Game Over Online ~ Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon

GameOver Game Reviews - Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon (c) THQ, Reviewed by - Lawrence Wong

Game & Publisher Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon (c) THQ
System Requirements Game Boy Advance
Overall Rating 39%
Date Published Tuesday, March 30th, 2004 at 06:38 PM

Divider Left By: Lawrence Wong Divider Right

One of the most recognizable symbols to come from the Star Wars franchise is undoubtedly the Millennium Falcon. Prone at the most inopportune times to fail (Hans Solo escaping Imperial Forces), it also participated in some of the most pivotal battles in the original trilogy, including Yavin, Endor and inside the Death Star itself. Contrary to what people might think, this is not the first Star Wars title to feature the Millennium Falcon. It was featured previously in the PC title X-Wing Alliance.

However, you have to give credit to Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon for bringing a visual sense of excitement to the Game Boy Advance. Unfortunately, that excitement lasts for a scant three minutes until you realize that something is horribly wrong with the overall product as a whole.

You see, you do get to pilot the Millennium Falcon and other spacecraft in an arcade behind-the-ship view. You engage an onslaught of TIE fighters so action is definitely not in want. The crux of the whole product is that's all you get to do. Most levels involve an inordinate amount of shooting. The shooting will go on and on long after there is any meaning left to it. And yet it will still continue.

Should you ever suffer an untimely demise, instead of taking you to the nearest objective you've achieved, you have to start the mission all over again. I'm unsure how designers who employ these types of techniques can get away with it. Obviously, they are trying to extend the longevity of the product through this artificial extension of the game. Kill fifty spacecraft when ten would have done the same job. These tactics do nothing but antagonize the player and I honestly believe it will just cause people to throw the game away in disgust.

The controls are also a tad strange. Your spacecraft has no concept of depth. You can't go faster and see your spacecraft get smaller on the screen. Whether it is the Falcon or X-Wing fighter, you're locked into shifting this 2D image around as 3D enemies swoop by you. It feels awkward, something like a poor version of the PC game Rebel Assault where a sprite was pasted over a running movie.

The fourteen missions included in Flight of the Falcon have some bearing on the movies. Like other franchise titles, they take some liberty with the storyline by creating some places that were only mentioned or hinted at or seem plausible in the movie only George Lucas didn't have time to film it. The gameplay, on the other hand, is not anything like the 'realistic' (well, as a real as something based on fictional property can get) Lawrence Holland titles. This isn't a simulation. The pace and mechanics are like the arcade games that started from Shadows of the Empire. You can't swing around and go backwards. It's a rail shooter.

Ultimately, Flight of the Falcon is a disappointment. Only the most patient and faithful will want to get through the entire game. Even then, I would recommend better titles like X-Wing Alliance, which actually lets you fight in the Battle of Endor with the Millennium Falcon. There are better choices out there, including watching the movies if you really want to rekindle the cinematic excitement. As for space shooting titles, there are also better choices out there for the Game Boy Advance. Flight of the Falcon certainly isn't one of them.


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