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» NINTENDO 64 » HARDWARE » PS2 » PSOne » XBOX » GAMECUBE » HANDHELDS » SEGA
Bobby (Beef) Ford December 14, 2000 Review Feedback

Star Wars Demolition

I have to admit it, I am a Star Wars fan. Not a zealot, by any means, but I was a little excited when I learned of this title set in the Star Wars universe. Demolition seemed like a great concept. Imagine being able to strap yourself into a snow speeder and drive into some mean combat, fighting for freedom. Wanna try an AT-ST? You can choose that too. Jabba the Hutt takes center stage in this game, hosting brutal competitions for his entertainment. The goal: Survive and destroy all of your opponents in a convincing manner. You are awarded credits based on performance, so it’s not going to be easy.

Demolition takes place in battle arenas on different planets. Each arena has hazards and obstacles associated with that world. Degobah, for example, is a swampy area with something nasty swimming in there. Sit still for a few seconds in the water and you will take damage from its attack. Hoth, the snowy planet has laser turrets set up throughout the level, taking pot shots at all the players. Other levels are The Death Star, Naboo, Tatooine, Yavin 4 and Cloud City. Also scattered throughout the arenas are powerups, which appear as floating symbols. There are three of them; a cloaking device which renders a vehicle almost invisible, a deflector shield which improves shields against laser attacks, and an energy converter, which absorbs laser energy to charge your shields and weapons. There are also Combat Droids, like R2 in the movies. There are three of them and they are located somewhere in the arena. Picking one of them up provides some tactical help for a player, but they are difficult to find; I try to find them every time I play and haven’t found one yet. There are also Weapon Droids running around in the level. Simply destroy these and a weapon will be released. Among the various extras are concussion missiles, proton torpedoes, thermal detonators, and a tractor beam.

Gameplay is easy to figure out - there is about a five-minute learning curve. Each character uses the same controls, so you will not be learning new button combinations every time you try someone new. Holding down the designated laser button serves to charge it up. There are four stages of charging, each of which uses more energy. The fourth stage is the individual’s special attack, which can be a spectacular and tremendous hit depending on which player you choose. Boba Fett has the strongest special attack in the game, and can level a small opponent relatively quickly. On the other hand, the snow speeder has a really worthless special attack. The weapons you pick up can also be charged in stages. Scoring with charged attacks gives force multipliers, which increases the damage they do, but getting hit with those types of attacks lowers the possible multiplier you can achieve by one. Power management proves to be tricky; luckily there are places in each arena that charge your shields and weapons, sometimes for a cost, and in some levels the power generator disappears after a use, not staying long enough to fully recharge shields or weapons.

The main game mode is a tournament. The goal is to progress through four battles, defeating up to four opponents in the end, while trying to gather ten thousand credits. Vehicle repairs and in-game recharges cost in this mode, and getting those credits is not so easy. One nice feature is a tournament chart, which aids in tracking which players you have completed a tournament with and whether or not you scored enough credits to unlock a new character.

There are several other ways to play as well. There is Battle Mode, in which you choose up to four CPU controlled opponents. It is simple and fast to get started in. There is also Droid Hunt in which you choose a character with which to chase down and destroy little floating droids. Sounds easy, but there is a time limit and the goal is to blow up as many as possible in the allotted time. The droids don’t shoot back, but good luck catching them - they are very quick. There is also a high stakes mode in which you pick a character and wager credits on a series of battles against an opponent. The first character to collect ten thousand credits wins. Multiplayer modes include Co-op, High Stakes and Hunt-a-Droid.

The graphics are a little disappointing, especially knowing what the Dreamcast is capable of. The backgrounds are very simple and uninteresting with plain-looking textures and blocky looking objects. The vehicles themselves are not what I expected. If you expect to see the brilliant creations that Lucas is usually associated with, forget about it. You get polygons. The weapon effects are very nice though, especially with special attacks, which show off some interesting lighting techniques. The colors in the game are done well, setting an effective mood that at least gives a little of the genuine Star Wars feeling.

Control is a real weak area. There is no tight cornering whatsoever, not even power slides. You can’t even go in reverse, for goodness’ sake. All of the vehicles seem to move at a very deliberate pace. The snowspeeder just doesn’t handle like it did in the movie - not that I actually piloted one, but the physics seem to cause everything to “drag”. They all handle like they are very heavy. That said, controller assignments are completely customizable. That’s a plus. Try rolling into a heated melee with several opponents, and you may find that you just can’t get out with your vehicle intact, whether or not you think you are up-to-date on those piloting skills.

The characters do add a little to the game. You even get to see some new ones. Wade Vox is a new one; he is human and has a connection to the force, which he uses as a weapon. He pilots the landspeeder that was owned by Luke Skywalker. There is also a Jawa who remotely pilots a Battle Droid. There is a Wookie who pilots an ATAT Battle Tank. Lando Calrissian is another surprise; he is disguised as the character Tamtel Skreej, the bounty hunter from Return of the Jedi. He pilots a cargo skiff, which, by the way, is not done justice in this game.

The sound in this game is good. Of course you have your stock Star Wars laser sounds, but the crashes are loud and sound brutal. The music is high quality and it never really got annoying.

The game has adjustable difficulties; the easy mode is very easy. Medium is more difficult, at least when there are four opponents. The hardest setting is very hard; an awful lot of lasers are aimed at you in this mode. You can also adjust weapon damage for each player, which comes in handy when you play with a less experienced friend, or you pick one of the inferior characters.

I think Demolition could have been a great game. It seems like the development crew just couldn’t cut loose and come up with a complete blast of a game. The idea is nothing new, with the exception of it having the Star Wars label, but the same kind of game worked in Vigilante 8, by the same company.

Game Title Stats

Genre:
Action

Release Date:
Available

Publisher:
Lucast Arts

Developer:
Lucast Arts

ESRB:
Teen

System Requirements :








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