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View Full Version : Jedi Academy: A Final Review


Karn
09-25-2003, 02:45 AM
Well, the end of the first week since the release of Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (http://www.lucasarts.com/products/jediacademy/) is quickly approaching, and I feel compelled to write a review, for those who are either stuck in the ever fading past glory of Jedi Outcast (http://www.lucasarts.com/products/outcast/), unsure if they should invest money in a new game which so many have condemned to be a complete pile of eye candy, with moves designed to make the saber fighting more “pretty” than technical, and also for those who play the game, but can not seem to decide for themselves if the game is good or not.

Since the originally leaked beta that so many people pre judged as being nothing but a horrible new version of saber fighting, there has been a lot of trash and ridicule thrown towards Jedi Academy, even before the actual game was released. I myself am a dueler; I like to consider myself fairly skilled at it, although there is always someone to remind me of where I stand on the ladders, so naturally my main concern was the technicality behind the saber fighting. Questions like, will twin sabers be as controlled as the single blade? Or if the double saber would in fact have the wide range of moves and tactics that come with the single saber, because of its limitation with having another stream of light coming from the other end capable of slicing off random body parts if handled incorrectly.

My first few duels were a disaster, the handling seemed absolutely horrendous, and this little sideways jump move that people did with the double saber seemed to make me stare into the face of death every time this thing came at me. Naturally I was disappointed in the fact that their were moves added to this game which caused someone to essentially loose control of their character while it performs a sequence of spins and twirls designed to confuse and bewilder an unsuspecting enemy as the blades came towards them in a sporadic dance.

I like to try and find hope in everything, especially newer games, so I decided to work on beating these moves, and at the same time, learning them, and seeing if they can be controlled to a point where I can surprise my enemy. One hundred and seventy two duels, dozens of power duels, and quite a few siege games later, I believe I have analyzed the game enough to give some thought to paper.

First and foremost, the dueling is not as “spamtastic” as most people initially made it out to be. I spent most of my time on Jedi Server #1 (http://www.jediservers.com/), a member of the Bladeworks league network (http://www.bladeworks.net/), and coincidently, a member of the Low Pings for Me club. Most importantly, these are not the standard settings, the server has been changed by the Bladeworks crew to make it more similar to Jedi Outcast, and correcting many of the errors in the default settings. The settings are listed below, so others can try them out for themselves.

g_locationbaseddamage 0
d_saberBoxTraceSize "2"
d_saberGhoul2Collision "0"
d_saberAlwaysBoxTrace "0" (0 is default but not all servers use it)
g_forceRegenTime "160"
g_saberDamageScale ".5"

Although there are some irritating moves that will more than likely be fixed in the patches to come, they are really not as bad as my first impression dictates. Single saber fighting is quite similar to Jedi Outcast, parries are currently not working very well, and the blocking needs a little tweaking, but that will more than likely be fixed in patches to come.

When it comes to fighting staff and twin sabers, it did not really take me long to come up with methods of countering their moves, while I will admit, I still have a little trouble getting the twin saber patterns down. For the most part, the technical dueling that we have come to know and love is still there, it just has little changes that most Outcasters are not necessarily used to, but will eventually learn love.

I can’t help but go into this new game style known as a power duel. This seems to be designed specifically to boost the egos of skilled players (while not mentioning any names) and help "newbies" become a little more confident in themselves. Aside from the blaster folk who seems to enjoy pelting a dueler with multiple charged blaster shots, the power duels were quite enjoyable, and a good pair dueling team should be able to win with taking minimal to no damage. It definitely creates a new environment for duelers, and opens up many new opportunities for ladders.

The last game setting I want to touch up upon is Siege. Although there is absolutely no room for dueling on this setting, it is great to play simply unwind to for a little bit of time. There really is nothing like seeing a crowd of 20 people trying to break through a door with another 15 or so people on the walls firing large amounts of ammunition right back at them. Not to mention being able to get in and control the big AT-ST vehicles, speeders, and having Boba Fett fly with his jet pack. Yes, before you say it, I did play Planetside, but I’m not going to get into that atrocity. Simply to say, it is pretty enjoyable, the missions are realistic, and I see some really exciting clan warfare taking place in the future.

Looking through hind sight, most of the earlier judgment I think to be a little bit pre-mature. The dueling is different, but it is unique in its on way, and can also be exciting. For the casual duelist, fighting is enjoyable, great graphics, nice effects, and fun. For the more elite duelers, there is still the sense of technicality in saber fighting where two skilled fighters can make what seems like a mass of random swings into looking almost like a dance in itself.


Writen by Master Karn! (http://www.clanmaster.org)

Spider AL
09-25-2003, 02:54 AM
I like this review, it's thorough.

Though I don't agree with everything in it, you make some excellent points Karn.

Prime
09-25-2003, 03:03 AM
Now that is a first post :D

Karn
09-25-2003, 06:37 AM
:-)