Star Wars Demolition
Vigilante 8 Strikes Back - Review By digitaltaco
Even before James Bond's souped-up roadsters tore through the pavement in the
early films, Americans have had a fascination with combining guns and cars
to create mobile killing machines. Tanks, attack choppers, and fighter jets have
been reproduced into mere children's toys. Predictably, the trend appeared in
the world of videogames. In fact, the first batch of Playstation titles
featured a game that would create a new genre all its own with that same
emphasis on cars and guns. Twisted Metal, gave
birth to vehicular combat, a genre filled with gun-toting cars and a whole
hell of a lot of testosterone.
Twisted Metal spawned its fair share of clones throughout its
lifespan. Included in this mass of bargain bin titles were the Vigilante
8 series. While some may have been fond of the series, I never really
cared for it or any of the other titles in the vehicular combat genre. But,
I have always been a fan of Star Wars. And when I heard that there
was a game in production that would combine Vigilante 8 with the
awesome crafts we've come to know and love from the Star Wars
universe, I'll admit I was a bit intrigued. But honestly, it's hard to
forget the curse of the licensed game. You know what I'm talking about.
How often is a game with a movie license actually good? Not very often. So
I really didn't know how I felt going into the game. But I've definitely
developed some opinions about it now... have I ever. Read on.
I hate to be so cliche, but I'm gonna talk about graphics first. For the
most part, Star Wars Demolition has very beautiful graphics.
The most impressive graphical aspect is the vehicle models.
Players have the ability to choose from a large number of characters and
vehicles pulled straight from the Star Wars movies. Whether you
choose a sand speeder, a pod racer, or a speeder bike, all are rendered with
excellent detail. The high-polygon models are skinned with very detailed
textures. Some even sport beautiful reflection maps. The snowspeeder, for
example, has a brilliant glass canopy that reflects the clouds overhead. Nice.
The backgrounds, also, are very highly detailed. Don't expect to fly
around on flat surfaces. The terrain will shift and move with great hills
and canyons. And much like the vehicle models, the ground textures are very
nice. And remember that all this is happening at a fairly-constant 60 frames per
second, meaning some serious eye candy for Star Wars fans. Unlike most Star Wars
titles, the power of the Dreamcast can be seen in the graphics, perhaps because this is not a straight PSX port. Both
Jedi Power Battles and Episode 1 Racer were ported titles and
thus appeared underwhelming. Demolition is one of the best looking Star
Wars games ever, and that is something to be proud of.
One area where most Star Wars games excel is in sound effects
and music, and Demolition is no different. The sound effects have been sampled straight from the films and
hence, in-game, sound just as they should. Lasers sound like lasers.
Explosions sound like explosions. And honestly, you can't ask for much more
than that. Where music is concerned, Star Wars Demolition gives a
very admirable performance. The tunes are remixed versions of some of the
John Williams classics from the films and also some new ones never heard
before. Though some of the tracks are kind of lame, (silly drums, bleh...)
overall the music is much better than in most racing games, which as you
have probably heard me say before, usually sucks. So, the title has
graphics and sound covered, but what about gameplay?
Star Wars Demolition, as I've mentioned before, is a vehicular combat
game. Basic gameplay involves players choosing a craft, a map, and then
annihilating any other crafts before they defeat you. It's kill or be
killed in the Demolition universe. Each craft has its own weapons
which can be charged to produce different effects. And as you may have
guessed, weak shots fire quickly while stronger shots take time to charge.
Players can also pick up special weapon power-ups from pods floating around
the maps. Special weapons, such as homing missiles and mines, deal out
quite a bit more damage than the normal shot and go a long way towards
defeating a foe. If your weapon energy or shields lose too much power, you
can always recharge them at stations located throughout the levels. Defeat
all of the enemies in tournament mode and you will be rewarded with
additional crafts that will then be selectable in the game. The game can be
played with up to four players for maximum carnage. If you're lucky enough
to have three friends to play with, the game is a blast. Even with two
players, the trash talk will fly as you blast one another with lasers.
Many locations from the Star Wars universe are included, such as the swampy morass that is Dagobah.
Honestly though, most people will be buying this title for its single
player game, and I'm happy to say that there is some value in it. Single
player games versus one CPU-controlled opponent are really a blast to play.
The areas are quite large but players can use their radar to detect the
opponent. Also, having only one opponent allows you a bit of time to
develop an arsenal and a strategy before running and gunning your way into
battle. Now you're probably thinking that if the game is fun versus one
opponent, what about against a large group of opponents? Shouldn't that be
a blast too?
Next: The Bad and The Final Word