Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
Strategy Guide: LB Walkthrough and Strategy Guide
Lunabean Rating: 8.0
Release Date: 10.21.03
ESRB Rating: T - Teen
Official Site: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: Buy it now!
Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums
Online Play: No
If you've played any of the previous Rogue Squadron games you will recognize about 80% of this game: the wonderful flying you know and love. But, the other 20%, well, that's kind of like the disfigured monster that escaped from it's basement cell. It never should have been let out. That monster is the 3rd person action/adveture part of the game where you play on foot as either Luke, Han, or Leia. A great idea. However, it is very poorly executed. In fact, it's kind of laughable in the, "Ahh, Mrs. Johnson's third grade class sure did a great job on their video game programming projects," kind of way. Graphically, it's great. But, it's so glitchy and rough around the edges in terms of game play that it makes you scratch your head. A big problem is an unreliable auto targeting system which makes for some frustrating moments if you don't know the positions of each and every enemy on a level. Running is jerky and going where you want to go sometimes takes a lot of effort and jumping is awkward. This is most apparent in the Dagobah level where you are forced to hop on logs and double jump across a series of hovering boulders.
Enough of that bashing, though. This is a wonderful game. There is so much greatness wrapped up in the flying missions of this game that it easily makes up for the ill-conceived 3rd person missions. The graphics and flight mechanics are nearly perfect, the lighting is amazing, the missions are varied and challenging, and the classic ships are all there: X-Wing, A-Wing, B-Wing, Millennium Falcon, Slave I, etc. You also get to control classic ground vehicles like the AT-ST, AT-AT, and Speeder Bikes. On top of that, there is the incredible amount of extras and unlockables such as the '80s arcade games based on the Trilogy, a Cooperative mode which has you play through the entire "Rogue Sqaudron II: Rogue Leader" game with a friend (updated graphics, too). There is also a versus mode where you can dog fight and play several other one-on-one games.
Perhaps the best thing this game has going for it is the fact that it is based solely on the first Trilogy (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi). Those three movies definitely had a great vibe to them and this game picks up on that vibe. It was great fun to watch several minute clips of the various movies and then launch right into the heart of battle where there are dozens of TIEs on the screen or you're staring down an AT-AT or you're racing through the forests of Endor.
This is a definite buyer. If you can muck your way through the 3rd person missions you'll be rewarded with the most in-depth and addictive Star Wars flying experience to date.