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Star Wars: Shadows Of The Empire Review

Publisher - Nintendo
Developer - Lucas Arts
Platform - N64
Type - Action
Score - 8/10

Let me begin by saying, I haven't read the Shadows of the Empire books or even know the plot, but I have seen Star Wars (like most of us I think).

While this game is not the top of the graphics heap, it is by no means deficient. In fact, the graphics are spectacular. Star Wars is a combination of vehicle and first person Doom-style combat, each phase in rich in graphics and presented beautifully. The Imperial Walkers are a blast and will give you flashbacks from The Empire Strikes Back. A strong point of the flight sequences is the similarity to the movies. When flying around, you feel like you're in a mad clash of ships flying and shooting in every possible direction- just like the movies' space combat sequences.

As far as sound goes, I am NOT exaggerating when I claim that this game has the best sound of all the N64 games I've seen. I didn't think the N64 was capable of creating the music exhibited in this game- it simply MUST be heard to be believed. If I didn't know this game was cart based, I would swear I was hearing CD tracks. As far as sound effects, they're straight out of the movies- unbelievable! This game gives you the feel of being dropped into the Star Wars universe. The only set back is that none of the dialogue is spoken- it's all text.

Overall, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is a game that you can jump in and play from the get go. Most PC flying games are so involved that you literally have to spend a week getting used to the controls (Wing Commander guys- you know who you are :) ). This is not to say that PC flight games are inferior, Star Wars won't leave you frustrated the first time out. The first person Doom-style portions are also easy to play. You won't experience first time Doom disorientation. The controls are simple and easy to master.

This game is just plain fun. it is also varied and fast paced. The best part is, you don't have to be a Star Wars fan to enjoy the game. One warning: this game is like a software buffet. Each stage gives you a new challenge and new game mechanics. While this cart does every mini-game (flight sim, first person shooter, rail game shooter, platform jumping) well, there are dedicated games that specialize in a certain style and deliver more complexity. Don't expect X-Wing and Dark Forces in one cart, DO expect a varied and exciting challenge with a great plot and fantastic sequences.