A Battle A Day Keeps the Vader Away

(Editor’s Note:  Not that long ago, in my newly minted and cleaned play room.)

Like most males my age that identify strongly as geeks, I am a fan of Star Wars.  relax, Trekkers, I have gained an appreciation for that series as well.  It’s just that I grew up while the movies were being released, then re-released, then remastered, then “ruined”, and finally saved.  Coincidentally, or perhaps not, the last step is occurring as my own children are of age to accompany me.  Hmm, it’s almost as if it was planned that way.

Last article, I confessed one of my nerd crimes of not having seen Inception.  In spite of my claim to make that right, I have still not yet watched it.  Well, I come before you to lay bare my soul again and confess perhaps my greatest sin against nerddom.  I don’t remember the first time I saw Star Wars.

I know!  Shocking!  Everyone always talks about their first time viewing the movie as a historical event that they remember and will for all time.  Well, I don’t.  I remember seeing it with my wife when it was re-released.  I remember Empire vaguely.  I obviously remember Return and the Rancor pit scene.

Okay, there are probably other reasons that I remember Jedi.

But, there is a gap in my childhood memories where “first time seeing Star Wars” should be.  Maybe I was too young.  Like, I would have been 4 or 5 when it came out.  I wonder if Quinn will remember seeing Episode 7 when they inevitably re-release it for his generation.  Still, this is supposed to be a childhood defining event, right?  People continually talk about their experiences with the movie and how it propelled them to a lifetime of love for science fiction, etc.  Clearly, it had a similar effect on me, but still I’m bothered by missing memory.

Okay, sin purged and soul cleansed, let’s talk some Battlefront.  Now, in spite of being such a huge fan, I never got much into Star Wars games.  Sure, I played Kotor and that led to a beta test of The Old Repubilc MMORPG that lasted longer than most people because I had friends in the game.  Other than those, and Lego games, I pretty much avoided Star Wars games.  That included Battlefront.  That changed last Christmas.  The boys got some Sims games, so I had to reinstall the Origin client on the computer.  On of the sales–and I’m a sucker for sales–included Battlefront, so I bought it because the deal was so good.

So far, I have made it through the tutorial mode and two of the training missions.  I have not played any of the coop stuff yet as I don’t have any friends on Origin and I don’t want to noob it up with strangers.  I think that Kevin might have Origin, but he forgot his password or something.  Who knows?  Maybe this will inspire us to bring back our long planned but often delayed or cancelled game night.  Stranger things have happened.

I don’t have an attempted funny caption for this one. It speaks for itself.

Until that happens, I’m stuck in single player purgatory unless I get brave enough to expose strangers to my own particular brand of noobery.  As I don’t anticpate that happening any time soon, I will be saving and/or ruling the galaxy alone for the foreseeable future.  Only 2 Sith are there ever, but apparently Noobs are doomed to a life of solitude. That’s actually not so bad, except I do miss having a regular gaming buddy.

So, what can I say about what I’ve played in the game?  Well, being a Star Wars fan, I was hyped.  That hype only increased when the Lucasfilm logo appeared on the screen followed by the iconic theme song.  I clicked through, though, so I don’t know f there’s a scroll or not.  However, once the menu loaded, it started the Imperial march.  And, so, I ended up humming the march on my way to dinner because that’s when my wife announced that it was done.  And I spent all of dinner with the song running through my head and making me more excited to play the game.

After dinner, I rushed back upstairs to finally get my journey started.  I figured I’d start with the tutorial because I’m not called Noob of All Trades for nothing.  And this is…an FPS?  Really?  That’s not at all what I expected and more than a little disappointing.  Well, the sooner I can get this done, the sooner I can play other and better games.

Oh, wait, what’s this?  Princess Leia is going to talk me through the mission?  Well, that’s…wait, I don’t think that’s Princess Leia.  Is it?  No, I’m pretty sure it’s not her voice.  Oh well, I will still see it through to the end.  If the rest of the missions are FPS, I’ve wasted my money.  Damn you, sales!  Wait, what was that?  “Good job!” Fake Leia encourages me after jumping up a snow bank.  Maybe this game will be worth it after all.  The only thing that would make it better was if it was an achievement, too.  Heck, I need that kind of support in real life.

“Way to go!  You got out of bed this morning!”

“Super job on those groceries!”

But, I digress.  The tutorial progresses as you’d expect.  You walk to a place, shoot a droid, walk to the next place, shoot another droid, find a weapon upgrade, walk to the final place and obliterate a droid.  Okay, that was damn cool, too.  I’m still not sure about this whole FPS thing, but it ended up being a relatively fun tutorial level.

I also played through a training level where you dog fight tie fighters as an X-wing.  That was so much fun and much more what I was expecting from the game.  Quinn got a kick out of me crashing my X-wing into the mountain the first time I played the level and he kept saying to me, “Don’t crash, Daddy!”  He was like my fake Leia voice of encouragement through this level.  I only had one complaint about the level.  It was too repetitive and about one wave too long in my opinion.  By the end, I was done flying and wanted to try something else.

The something else was also a first person level, but it was the level where Darth Vader and the Emperor are attempting to take over the rebel Hoth base.  This level was entirely too much fun.  You could force choke, throw your lightsaber at the rebels and it gave you the feeling of being Darth Vader.  I say that the Arkham  games are the closest thing to being Batman.  Well, this level was very similar as far as Darth Vader goes.

Feel the power of the dark side, rebel scum!

Overall, I recommend the game if you’ve somehow avoided playing it until now.  The graphics are very good.  The voices are not the actual voices, but they are close enough from what I could hear.  The levels are actually varied.  However, some of them are a bit too long, or maybe it was just my feeling about that X-wing level.  I would have to play more to see if that thought persisted.  Other than that, this is a great game and worth your time and money.  Go, get it, now!

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