• Review: "Star Wars: Republic Commando" for Nintendo Switch

    From Your Name@21:1/5 to All on Wed Apr 7 08:46:55 2021
    From ComingSoon.net ...

    Star Wars: Republic Commando Switch Review:
    Starts Fun But Falls Apart
    Rating: 6.5/10

    Trailer: (58secs)

    Over 15 years ago, LucasArts continued its expansion of the
    larger Star Wars universe with the Xbox and PC game title
    Republic Commando, an experiment of testing the tactical
    shooter formula in the sci-fi series and the initial result
    was great. Sure, its controls were a bit finicky at times
    and the sound design faltered under the franchise's rules,
    but its overall presentation proved to be a fun ride for 
    Star Wars fans, garnering a cult following in the years
    since and the titular group even being worked into the
    larger canon, which made the prospect of a port for the
    Nintendo Switch all the more enticing. Sadly, though, this
    port could've used a bit more time in the oven as it tends
    to fall apart as the game goes on.

    Players step into the shoes of Delta-38 aka Boss, the
    leader of an elite squad of Republic Commandos comprised of
    demolitions expert Scorch, hacker and technical expert Fixer
    and sniper Sev, as they are thrust into the chaos erupting
    throughout the galaxy on missions to infiltrate, dominate
    and annihilate the enemy in the Clone Wars. Traveling
    between Geonosis, Kashyyk and the derelict spacecraft 
    Prosecutor, the Delta Squad must battle a variety of
    enemies and follow Boss' orders to achieve victory.

    Upon booting up the game on both the handheld iteration of
    the console and dock connected to my television, I initially
    found myself quite impressed by the up-resed visuals, with
    the opening planet of Geonosis, the rest of my Delta Squad
    and the enemies all looking quite impressive still and the
    green blood splatters on the screen from the insectoid
    warriors of the planet being killed up close by my melee
    weapon and rapid fire rifle. The stages explored in both
    Kashyyk and the Prosecutor are still quite exciting to
    behold, although the rain element from the former and the
    larger groups of enemies in the latter makes for some
    horrific instances of frame drops.

    While the environments of the planet remained pretty much
    the same across the entire level, it's forgivable given its
    desert planet setting, but there was one thing introduced in
    the level that would carry over and mark a larger problem
    for the game: repetitive waves of enemies.

    Though the enemies certainly vary from stage to stage and
    some prove to be exciting to battle against as a fan of the
    franchise, namely the droidekas, the problem is the level
    progression essentially boiled down to being in one place
    and facing wave after wave after wave of similar or
    increasingly-tougher enemies and it's a rather dull formula.
    To make matters worse, given the game's short runtime,
    players will frequently come upon truly ridiculous
    difficulty spikes inserted in a (frustrating) effort to pad
    the hours put into the game. The fact that some enemies
    players can encounter back-to-back in a level will take two
    or more clips from the base DC-17 pulse rifle before going
    down and extra ammo being sparse for the rifle in certain
    zones will leave some wondering what the intended plan of
    attack were in the encounters or why Apsyr didn't elect to
    nerf the health and defense numbers for certain enemies.

    One element of gameplay that should've come in handy for
    these more difficult scenarios - keep in mind, I was only
    on medium difficulty - is the ability to command your squad
    mates to conduct certain tasks, but unfortunately this
    system appears to be broken in this port. Where players are
    supposed to hold down a button to bring up the list of
    commands for the team, holding down the button certainly
    shows them, but the D-Pad directions set to each directive
    doesn't work, leaving players to hope their cohorts are
    following behind and shooting down any enemies (which they
    do surprisingly well). Aside from this broken command
    system and a still finicky aim sensitivity, the controls
    overall do at least hold up, with the custom mapping
    option making it much easier for players to adjust to
    their more modern control schemes and making it relatively
    easy to move and shoot through the levels.

    While it features some of the franchise's iconic tracks
    and its own unique score, good weapon effects and great
    voice work, the sound design could've used a little
    refining. A number of lines of dialogue tend to run over
    each other, but even more distracting is the fact that the
    members of the titular group are voiced by different
    actors, despite the fact they're all clones of Jango Fett
    and original actor Temuera Morrison even voices a handful
    of characters in the game, including player character
    Boss. With the other expanded medias of the Star Wars 
    franchise, especially The Clone Wars, keeping the voice
    work consistent as one of two people for the clones and
    Morrison back in the fold with Disney+'s The Mandalorian 
    and The Book of Boba Fett, it seems a bit surprising and
    disappointing they didn't just bring him in to record the
    necessary lines, especially given the varied voice work was
    a complaint upon the game's original release for breaking
    lore rules.

    Whether stemming from my own nostalgia for the title or
    desire for a return to the classic LucasArts games days, 
    Star Wars: Republic Commando certainly isn't quite the
    awe-inspiring title I remember and while its excessive
    difficulty spikes and mildly finicky controls might not
    win any newcomers, it's sure to at least entertain fans
    desiring to bring this title with them on the go.


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