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Star Wars: The New Droid Army Review (GBA)
game: Star Wars: The New Droid Army
two star
posted by: Jason Frank
publisher: THQ
developer: Helixe
date posted: 09:10 AM Mon Dec 16th, 2002
last revision: 01:00 PM Sat Oct 29th, 2005

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Why can\'t I keep track of all of the Star Wars games that are coming out? I\'m beginning to feel just a little inundated. I remember, just before Episode I came out, Lucas forbidding retailers to advertise the Star Wars toys before the film\'s release. He was worried about the film being over exposed and people getting sick of Star Wars before they even saw it. I guess the tie ins with Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Doritos and Pepsi were just the right amount of advance PR and any more would have thrown things out of balance. Lately, it seems that if you\'re an active gamer you can\'t turn around without a new Star Wars game coming out. I was pretty excited at E3 last year to see all of Lucasarts\' non Star Wars properties coming out. There was a time when Lucasarts was anything but a one-license wonder. They made some of the most creative and exciting games. Games like Day of the Tenticle, Sam and Max, Full Throttle and the Monkey Island series were some of the funnest games I\'ve ever played. And when they came out with a game like X-Wing or Tie Fighter, I really felt like they were focused more on creating a great game that happens to take place in a well established universe rather than cashing in on Uncle George\'s big break.

There is a plot for this game, but it\'s as inconsequential as every other Star Wars videogame out there. There\'s an art to writing a Star Wars adventure. It has to be engaging enough to excite the audience while at the same time remaining innocuous enough not to detract from the main series. The New Droid Army gets the innocuous part down just right.

Games like The New Droid Army shouldn\'t even bear the Lucasarts symbol. I don\'t mind that it\'s a Star Wars game, but it really shouldn\'t be associated with one of the premiere gaming houses of all time. It sullies the name. Not because it\'s a particularly bad game, but because there is nothing about it that distinguishes it from all of the other Star Wars games to come out on the Gameboy over the last couple of years. On the Gameboy, I\'ve played Obi-Wan adventures, and on the Gameboy advance, I\'ve played Jedi Power Battles, Attack of the Clones, and now New Droid army. They are really all the same game. In some cases the perspective changes a little here or there, but the controls and goals of the games are virtually indistinguishable from one another. New Droid army has the distinction of having the slowest pacing of any of the games. There is a lot of walking in this game and it seems to take forever. I guess that\'s one way to make a game seem longer-a slow protagonist on a very long walk.

The New Droid Army consists of a lot of walking and lightsaber wielding. Sure there are some force powers to break up the monotony, but there was never a point in the game where I felt those powers were really integral except for the force jump. You just need to keep hitting the attack button until all of the enemies are vanquished. There were times on my long strolls when I really couldn\'t be bothered to unsheathe my lightsaber, so I simply walked away from the bad guys. They followed me for a while, but soon lost all interest in pursuing me any further, much like my feelings towards this game.

The graphics reminded me of the Tony Hawk series for the Gameboy advance. The characters were fairly well animated and the backgrounds were detailed enough for GBA, but, on the other hand, there was really nothing about the game in its play or presentation to distinguish it from all of the other Star Wars games available for the GBA.

I\'ve been enjoying most of the Star Wars games for the consoles of late, even though I am getting a little tired of the franchise, but I\'ve been starting to dread the arrival of the Gameboy games. It\'s ironic that some of the best Star Wars games ever to have been created flourished on the Super Nintendo. It seems like the Gameboy advance is long overdue for a port of one of those games in an effort to redeem a franchise for travelling gamers everywhere.

Jason Frank (12/16/2002)