remaining gameplay aspects of the Sith Lords offers almost nothing new.
Battles, talking to characters, equipping your characters, upgrading
items and your dialogue choices are handled just like in the first game.
One thing new about upgrading items is the ability to now create and
breakdown items. For instance, depending on a characters skill level in
the different skills available, there are items that that character will
be able to build from components, which are the basic building blocks to
create items. You can also break down existing items into components.
This is great as you now have the option of not only selling items you
don't want, but of breaking them down and creating a new item. This
process of course requires a workbench, which are scattered throughout
the game. While this is a nice addition, I still didn't find myself taking
advantage of this process as the best items and weapon upgrades were
still to be had by finding them, or by buying them. A new aspect to
battles in the game is the Form and Behavior of your characters. You can
set your characters to perform different actions as their default such
as acting as a support grenadier, or attacking with ranged weapons.
Also, the Form choice is a selection available to the main character and
can affect bonuses and saves based on the form chosen. Some forms are
better at ranged defense, while others are better at the strength of the
melee attack. Again, I found myself taking advantage of this addition
very seldom, and it did not seem to really affect the gameplay when I
did use it. The mini games are the same as before with Swoop Races,
Turret Battles and Pazaak games. Pazaak is like blackjack, Swoop racing
is like pod racing, first introduced to the Star Wars universe in
Episode 1: the Phantom Menace, and the Turret Battles are the closest
thing to a first person shooter in this game. The Swoop Races this time
allow you to jump your Swoop Bike as there are obstacles that you will
need to jump over. One course even has oncoming bikes to further throw
Throughout the game you will also encounter a few logic puzzles which I find absolutely fantastic. The greatest example of this from the first game was a murder mystery where you had to use deductive reasoning and logical arguments to find the best solution. The Sith Lords offers a few of these moments but not enough for my tastes, however where they are included, I spent a lot of time trying to solve
these. The inclusion
also of math problems has also been carried over from the first game, and
again, this was both surprising, yet highly cherished by me. While some
gamers may hate the logic puzzles and math problems, the beauty in the
game design is that these are optional, as are the mini games, so you
need not complete these to enjoy or to move forward in the game.
back to the storyline, the weakest aspect of the game is likely not a
fault of the developer as the game was no doubt rushed for the holiday
season. The last portion of the game that leads to the climax is
basically a series of repetitive battles. The final battle
last Sith Lord is difficult, but in the end, not that hard, which is
reflective of the difficulty level of the game as a whole. The climax of
the game is likely one of the
most unsatisfying endings I have ever encountered. There is a Dark Side
and a Light Side ending; however both are equally bland and unrevealing.
There are many loose ends to the storyline, and in doing some
investigation on the game, I came across some fan research that revealed
that there was dialogue and event scripts that were included in the code
of the game but that were not used. Had the storyline been properly
edited, these loose ends with some of your characters could have been
avoided, either by including the story development fully, or excluding
it completely. Some of the characters and antagonists will seem out of
place by the end of the game, as their purpose by the end seems
some minor additions have been made to the formula of the first game,
the Sith Lords plays very much like the original. While in many ways
this is a good thing, the weaker storyline detracts from its overall
enjoyability. The production values are also almost identical to the
first Knights game, with excellent sound and voice acting, and
serviceable yet bland graphics. While the original is destined to become
a classic, the sequel will be remembered, but only because it follows
likely one of the best RPG's of the last 10 years.
- Mark Leung
(June 4, 2005)
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