GameCube
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Published by: LucasArts Developed by: LucasArts ESRB Rating: T for Teen For: Gamecube, PS2 Version reviewed: Gamecube

When you first see Boba Fett in The Empire Strikes Back, you probably had two questions. First off, \'That\'s some cool armor! Can I get some?\', and second, \'Who is this mysterious figure who is after Han Solo?\' Well, to answer the first question, the armor is called Mandalorian armor, and no, you can\'t buy any. The second question, however, is answered best with Star Wars Bounty Hunter. The game\'s story explores the creation of the Clone Army seen in the last half of Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and why bounty hunter Jango Fett, the person who was cloned, was chosen for the cloning.

Story

It all starts with Jango Fett on Tatooine, trying to hunt down a bounty named Meeko. The first few levels of the game, divided into chapters, take place here, chasing down Meeko. After catching Meeko, you are told that a bounty is in place for a former Jedi, leader of a mysterious group known as the Bando Gora. Soon, you are flying into Coruscant, center of the Old Republic, trying to find out anything you can about this group. It turns out that the group is involved in death stick production, and that the only person that can help you is in prison. It is soon revealed that the group is actually a cult of sorts, though nothing is ever revealed about the cult. The leader, it turns out, was captured, and turned to the Dark Side, quickly rising to the top of the Bando Gora. Now a bounty is posted for her by Darth Sidious and Count Dooku, in an effort to get a portion of \'the scum of the universe\' in the clones. You, as the player, know about this, but Fett does not.

Graphics

The in-game graphics could be better, but the cut scene graphics are absolutely gorgeous. This is because they are produced by Industrial Light & Magic, which does all of the special effects for the new Star Wars movies. Each character looks exactly like the movie counterpart, and there are great cinematic effects, like explosions rippling through a building, or Fett interrogating a Senator with cops holding Fett at gunpoint. The graphics here are absolutely beautiful, and it is a shame that more LucasArts games aren\'t like this. Some of the in-game animation is rather shoddy, but for the most part, both Fett\'s and the prisoner\'s moves look lifelike and realistic. Each enemy has a different face and a different way to move. Of course, there can only be so many unique faces, so the developers have wisely chosen to include one, and only one, of each race, unless they are human. This is especially evident in the prison stages, where there are alien and human prisoners, and human guards. Environments in the game are epic and impressive. Some places, like the Dug homeworld (what\'s a Dug, you ask? Well, remember the alien in Episode 1 name Sebulba? He\'s a Dug.), range from steamy jungles, to heavily populated cities, to towering cliffs and rocks. All of the environments in the game add up to the perfect blend of variety and excellent level design, resulting in some of the best levels seen yet in a Star Wars third person shooter, which is saying something, especially since most Star Wars games are either third person or flight sims.

Game Play

Oh man, is this game fun. Besides the facts that you fight hordes of evil classic Star Wars aliens, visit classic locales and planets, and learn about the origin of many things Star Wars and Fett through the excellently crafted story line, you also get to go to new places, such as the Dug homeworld, and meet new faces along the way. I guess I will just say it one way: Spider-Man ain\'t got nuthin\' on Fett. Jetpacking has never been this fun. Aside from the standard \'get to new heights using your jetpack\', now you can use it to help you dodge enemy attacks, prevent long, hard falls, and jump from building to building without fear of falling. The game is also, very typically, extremely difficult. What this boils down to is that you end up playing levels over and over, because you die at the same spot that you\'ve died for the last forty-something times, which can be very frustrating indeed. Unfortunately, the majority of the game consists of if-you-fail-try-try-again, and it ends up being one of the most well-made exercises in repetition that has ever graced the Star Wars license. Since the game is so hard, one would think that it is actually a puzzle platformer, or possibly something along the lines of Resident Evil game play wise. The truth is, the game is just a straight-up action game, with some strategic jumping thrown in. The enemies aren\'t even that hard to defeat: it is the quantities that are truly a test of your skills as a fighter. If Fett\'s dual blaster pistols are ever outmatched, it is because of the gratuitous number of enemies, making you really think about the title \'Attack of the Clones\'. hmm.

Sound

All of the voice acting is done by real actors, and it even features the guy who played Jango Fett in the movie as Jango Fett in the game. There are a couple of other actors that play different characters, like bounty hunter Mandross, but I can\'t remember their names at the moment. The fighting sounds generic, as is to be expected, and the sheer amount of ambient noise in a level is quite surprising. Overall, very good sound, especially since the LucasArts had such a big budget on this game.

Control

Really good, and pretty typical of LucasArts. As usual with their third person shooters, the A button is attack and action, and B is jump. You\'ll learn the rest through game play, but one of the most useful features with the game is the addition of targeting bounties. All you do is press the D-pad right or left, or even up, and you\'ll get the bounty identifier dealie. Read some of the bounties, but always mark \'em. Remember, part of the completion of the game is finding all the bounties in levels, and there can be quite a few.

Appropriateness

Is bounty hunting good? Is it bad? Should a Christian play a game based on a Star Wars character who hunts bounties? I really don\'t know. On the one hand, bounty hunting can be good, like if there is a fugitive on the loose who committed horrendous crimes. On the other, can one really take someone\'s freedom? I know police do that, but I mean without a badge, you know, like a bounty hunter does. Ever since I was a little kid, I though Boba Fett was so cool. I had a book called Star Wars: Tales of the Bounty Hunters, where multiple authors told the story of the different bounty hunters, like the assassin droid IG-88, or the Rodian Greedo, and, yes, even Boba Fett. There were interesting stories in this book, and I never stopped to question if it was moral or not. It was Star Wars. What did I care? But now I\'m a little older, and a little bolder, so I dare question the child inside of me when I say: is it moral? Well, now I think that it might actually be bad, but when you read what the bounties do in this game, everything from extortion to murder, and even beyond that, (it doesn\'t go into detail) I think that this is the scum of the universe, and I\'m taking out the trash. That\'s when I\'m playing the game. When I\'m not playing the game, I am thinking, is bounty hunting moral? Well, the game derives from the graphic novels in the Star Wars universe, quite like the Dark Horse comics that were really very popular in the \'90s. Since you are put in the seedy underbelly of the different planets of the Star Wars universe, then I would have to say, no, it is not moral, nor is it particularly good for a Christian to be playing it. This is really disappointing, given the fact that it is such a fun game, and it is also really well written. Jango Fett is not exactly the best guy. In fact, he\'s a bad guy, in all truth. Bounty Hunter not only makes you the bad guy, it makes you root for the bad guy, and that is not exactly good either. At least we are led to believe he is the bad guy (you\'re not exactly sure when you play the game). Fett murders a corrupt Senator, he breaks into a prison and steals a vehicle after his is destroyed (the Slave 1, mind you), and he hunts down the owner of a death stick factory with connections to the Bando Gora. I guess what Star Wars Bounty Hunter does best is reveal the darkness of the Star Wars universe; now I question, should we do anything with Star Wars?

Final Ratings

Appropriateness D Game play A- Graphics B Sound A Control A

Overall 79%

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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