I’m pretty sure everyone knows how all of these “Star Wars” games fall into a certain category or how they incorporate their elements into a specific genre such as strategy or fighting and so forth. Well, “Star Wars: Episode I – Jedi Power Battles” is the beat ’em-up take on the “Star Wars” video game universe. I must say that this game is far more entertaining than the movie itself or even the Playstation video game that was based on the movie.
The animation in “Star Wars: Episode I – Jedi Power Battles” is pretty superb for Playstation game. Aside from the characters, the backgrounds and the overall level design itself is utterly amazing. Of course, it’s nothing compared to, say, the games of this day and age, but in terms of the Playstation era it was released in, it is very impressive.
The game lets you play as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Plo Koon, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu (who has a blue lightsaber instead of purple), and Adi Gallia — each of whom comes with their own individual strengths and weaknesses. Darth Maul, Captain Panaka, and Queen Amidala can be unlocked. While the overall gameplay itself is fun all around, it is extremely difficult and challenging, even on the lowest difficulty setting. I think this is the biggest issue that many players have with “Star Wars: Episode I – Jedi Power Battles”. The game has checkpoints but they’re all too far spread out from each other, so if you find yourself battling it out with large amounts of foes for a very long time only to fall off of a cliff or something, you’re going to be feeling very sorry. The camera can be another problem as it doesn’t rotate, making it difficult to spot enemies who are shooting you from afar. Nonetheless, the levels are quite interesting and they pretty much follow “The Phantom Menace”.
The controls respond pretty good and the mechanics of the game are not overly complicated or difficult to learn. The game presents with a lot of cool Jedi power combos for you to perform as well. This is a straight forward beat ’em up action game with all of the button configurations that you would come to expect from the genre.
All in all, as hard as it is, this is the “Streets of Rage” of the “Star Wars” universe. If you want a fun and more action-packed take on the story-line of “The Phantom Menace”, then you may want to give it a shot but don’t expect it to be a walk in the park due to the insane difficulty of the game itself.