Obi-Wan (X-box) Impressions....(finally)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Romier S, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    There has been allot of speculation about this game in numerous threads so i figrued I'd write up a good first impression of the game so we can "clear the air" about the quality of the title.
    I decided to bite the bullet and by the game instead of waiting for reviews. Something I dont usually do but I haven't seen a peep about the game since release.
    So lets get on with it........
    Graphics:
    Ok let me get this out of the way now...this is not a tech demo for the X-box. The are some really large environments here. Most are modeled very well and have an excellent Star Wars feeling to them. Texture quality is rather bland and you can really tell this game started development on the PC and has switched platforms. There are some impressive reflection effects and water effects in the game and at times the graphics can shine but given the power of the green and black behemoth they could have done much more.
    The character models are a mixed bag also. Obi-wan himself looks good and he animates quite well. During the cutscenes where the other Jedi appear though I could swear I had a PS1 game in (yes the models are that bad at times). Enemy models are really simplistic and quite uninteresting. They are just there for canon fodder though so its not too bothersome. They just could have added a little more detail all around.
    Now the ever important frame rate. The game runs at around 30FPS and at times can jump up to around 50 -60. There are times though that the FR does drop below 30. Usually in really expansive areas with a good bit of enemies. All in all the FR is not bad but given the quality of the graphics this should be running allot faster.
    As you can tell by the above Im not horribly impressed graphically but its not a bad looking game at all but being that it is on the X-box it should have looked better..
    Sound:
    I havent tested whether this is in 5.1 or not but I plan to do so and if possible update my impressions with the results.
    Sound effects wise everything is lifted out of the movies. From blaster shots to the John Williams score. Everything sounds right. No complaints here.
    The voice acting is absolutely laughable. Obi-wan sounds like John Lennon with a cold. Everybody else is just as bad. Thankfully there is not much of it so we can rejoice in that.
    Gameplay:
    AH....the important part[​IMG]. The gameplay IMHO is good, not great, but good. The right analog stick controls the saber swings and the left analog stick moves Obi-wan. I can see what the developers were going for here. Giving the player the ability combo moves with the stick is a great idea but its execution is a bit awkward. I would have preferred the left analog stick to move Obi and the right stick to control his view ala Halo or other FPS. Assign the saber attack to a button and then combo with different directional combinations. It would have made more sense and played a little smoother. That just MHO though.
    All in all though the right analog stick works well and the combos are neat. The only problem I've run into is how Obi turns. It can be a bit disorienting and takes some getting used to while swinging the saber.
    The right shoulder button controls the lock on to enemies but it really doesnt work well. At times you'll hit the button and be locked on and other times Obi will just stand there(UGH). I wish this would have worked a little better.
    The force powers on the other hand are AWESOME! You hold down the left shoulder button and hit a, b, x, or y to perform the maneuvers. You can force push enemies off of cliffs. You can force push objects into enemies(I like this one[​IMG]), and you can pull weapons away from the enemies (very satisfying). you can also force jump and do force saber attacks, and of course you can deflect shots back at the shooter. This is my favorite aspect of the game.
    Like I said the gameplay is solid. Its not gonna blow your mind. But I think its solid.
    Story:
    Watch the Phantom Menace[​IMG]. Same thing with an extra side story about some gang for Ob-wan to occupy himself with until TPM plot starts.
    Summary:
    Should you buy Obi-wan? If you are a big Star Wars fan and dont mind some of the issues with the game go for it. Its not anything like the abysmal Phantom Menace game for the PS1. The champion of this type of Star Wars action game is still Jedi Power Battles for the Dreamcast thoough! Excellent game!
    If you dont fall in the category above I'd say rent it first.
    For me, I'm enjoying it so far but I dont know if it is a keeper yet. I might be returning it for Silent Hill 2 Restless Dreams this friday (I was gonna buy this anyway) but I'll have to play the game a little longer. As of now I would give it about a 6.5-7.0. Again not bad but not great.
    I hope this is helpful for those looking to purchase the game.
     
  2. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    Thanks, Romier, for such a detailed review. Nice job! I will probably be renting this myself, based on your comments. Sounds like another good, but not great, entry in the MS stable.

    One question for you--how do you tell the framerates of a game? A lot of people mention that in their reviews, and I could never figure out how they determine how many fps a game was displaying at any given time.
     
  3. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the review Romier. Does anybody remember the quote that Lucasarts gave out when they announced the game would not be on the PC?
     
  4. Ike

    Ike Screenwriter

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    You better make it $400...can't forget Halo...
     
  5. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    I just wanted to go ahead and post an update given that I am most of the way through the game now.....
    Ok, Obi-wan gets really repititious. There is not much exploring to do which is not good considering the size of the environments.
    Later on in the game you are attacked by a large group of enemies and this is where the inefectiveness of the controls start to show. You dont feel as though your a jedi with control over the force fighting it out with a bunch of criminals. You feel really out of control and it really is difficult to face enemies and do what needs to be done. Suprisingly the quality of the game just got worse as the game progressed. After prolonged play (im on the last level) I would have to give my overall score of 5.5-6.0. Very mediocre.
    As for the framerate question. There is no set way to look at frame rate on a console game. Most PC games can toggle an option to look at the frame rate but unfortunately consoles cannot do this (yet...maybe in the future).
    I've played PC games for years and after a while you can tell what frame rate most games are running at and what kind of FR spikes you see. Its just conditioning for me personally[​IMG]. In the PC market Framerate=life[​IMG].
    Also just a comment on that quote from Lucasarts......Thats a bunch of BS. This game is truly nothing spectacular graphically and with some engine optimization I think a good p3500 with a geforce 2mx 32mb could run this at 1024X768x32. So whatever "scope" they are talking about I dont see it.
    Just wanted to give a bit of an update. I truly want to like this game but the further you get into it the worse it gets.
     
  6. Derrik Draven

    Derrik Draven Supporting Actor

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    What the hell is it with Lucas Arts? Why do they seem to; more than often, put out a mediocre product.
    I mean, they have one of THE greatest franchises, period; and it seems like they screw it up more often than not.
    The tie figher and x-wing stuff for the pc was great. I heard from the children that have Gamecubes that Rogue Leader is awesome but, what about all the other, SHIT, that they put out?
    Doesn't anyone, internally in the design teams, ever just sit back, look at the product they're making and say, "you know, compared to the other stuff out there, this game we're making really sucks".?
    Oh well, thanks for the heads up Romier. I can see that this game will not grace my shelves. I love Star Wars just as much as the next guy but, I'm not wasting my time with yet another mediocre Lucas Arts product. [​IMG]
     
  7. Jake Gove

    Jake Gove Second Unit

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  8. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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  9. Jake Gove

    Jake Gove Second Unit

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  10. Romier S

    Romier S Producer

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    Then we shall agree to disagree[​IMG]
     
  11. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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  12. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Well, to be fair there are still teams at LucasArts that are doing okay. And they do have Factor 5 making games for the Gamecube. Galactic Battlegrounds, while uninspired and a skinned Age of Empires II, was at least stable and playable, if a bit anachronistic. It was certainly better than Force Commander. I still like the Racer games, even though there's nothing revolutionary there either. Racer Revenge is coming for the PS2, which looks good. I also still have high hopes for Jedi Knight II, which is using I believe the Quake III engine. They sure up to the quality that they used to be, though. And that comment above about "heightened quality standards" just makes me laugh now.
     
  13. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    Didn't the big talent exodus at Lucasarts happen about the same time that Obi Wan development shifted to the PS2?

    I also have high hopes for the next Jedi Knight game. Raven rarely turns in a bad game, and I think they can do a much better job than Lucasarts could.

    New Legends on the XBOX also looks cool. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think some of the development team were some of the main talents on Jedi Knight (Justin Chin, I think).

    -Dave
     
  14. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    The problem is, Marvin, that almost all of those Star Wars games you're looking forward to are developed by external teams - I think Galactic Battleground is the only in-house one, and that was *heavily* based on Age of Empires.
     
  15. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Exactly, all the LucasArts games everyone is looking forward to are being farmed out to established, pretty well known developers.

    Jedi Knight 2 - Raven (Quake3 Engine)

    Star Wars Galaxies - Verant

    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Bioware

    And while I guess Galactic Battlegrounds was alright (the demo didn't impress me in the least), it was using the Age of Empires engine, and from what I understand, Ensemble did have a hand in it's development. Sure it was better than Force Commander, but that isn't saying much. Was it really any better than any of the other good RTS games? Not really I'd say.

    It almost like they've decided that they can't make a good game anymore, so they'll just let others make them for them. It's probably a good decision, but it is kind of sad.
     
  16. Marvin Richardson

    Marvin Richardson Supporting Actor

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    Whatever, I could care less if they farm stuff out or not. I knew Factor 5 was a different company, and the Rogue Leader was only released by them. Its better that they farm the stuff out if they can't figure out how to make a decent game. One more Force Commander (or even worse Rebellion) and I may have to hurt someone (or myself).

    That being said, no Star Wars or LucasArts game will ever be bought sight unseen by me again. I'll be doing lots of research and downloading demos or renting before purchasing from now on.

    Jedi Power Battles on the Dreamcast was also decent. Did they farm that out, too?
     

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