Strong with the Force
Since DICE's Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is on its way, and more information about it sure to pop up at Star Wars Celebration, we've been quietly considering the legacy of Lucas and co.'s ultra-franchise on Xbox consoles. And, as ever, after the quiet consideration comes the loud trumpeting of Team OXM's thoughts on the matter. What follows are 25 important, shocking or just memorably weird moments from our pick of the Star Wars adaptations, as well as other Xbox games inspired by the franchise.
Beware: major plot spoilers throughout
KOTOR's big revelation (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)
When all of gamings plot twists are eventually drawn together by centrifugal attraction, the shocker that bubbles to the fore will be KOTOR's endgame reveal. If you'd been following the Jedi path, the discovery that your character is the brain-wiped husk of a genocidal Sith Lord threw all your actions into question. And if you were at one with the Dark Side, it felt like the best surprise birthday party ever. *evil party popper*
Force-fuelled dogfighting (Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter)
How do the Sith throw thunderbolts around? According to our inquiries, the source is a bag of angry cats each Sith keeps hidden about their person, generating a supply of static electricity. Whatever the explanation, it comes in handy during duels and space combat. In 2002's Jedi Starfighter, you can project it from your ship to frazzle anything that escapes your crosshairs. Those cats deserve RAF service medals.
Darth Vader joins Soulcalibur (Soulcalibur IV)
Originally exclusive to the PS3 version of the game, the artist formerly known as Anakin Skywalker was made available as DLC for Xbox 360 users. And a good thing too: Xbox 360's own exclusive Star Wars character, Yoda, was a bit of a letdown, thanks to his short reach and turgid evasion. As avid practitioners of the Dark Side, we heartily endorse Vader's habit of collaring downed foes with the Force and hurling them about.
Aerial action at the Academy (Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy)
While not the best Star Wars game, this 2003 LucasArts effort is easily the most well-rounded Jedi duelling sim. Picking a standout from its arsenal of lightsaber stances, acrobatic moves and powers feels like kicking a football into the Death Star's exhaust pipe from Alderaan. Still, the arching flip attack, where you deliver a strike to the opponents head while upside down, seems most worthy of celebration.
Frost Troll's dinner (The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim)
There are more dead bodies in Skyrim than there are elevators on Bespin. Among them is a mouldy chunk of skeleton affixed by its feet to the ceiling of a cave, not far from a suspiciously sleek Frost Troll. A sword lies in the snow directly beneath, just out of reach. Remember that bit on Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, when Luke narrowly avoids becoming a Wampa's breakfast? This is what happens if you don't practice your Force Pulling, guys.
The battle over Coruscant (Star Wars: Battlefront II)
The Battlefront series has a tortuous history, rife with studio closures and cancellations. But let's think of the good times. Let's remember clambering into a primordial X-Wing during a hellish scrap above the surface of Coruscant. Let's relive the thrill of swooping from the hangar bay to shred proto-TIE Fighters. Let's recall how we stole aboard a dreadnought and lit the beast up with thermal detonators.
The Havok unleashed (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed)
Say what you like about this much-touted 2008 franchise refresh, but it does indeed unleash the Force to full and satisfying effect. As Darth Vader's secret apprentice Starkiller, you're loaded down with ways to misuse the Havok physics engine, and there are none of the usual moral caveats. Wookiees giving you aggro? Seize one with Force Grip, cackle as he grabs at a friends arm, then fling them both into a tree. Problem solved.
Darth Maul's Pro Skater 3 (Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3)
The temptations of the Dark Side of the Force can be difficult to resist. So much power and, more importantly, so much style. For example: did you know that any halfway-talented Sith Lord can pull off a BS tailslide followed by a pop shove-it, build to a saber spin and culminate with a 360 heelflip? Thankfully, Neversoft was alive to this particular aspect of Dark Side training and celebrated it in a Tony Hawk game.
"I don't like you either" (Mass Effect 3: Citadel)
While engaging in a banterific bout of heavy drinking with (potential old flame) Ashley, you'll be set upon by prancing tough guys in clumsy mimicry of Luke Skywalkers first visit to Mos Eisley's bar. This one sticks in the mind by virtue of implausibility. Its fair enough that offworld yahoos would try to rough up Luke at that point, he's just some country boy with crap hair. But Shepard? What were they thinking?
Han Solo's mercenary ride (Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction)
Every band of galaxy-saving adventurers needs a shady type like Han Solo. Nonetheless, we find the idea of the Millennium Falcon's captain dropping bunker-busters on airfields then letting rip with an M16 a mite hard to swallow. A Solo character skin is hidden away in Mercenaries - it doesn't alter the experience but it does prove that, whatever George Lucas may claim, Han is the kind to shoot first.