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T (Teen)



Q4 2002



- Good amount of action

- Explains a lot of Fett family history

- Highly maneuverable Jango

- Great production values



- Camera sometimes starts thinking on its own

- Although the big, open levels are accurate to the Start Wars universe it sometimes lack fun

- Hunting bounties is entirely optional



Review: Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (Playstation 2)

Review: Star Wars: Clone Wars (Gamecube)

Review: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (Gamecube)



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Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

Score: 8.4 / 10


Bounty hunters figure prominently in the Star Wars universe, even though theyíre almost relegated to background roles.  Considering the cult following some bounty hunters have, like Boba Fett, itís amazing there hasnít been a game based on a bounty hunter before now.


Bounty Hunter (BH), starring Boba Fettís dad, Jango Fett, finally gives gamers a chance to hunt down bounties and generally fill in some gaps of the Fett family tree, while exploring events that happen soon after Episode I as Darth Sidious looks for a clone template.  The setup is actually a good one.  Jango is contacted by Tyranus (a.k.a. Count Dooku and Sidiousís apprentice) to hunt down a rogue dark Jedi that controls the Bando Gora, a group that poses a threat to Darth Sidiousís plans.  This puts Jango in direct competition with an old nemesis, Montross, since they were both contacted by Tyranus.  For the most part, BH benfits from the original story, but if youíre not a Star Wars fan youíre likely to not really care of itís significance.


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But BH is all about action.  Donít bother with a stealth approach -- shoot first and ask questions later.


Jangoís one of the most maneuverable videogame characters ever, probably 2nd only to Spiderman.  Jango can roll, run, jump, cling to ledges, scan for bounties, control turrets, laser grills open, climb ladders, shoot like Touco, Angel Eyes and Blondie put together, and use his jetpack to gain the upper hand in almost any situation.  Strangely, BH feels like a Western at times, even with the jetpack.  Jango sports two pistols and doesnít seem to have any problems targeting two enemies at once.  He can also lasso enemies.  Of course, not many gunslingers had access to a flamethrower or thermal detonators so any similarities with a Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western are superficial at best.





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Surprisingly, itís not that hard to control Jango once you learn the controls (plus, the lock-on feature eliminates many headaches).  The camera, however, is another story.  It has a mind of its own sometimes just panning wherever it wants.  Tapping the right shoulder button centers the camera on Jangoís back but since heís so maneuverable it often canít keep up Ė even under manual control with the C-stick. (The same situation as the recent Spider-Man game.)  One instance in 


particular was entirely more frustrating that it needed to be thanks to the camera.  Jango has to get from the top of one side of a chasm to the bottom of the other side by skipping across cargo containers moving between the two sides.  The distances involved Ė vertical and horizontal Ė are tough enough to navigate without the camera suddenly failing to work properly.  I canít tell you the number of times I watched Jango plummet to the lower sections of Coruscant! (Thank goodness for checkpoints!)


The action spans six chapters.  The opening and closing cutscenes for each one are excellent.  In fact the production values are outstanding all around.  Graphics are sharp and smooth, and the audio is stellar.  Not only do the traditional Star Wars themes appear, but Jeremy Soule also gets to put some original music in the game.  The voice acting is great too.


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And as big as some of the levels are, the action is slick.  However, some levels feel empty and can be blown through with the use of the jetpack (even though it has to recharge after a few seconds use).  This might suit some gaming styles and itís nice to have the option but it makes it really easy to finish some levels.  Of course, approaching levels with this method you miss out on the main point of BH: collecting bounties.  Oddly enough, hunting down targets isnít integral to gameplay, it's completely optional.  Again, it lets the player approach gameplay the way they want to but it takes some of the fun out of the experience.  Bounty hunting should have been made more integral to the gameplay, instead of just unlocking cutscene bonuses.  However, if youíre like me, youíll attempt to hunt down every bounty and have quite a lot of fun doing it.


Bounty Hunter is a solid game and Star Wars and Fett fans should probably pick it up.  Although there are camera issues, itís not enough to kill the fun.


- Omni

(January 30, 2003)

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