Community post: A poor game of an even worse film….. and I love it

The game were you get to play the Waxwork models of famous Jedi. Image taken from http://www.gamedbase.com

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.

 

 

8 Comments Add yours

  1. duckofindeed says:

    This post was quite funny. I had some bad experiences with a different “Star Wars” game, “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed”. You’d think getting to use a lightsaber and Force powers with the Wiimote and nunchuck would be really awesome, and it was, for five seconds. And then it just got boring. And it was shocking how useless the lightsaber was. I found it to be far more effective to just toss stuff at people. Or toss people. Usually off buildings. That was very effective indeed. I eventually sold the game. Got a few dollars that I think I’ll get much more enjoyment out of.

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    1. benrosslake says:

      I quite liked the Force Unleashed, then again I wan’t playing it on a Wii so wasn’t expecting any swooshy goodness.

      Funny how poor Star Wars games have been over the years. It really should be fairly straight forward to make a few good ones.

      Like

  2. Hatm0nster says:

    Looking at this reminds me of Too Human. Long levels: check. Difficult controls: check, enemies with WAY too much health: check, Hopes for an awesome game dashed: BIG CHECK!

    You’re right though, the saving grace of any cruddy game is multiplayer since, as you pointed out, it becomes a joke rather than a slog. Too Human didn’t even have that much going for it. 🙂

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    1. benrosslake says:

      I played the demo of Too Human and had no idea what was going on. Every time you die you have to watch a minute long cutscene as well!

      That game eventually lead to the downfall of the studio that made it I think. The Guy who made it, Dennis Dyak, had licensed the unreal engine then tried to get out of paying for it. Basically because he didn’t want to.

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  3. cary says:

    I remember seeing ads for this game, but it was an immediate pass. But then again, ANYTHING that was associated with the first Star Wars trilogy was a pass. (Still can’t bring myself to watch those movies again.) Great post. Too bad really that the game wasn’t better because it sounds like it might have had some potential.

    Like

    1. duckofindeed says:

      For me, “Star Wars” seems to be the only movie series that can make somewhat decent games, but I have also been subjected to some bad ones, as well. “The Force Unleashed” comes to mind….

      I seem to be the only one that didn’t mind the newer “Star Wars” trilogy….

      Like

  4. gimmgp says:

    Any memories of this game just blur with the pile of ads for crappy Star Wars games around the release of Episode One. Never had the chance to play it, but it sounds like one of the many futile attempts to bring beat-em’ups out of the 16-bit console generation (see: The Bouncer, Fighting Force, Final Fight Streetwise, etc).

    Also, “lightsaber-em ‘up” is my favorite new genre listing. Well done, sir.

    Like

    1. benrosslake says:

      The scrolling beat ’em up is my most pined after genre. It doesn’t seem to have made as big an impact in the recent retro revival. I miss the good ones so.

      P.S Thanks for the kind words.

      Like

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