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Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force Package Art

Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force

With the release of the original Star Wars Trilogy on DVD this week, it would only be smart to bring a few Star Wars video games. While the GameCube may not be receiving the treat that is Star Wars: Battlefront on the Xbox and PlayStation 2, Nintendo fans may be pleased to see that we werenít completely ignored. Not completely, anyway. Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force does a great job at capturing the essence of the original Star Wars Trilogy, and could easily make a nice companion to the collectorís set. While it doesnít offer a whole lot in terms of gameplay, it could be worth checking out if youíre a Star Wars fan. In fact, it is definitely a lot better than recent GBA efforts within the Star Wars universe.


Players may find a unique visual style in Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force. In fact, if anyone finds a resemblance to Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, it would make sense. After all, Ubisoft implemented the revolutionary Game Boy Advance engine in this title. However, with the amount of detail to the character sprites and overall world, they seem to have set the bar a bit higher. It may not be apparent in the earlier levels, but once players move onto Episode V and acquire their first lightsaber, it becomes quite clear. Although it may not be the best looking action, or Star Wars, game on the Game Boy Advance, itís easily one of the smoothest on the handheld. Luke and his opponents seem to move at a brisk pace, which brings the action to an even higher level. The background elements found within each level can become a little bland, but the amount of color is great and really brings out the details. To say that Apprentice for the Force is a great looking game may be a bit of a stretch, but itís well made and executed nicely.


What more could one expect in a Star Wars title? The sound effects are authentic, the music is gripping and inspiring, and R2-D2 is still so darn cute and cuddly. Donít be expecting superior production values, though. After all, it is a GBA title. In comparison to other games we put it up against Ubisoft seems to have done a good enough job. Itís all about the lightsaber. Itís the one sound effect that anyone could remember or even recreate using simply their mouths and a broomstick. Good stuff, overall.


In most all Star Wars games that have been released on the Game Boy Advance donít require a great deal of explanation when it comes to play mechanics. The same can be said for Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force. Players take on the role of Luke Skywalker, and only Luke Skywalker, through each episode of the original trilogy. Thatís episodes four through six: A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi. The course of events is similar to the movie, but for all intents and purposes, itís been a little scaled down for the video game. In fact, casual gamers may be skilled enough to complete the game while watching the first movie. Itís unfortunate, but at least it can be fun while it lasts.

Most of the game is set in the traditional side-scrolling action/adventure genre of gaming. Starting out, Luke is simply a common dweller of Tatooine, armed only with a blaster pistol. Things donít necessarily get interesting until the end of Episode IV, when Luke hops into the X-Wing and takes down the Death Star. The simplicity of Apprentice of the Force is seen through the amount of lives they grant you, which are infinite as a matter of fact. Although the game offers a decent challenge, the fact that you have as many ďre-dosĒ as youíd like nulls the challenge considerably. However, it is much less frustrating than starting each level, or Episode, over again and again.

Once you get the lightsaber in the start of Empire Strikes Back, combat throughout the game becomes much more interesting. Thereís nothing more pleasing than slicing through wampas en masse. Force powers also come into play in a much larger way in this episode with Force Push and even later into Episode VI with Force Speed, a Matrix-like power that slows down action while you lay waste to the opposition. After dueling with Darth Vader a couple of times and then reaching the climax of the original trilogy, the approximate game time could average at only a few hours. In fact, thereís a little graph in the pause menu that marks your progress through the trilogy. Once that bar began to fill up quickly, we definitely saw that weíd be in for a short game.


Ever wanted to dogfight with your buddy? How about a dogfight with your buddy using X-Wings? Okay, so what about a dogfight with your buddy using X-Wings on your Game Boy Advance? Yeah, have you crunched those numbers lately? Well, nowís your chance since itís available here with single cartridge play. Is it enough to keep the game running longer than a day or two? Not really. Itís fun as all hell, though.


Star Wars Trilogy: Apprentice of the Force will make an excellent companion to your Star Wars Trilogy DVD purchase on Tuesday. This also applies if youíre picking up Battlefront as well. However, it is definitely not the longest, or the greatest, Game Boy Advance title available. The production values here are well put together, but considering the extremely small length, we can only recommend it to rabid Star Wars fans. Face it, though, if youíre picking up the DVD set, youíre a rabid Star Wars fan. Donít expect anything near the greatness that is JVCís Super Star Wars Trilogy on the SNES, though. Those standards are set way too high. May the force be with you.

final score 7.2/10

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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