Xbox - Star Wars: Obi-Wan

Star Wars: Obi-Wan plays in the same mindless hack-n-slash vein as Jedi Power Battles, only with slightly better visuals and cooler Force powers. In fact, Obi-Wan boasts one of the best representations of the Force to ever grace a console - and having the freedom to toss enemies, disarm them, or hurl inanimate objects at them will inspire you to come up with creative ways to destroy them.

Swinging your lightsabre with the right analog stick is an innovative control scheme, and though it feels great, given the stick's pressure-sensitive nature it had more potential. Simple strafing would have been preferable to Obi's clumsy acrobatics, and the sloppy, inaccurate controls require too much work for a game so shallow.

Apart from some cool water effects, Obi-Wan's graphics are substandard. The models are blocky and the animation's rigid, while the texture mapping is some of the flattest to appear in any Xbox game. Crushing slowdown plagues action-heavy scenes, frequently turning the game into a Phantom Menace View-Master.

Lightsabre effects, blaster sounds, and everything else sampled from the films are obviously topnotch, while the sound effects recorded exclusively for Obi-Wan are negligible. The music is the usual assault of leitmotif strains culled directly from the scores of the "Star Wars" films.

If you enjoyed Jedi Power Battles, you might dig Obi-Wan since it does immerse you in the "Episode I" milieu despite its many shortcomings. Otherwise, let's hope that the impending swag of "Episode II" titles will contain deeper and more rewarding games.

Publisher: LucasArts Entertainment.

Developer: LucasArts Entertainment.

URL: www.lucasarts.com.

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