Jedi Power Battles


Why does Mace Windu have a blue lightsaber on the front cover? We’ll never know…

 

Been playing some coop Jedi Power Battles on Dreamcast with my dad for some nostalgia (although I’ve only played the PS1 version, previously).

It’s one of those games made in the “classical” Mario style, where you only have so many lives, then you have to start over from the beginning (of the level, but the levels are pretty long). I nabbed a copy of Gameshark for Dreamcast, though, so infinite lives makes things much less frustrating. 🙂

I feel like if this game had been made today, the developers would have included cheats to turn on/ off (maybe after you beat the game), such as infinite lives, infinite force, health, etc. It would have been considerably more forgiving in the gameplay as well, most likely.

Speaking of the devs, LucasArts handled this one, although interestingly enough, they let Big Ape Productions make JPB’s earlier cousin, the game with the same name as the movie.

 


The game made by a company that only made four games, two of which were wrestling games based on licensed properties.

 

I played a lot more of TPM back in the day. The game was horribly buggy, but it was really fun in the amount of freedom it gave you. You could kill anyone in the entire game, for example. Most games would protect some characters because killing them would break the game, but not Phantom Menace. It was also probably one of the first games where you could kill children.

One thing that annoys me about JPB is that the game is based around combos, but you rarely get to fully use them, as a typical combat situation goes like this: You run up and attack, killing one enemy with a sweeping hit with your saber, then mop up the rest while mashing buttons. You can try to do combos, but usually you’re getting hit by lasers or melee at this point, and your combos are getting interrupted. That said, some of the combos are pretty cool, and there are plenty of opportunities to use them in the game as a whole, especially on stronger foes.

I forgot how silly and arcadey the game looks and plays. Whenever you pick up an item, there’s a short sound effect of Yoda laughing. Obi-Wan walks like he’s constipated and he runs like a girl. The animations are like something you’d see in a Flash cartoon. It might seem ridiculous at first, but then you realize that, first of all, it’s LucasArts, and second of all, it adds personality and charm to a licensed game that might otherwise be forgotten.

Overall, I’d say the game has held up well over the past 11 years since it’s original release on PlayStation in 2000, and it’s definitely a great platformer. I could see it being released on XBLA or PSN today, although I’m not sure how many people today would buy a game based on what many consider to be the worst Star Wars movie. I’d forgotten a lot of things about JPB, but my favorite level is still Coruscant. 🙂

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~ by The Retro Gamer on December 4, 2011.

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