Gettin’ Jango With It

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
Gameplay
graphics
audio
value
fun
Genre
Reviewed On
PlayStation 2
Available For
Difficulty
Intermediate
Publisher(s)
Developer(s)
ESRB
ESRB
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More Star Wars fodder is offered up for those die-hard fans. Up until now any game with "Star Wars: the something, something" (insert as applicable here) was left with the bitter taste of disappointment. But this time Lucas Arts actually realized that Boba Fett was every Star Wars nerd’s favorite character and came up with the next best thing; a game featuring Jango, father of Boba.

We never really wanted to play Obi Wan and we definitely don’t want to be Anakin, but playing a Fett, now there’s a prospect. Here’s a game that offers us the opportunity to play the Star Wars equivalent of Clint Eastwood – he’s hard ass, got the coolest armor and a jet-pack, what more could we want!?

It all starts pretty well, when you blast your way out of an arena and run for a tunnel. Jango then cuts through a grill with one of his weapons and gives it a sharp kick with his boot. At which point, you turn to your mate and go, "Cool!" Unfortunately, this is one of the only really pleasing moments in the game and after cutting through a multitude of grills it isn’t enough to sustain enthusiasm.

Yes, folks, once again we are propelled into an uninspiring, orange, misty Star Wars universe. Only this time you play Jango Fett and it’s time to go bounty hunting.

First mission has you hunting down some guy, who’s obviously real bad. After blasting your way out of the arena at the beginning, it’s time to shoot some bad guys. Well I think they were bad guys, all the characters are pretty indiscernible.

Fortunately, for Jango he has a bounty scanning device. When selected aim it at any of the characters and it reveals whether an individual has a bounty on their head or whether they are just an unsuspecting passer-by with guns. If they do turn out to be bounties you can take them dead or alive, but you get more points for a live one.

Fortunately, for Jango he has his trusty lasso. This way we can forego wrestling live bounties to the ground. It’s all just a question of screening a band of goons to check for bounties, scrolling through your arsenal of accessories for the lasso and getting your guy. All whilst they are shooting you of course.

This is when I come to the practical side of things. There really is nothing better than having to scroll through countless menus for stuff, in the middle of bounty hunting skirmishes. It’s all a bit, "Now where did I put that blasted lasso? I’ve got too many pockets, that’s my problem." No Lucas Arts, it doesn’t add anything to the heat of battle. All that happens is you shrug your shoulders and kill everything in sight – bounty shmounty.

To say that lassoing and bagging a bounty is convoluted, is a prime illustration of my mastery of understatement. First you have to scan for bounty. Then you have to press "A" whilst in scan mode to tag the bounty. Come out of scan, go into lasso. Lasso the blighter and walk up to the bounty before he frees himself, mind you, and starts shooting at you again. Press "Y" and claim him to find out how much he’s worth. Are a couple of thousand Republican credits really worth all that rigmarole? I think not.

The bounty hunting is entirely superfluous to the main objectives and just adds an extra element for the purists amongst us. This leaves you with a fairly average action adventure of the go there, do that, now go here and find this guy, variety.

The lack luster gameplay isn’t helped by the poor level design. Labyrinthine streets and tunnels, made up of bland textures make for a boring, confusing gaming environment.

Okay, so you do find a jet-pack pretty early on in the game and the twin pistols are there for the Jango feel, as well as plenty of accessories, but it’s just not enough to redeem the latest in a long line of sub-standard Star Wars games out to dupe witless Star Wars fans. The jetpack itself has limited fuel, though it regenerates itself quickly. The end result is that the jetpack is really just and excuse to add much bigger jumping puzzles into the game like trying to get across a bottomless pit in a maze of conveyor belts.

Shame on you Mr. Lucas, you’ve been taken over by the dark side and as a result, Bounty Hunter gets a paltry 2.5 gems.

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