controls are so wacky it's a challenge just to draw a bead on your opponent. Also the characters here seem a little too balanced. There are differences in speed and offensive power but you'll hardly notice them. The guy in the Cloud Car spaceship should be able to kill Boba Fett in one shot, but it doesn't work that way. In each area is a healing area and a refill station to replenish weapons. The problem with this set up is it's too easy to hang out inside of these healing areas and shoot the other guy from relative safety. Obvious gameplay bug there fellas.

These minor quips would be tolerable if the graphics didn't suck so much. I know the original Playstation isn't known for having the clearest textures, but dang man. This game looks like crap, there's no other way to describe it. It's sometimes hard to tell where the ground ends and a wall begins. On the Dagobah arena you fight over a swamp made up of the worst looking water ever, constantly bumping into tree stumps and hills you can't even see, getting blasted by the computer as you attempt to discern which little blip on the radar is the real opponent. Because not only do you have to deal with the A. I. opponent who seems to just wander aimlessly around and only attack you when he feels like it, you also get a ton of environmental dangers plaguing you at ever turn, mines, imperial probe droids, random elements of frustration the programmers threw in there to make you think the game was challenging, because without all of these little things constantly picking at your heels you'd actually waste the computer pretty quickly. Lame.

Thing is other Star Wars games from around this time have much clearer textures and better overall graphics. So I know the fools could have done better, they were just lazy. It's almost like they knew this game was a dumb idea from the get go and only expended the absolute minimum effort on it. Which is really sad really, because the premise (Star Wars vehicle combat) is actually a pretty good one. The execution this time just leaves a hell of a lot to be desired.

Graphics: Awful. Crap. A total bag of horse manure. Like if someone were to take two piles of doggy droppings and massaged them into your eyes. X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter looks better.

Sound: The sound is probably the best part of this game; All of the Star wars lazer blast effects and explosions are faithfully reproduced. There seems to be a dearth of voice in the game which kind of detracts from the feel. It would have been cool to hear the Jawa "Oootini!" or wookie roar once in a while.

Gameplay: The A. I. sucks. It runs around in circles and only seems to target you when you get directly in it's way. If you are in it's way it will even crash into you and not back up, eventually nudging you out of the way, pumping shots into you the whole time. When it does decide to attack watch out because the computer's aim is good enough to hit you from halfway across the arena. You spend lots of time hopelessly lost trying to find something to kill then suddenly getting blasted from offscreen out of nowhere. Too many little annoying robots and crap keep you from concentrating on where you're opponent is.

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