So we are talking about embarrassing games. Well I’m going to raise the stakes. Lets get a truly awful game in here. Jedi Power Battles is a tie in to the much maligned first prequel to the Star Wars trilogy.You remember that film don’t you? That sting of disappointment, the odd air that what should have been the easiest sell in the world had somehow become a dull trudging beast of a ham fisted galactic political drama. Space politics. Politics… in space! All against the background of some casual racism and horrendous child acting.
So, the source material isn’t great but, everyone loves Jedis and having powers and battles! This game should retain the best elements of the franchise and strip out the nonsense. Just like the film that inspired it however, it takes winning individual elements and then through a complete misunderstanding of what makes them so well loved, creates an experience that makes you never want to look at the nights sky again. For fear that this version of space might be true up there somewhere.
So what is this game exactly? A one or two player roaming lightsaber- em’ up, using a selection of Jedi characters. Your opponents, dozens of easily replaceable droids. The little skinny ones and the big rolly ones with shields. That’s about it in terms of your opponents. There may be some sand people in there somewhere but who can honestly remember.
Video taken from youtube user Gameplay Twist. They are masochistic enough to play it by themselves.
You have a few attacks and each character has a special move of some sort, a shield, a need for companionship, the ability to spot a bargain in a charity shop. That sort of thing. Each character is largely identical, the woman one may have been a bit faster, the man one slower but stronger, the alien one confused by the human need to grow a beard. In real terms then, no significant difference.
There is little variation in the combat, which is itself slow, a chore to engage with and needlessly difficult because of it. Whenever an attack button is pushed your character will lose all their momentum and usually end up harmlessly waving their lightsaber in front of the attacking enemy. Maybe that’s the downside to being a Jedi, a loss of some basic physics.
There are also numerous tediously difficult platforming sections full of weightless jumping that often lead to insta- death falls. 3D platforming is hard to do and I don’t feel like this game has ever been the priority in anyone’s life, let alone the developers.
So why do I love this game? It’s obvious not for any inherent quality. It turned up in my life when new games came along rarely, due to both my own budget and limitations of all releases being physical. So even if a game was rubbish, I persevered and vitally introduced it to my friends.
The saviour of any bad game is multiplayer. The fact you can play Jedi Power Battles with a friend is a saving grace. What would be frustrating, difficult and instantly infuriating by yourself is hilarious and a challenge to be worked on over many happy weekends together.
I played numerous hours on this game with a friend, falling off ledges, missing light saber strikes, laughing at the constantly repeated droid dialogue. It doesn’t matter about the inefficiencies of the game once you have a friend to share the pain.
So even though this is my guilty pleasure, it isn’t really, if anything, it’s proof that I have at least one friend. A friend with enough dedication to play this ramshackle mess of game with me.