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Star Wars Bounty Hunter Review (GC)
game: Star Wars Bounty Hunter Review (GC)
three star
posted by: Jason Frank
publisher: LucasArts
date posted: 09:10 AM Sun Feb 9th, 2003
last revision: 02:59 PM Fri Sep 23rd, 2005

No matter what anyone says, this game is a prequel to the game that we all want to play. It\'s an appetizer and should be regarded as such. Star Wars Bounty Hunter is a hint of things to come. That game, of course, is the inevitable Boba Fett game where we\'ll actually get to work for Jabba and force the scum of the universe to make good for the big guy (just how much of a bounty did he put on Han?). That game is probably a few years away (but who can know for sure at the rate LucasArts has been pumping out Star Wars games, it might just be around the corner). So, instead of Bobba Fett, who is cool for everything that he says and does, we get Jango Fett, who is cool for, well, being Bobba Fett\'s dad. I guess it\'ll have to do.

Bounty Hunter starts well before the events of Episode II when Darth Tyrannus is searching out the perfect specimen upon which to build his clone armies. He has put out a bounty on a \"deranged Dark Jedi\" and intends to use the man (or woman) who takes him out as his template. In walks Jango, the baddest of the bad, to see the job through. I have to admit that I really liked how the story was woven into the events of the films. Too often, the plots of the Star Wars games are virtually unrelated to the events of the film, or they simply reenact scenes that we\'ve watched a million times. This is a game about the origins of Jango Fett. It is his back story. The character has more significance in my mind because of the events of the game, and I think that is a significant accomplishment.

Bounty Hunter adopts the fairly conventional 3rd person adventure format that we\'ve seen in the literally dozens of Tomb Raider knock offs of the past few years. There is a lot of shooting, jumping, and navigation through mazelike locales. As with most 3rd person games, the camera work is a little tricky, but rarely does it hamper the gameplay. The controls are very intuitive and quite responsive. I particularly enjoyed how effortless the targeting system was in the game. As an added bonus, when multiple enemies are attacking you, Jango will pick off both of them at the same time. The graphics are perfectly adequate, but having played Metroid, they already feel dated. I hate how a fantastic game can ruin pretty good games for you.

Jango\'s got more weapons than you can shake a fist at. The jet pack missiles were great, the Kamino darts, flame thrower, and lasso line almost made this game feel more like James Bond than Star Wars. The inclusion of the jet pack was a must, but you\'ve actually got very limited movement with it. It functions more as a jump boost than a license to fly. Jango\'s also got a cutting laser to open grills and get into sewers. This could have been a beautiful touch to the game if it had been used to give you a backdoor into a given area. Unfortunately it functions as little more than a door switch.

Apart from the driving narrative of the game, Jango has to option of making a little extra cash on the side by scanning for potential bounties running about the place. It was a nice addition to the game that really keeps you from rushing things too much, but I would have liked it to be a little more integral to events rather than seeming like an afterthought.

I can\'t help but feel that this game was a little rushed. The environments, although spacious, felt sparsely filled. I would have liked to have seen more civilians running around with their hands in the air when Jango comes tearing through. Also, collision is a real issue in this game. I lost track of how many times Jango\'s head or arm got buried in a wall or ledge. My other gripe has to do with how Jango grabs his pistols. When he changes weapons, I expect him to holster his pistols. Instead, the pistols just disappear. I know it\'s not a big deal, but I think a lot of games are made or broken in the details. These are minor issues, but it\'s the small details that make an otherwise adequate game great.

This is a game that is being touted as a synergistic product of a number of fiefdoms in George\'s kingdom. Not only do we have the project being overseen by LucasArts, but the cutscenes were developed at one of the premiere special effects houses in the world-Industrial Light and Magic. The sound for the game was done at Skywalker Sound, a legend in its own field, and this is one area where the game really shines. Bounty Hunter makes aggressive use of surrounds with Dolby Pro Logic II. I particularly enjoyed the clank of Fett\'s armor as he rolled around. It was a nice touch to hear voices from the film, but the cutscenes aren\'t really anything to write home about. I would have thought that with the ILM stamp on the back of the package that the cutscenes would have been jaw-dropping.

As I stated above, Star Wars Bounty Hunter feels a little rushed, and there was really no need to rush it. We\'ve had more than enough Star Wars stuff to keep us occupied over the past few weeks. Both Clone Wars and Jedi Knight II were more than enough to satisfy Gamecube owners. They could have taken a little more time with this game and really seen what was possible. I expected a little more; let me correct that, I hoped for more. The Star Wars games, much like the acting or plotting of the recent Star Wars movies, are adequate. This could have been a great game with a little more time. It should satisfy most of the fanboys out there, while true gamers will have to find innovation somewhere else. I\'m tired. I need to take a break from Star Wars. I never thought there could be such a thing as too much Star Wars, but I\'m learning that excess, even when it comes to nostalgia, is never a good thing.