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Solid Starwars arcade action with a certain JE NE SAIS QUOI !!!! When I was on a fam vacation and I stood only yay high and we all went bowling, I saw this arcade game and it made an impression on me. Maybe it sucks, by certain objective measures, but it has a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain i don't know what, an indescribable charm that can capture the heart and quarters of unsuspecting gamers. At a glance the game may appear to be a shallow movie tie-in, but I will attempt to describe its elusive value. Perhaps it is the sort of sparkle that cannot be put into words. Perhaps the full effect is lost playing on vizzed rather than on the half-steering wheel control thingy of the original arcade cabinet. Anyways, fans of nostalgic, primitive arcade action or jedi knights should check out this retelling of Return of the Jedi arcade-game style.
The game can sort of be described a shooter, as players must re-live various scenes from the famous movie including the speeder-bike chase, Chewbacca driving a stolen ATST walking robot tank thingy, and the climactic Millennium Falcon flying into the core of the death star and back out again. Though it has the feel of other genres for a couple reasons. First of all, the main source of difficulty is not from bullets, like most shooters, but from crashing into the indestructible courses. (in the forests of endor, the trees are deadly, in the death star, the walls and various obstacles blocking your flight path...and you can bounce off the tie fighters, like bumper cars?! I know that bouncing off enemy spaceships safely is UNHEARD OF in the shooter genre). Yes, crashing into the courses is usually fatal in shooters but more often than not this is not the primary source of the game's challenge--because of this it feels like it belongs in a different genre though what it's called escapes me--isometric flight-simulation perhaps? Like Zaxxon! That sort of game that is so rare they don't bother naming the genre fittingly--although in fairness to the genre-namers Zaxxon feels more like an isometric shooter than this one does, this one feels more like an "isometric flyer", lol.
Also, because each of the levels are similarly challenging, because they are all short, and because when you beat the game it just starts you back over at the beginning, it feels oddly more like a mini-game collection than a progressing adventure with a beginning, middle and climax. The only feel of growing action is tied to the gamer's knowledge of the movie (I am about to blow up the death star so I must be at the end), there is missing that certain feeling that you've played through a whole game and are at the end of it.
Graphics = 7
The graphics are colorful, sort of ugly and lacking in detail, though there is a consistency and a recognizable quality to the proceedings. By portraying all of the game's various action scenarios from an overhead perspective, they sort of give a feeling of smallness and detachment to everything that occurs, there is no feeling that the Millennium Falcon is any bigger than a speeder bike, for example, it seems to handle the same and appears to be the same size, as if the player is controlling the same ship just with a different coat of paint. In this way the graphics succeed in a sort of bizarre way, as if they successfully convince the gamer that they needed to make everything look similar in size and shape for gameplay purposes. Gamers will likely forget about the graphics and focus on the gameplay and in that sense they succeed at their purpose without showing off.
Sound = 9
The sound is probably a big part of the indescribable charm of this game. The music is nothing to swing a cat about but what really pulls the player into a different time and place is the bizarre, scattered use of authentic voices from the movie. By sucking, they add greatly to the charm of the package. Let me attempt to explain. At the beginning there are voices of an exchange between Luke and Leia that never took place in the movie, and yet it sounds very much like a garbled video-game version of Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, so to the Jedi fan they may do a double-take, and say "did they really bother to include voice acting to have them say a little somethin somethin that isn't even an authentic quote from the movie?" At the end of the speeder bike level, you stop and see C3po partying with the Ewoks and he says "we are now part of the tribe." That's great, but was it the speeder bike skills that earned them a spot in the tribe or was joining the tribe just a coincidental occurrence that C3Po is commenting on? Why not comment on the fact that the player just survived an uber-deadly speeder-bike ride, stupid C3po? It is never explained, and yet somehow the stupidity of it will go unnoticed by the arcade gamer as a strangely-consistent element of this whole charmingly-sucky, wonderful arcade-game experience.
PS on second thought, the music in a way is great... The game scores huge points for, after killing off the gamer, instantly playing the Ewoks' celebration music (remember, the original ewok celebration music that existed before george lucas did obscene and horrible things with star wars special edition aka stupid edition). This music is great and will put a smile on the gamer's face. Even though they probably just died in a gruesome and unfair way, it tricks the gamer into feeling a sense of accomplishment while they put in their high score.
Addictiveness 8 Depth = 4
This is very shallow, even for an arcade game. A skilled gamer can probably beat it in under 5 minutes and yet the experience is fast, fun and challenging. Simply trying not to crash is very addictive, partly because it seems so patently difficult. Hey kids pay a quarter, grab this steering wheel and watch your hero crash into a tree in the first ten seconds!! It's brilliant in its simplicity and it pulls you in!!
Story = 5
An epic fail to tell the story in any level of depth, though the bits of storytelling here and there shine in ways already mentioned.
Difficulty = 9
It's very tricky not to crash in this game, though it's far from impossible. I would have scored it higher than an 8 if it was a proper game, but for being so short and minigame like it needs punishing levels of challenge or it would not be a game at all! PS On second thought, the escape from the death star is intentionally unfairly difficult, the camera positions itself so you can't see the walls at all before they kill you! (the MF is positioned in the bottom-left of the screen, zooming to the bottom-left!!!!!) Programmers should not unfairly profit from their own stupid camera decisions. I am changing from a forgiving 8 to a punitive 9. Shame on you programmers!!!
Overall, I would rate this review as a 2 out of 5 tops. lol I do believe there is a certain charm to this game that I probably failed to put into words (though I award myself a forgiving 3.5/5 for effort), but if you don't believe me at least believe my more modest claim that this is a short action/arcade isometric shooter/ isometric "not-crash-attempter" of mediocre quality. Fans of the film and arcade-game timewasters alike...ENJOY!!
Return of The Jedi (c) 1984 Atari.
'Return of the Jedi' is a scrolling shoot-em-up based on the legendary movie of the same name and - unlike its vector-based prequel - is rendered in an isometric forced-perspective viewpoint, similar to that pioneered in Sega's 1982 classic, "Zaxxon".
The ultimate aim of the game is to reach and destroy the Death Star and escape alive. Success is achieved by surviving an 'attack wave', which consists of four different scenes. Play switches between Endor and space-based scenes, with each one putting the player in control of a different vehicle from the movie.
The scenes are based on three distinct locations taken from the original movie. They are: The forest moon of Endor, Attack on the Death Star and Space battle.
* SCENE 1: Speeder Bike chase on Endor as Princess Leia. The goal is to reach the Ewok village alive.
* SCENE 2: Scout Walker chase on Endor as Chewbacca. The goal is to reach the shield generator.
* SCENE 3: Millennium Falcon attack on Death Star as Lando. The goal is to reach and destroy the Death Star power reactor.
* SCENE 4: Millennium Falcon escape from exploding Death Star. The goal is to escape the exploding Death Star.
* SPLIT SCENE: Play switches between scenes 2 and 3.
The scenes loop for as long as the player has lives remaining; although to increase variety, the order in which they appear is randomised as play progresses. Each successive wave increases in difficulty.
- TECHNICAL -
This particular game was available as both a dedicated upright cabinet and a full scale sit-in cockpit. The cockpit cabinet was rather less widespread than the upright version. The marquee on the more common upright cab featured a 'Return of the Jedi' logo with red letters on a background of stars; with the Millennium Falcon and the Death Star clearly visible. The sideart only covered the top half of the machine. It was a montage of shots that was dominated by a picture of Princess Leia on a speeder bike and a large image of Darth Vader's head.
Game ID : 136030
Main CPU : M6502 (@ 2.5 Mhz), M6502 (@ 1.512 Mhz)
Sound Chips : (4x) POKEY (@ 1.512 Mhz), TMS5220 (@ 672 Khz)
Control : stick
Buttons : 3
- TRIVIA -
Released in September 1984.
Return of the Jedi was the second arcade game based on the 'Star Wars' movie franchise despite it being the THIRD film of the trilogy. This Atari title was actually released a full year before 'The Empire Strikes Back'. The films were released in the order; "Star Wars", "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi"; whereas the games were released as "Star Wars", "Return of the Jedi", and "The Empire Strikes Back".
This game is known in Japan as 'Jedi no Fukushuu' (translates from Japanese as 'Revenge of the Jedi').
Return of The Jedi was one of the first games to use a special graphics dithering method to make the graphics look visibly smoother.
This was one of the first Atari titles to modify all game options via a setup menu, rather than by using dip switches. Eighteen years later, the industry still hasn't fully converted over to being 'jumperless'.
All scenes are controlled with a flight yoke that is similar in design to the one used on the vector "Star Wars" game. This is usually the first thing to fail on any given machine. These can be rebuilt fairly easily though, but you may have to do a little bit of hacking to get them to work.
Overall 7.5 Graphics 7 Sound 9 Addictive 8 Story 5 Depth 4 Difficulty 8
7Solid Starwars arcade action with a certain JE NE SAIS QUOI !!!! bsnowotter
When I was on a fam vacation and I stood only yay high and we all went bowling, I saw this arcade g...
Graphics 7 Sound 9 Addictive 8 Story 5 Depth 4 Difficulty 8
Review Rating: 3.3/5
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- TIPS AND TRICKS -
* Hints :
1) Do not allow enemies to tail you too long. This is how they can destroy you.
2) Lead enemies to the top of the screen, then drop back quickly so you can destroy them.
3) The player must try to be the first through the EWOK traps in the forest of ENDOR.
4) By staying in the center of the screen, the player has more maneuverability.
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nysteve 06-11-14 - 07:09 PM
haha i agree this game is awesome ,this was one my favorite star wars games and the arcade game was even better with the controller that was perfect Jordanv78 02-17-14 - 09:53 AM
This game is so awesome. One of my favorite Arcade games as a child. Especially the cab where you rode "inside" those were always great as a kid. The perfect atmosphere.