Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

force unleashed  We’ve talked about plenty of Star Wars games on the blog from the critically acclaimed Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic to the controversial Star Wars Battlefront 2 (EA) and royally overlooked Star Wars Episode 3: The Game . Well before Jedi: Fallen Order, which I’m currently playing, the Force Unleashed was the hyped Jedi experience. So how does it hold up about a decade later?

The story begins as the newly established Empire begins crushing a uprising on Kashyyk, homeworld of the Wookies led by a runaway Jedi. Darth Vader himself faces the runaway and easily brings him near death until a child stops him him delivering the killing blow with the Force. Vader, seeing the young boy’s potential, takes him as his secret apprentice christened Starkiller. Starkiller grows into Vader’s personal Jedi hunter over the years, slaying some powerful Jedi and crushing the rebellion struggling to form, until the Emperor discovers Vader’s secret and suddenly Starkiller’s vengeance is turned toward his former master…

For a game I played on PS2, this game has a lot to potentially offer but there’s some issues here and there. The story is solid but I liked the first half as Vader’s apprentice way more than the bland redemption story it becomes later. There are 2 endings and 2 different final bosses which is a nice touch. Starkiller is a pretty bland character so I can’t say he’s actually memorable. The gameplay feels much like the first God of War  with a pretty impressive ability to use the Force to interact with the environment, use lightning, and a host of other OP abilities. The game gets a bit overboard with the QTEs during the boss fights which gets a bit irritating and sometimes the controls can be a little less than graceful so you will get some bullshit deaths here and there. Character customization is pretty nice with a variety of lightsaber colors and decently cool skins. In the end, while I don’t think it was worth the super hype, it was certainly a solid game worth playing. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

clone

Many argue what is the best Star Wars movie, in which usually dissolves into either the original or The Empire Strikes Back . As for the worst, there are sadly too many candidates including the entirety the sequel trilogy. While not a fan of Star wars: Rogue One , my vote goes to good ole Episode 2.

Ten Years after the events of the Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker has grown into a promising Jedi apprentice under the tutelage of Obi-Wan as Qui-Gon requested. When there friend and Anakin’s secret love, Padme Amidala, survives an assassination attempt, the Jedi are assigned to protect her. When a bigger plot unfolds, Obi-Wan is sent to investigate deeper, leading him to a mysterious army of clone soldiers being developed for the Republic under the order of a long deceased Jedi; the clones derived from a bounty hunter named Jango Fett- the assassin he’s been searching for. Anakin, haunted by dark visions of his mother suffering, is ordered to protect Padme and suddenly there feelings ignite but Jedi are forbidden to love and with Padme’s political seat, it would ruin her.  Are they willing to throw everything away for there love?

I’m going to start by saying, while my least favorite Star Wars movie, I tolerate it, I don’t hate it. My favorite part is watching Anakin snap after the death of his mother and in that brief moment, I could believe I was watching the precursor to Darth Vader. The Fight with Obi-Wan and Jango was cool; just the sight of seeing dozens of Jedi united in battle was a dream come true, plus, the introduction of the purple lightsaber. The score is fantastic and cinematic-ally it looks pretty good, despite too much damn CGI . So, let’s begin the negatives. The love story is pretty shitty, like pre Twilight  level cringe worthy shit; the actors have chemistry but the story and horrendous dialogue crash and burn it. The pacing of the movie drags horribly and following two different stories makes it worse- as a kid I seriously thought it was 3 hour movie. Dooku isn’t in the movie enough to feel like a main villain. The lightsaber fights aren’t great, even Yoda’s debut in combat is damn damn flashy it looks fake to me. Anakin Skywalker comes off like a whiny ass brat most of the time and I found it hard to like him. The story is fine but I feel it tries too hard to connect with the originals. Overall, I don’t hate the movie, like Vader himself- there is good in it- but damn the dark side is strong in this thing so it maybe a watch once kind of deal. May the gaming gods keep you safe from sand, it gets everywhere.

 

Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace

menace

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away there was a legendary movie called Star Wars that captivated audiences and inspired generations with one of cinemas greatest trilogies. Well almost two decades later, we got the first of a prequel trilogy, aiming to reignite  our love of Star Wars. Well, did it succeed?

The Trade Federation is leaning heavy on the newly elected Queen Amidala so Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi go to delegate. The viceroys try in vain to kill the Jedi who escape and sneak aboard an invasion ship of battle droids to warn the Queen war is likely coming. On the way they meet a goofy creature named Jar Jar who aids them get to her. The Jedi, the Queen with her security head as well as a few handmaidens and the goofball, manage to escape the Trade Federation getting stuck on the desert planet of Tatonine where Qui-Gon finds a helpful yet curious boy named Anakin Skywalker, who is seriously strong with the force. Qui-Gon is determined to have this boy trained as a Jedi despite the Jedi council’s hesitation while a new threat looms in the background. Enter Darth Maul.

Okay, there is a lot to say for this movie. There are some great things about it: I love Qui-Gon and Obi-wan; the final lightsaber duel against Maul is iconic, and Maul is a badass with the also iconic double bladed lightsaber. The score is amazing and the cinematography at times is breathtaking. On the opposite side of the spectrum are some hard negatives.: wooden characters, lame dialogue, overuse of CGI that hasn’t aged well in certain parts, Jar Jar is annoying as hell and Anakin has moments of surpassing Jar Jar and I hate the inserted “Chosen One” thing. Phantom Menace is overall a fair first entry to set the series up but damn their is a huge room for improvement. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Star Wars Episode 3: The Game

sith game

I’ve been holding off talking about the Star wars prequels, there is so much to say and so little time. I will say this though, of all the movie tie in games I’ve played over my life, I honestly think this game is actually superior to the movie it’s based off of. Revenge of the Sith is the story Star Wars fans had been craving for ages, the story of Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader. Without getting into the movie too much, this game does a lot with early Vader I wanted to see in the movie. As a new Sith lord, you fight hordes of Jedi and as an assassin you get to fight through some heavy resistance. Certain scenes were elongated and gave some nice character moments the movie was missing, like a final battle with Mace Windau, paused moments between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and Anakin fighting two legendary Jedi swordsmen.

The gameplay is pretty fun, switching between Anakin and Obi-Wan’s point of view, but the best part are the boss fights which were the challenging as hell but feel like a real lightsaber duel. The combos are easy enough to execute and the powers are well done. Upgrading throughout the game noticeably increases your power and feels earned. There is a multiplayer vs mode which is a blast with friends and a few bonus stages including an alternate ending, a stage dedicated to replaying Obi-wan and Vader’s rematch, and some horde maps. The music is a nice touch and the cut-scenes are mainly from the movie which I liked a lot. The graphics are fine but the voice acting is mostly flat. The game isn’t too long but there’s fun to be had after but overall it’s rather short.  I recommend it for Star Wars fans and it’s a pretty solid game. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers The Movie

classic power rangers movie

I’m 28 years old, almost 29, and I still love the old school Power Rangers, I’m not ashamed to admit it; I even enjoyed Power Rangers while Savior sure as hell didn’t ( Power Rangers 2017 (2nd opinion) ). I love the kick ass music, the cheesy acting, and strangely awesome fights. So let’s jump into there very own movie.

We join the Power Rangers as they live there normal lives and the lives of there superhero alter-egos keeping Angel Grove safe from the diabolical clutches of Lord Zed and Rita Repulsa . Tommy, Kimberly, Rocky, Adam, Aisha, and Billy are about to face there greatest threat yet when Zed and Rita revive the ancient Ivan Ooze who Zordon imprisoned centuries before. Ivan destroys the ranger’s command center and leaves them powerless and Zordon dying. The Powers are sent off planet to search for a great power to Combat Ooze but he is mind controlling the adults of Angel Grove to uncover his Zords. Can the rangers stop this ancient monster in time?

Is this movie good in the traditional sense? Hell no. The effects are pretty cheap looking and there is a lot of fake looking wire work, the acting is cheesy and over the top, and there’s a of things to date it. But, all that being said, it’s awesome because for most of it, it’s what we love Power Rangers for. The ranger scenes in full costume are pretty awesome and I do like the costumes aren’t spandex this time and while all the fights are corny, they do hype you up. The second act slows the pacing down quite a bit and admittedly, I wish we had more rangers in costume. In the end, it’s a fun piece of nostalgia for the 90’s kids and I still have fun with it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

classic power rangers movie 2

Resident Evil 2 ( classic)

re2 classic

One of the best games we got in 2019 was the Resident Evil 2 Remake which I have to say, is one of the best done horror games of this console generation. As a kid, my friends and I used to plug away at the classic RE2 on the original PlayStation and pray we didn’t die because we didn’t have a memory card. The question is, how does the old Resident Evil 2 hold up over 2 decades later?

Months after the destruction of the mansion in the Arklay Mountains, a massive outbreak of zombies has befallen Raccoon City. It’s here that we’re introduced to series legends, Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy. Claire is looking for her brother Chris after he went M.I.A after investing the mansion in the original; Leon is a rookie cop on his first day on the RCPD who meets Claire as she’s about to be zombie food. They try finding refuge in the police station, only to get split up and set to face the secrets of station and the influence of the relentless Umbrella Corporation and the horrors they’ve unleashed, as well as the creator of the new G virus, the monstrous William Birkin…

So while regardless of it’s age, the game is a horror classic that  definitely surpasses the original. The atmosphere and music are still eerie and the monsters still hold up, especially during some impressive cut-scenes for the time. I still remember wanting to crap myself when they introduce the Licker and Birkin’s massacre post transformation. While I admit, I don’t have much experience with Leon, I do appreciate the differences between the campaigns more than there was with Chris and Jill in the first game. What seriously kills the game are the damn tank controls which are clunky as hell and make some puzzles that aren’t hard on there own way more of a bitch than they need to be ( the best example is the library bookcase puzzle). There is a good amount of content including Hunk and Tofu’s campaigns. The graphics are muddy for most of the main game and the writing and voices haven’t held up that great unfortunately. In the end, the game is well worth a play for vintage gamers, but if you can’t stand the controls and gameplay style, move onto the remake. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars Trilogy Arcade

star wars arcade

With Rise of the Skywalker debuting close to Christmas this year, I want to look at one of my favorite childhood Star Wars games. Me and my dad, Duke, spent many a hours at the local arcades as a kid. Besides the awesomeness of Air Hockey, the Star Wars game was my favorite. It is simplicity itself, a joystick and a big red button but what was done with it was pretty impressive. The opening three stages come from Star Wars , The Empire Strikes Back , and Return of the Jedi . The Death Star run is exceptionally done and feels epic as hell. Hoth and Endor are done really good. My favorite parts are the special stage boss battles where you follow the prompts and battle Boba Fett and Darth Vader; while they warped my anxiety as a kid,they were also one of the biggest victories I faced as a kid. I could never beat the last stage, the second Death Star run because it was frankly insane. The graphics and music are damn good and overall, it’s some of the closest I felt to feeling like being in Star Wars. If you ever find it in a arcade, I urge you to give the game a try. May the gaming gods bring you glory and may the force be with you.