Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike Review

Developer: Factor 5 Publisher: LucasArts
Release Date: October 21, 2003 Also On: None

The GCN launch title, Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader was the best Star Wars title that I had ever played when it was released in 2001. Not only was it one of the few exceptional launch titles (others included Pikmin, Super Monkey Ball and Super Smash Bros. Melee), but it greatly expanded the greatness of the first title from the N64. To this day Rogue Squadron II is one of the most gorgeous GCN titles. Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike is the sequel to Rogue Squadron II, but takes the series a step further, allowing you to play as people that you actually care about (i.e. Luke Skywalker and Han Solo), instead of less known characters in the Star Wars universe like Mace Windu or Dash Rendar (Shadows of the Empire).

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Rebel Strike could be described as a mix of both good and bad; a mix of Rogue Squadron II (the good) and Shadows of the Empire (the bad). The main difference in the flying/vehicle levels from Rogue Squadron II are that #1. they sometimes accompany 3rd person shooting modes and #2. include the additions of Imperial Walkers and speed racers. You may be wondering, is Rogue Squadron III the traditional Star Wars Rogue Squadron flying game or more of a 3rd person shooter? While there are many 3rd person shooting areas throughout the game, which are usually embedded within the flying levels, the game can mainly be described as a Star Wars flight combat game.

Since Rogue Squadron III has mainly 3 parts to it (i.e. flying, 3rd person shooting, multi-player co-op), I will go ahead and break two of them down. Before I move on, let me just add that the two player co-op is the full version of Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader and makes purchasing this title even more worth it. First, let us cover the 3rd person shooting levels. Unlike the flying levels, the 3rd person shooting levels feel unpolished, simple and tremendously linear. Usually you can only get from point A to point B using one route. The camera angles are sometimes a headache and much worse than the likes of a game like Resident Evil. Like in the Resident Evil series, Rogue Squadron III’s camera cannot move and therefore you will be unable to see many enemies. There is an auto-targeting system, which is unreliable, considering the fact that it is nearly impossible to switch targets, even if it is someone who is closest to you.

Dying can be a frequency, despite what is otherwise a simple endeavor. The simplicity of the 3rd person shooting levels can be summed up by this: control your character with the analog stick, use your weapon with A, use your secondary weapon with B, jump with X, use goggles with Y, roll with Z, and crouch with R. Being in the land of the Jedi, you would think that there would be some combos or something more than a one button system. You could easily go through any given 3rd person shooting level and just blast any enemies and win without using any other button than A to fire.

Now on to the flying levels, which are the most solid part of the game aside from multi-player. Speeder bike levels are great because of speed, not because of the non-linear design. In fact, many speeder bike levels can be described as being on a track, such as the one that takes place in the forest. In other speeder bike levels, you will have to carefully time boosts in order to jump chasms. However, whether it is manning an Imperial Walker or flying an X-Wing, Rogue Squadron III’s flying levels are the best “fight-in-flight� levels that I have seen, at least since the last title.

Even if you hate the 3rd person shooting levels, there is more than enough in this package to warrant a purchase or at the very least, a rental. The flying levels are as good as they have ever been and the multi-player is an excellent addition to the franchise. Basically you’re getting two games in one with this package: a single-player campaign and a completely separate two-player multi-player version of Rogue Leader. Thanks to the single-player flying levels and the multi-player, Rogue Squadron III is a must-have for all Star Wars fans.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.6
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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