Star Wars Starfighter for Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2)
There is a storm brewing around the tiny planet of Naboo, one that has the possibility of spilling over into the slippery world of politics making up the Republic. The long era of peace that has brought such prosperity to the galaxy cannot last forever, and there are those at Coruscant who would benefit greatly if that peace is threatened or shattered.
Enter the Trade Federation, an evil alliance whose corrupt and violent business practices are perhaps a precursor to the dark times that may be coming. And before all is said and done, an epic and heroic struggle will need to be undertaken to stop the Trade Federation and its unlikely allies in the Republican Senate from starting an all-out war in the galaxy.
Star Wars: Starfighter doesn't focus on the particular epic and heroic struggle that you might be thinking of. While this title from LucasArts does focus on the events surrounding Episode I, it does so from the perspective of characters not present in the movie. In place of familiar names such as Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn are three different pilots: the young and inexperienced Naboo pilot Rhys Dallows, the beautiful and dangerous mercenary Vana Sage, and the infamous pirate Nym.
Through the course of the game, players will take on the roles of all three characters, as they forge an unlikely alliance to take on the Trade Federation, and help in their own way to save the galaxy...until the Clone Wars, of course.
Star Wars: Starfighter is not necessarily a sequel to either Rogue Squadron or Battle for Naboo, both for the N64, but it is structured in a similar fashion: a space shooter that trades in complicated menus and detailed systems for a more fast-paced experience. It is the first exclusive Star Wars title for the Playstation 2
The story is told through the unique perspectives of the three pilots, winding back and forth among them as the game progresses. This of course means that players will be taking on each of their roles in the 14 different missions within the game. It also means that they will have the opportunity to fly each of the crafts that belong to the pilots: Rhys' Naboo starfighter, Vana's quick and nimble Guardian Mantis, and Nym's bulking and powerful Havoc. Each of the ships has its own specialties, ranging from speed to firepower.
The missions take place in either deep space or closer to the ground, and each of the different environments possesses its own characteristics, from mountains to canyons to flat lands. The mission objectives are varied, but many of them center on the protection of a specific object, be it a friendly craft or shield generator that cannot be destroyed lest the Trade Federation gain the ability to take the upper hand in the conflict.
While there are no branching missions in this game, there are extra bonus objectives that, once completed, will give players medals that can be used to unlock secret levels, from special training missions to two different two-player missions: a dogfight and a capture-the-flag type challenge.
One of the features in Star Wars: Starfighter is the ability to zoom in on targets as you fire at them, giving players the ability to spray even distant enemies with gunfire. There are also several missions in which players can command their wingmen to do various tasks, from attacking the incoming fighters to defending either themselves or the target they've been sent to protect. There are radio voices in the game, as well as the visuals and sounds that players have come to expect from a Star Wars title.