Review by Computerbug8
Why couldn't they just make a game about the movie?
Why couldn't they just make a game about the movie? Yes, it would probably be horrible, but it is bound to have been better than this. Of all things about Star Wars: Epsiode I, Lucas decided to make a game about the podracing. It may have sounded like a nice idea on paper, but when it comes down to it, it wasn't.
Race, buy upgrades, then race some more. This is nothing more than a standard racing game, except with a Star Wars theme to it. You start off with the standard course that is raced on in the movie, and along the way, you can unlock more courses that have absolutely nothing to do with Star Wars. After you finish a race, you earn money to purchase upgrades at Watto's store. The only problem is, when I bought upgrades, I did not find anything useful at all. The pit droids are the worst: they're supposed to fix your podracer, but they don't seem to do anything for it. So, with weird courses and bad upgrades, you're probably wondering why the gameplay even got a 2. Well, that's because you don't have to just play as Anakin. Although I assume that's who most people play as, you can also play as the cheating Sebulba, or any of the faceless racers that appear in the movie. The option of choosing characters besides Anakin boosted the score up to a 2.
The graphics are the highest point in the game. The podracers look very well created, as well as all most of the courses. Something that could have been improved upon was the explosions. I know the N64 has never been known for its great explosions, but we're talking explosions worse than Star Fox 64. I said that MOST of the courses looked well done, but there were some that didn't. Sometimes the obstuctions or things in the courses looked a little blocky. All in all, fairly good graphics.
The sound deserves a 1, so why am I giving it a 2? I'm giving the sound a 2 because the makers at least cared for sound at all. There aren't too many tracks in the game. In fact, the only one I can remember is "Duel of the Fates", played at the main menu. During a race, you can hear Anakin (along with all of the other aliens) scream when they crash or explode. The high point of the sound comes from hearing Watto when you're in his shop, buying "upgrades" for your podracer. Watto says a few phrases when you're in his store, and that's just about the only dialogue you hear in the whole game. There aren't too many sounds you hear when racing, and the sounds you do hear are pretty lousy.
This game will either take you too long to unlock all the courses are not long enough. If you like racing games and are for some reason glued to this game, then it shouldn't take you that long. On the other hand, if you have trouble steering your racer (which you probably will) or you just don't feel like it's a good game, then you may never unlock all of them.
The replayability is actually higher than my review suggests. I'm not saying you'll WANT to go back and play it again, but there is one reason you should. Like I've mentioned, you can play as characters besides Anakin, so you might want to race as them. (although I doubt it will be any different.
Total score: 19/50
Averaged score: 3.8 (rounds up to 4)
Buy or Rent?
If you can even rent N64 games anymore, and if you're feeling like taking a risk, rent this game. Actually, this game is less than $15 now, so I'd say go with whatever one is cheaper.
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