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Star Wars Bounty Hunter (GameCube) artwork

Star Wars Bounty Hunter (GameCube) review


"Ah good ol' Star Wars. Of all the special characters in it's universe, many of us have been waiting for a game in which we play as the bounty hunter Boba Fett. And unfortunately....we still don't have it. But this game is the next best thing! It's Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, a game in which you take control of Jango Fett, Boba's daddy. "



Ah good ol' Star Wars. Of all the special characters in it's universe, many of us have been waiting for a game in which we play as the bounty hunter Boba Fett. And unfortunately....we still don't have it. But this game is the next best thing! It's Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, a game in which you take control of Jango Fett, Boba's daddy.

The story of the game takes place a few years after Episode 1. The evil Darth Sidious seems to think that a certain dark Jedi could spell doom for his plans to conquer the galaxy. So he sends his apprentice, Darth Tyrannus on a mission to recruit numerous Bounty Hunters from around the world to track down and kill this dark Jedi. And of course, Jango Fett receives this mission and is easily motivated to earn the promised 5 million credit bounty. Having to deal with the dark Jedi's gang of thugs, a rival bounty hunter, and a female changling you might've seen from Episode 2, Jango goes on a hunt. And the hunt...it's not that pleasant. I will say though that the storyline of the game is very well done. The cutscenes are so good that it could easily pass off as CG animated cartoon series or something because the camera cuts, the quality of the voice acting, and even the script are all worthy enough to be it's own episode. The story is awesome and if you don't like Jango...you might after playing this game. I sure appreciate him more.

But the unfortunate fact is, in order to see all these scenes, you'll have to play the game. And it's not exactly that great. You play as Jango and you go through a whole slew of different levels and planets, some you might know, some you might have never heard of. You blast your way through heavily fortified areas with plenty of trigger happy goons, traversing past bottomless pits and whatnot with your jetpack, and even capturing the odd Bounty here and there. Hey a guy's gotta make a living. But everything is just done so wrong and so badly that it becomes a tedious chore to do anything. The thing you'll notice right off the bat is how awful the level design is. It's like every single area in the game is a giant maze with puzzle elements that you need to work around with, and you find yourself backtracking way too much. Even when you walk around in "cities" the streets are all closed off by giants walls and you need to jetpack high to roofs just so you can get past and it really doesn't make sense. You get lost, you backtrack constantly, and in the end it's just really frustrating.

Jango's arsenal is pretty impressive I will admit. He's got all of the fun little gadgets that you see in the movie. He's got his two blasters, he's got a flamethrower, he can cut his way through metal passages, and you don't have to wait too long until he gets a jetpack too. And the best thing about these weapons? You don't get penalized for blasting away innocents. You're a bounty hunter, not a hero. So luckily if you wanna go running down the streets of Coruscant blasting the hell out of everything that moves, then by all means! Give in to the dark side.... uh where was I? Oh yeah the weapons. Anyhoo blasters don't have ammo, you can pick up thermal detonators to blow people up with, and the flamethrower recharges after you've used a certain amount. The one tool of Jango's I hate is the jetpack. Now I loved playing Shadow of the Empire for the N64 and I was always ticked off at the Jetpack because it always ran out of fuel and you couldn't fly forever. And it's the same deal here. I mean yeah you'd be able to fly to all of your destinations and some of the platforming elements would be non-existent. But it isn't fun! I'll fly a little bit....stop, wait to recharge. Fly, wait, recharge. This is boring. Bah. I just want a Jet Pack that stays in the air for a long time.

There are many enemies in Jango's path. Some carry blasters, some use melee weapons, some shoot deadly rockets that kill you pretty quick. While at first they aren't much of a problem, in the later levels they become extremely difficult. You'll find yourself being swarmed by over 5 or 10 enemies sometimes and their attacks are so overwhelming that it becomes ridiculous after awhile. And the worst part is that the targeting system just doesn't work. You can lock on to the closest guy next to you, but it proves to be useless when 5 or so keep running into you. You could be chased by 3 melee guys, but there's one blaster enemy on the roof. You'll never lock on that blaster guy and so you'll keep getting shot from who knows where, trying to avoid becoming shishkabob for these freaks running at you, and eventually you just get taken down. It's a very hard game in the later levels.

And it doesn't help that there are bounties to collect. In every level there are 10 or so bounties that Jango can choose to collect to earn some cash, and this cash doesn't actually affect your gameplay it just unlocks bonus content like videos and art and whatnot. So you don't have to. But nonetheless if you do, get ready for an exercise in frustration. In order to catch a bounty, you have to stop moving, put on this special helmet, scan everyone in the area, and if you see a bounty that you want alive, you need to switch your weapon to grappling rope and tie them up. Now this is awful. These bounties are enemies most of the time and enemies tend to shoot you! If you stop to scan people you will be shot to death! And you need to scan them before you tie them up otherwise it doesn't count for some reason! So what the hell?! How can I be intrigued to unlock bonus content if I'm just adding more difficulty to the already hard gameplay?

Graphically Bounty Hunter looks alright. Especially the FMV cutscenes which I already described earlier as very cinematic. Jango and his Mandalorian armor look as they should, the various different species looks great, and although each level is stupid maze that I wouldn't go through ever again, they do look "purdy" as my aunt would say. And audio wise it sounds like every single other Star Wars game ever made. Meaning, you get John Williams' brilliant score, you get the blaster noises and the alien sounds and what not from the movies like every other game of the series. Jango is brilliantly voiced by Temuera Morrison, the actor who portrays him in Episode 2. Zam Wesell, the female changling from Ep. 2 is also voiced by her respective actress and everyone in the cast does a great job. They are the only 2 from the movies, but everyone's a new character (save Sidious and Dooku) so it's all good. The game looks great, it sounds great, and the story is brilliant.

However this game is hard, and the levels are big messes that you hate to traverse through....and then it gets even worse. There are glitches galore to be found. On far too many an occasion I'd find myself falling through the floor and dying. At one point I got stuck in the wall and I had to restart because I couldn't get out! And when that happened that was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for me. With 6 levels left in the game I resorted to using cheat codes to see the rest of the story because the difficulty and the stupid jetpack platforming was just getting on my nerves. I played for a fair bit and it just bugged me after awhile. I gave it a chance, and it was just painful the whole way through.

IN THE END...
The story is great and if you love Star Wars or wanna know more about Jango...this is the game for you. And that's a shame because it's level design is horrible, it's difficulty is pretty rough, there are glitches galore and collecting bounties is not even doable. I'd rate it much lower if not for the story and it's presentation. Don't buy this game.

Rating: 4/10

ClementJ64's avatar
Community review by ClementJ64 (September 30, 2007)

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