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Star Wars: Battle For Naboo Package Art
Factor 5

Star Wars: Battle For Naboo

In the waning days of the under-appreciated and misunderstood console that was the Nintendo 64, a surge of quality software helped keep the system afloat and appease Nintendo fans until the arrival of GameCube. Most of these ?last-hurrahs? were released during 2000, many of which sold well, and others that performed only modestly in comparison. Unfortunately, Battle For Naboo falls under the latter. Factor 5?s one stab at the Star Wars prequel was overshadowed by the likes of Perfect Dark, Majora?s Mask, and Banjo Tooie, despite the genuine quality of the title.


In many cases, Factor 5 implemented more on screen action than they did with Rogue Squadron. However, in doing so (at first) they were unable to significantly enhance the visual qualities of Naboo from that of Rogue. As is the basic terrain of your missions, little variety is offered per level. Yet still, the lighting and textures are some of the most beautiful the Nintendo64 has ever seen, especially so with the addition of an expansion pak. It is in the later levels that one truly begins to notice the vast improvement made from their last project, flying a darkened Naboo starfighter through the rainy outskirts of Theed. In addition, the final battle takes place in space (something lacking from Rogue Squadron) on a grander, more frenetic scale than that of any previous missions from both this game and Rogue. My only major complaint is that the action can be difficult to make out amongst the colorings of the backdrops. If you haven?t been too spoiled by the brilliant 3D display of the latest hardware, Battle For Naboo serves up an ocular delight upon which to feast thine eyes.


Battle For Naboo stands alongside the likes of Zelda, Perfect Dark, and Conker in what are perhaps THE most finely crafted compilations of sound to grace the Nintendo 64, historically limited in this area due to its reduced, cartridge-based space. I?m not sure how they were able to accomplish this, but rather than provide some contorted midi, Factor 5 successfully inserted the full MP3 of William?s ?Duel of the Fates?, The Phantom Menace?s signature track, into the title of Battle For Naboo.

Moreover, the ship descriptor and live-mission orders feature impressive pieces of dialogue that are, for the most part, clearly detected. Per usual, you can expect the standard laser screeches and a first rate symphony inspired by the orchestral mastery of Mr. John Williams himself. Famous in the developmental world for their dazzling sounds, having developed MusyX, Dolby Pro Logic II, and a small part of the GameCube itself, one would expect nothing less to this effect from the boys of Factor 5.


While fairly arcade like at face value, Battle For Naboo breaks away from this stereotype by allowing the player a limited amount of non-linear play in specific levels. Nevertheless, each mission requires you to complete a specific set of objectives and, in most cases, a specific amount of time. Depending on how you perform, you can earn bronze, silver, or gold medals that serve to boost your rank and your stats, unearthing secrets from the programming vaults deep within your cart.

Assuming the role of the local resistance to the Trade Federation, mentioned but never actually shown in Lucas?s Episode I, you are required to perform daring escapes and/or hit-and-runs that will either keep your team alive or quietly weaken the vast droid army that has overtaken your planet. Following strict orders from Captain Panaka and other higher ups, it is your duty to preserve peace and democracy through violence and battle. Just as it was in Rogue, ?A? provides a momentary boost of speed, ?B? fires your primary weapon, ?Z? slows or halts your craft, and ?C-left? unleashes one of a limited set of secondary weapons. The other tiny ?C? buttons serve miscellaneous functions that vary from mission to mission. So long as you don?t fly recklessly, and efficiently utilize the aerial technique that got you those wings, the systematic elimination of the droid despots becomes clockwork.




Battle for Naboo has a focused appeal that most all gamers, like yourself, will appreciate. Straying away from the Episode I explosion that plagued Sony?s Playstation with software like Jedi Power Battles and other ?C? titles, Battle for Naboo left intact the Nintendo 64?s reputation for hosting Lucasart?s best games of the generation. It is a fun and engaging trip back three years that is worth dusting off the old ?64 for. It may not be incredibly deep, but the quality of the programming makes for a fun, sense-stimulating experience that is only enhanced by the Star Wars license. So?

For the Queen! For freedom! For Naboo!

final score 8.0/10

Staff Avatar William Jacques
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"Oh oblivious, nave Humanity... How ignorant we really are - safe only in our blind "superior" view of the world."

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