RELEASED: May 2002
AVAILABLE ON: GBA
DEVELOPER(S): David A. Palmer Productions, LucasArts
The movie Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones wasn't a really huge improvement over Episode I: The Phantom Menace, but it was a notable one and there was a trace of classic Star Wars in it. It is truly an entertaining movie, if nothing else. Of course, a new Star Wars movie called for a bulk of video games... but it didn't get it. Actually, Episode II spawned only two video games, and both of them were released exclusively on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, whereas Episode I spawned a total of six games for multiple platforms, and an arcade title. An optimist is led to believe that the two games were so good there was no need for fulfillment, while a pessimist knows exactly what to expect from Attack of the Clones. Let me correct that, not _exactly_; I thought they stopped making this particular brand of manure back in 1993.
I've got a bad feeling about this
|I prefer to see the movie. Thanks, anyway.|
After finishing a sort of a sub-marathon that felt like one of the longest I've ever had, by beating Star Wars Episode I: Obi-Wan's Adventures, I was totally stoked about finally being able to move on to the two games based on Episode II. I downed a couple of cupajoes, went jogging for a couple of hours, returned home, took a shower and sat on the bench, totally ready for Attack of the Clones. I always thought the movie was underrated; it was unfairly placed in the same category as The Phantom Menace. OK, it isn't great, but cut it some slack. At least Jar Jar Binks isn't the one character to utter every third line of the whole movie, at last there's SOME Darth Vader to be seen in Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi sports his coolest look ever, and we witness Boba Fett's coming of age. With the best parts of this fair movie in mind and Yoda's sudden
über-athleticism totally ignored, I start up Attack of the Clones. In less than one minute, my brain lies scattered across the floor. This game is the worst movie license I've played since the "golden" days of the "fatal four" (read on).
|Attack of the old-school polygons.|
There have also been a few detail perverts working on this game - different sorts than me, though. The cutscenes spill all the most important details, and spoil the movie, totally. Not that it would matter that much, I just thought I'd point this out 'cause there's really nothing more relevant to say about the game that it's a tight bundle of crap. Star Wars games haven't always been that good, but whenever there's the LucasArts logo in any capacity on a game, there are certain expectations, none of which are cashed in by Attack of the Clones.
The only thing that separates Attack of the Clones from an overtly generic side-scrolling beat 'em up game and rather makes it an "action" game, is the inclusion of 3D shooting and racing levels, which are as simple as they can possibly be, and also as rough, messy and ugly as they can possibly be. The rest of the game pretty much comprises of the most stiff trio of models of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu you've ever seen, beating the shit out of droids and whatever comes their way with awkwardly controlled lightsaber offense, quick jumpkicks and weak Force spells which take an eternity to charge up. Shielding yourself from blaster shots using the good old saber stunt looks easy enough, it's just too bad that it actually shields you from about 50% of projectiles. Your health drains rapidly, there are enemies coming from the left and right, and the attack button doesn't do jack by itself. You always need to "direct" a swing from your lightsaber by using the D-Pad to make it do _something_. Just try to maintain some control in a game that constantly refuses to co-operate, get overnumbered in the process, die, start over. I've seen this before - many, many years ago, in almost every SNES movie license made in the early 90's, most of which were made by the "fatal four": LJN, Ocean, Sony Imagesoft and THQ. Who actually published this game, by the way? Oh, THQ! Not much of a homecoming.
|Haha, your blasters can't match my lightsaber!|
Of course, some might say that disappointment is inevitable when it comes to movie licenses, but I disagree at least when it comes to Star Wars. Like I said, there are always at least some expectations when a new Star Wars game comes out; all of the movies, even The Phantom Menace, have so much good source material for video games, more than any other movie franchise. 20 years of Star Wars games, so much know-how... and then this. There have been bad Star Wars games in the past, but Attack of the Clones takes the cake. I guess it's the much spoken great disturbance in the Force.
GRAPHICS : 7.7
SOUND : 8.5
PLAYABILITY : 3.5
LIFESPAN : 2.5
CONCLUSION : 3.0