'Wars on the 'box
C-3PO: Oooooh, Star Wars Battlefront is less than a couple of months away.
R2-D2: [BLOOP] [BLEEP] [BLEEP]
C-3PO: A list of the best Xbox Star Wars games to mark the occasion, you say? With favourite features that the upcoming Battlefront could nab from each entry? Thats a great idea, Artoo, but Im not sure where to begin. That said, I do know humans take list articles very, very seriously, so best put some thought into it. What a strange race, indeed.
R2-D2: [BLEEP] [BLOOP] [BLEEP]
C-3PO: They said what about me in the comments? Well, I didnt say it was a definitive list, it is just my opinion after all.
R2-D2: [WHISTLES] [BLEEP]
C-3PO: Dont call me a mindless video games journalist, you overweight blob of grease!
C-3PO: Great, the silent treatment. Heres the sodding list anyway.
Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast
Ah, lightsabers. Theres nothing quite as entertaining as lightsabers: going head-on with Stormtroopers, deflecting bullets with timely swooshes and swings, and dancing past bodies in a blaze of hot, neon fury. Bliss. The first Xbox Star Wars game to find its stride, Outcast starts out slow, sans lightsabers, but gradually builds your character into a near indestructible, sourdough veteran fit to dispatch full armies at a time. Its successors would expand on almost all areas of its combat - such as fluent switching between first-person gun-toting and third-person sabering - but Outcast gave them a formidable platform to build from.
Battlefront should borrow: Making you wait for the coveted lightsaber.
Star Wars: Republic Commando
It seems fitting that Republic Commando is based on the Clone Wars, given that it bears a striking resemblance to FPS stalwarts Halo and Metroid Prime. Pulling the redeeming features from two classics whilst tossing some Star Wars narrative into the mix clearly aint a bad thing, though, and Republic Commando has the review scores to prove it. Not only did it boast superbly executed level structure for its time, Republic Commandos soundtrack sounded just as good on console as it did on the silver screen.
Battlefront should borrow: Music to make your ears pop.
Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - Ultimate Sith Edition
Like the name suggests, The Force Unleashed is about the cool stuff Jedis do. Expect saber combos and telekinesis galore as you take the reins of Darth Vaders awfully named secret apprentice, Starkiller. TFU includes love, loss, rolling storylines, spectacular cut scenes and lots of bits where a man tries quite hard to sound like James Earl Jones, with the Ultimate Edition doubling as a collectors pack with DLC bundled alongside new maps. Whats more, new levels offer a completely new ending to the original story. Oh! And although, as Yoda so wisely said, "wars not make one great", a shiny collectors box probably does. Sweet.
Battlefront should borrow: Cool metaphysical Jedi power stuff.
Star Wars: Battlefront I & II
If Jedi Outcast taught us nothing else, its to hate Stormtroopers. Which poses a bit of an issue as Battlefront makes you just that - a Stormtrooper. Awkward. That said, doing so makes for some pretty mindless - but more than entertaining - shooty bang play. This is less hero saving the world, and more "die! die! die!", but by placing you in the boots of the villain, Battlefront gets to relax, as its onus lies squarely on combat, and not an over-elaborate retelling of a story. Battlefront II also makes heroes playable characters, meaning you can play as Obi-Wan - enough said.
Battlefront should borrow: Well, you know, the game's entire outlook and structure.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Marrying one of the most successful movie licenses with one of the most successful toy companies in our galaxy was a pretty good idea, eh? Eschewing Star Wars more serious-leaning narrative, the Lego Star Wars series takes the films best known scenes and transforms them into charming set pieces, accentuated by adorable visuals. The Complete Saga combines both Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and its sequel Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Whats more, co-op is a blast and a host of unlockable items keeps achievement hunters happy.
Battlefront should borrow: Like the (good) movies, the sense not to take itself too seriously.
Kinect Star Wars
Did I mention theres nothing quite as entertaining as lightsabers? I think I did, which is why Kinect Star Wars might be one of the most overlooked Star Wars games on Xbox. Okay, bear with me. Although KSW follows a distinctly different tone to its siblings, theres something quite magical about prancing around your living room, pinballing off the coffee table and the sofa and the lamp as you figuratively wrestle with a powerful laser-powered weapon. The dancing segment of Kinect Star Wars, on the other hand? Well, the less said about that the better.
Battlefront should borrow: A serious, non-gimmick attempt at Kinect support.
Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Building on the foundations laid by Jedi Outcast, Jedi Academy starts you off with a lightsaber - an immediate indication that this game plans to make you work. And that it does, utilising a remarkably deep combat system which eventually behooves players to master dual and/or double-ended saber-work. Just when you thought Outcast had the lightsaber thing sorted, Jedi Academy steps up and blows it out the water. If this game must be remembered for one single redeeming feature: let it be landing fatal Stormtrooper blows by virtue of wall-runs. Theyre bloody awesome.
Battlefront should borrow: Wall-runs. Seriously, theyre bloody awesome.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
If youre going to tackle a Star Wars prequel you best make it good. Oh, hang on. Luckily enough, Knights of the Old Republic hits the spot with its take on the series set thousands of years before the lore of the films. With Bioware at the helm, and without the convoluted movie plot getting in the way, KotOR strikes an almost perfect balance between familiarity and the introduction of new ideas. As an RPG, KotOR is able to delve much deeper than other Star Wars games, prompting more sophisticated characters, storylines and relationships.
Battlefront should borrow: A desire to think outside the box.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 - The Sith Lords
How do you follow up a game crafted by a developer renowned for its complex and caring stories? Get Obsidian to make the sequel. The sun had barely set on the Sith (assuming you chose the light-side in the original KotOR, because otherwise youre a bastard) before the organisation was back for more. The first KotOR may have deviated from the beaten Star Wars path, but The Sith Lords is an excursion into uncharted territory, telling a far darker tale with nuance and distinction, making the universe feel like its unravelling right until the games end.
Battlefront should borrow: Intriguing, multi-faceted characters, and a sense of true darkness.