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by THQ

32083_04-01.jpg (5185 bytes)I need to start this review off by making a confession. I can’t get past the first level of Jedi Power Battles for the Game Boy Advance. About halfway through (I am guessing that it’s half, but I can’t be sure because I’ve never seen the end of the level) I get to a section that involves jumping onto a moving platform and then jumping onto the next ledge. I don’t know how to do it. There is no logical solution to my jumping conundrum. After trying to get past this obstacle about a dozen times, I have to confess that I’ve given up. I usually don’t give up this easily on a game, especially when Star Wars is involved. But it just wasn’t worth it. I started having dreams about that levitating platform and I would find myself trying to create a 3-D model of the ledges with my mashed potatoes. I didn’t like what the game was doing to me. I had to give it up.

32083_07-01.jpg (5665 bytes)I’m sure there’s some cardinal rule that I’m breaking by reviewing a video game having completed so little. I know I haven’t played Jedi Power Battles very much, no, I take that back; I’ve played the game a lot, I just haven’t played a lot of the game. I still think that I can comment on a few basic features of the game. First and foremost are the controls. For a game that relies heavily on precise jumping, the controls are anything but precise. It is far too easy to overshoot or undershoot the mark. A brief little tap of the control pad can make you run off the edge.

32083_08-01.jpg (5959 bytes)The sound and graphics are adequately done. We’re treated to yet another rendition of "Duel of the Fates." It’s a great piece of writing, and I’m sure John Williams is enjoying all of the residuals, but don’t you think it’s time to come up with something new? The character animations are nicely detailed and the droids fall down in convincing pieces when you slice through them. What I played of the game was pretty dark and will frustrate those without a lot of light.

32083_02-01.jpg (6178 bytes)I’m willing to bet that there’s more to this game that I might really enjoy. But that doesn’t do me any good if I can’t get past the first level. I’m sure I’ll get a couple of emails explaining how easy it is and how the answer was right in front of me the whole time. Thanks for the advice in advance. I still can’t recommend the game based on the fact that this one section is so problematic. Just to make sure I wasn’t completely missing the boat, I asked my editor how far he had made it in the game. He got up at the same point I did. I’m harboring a little theory that none of the reviewers I’ve read have actually passed the first level. They’re just bluffing to save face. I, on the other hand, can’t bear to lie to my readers.

32083_01-01.jpg (6242 bytes)I really enjoyed the Playstaion and Dreamcast versions of Jedi Power Battles and I was looking forward to some pocket Jedi mayhem, but it just wasn’t to be found here. I often say that playing games should never feel like and job, and when it becomes more work than play, it’s time to find a new game. This game was way too much work. Now, I don’t profess to be an amazing gamer. In fact, I’m not a very big fan of multi-player games because I usually get pummeled so often at them. But when I can’t even make it through the first level of a basic slash and dash platformer, there are problems bigger than this gamer’s skill.

Jason Frank   (01/29/2002)


Ups: Nice graphics; good sound.

Downs: Horrible control; awkward camera angle.

Platform: Game Boy Advance