Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron

My first PSP review! After purchasing a PSP almost a year ago and collecting a few games for it, I finally took the time to beat one. After the massive success of Star Wars Battlefront I and II on the PlayStation 2, it was only a matter of time before the popular series was made on the PlayStation Portable. In 2007, developer Rebellion teamed up with publisher Lucas Arts and released Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron. How would the mobile version differ from the previous two entries in the series?

The first Star Wars Battlefront didn’t have a story, but the second one did following the 501st Clone Trooper Legion as they transform from defenders of the Republic to the army of the Emperor. Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron uses a similar idea sticking you in the shoes of a “renegade squadron” set during the original trilogy timeline. Your squadmates are the Han Solo types, the dirtbags, the mercenaries, and hardened galaxy scum that wants to take down the Empire. Speaking of Han Solo, he also plays a role in the direction fo the squad as he often commands you throughout your missions. From the manual:

“It has been many years since the Battle of Endor.

The New Republic is sweeping away the vestiges of the Empire and returning democracy to the galaxy.

With the demise of Emperor Palpatine, the Jedi Archives on Coruscant have been restored. The archivist Tionne is compiling a history of the rebellion for her records. Her research has uncovered a previously unknown Rebel force created after the battle of Yavin 4 known as Renegade Squadron. This is their story.

You are a member of this Renegade Squadron, a secret fighting force under the leadership and guidance of Han Solo. With the aid of his friend Col Serra and at the request of General Dodonna, Commander Solo has gathered the most seasoned battle-hardened fighters to protest the Rebellion and its interests.”

I think Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron is a great game and I want to get that out there before I start to criticize it. I’ll talk about what I found enjoyable from the game but there were some sore spots. Particularly, the graphics are pretty bad. I know that graphics aren’t everything but they were ugly. Textures were not smooth and characters like Darth Vader looked…unique.

Tutorials took over the first few missions and when I just wanted to play the game a message would pop up every two seconds explaining how to complete an action or how to shift my weapons around. I appreciate some help but other times the game just needs to let me figure it out without holding my hand like a child.

The main campaign is also very short. I started playing the game around 6 PM and beat it by 1 AM with plenty of breaks in between. The first Star Wars Battlefront didn’t have a story so I’m just happy they included one with the PSP version. It’s also not very challenging, there was only one mission I failed and it was an escort mission. The rest was a breeze.

Now that the negatives are out of the way, let’s take a look at what I enjoyed. The in-mission graphics were terrible but the cutscenes were beautiful. The story was told through a narrator who spoke over artwork detailing the characters and environments. They were so good they could have been sold in a collection book or comic book. I was very pleased with them.

Customization is a big factor in Renegade Squadron. You don’t cycle through soldier classes as you do in the other Battlefronts. Instead, you have your soldier who can change his weapons, secondary weapons, bonuses, and perks at command posts. I liked this, and it gave me an opportunity to change equipment whenever I had a new objective during a mission. I didn’t know what to expect with flight missions but was rather surprised at how intuitive the battles felt. You’ll be able to lock onto a target and then select auto-pilot to track the targeted ship making the dog fights much easier than previous games.

The story was fun the learn too with familiar Star Wars figures intertwined. Of course, there was Han Solo and Darth Vader, but you also battled against Boba Fett and beside Admiral Ackbar. One of my favorite missions was a space battle where I had to battle some Tie fighters before landing my ship inside a Star Destroyer and break Admiral Ackbar out. It was cool and these missions were believable that they actually happened between movies.

While I was not able to play the online functions on my PSP, I imagine back in the day it was quite fun to experience online play. If you don’t feel like playing the campaign, there is still the Galatic Conquest to play and Instant Action which should satisfy gamers who just want to play for a short period or are on the run.

I purchased Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron at Disc Traders on a whim. It was a great purchase and I enjoyed my playthrough of it. I’ll be searching for the second Battlefront game on the PSP to complete the collection after having a fun time with Renegade Squadron.

Star Wars is dead. Well, the franchise is for the foreseeable future after Disney bought it. It’s terrible now and it pains me to see such bad taste in the series after I loved it so dearly as a kid. Holding on to the era before Disney, Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron shows some promise and provides some quick fun for original Star Wars fans and gives them a small taste of the galaxy in which we all loved so much. It’s not a good-looking game but it will keep you entertained in the car with a solid experience.

Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron scores an 8.3 out of 10.

Do you remember when Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron first came out? What was your first PSP game? Did you like the new gameplay they introduced with the customization? Let me know your memories and thoughts, I’d love to read the comments!

If you’d like to own a copy of Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron, you can purchase a used copy of it for the PSP from eBay for around $8.

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