After Star Wars Episode I was released in 1999, Star Wars fever was back and that meant an abundance of new video games for us to play in our favorite universe far, far away. In 2001, LucasArts released Star Wars: Starfighter for the Playstation 2 followed by a special edition released for the Xbox. Today, I’ll be strapping on my helmet and piloting three different ships in an attempt to help save the galaxy. I’ll be reviewing the Special Editon for the original Xbox. The Force is average with this one, so let’s jump to lightspeed and read this Star Wars: Starfighter review.
Star Wars Starfighter Plot:
Taking place right before the events of Episode I, you are introduced to three playable pilots throughout the game. Rhys Dallows is a rookie pilot who dreams of flying for the Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps, he doesn’t have any experience and is kind of a dweeb in my opinion. The next pilot is Vana Sage, who is a bit of a female scoundrel. She works for the Trade Federation as a mercenary pilot. The last pilot you can play as is Nym, who is of the Feeorin alien race with his head looking like a blue squid. Nym is a space pirate with a troubled history with Vana who had captured him for the Trade Federation before the game takes place.
The plot will intertwine the three pilots together as they take on the Trade Federation. Rhys passes training and joins the Naboo Fleet in a mission to escort the Queen as she travels. The fleet is ambushed and Rhys’ mentor is killed by an unidentified fighter ship.
Vana is the meantime overhears an intercepted radio transmission while she is doing training exercises with the Trade Federation. They deem her exposable after she hears the message sending droid ships to attack her. She defends herself and escapes to a nearby droid factory where she destroys the generators. Nym who has escaped from his prison now hunts Vana in an act of revenge. He finds her and captures her, but with her silver tongue, she manages to convince him to spare her life in exchange to tell him where the droid production factories are.
Nym and his team of pirates manage to disable a few Trade Federation freighters and steal the valuable cargo. The Trade Federation tracks Nym down and blows up his secret base. Rhys, Vana, and Nym meet up and decide to strike back against the Trade Federation together.
The final two missions are ones you’ll be familiar with if you’ve seen Episode I. It was exciting to take these on and I’m happy to include them in my Star Wars: Starfighter review. The second to last takes place on the rolling green hills of Naboo. Similar to when the Gungans and droids fight, you must defend the shield generators to help the rebels survive. The last mission is almost exactly like the mission that Anakin takes on in his yellow Naboo Fighter. You must disrupt the communication satellites, kill the lead mercenary who killed Rhys’ mentor and blow up the Droid Control Ship by flying inside it and bombing the generator.
After the successful defense of Naboo, Vana seems to join the Naboo fighters with Rhys as Nym declines and says he has valuables to deliver to his pirate crew.
Star Wars Starfighter Gameplay:
The entirety of the game takes place in a cockpit of three different starfighters. It was fun being able to play as the Naboo Fighter as those always stuck out to me from the first episode as a kid. Make sure you choose the layout correctly for your tastes however as I made the mistake of switching controls every few missions which messed up my flying skills and took away from the fun of my Star Wars Starfighter review.
You can choose to have a cockpit view or third-person view of your ship. Most games I always pick the third-person view but I choose to stay in the cockpit as Qui-Gon Jinn would approve. The three ships handle pretty much the same, but they have different special weapons. Nym’s was the best as they recharged after awhile unlock Rhys’ who when used was gone for good.
Missions vary from training runs, escorts, defending a base, taking out a target or disabling other ships. Taking place in space, a lava planet and Naboo gave the missions a good change of pace. The controls are manageable but I wish I could turn quicker as it was difficult to pilot around other ships who were on my ass. I played on “medium” difficulty and I think that’s the highest I’d suggest. There are about 15 missions to play and I was able to beat each one after two-four attempts. There’s a couple that took forever to beat including the final mission which didn’t give me much direction on what to do during certain areas.
Graphically, I thought the Xbox would showcase better graphics. If you flew too close to a building or object the details of it quickly disappeared, especially on the interior of the droid command ship. One thing that I got annoyed with real quick was when I’d get dinged by a laser. My whole controller would shake violently and during the final mission, it was shaking throughout the entire mission making it difficult to steer. When I wrote notes down for my Star Wars Starfighter review my hand was still shaking! (Okay, it wasn’t that bad)
Some Star Wars games really suck, some don’t. Star Wars Starfighter falls right in the middle as a good rental game for the weekend but one that once I’ve beat I wouldn’t revisit.
I was really into Star Wars during my childhood, I love the original trilogy and enjoyed the prequels before I realized what they really were…garbage. Don’t even get me started on the new Skywalker trilogy. Puke.
Anyway, I remember playing Star Wars Starfighter in middle school for my Xbox but it didn’t hook me. I’d beat the first few missions but I’m sure it got too hard for me to continue. If you want great battles in space in the Star Wars universe you’re better off looking at the original Star Wars battlefronts for the PS2, although the new Battlefronts have some decent dogfights too.
Star Wars Starfighter Review Score:
Star Wars Starfighter is an okay game, not the greatest, but not the worst. I was wishing that a game solely focused on space fighter simulation would offer me more but I just didn’t find it that enjoyable. The characters are predictable. I didn’t play the multiplayer but I do applaud them for putting that into the game.
Star Wars Starfighter scores a 7.3 out of 10.
If you want to own Star War Starfighter for the Xbox you can purchase a preowned copy for $5-$10.
What would you write in your Star Wars: Starfighter review? Do you remember when it first came out? What was your favorite ship to pilot? Did you struggle with the final mission? What’s the best Star Wars game out there? Leave me a comment with your thoughts and memories, I’d love to read them.