George Lucas' Star Wars universe has always been known for its big things (miles-long spaceships, moon-size bat-testation's, thegalaxy-spanning Force, etc.). Likewise, the Nintendo 64 is quickly earning a reputation for big things, too (pick any level from, then try to explore fever inch of it).
Now the L galaxy and the game system have come together-in the form of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. The result is H a game that.well.
It sure isn't tiny.Shadows of the Empire is an epic game experience, much more so than any previous console Star Wars title. Shadows is made up of10 levels-some of them flying stages, most of them Doomlike. First-person ones. While 10 levels may not sound like many, each stageis broken down into separate challenges. And each stage-in true Star spirit-is huge.For instance. Level One puts players in the cockpit of a snow speeder during the battle over Hot.
The stage starts out simple enough:Players only have to swoop low and blow away a few measly probe droids. Once that mini-mission is accomplished, however, theyhave to destroy a set number of probe droids and the chicken-like scout walkers.
Then they have to destroy droids, scout walkersand AT-ATs. By the time the level is finally beaten, players will have scattered a few thousand tons of Imperial scrap metal over Hot'sicy wastes.Level Four is equally lengthy. This first-person stage starts with players riding atop a speeding hovertrain, ducking under overhangsand leaping from car to car. But it ends in a huge scrap warehouse, where the player has to scramble over mounds of junk to escapethe droid bounty hunter IG-88.Control in Shadows is especially good. During flight stages, the snowspeeder (and later, the spacecraft) handle much like thevehicles in. Thanks to the N64's analog controller.
But control in the Doom(/games/doom-64/)-inspired stages is state-of-the-art-at least for the first-person genre. The player's character can jump, duck, strafe and look upand down. Players can also control their character's running speed by varying the pressure they apply to the analog stick.Shadows' graphics are, of course, top-notch-all anti-aliased and detailed and looking straight out of the Star Wars universe.
But it isthe game's music and sound effects that will probably surprise gamers. The soundtrack sounds too good to be packed in a cartridge(even a 12 Megabyte one like Shadows). Simply put, the game's tunes are almost CD perfect. For instance, the music for LevelThree-in which players battle through an asteroid field-is nearly identical to the score from the asteroid-belt scene in The EmpireStrikes Back.The sound effects, too, are true to the trilogy. Laser blasts ring out with the familiar PA-ZAPl The metallic slam of AT-AT fire hitting thesnowspeed-er's canopy is bone-jarring. And even the probe droids' odd-sounding radio chatter has been digitized from The EmpireStrikes Back.Vet the game's movie feel is helped by more than just the spectacular graphics and sound effects.
Shadows is being developed byLucasArts, the interactive-entertainment branch of the company George Lucas built (when lie wasn't building the Star Wars universe.You better believe the game's developers know Star (Wire, and consequently, Shadows is packed with tons of little extras that makeit fit the feel of the films. For instance, the snow troopers in Echo base stand with the same bent-leg stance they hold in The EmpireStrikes Back. When the player's snow speeder banks and slows, the trademark airbrakes can be seen extending above and belowthe craft.
Even the barked orders of storm troopers have that amplified mechanical sound the armor-clad soldiers are famous for.Simply put, Shadows is filled with Star Wars authenticity.Theses little touches help the game bring the Star Wars flicks to life, which is strange, considering that Shadows isn't based on any ofthe three films. Instead, it's loosely based on the Shadows of the Empire novel, which is set between the events depicted in TheEmpire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The novel, incidentally, sits at the center of a multimedia marketing campaign that alsoincludes action figures, comic books and even a soundtrack (some of the tunes from which can be heard in the game).Shadows follows the adventures of Dash Rendar-a roguish smuggler and one of the novel's peripheral characters-who is hired byPrincess Leia to protect Luke Skywalker. A tough, would-be Jedi-like Luke needs a bodyguard?It turns out that the Dark Prince Xizor, leader of the galaxy's largest criminal organization, wants Luke dead. Xizor is one of theEmperor's top cronies, and he figures Luke's death would disgrace Darth Vader.
John thompson curso moderno para el piano pdf. After all, the Emperor ordered Vader to capture Lukealive. With Luke dead, Xizor figures Vader will be banished from the Emperor's side. Xizor would then get in tight with the Emperorand become the second most powerful dude in the galaxy.
The prince's little powerplay can only mean bad things for Luke-and Dash,since he must protect the Jedi-in-training.So players spend the game as Dash, starting out on Hoth and ending in a space battle against Xizor's massive space station, theSkyhook. Along the way.
Dash will drive a swoop bike down Beggar's Canyon on Tatooine, slosh through the sewers under ImperialCity and cruise the galaxy in his decked-out ship, the Outrider. As the game's story unfolds, players will see familiar faces from thetrilogy such as Han, Luke,Leia, Chewie-even the notorious Boba Fett. These characters pop up both during the game itself and in the cinemas that playbetween stages.Even after they beat the game, players will want to jump into Shadows again.
Each level holds hidden Challenge Points, which areshaped like Rebel Alliance symbols. Some Challenge Points aren't too challenging to find-they're simply stashed away in secret rooms.Others, like the ones players get for downing AT-ATs with tow cables, are much more difficult. Players earn an extra life if they collectall the points in each level.Although LucasArts is done developing Shadows, Nintendo isn't releasing the game until Dec. This delay is part of Nintendo'sstrategy to stagger the release dates of games that were once thought to be launch titles, such as WaveRace 64 (now coming outNov. 4) and (which will hit stores on Nov. 25).The wait for new games may mean N64 owners will have more time to beat Mario 64, but many gamers are no doubt all geared up totake a 64-Bit leap into the Star Wars universe.
GAMER'S EDGEThe Hovertrain Level-Level Four-is the hardest stage by far. So here's a little tip to help make the going easier.To progress through the stage, Dash has to leap from car to car (a feat made all the money difficult by the guard droids and otherenemies that take pot shots at him from neighboring cars and overhangs).When jumping co a car ahead of you. Don't leap when you're approaching a curve in the train tracks.
Since the cars follow thetracks, the car ahead of you wife swing out of the way as you leap, thus causing Dash to miss (and in a broken heap). Instead,make sure the track is straight as far as the eye can see when you leap onto a new car. The Force is with us once again. LucasArts and Nintendo have completed Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, and this highly touted early release for the N64 features many of the elements that made the Star Wars film trilogy a success-a classic tale of good versus evil, primo sci-fi hardware, weird aliens, and mucho laser blasts. And it presents all this with a stylized charm and sharp, cutting-edge graphics.However, Shadows is not for everyone. Familiar gameplay, which mostly involves chasing polygonal henchmen and shooting them down (a la Doom, Duke, Quake, et al.), abounds in this game.
This is definitely a Star Wars fan's dream come true, but action/adventure fans not enamored with the Star Wars film universe will find Shadows shadowy.The 11 levels of Shadows fall into three main categories: flying vehicles, shooting on the run, and shooting while flying. The opening level is a knockout as you begin where the movie The Empire Strikes Back began: on the familiar snow-white terrain of the ice planet Hoth. Imperial Walkers threaten the Rebel defenses, so you pilot a snowspeeder and shoot at AT-STs, AT-ATs, and Probe Droids. As in the movie, you also have to take down the elephantine Walkers by launching tow cables and entangling their feet. It's as impressive and exciting as the cinematic battle for Hoth.Next you control Dash Ren-dar, a mercenary who, on the orders of Princess Leia, is supposed to be guarding Luke Sky-walker. You walk, run, and jump Doom-style through corridors, blasting Stormtroopers and other Empire heavies while fulfilling mission objectives like detonating Empire strongholds.
You pick up different weapons and helpful items, like Boba Fett's rocket pack, but most of the time you're busy blasting Vader's boys.There is some variety-you swing a Swoop bike (a Harley for mercenaries) through Mos Eisley, you blast TIE fighters and TIE bombers while avoiding asteroids, and you hop along railroad boxcars through a desolate junkyard with some very familiar junk (like abandoned spacecraft from the trilogy movies) lying around. But for the most part, it's shoot first, think later. I am one of the biggest Star Wars fanatics around. Shadows is a solid performer with dazzling good looks, but not the breakthrough superstar the buzz might have led you to expect.
Then again, aspiring Jedis will enjoy feeding their jones with Shadows of the Empire. ProTips:.
When riding the tain, switch to the behind-the-person view tor Dash. Use your missiles on large groups of fighters, and on the single fighters ship to ship. Only Seeker missiles can take out the Wampas.
You can also sit back and watch them fight each other. As in the asteroid field, use the missiles on clusters of fighters. Don't let them get behind you.
Switch views so you can track their progress all around the ship. The Red Guards are the toughest to kill.
Use the Laser to stun them, then hit them with Seekers. You can also keep shooting them at point-blank range with the laser. Use Seeker missiles on IC-88 bounty hunters. It's the only way to take them down from double-tiered areas iff the palace. Loop around the Walkers and release the tow cables as you shoot at their ankles. Keep pressing the tow cable button, because you can fire it as many times as you want to hit the sweet spot.GraphicsThe crisp polygons are sometimes obscured by murky fog effects.
However, there are plenty of familiar, well-rendered Star Wars foes such as Stormtroopers, Wampa monsters, and Probe Droids. SoundFully orchestrated music, some of which is sampled directly from the Star Wars movies, follows you wherever you go. Even in the murky sewer areas, the moody music heightens the tension. ControlEffortless shooting is tempered by sometimes imprecise walking and jumping controls. Turning corners on ledges is especially tricky, as is making chasm jumps. Fun FactorIt must be reiterated-if you're a fan of the Star Wars films, this game is for you. Others may want to reserve their N64 money for other titles.
Jedi ChallengeShadows will dish out top-end challenge. The game will consist of 10 locations, which in turn contain several stages each.
Although completing the game will require linear progression through the levels, there are multiple pathways through the game. Also, every stage has Challenge Points, which are hidden areas or pathways that test your skills and reward you with power-ups and special items if you successfully complete them. Dash to The RescueShadows will be a straightforward action/adventure game that packs a galaxy of gameplay. You'll fly a snowspeeder against Imperial forces on Hoth, then fight a blaster battle on foot with Stormtroopers at Echo Base. Later, you'll race on a swoop bike against a gang of assassins, Shadows even places you in a shooter-style dogfight as you blast TIE fighters and TIE bombers from the gun port of your ship, the Outrider. Star WarsThe preview cart's graphics were a knockout!
The Star Wars universe was beautifully rendered, and obviously LucasArts ensures that fans will find familiar characters, vehicles, and situations. You can switch among behind-the-vehide, behind-the-character, and first-person views. The Shadows StoryShadows picks up the Star Wars saga immediately following the movie, The Empire Strikes Back Bobba Fett is taking Han (encased in car-bonite) to Jabba the Hutt.
Lando, and Chew-bacca are hot on Fett's trail. Luke is oft perfecting his Jedi skills.Dash Rendar.
A mercenary and smuggler, is on a secret mission to protect Luke Skywalker from bounty hunters employed by the evil Prince Xizor, who seeks to wrest control of the Empire from the Emperor and Lord Darth Vader. The N64 game 'shadows' the 'Shadows of the Empire' novel and the Dark Horse comic book by featuring the basic situations and most of the characters, but it won't follow the exact same story line. One of the most eagerly awaited games of the year is Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, a LucasArts game coming exclusively to the Nintendo 64.
The most exciting facet of the game is its plot: Shadows delivers a fully developed story line that fits snugly into the chronology of the three original Star Wars movies. Return of the StoryIt's the placement of the Shad ows story that's unusual. Rather than being tacked onto the end of the trilogy, the Shadows plot bridges the second installment (The Empire Strikes Back) and the denouement (Return of the Jedi).Thus, in Shadows Darth Vader is still the Emperor's right-hand man, Han Solo is still a frozen wall ornament, and Luke and Leia still don't know they're related. Other familiar Star Wars names in the new plot include Chew-bacca, Lando Calrissian, the bounty hunter Boba Fett, the Millennium Falcon, Hoth, and Mos Eisley. For Lucas fans, playing Shadows will be like going home.to a galaxy far, far away. New TerritoryThe 12-level Shadows story describes a power struggle between the Emperor's number-two henchman, Darth Vader, and a powerful new character, the Dark Underlord Xizor (pronounced 'she-zore'). The green-skinned Xizor is a ruthless crime lord who wants to assassinate Luke Skywalker and usurp Vader's power.
Vader still wants to find his son, Luke, and so, in a flashback to The Empire Strikes Back, he sends the Imperial Starfleet on a search to Hoth. Shadows of the Empire opens with AT AT walkers confronting Rebel Snowspeeders over icy fields. A run-n-gun shootout inside Echo Base and a dogfight with TIE Fighters in an asteroid field ensue.The story then moves to the Imperial City, an imposing place where Vader and Xizor have palaces. Despite a flight through Smuggler's Gorge and a fight inside a spaceport, the Rebels are unable to keep the bounty hunter Boba Fett from escaping to Tatooine with the carbomte-frozen Han.
Gather No MosMos Eisley is the setting for subsequent shooter action and the disclosure of Xizor's sinister intentions. More run-n-gun action leads to a hidden fortress in the Imperial City where Leia is being held captive.
When Xizor dashes off in a shuttle, Darth and his armada of TIE Fighters fly in to kill him, joined by Rebel fighters in a wild aerial melee. Ultimately, Luke and Leia's search for Han continues in Return of the Jedi. What's the best way to sell a new game system? Use a well-known license to develop games. And if you haven't heard of Star Wars, then you probably haven't heard of video games.Shadows of the Empire, which takes place between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, looks like it should push the N64's hardware and provide solid, multifaceted gameplay. With levels that vary from outer-space flying to Doom-style shooting and featuring appearances by Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, and Darth Vader, Shadows looks like the perfect game for SW freaks and video game junkies.
The Empire is primed to strike back in dramatic fashion. You'll spearhead the Rebel Alliance's forces by flying several types of Star Wars spacecraft from cock pit and outside-the-ship views. Early demos featured the snow-speeders, but expect to fly X-j wings and speeder bikes, too.The story is set in between the movies The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Of course, the evil Emperor's forces will feature classic Empire hardware like the Imperial Walkers.It's not yet clear how much of a participant Darth Vader will be. But rest assured that the Dark Side of the Force will be in full fury.
I know what some of you are thinking: I gave this one a 9.0 just because it deals with Star Wars. Actually, if anything, that would make me review it more closely. Shadows is the coolest Star Wars game I've ever played.
It's better than anything on the consoles or on the PC. The graphics are incredible with few polygonal flaws. The music is the best I've heard on the N64 thus far.
It's great that there are different types of levels. It's not Just all one genre. There's -lsh levels, flying levels and racing levels-It's like several games in one. Plus, each of the different level's control i is as great as the other. A deal even for $70 or $80. I find myself applauding the variety put into Smote, but at tile same time, the only level In the game that I truly enjoyed was the Snow Speeder Stage (the gem of this cart).
All of the-if you Will-Doom levels really bored me. They didn't offer anything that I haven't experienced before, and the fog shading was poured on a tad thick. I was mildly entertained in the Asteroid and Skyhook areas, but I found myself only wanting to refight the snowy Battle of Hot. Fans of the movies should check this game out; the prevalent Star Wars theme masks much of the game's shortcomings. Wars fans need not apply.
Shadows tries to be several games in one-a first-person shooter, a flight-combat game, a driving game-and it does a pretty good job at pulling off each style of play. Of course, some levels are better than others. The first stage, which has you piloting a snow speeder over Hoth, is outstanding and looks like it's straight from the movie. The first-person stages, however, are less Impressive. They're plenty long (one takes more than an hour to complete), but they hold few puzzles and can get a little lean on action sometimes. The hovertraln level, on the other hand, Is revolutionary. Shadows' music and sound effects are also superb.
After all the hoopla surrounding Shadows, I was expecting a lot more than what was presented here. Essentially what you get is a poor first-person shooter on top of an awesome Hoth battle sequence. Let's just say the first four stages (very short) are to die for. After that, you get a mish-mosh of first-person, racing and skeet shooting. Probably the most irritating thing about the first-person portion is the horrid control.
Dash Rendar is a clumsy beast, for sure. He doesn't side-step, his boots need traction and other than the Doom-style view, the views are blocked by Dash's body. Too bad this happens in over half the game. With the home movie release of the Star Wars Trilogy, Nintendo thought it proper to give U64 users the chance to climb into the cockpit of the Snow Speeder and defend the rebel base from the Imperial Walkers. Battling in an arctic setting, you and your comrades are battling against not only the AT-ATs, but also the Scout Walkers and possibly even the Probots.As with most of the Nintendo titles, not much of the game is being shown so early in its development, so everyone will just have to wait and see until Nintendo releases more info on these titles.
Be sure not to miss this Star Wars release, because Nintendo has the exclusive rights to have this one solely appear on the Ultra 64. In other words, don't plan on seeing it available on any other system. Battle against Imperial forces invading the Rebel base on the frozen planet, Hoth. Star Wars Shadow of the Empire has you flying against AT-ATs and Scout Walkers using the supplied weaponry in your Snow Speeder.
This title looks to be more of a flight simulator as seen in the computer release, X-Wing, but appears to have more action allowing you to get a real feel for the smooth flight and incredible action as a Snow Speeder pilot. Star Wars fanatics should not miss out on this one, because its graphics and play appear to be outstanding. Stage 1The usual Imperial tactic for ground attack is to deploy a group of four Probe Droids in advance of the major land forces. An air-braked Snow Speeder sweep parallel to our emplacements can take these out quickly in a ‘one, two, turn, three and four' formation. Stage 2The Imperial's initial strike force consists of two AT-ST walkers supported by four Probe Droids.Rebel intelligence has discovered a weakness in this formation. AT-STs have only a 180° line of fire.
Thus, by flying to the edge of the engagement area and flying air-braked up behind the Walkers, Snow Speeders can be immune from their fire. As you approach the' Walker, pull out of your run and turn back before flying past (and thus into the line of fire of the Walker's cannon fire). Three slow approaches on each Walker should be enough to take it out.
Pick off the Probe Droids as previously described. Stage 3The second wave of Imperial attack will consist of four Probe Droids and two AT-STs flanking an AT-AT Walker. Approach this formation with caution. Survey the enemy layout and skirt the battlefield until your Snow Speeder is behind the Imperial direction of attack.
Take out the AT-STs as described previously. Now engage the AT-AT from behind. Fly in quickly, and, once close, engage the air brake and keep it held.
When your computer gives you the go-ahead, launch your harpoon and be ready to pilot your craft from the remote position. To trip an AT-AT, you'll have to circle it about four times. To circle clockwise, the joystick should be held diagonal down right, returning to the central neutral position to fly straight along the longer sides of the Walker. Tripping the AT-AT will gain pilots a Challenge Point. Beware: i harpoons are limited on every level other than Easy.Mop up the battlefield by picking off the remaining Probe Droids as previously described. Stage 4The final wave of Imperial attack will consist of three AT-STs and four Probe Droids supporting two AT-AT Walkers.
Approach this battle as before, locating the rear of the battleground and concentrating initially on the AT-STs. A Challenge Point is awarded for each AT-AT successfully harpooned and tripped.
From the breath-taking opening battle of Hoth, with your powering Snowspeeder whipping between the legs of AT-AT walkers, buffetted by Imperial fire, Shadows of the Empire appears almost revelatory in its aesthetic glory. Make no mistake, this is a game designed to 'wow' a generation with its sizzling visuals.LucasArts has wisely rejected - the sim pretensions of X-Wing and TIE-Fighter in favour of a distinctly Nintendo-esque experience designed for the young at heart. This is no kiddies adventure though, and like Mario 64, the term 'interactive movie' is equally applicable. Although Shadows Of The Empire is unquestionably flawed in comparison to the 64's truest killer app, its ambitious and frequently stunning glories ensure its status as a genuine next generation game, and unquestionably the most satisfying and ambitious tie-in ever delivered.This is the closest you'll get to living and breathing the atmosphere of Star Wars, so much so that it's akin to sitting back on a theme park movie ride, except in Shadows, you're not on rails, but in a war zone. Before you've even adjusted to the sledgehammer ferocity of the Hoth battle,cut-away animated comic strips flash the unrolling narrative and push you into the next chapter.
Shadows greatest trick is to never let you catch up. Size MattersThe camera rushes through an ice encrusted hanger scattered with snowspeeders, and you receive your introduction to alter-ego Dash Rendar.Brown and blue fatigues clad your character who stands, edging from side to side with blaster drawn.Flick through the variety of cam modes and you can admire the detail of your next generation, texture mapped hero, sculpted down to the stubble on his face. Crouch and he'll fall to the ground, extend his blaster hand and track as you use the Z-button to scan the surroundings. Pull back to the pre-set view, following Rendar from slightly behind, nudge forward on the analogue stick he'll start walking through the smooth scrolling Rebel hanger.Hearing activity ahead, you push the stick harder and Rendar starts sprinting, drawing a bead as you move towards an Imperial welcoming committee.
Ignoring their calls to halt, you let off a few burst of your blaster and watch the snowtroopers crumple to the floor in a way no other games machine could re-create.Turn into another hangar and the Millennium Falcon lifts slowly into the air, its engine glowing, but as you run to catch up, the engine roars and it accelerates over head, vanishing into the distance. The enormous sense of depth and high detail of objects at far distances exemplifying the N64's superior aliasing and mip-mapping -there's not a rough edge in the game -and close up, the texture mapping applied to everything from the walls and doors to Render's jacket and glinting jetpack create an illusion of reality that is unrivalled, encouraging you to explore the horizon.Xizor's palace is quite extraordinary, a cathedral-like labyrinth of corridors, halls and chasms, blending motifs of gothic, Chinese and Imperial architecture, all swathed in fabulously moody lighting. Red strip lights on the stairs and walls throw crimson colours across Render's features, the armour of Coruscant Guards shimmer out of the ethereal mauve fog as they storm towards you, lasers flashing. Gigantic chasms swathed in mist obliterate your view as you descend into the bowels of never-ending chambers.The grainy filters applied to many interior levels, most prominent in the murky sewers of the Imperial City; accentuate the atmosphere of murky; gritty realism, and contrast beautifully with the crystal clear, bright exteriors of Mos Eisley and Beggar's Canyon, or the opaque beauty of Hoths' ice formations.
Whilst the constant re-introduction of familiar props, from the AT-ST as end-boss, to an Imperial shuttle, roaring overhead as you traverse Gall spaceport on a skiff, homogenise the many varied game styles so that every level feels like a natural chapter in the same. Playing Project RealityPlaying the game as (or with) a Star Wars fan, the hysteria is immense. Around every corner there's a slice of history exploited with superlative inventiveness. From the first, gorgeously rendered snowtrooper felled to the last, epic space battle, it's impossible to list all the delightful flashes of joy, although as set pieces go, the confrontation with Bobba Fett which marks the climax of the Gall spaceport section must rank as the most extraordinary. You find yourself in the middle of a gigantic, circular hanger, the walls above you are hundreds of feet high and laced with ledges packed with power-ups and weapons. A lot of power-ups, you realise. And it's suddenly quiet.Your view cuts to the centre of the arena, from where Bobba Fett casually appears from a lift in the floor.
The camera zooms towards him, and for a few seconds, you can admire the phenomenal texture mapping and animation as he leaps Into the air and pounces to the ground, crouched like a lion, targeting its prey.The camera pulls back to your point of view, and Fett is suddenly accelerating towards you, jetpack roaring, twin lasers blasting. To shoot back seems almost sacrilegious. You just want to look, but taking a deep breath, you power up your own jetpack and blast skyward to engage in an exhilarating battle of wits.
Fett doesn't just try and kill you. He hunts you down!Skulking on the ground, hovering high above or traversing the ledges, he'll suddenly vanish, then appear over your head, blasters trained and shooting with devastating accuracy, hitting harder when you weaken, running for cover If you get some good hits yourself. Eventually, A he retreats, giving you a breather, until the ground splits in two, and from the darkness, Slave 1 gracefully emerges, twin lasers swivelling on its snout to draw a bead on you. Now it gets serious. Critical successThe mixed reception afforded Shadows on its American release isn't entirely surprising, with the prevailing criticism that the game's too fractured and erratic grounded in fact. Whilst the Hoth battle scores ten on the Richter scale, early Doom sections, particularly on easy mode are relatively sparten, and the simplistic asteroids section also suffers in comparison.However, it's churlish to criticise LucasArts for its ambition, and considering the enormous variety on offer, it's remarkable that the game delivers as often as it does.
Critics who've bemoaned the relatively linear nature of the 3-D exploration sections as flash but insubstantial Doom clones are missing the point. By placing Rendar 'in' the environment, the sense of scale and involvement when balanced above yawning chasms, or staring up at looming AT-STs blows away any id inspired variant for sheer heightened realism and downright fun.And as a flagship title, too,Shadows promises a thousand delights for future games. At least half of this game blows away every lesser console and PC title in existence for sheer visceral action and exuberance (even the weakest stages, such as the Swoop chase, deliver cutting edge visuals), and itls impossible not to look at state-of-the-art 32-bit titles with a sense of pity.Set against it's only true peer, the faultless Mario 64, Shadows is inevitably a flawed masterpiece, but LucasArts should be proud of its contribution to the Nintendo 64's successful launch and few will be disappointed with this truly worthy addition to the Star Wars legacy. Part 1 - The Battle of Hoth Battle of HothThe breath-taking introduction to Shadows has Rendar leading a squadron of Rebel snowspeeders helping keep the Imperial ground attack in check as the fleet escapes. Initially, Probots and AT-STs need to be eliminated, but when the first intruders have been dispatched, the gargantuan AT-AT walkers enter the fray, swiftly decimating the rebel defences.At full pelt, your speeder whips above the snow like a bullet, but slamming on the air brakes pulls the craft back to a slow attack pace, and alternating speed and is essential to evading enemy fire. Rolling left or right with the joystick, the appropriate air flaps wink open or shut to steer you, and even your wing men provide invaluable assistance, finishing off weakened enemies and joining in on attack runs. The criss-cross of red (Imperial) and blue (Rebel) laser fire makes for a chaotic battleground, with smoke pouring from your fuselage if hit.
But blasting the heads of probots and AT-ST walkers on initial attacks is easy enough. However, when the AT-ATs lumber onto centre stage, serious thought is required. Head mounted blasters recoiling, AT-ATs require an enormous amount of accurate head hits to kill, but if you're feeling lucky (and want to earn the challenge points), you can swoop to ground level and shoot a harpoon to their underbellies. Judge correctly, and the scene cuts away to a rotating moviepan, as you attempt to circle the monsters three times, still avoiding enemy fire yet keeping your lasso tight enough to entangle and topple them.Almost worth the asking price for this section alone, the exhilarating, utterly free play is bolstered by the outstanding music and sound effects that continue throughout the game. LucasArts, which brought you Monkey Island, and Rebel Assault, to name just a few of the company's games, is all set to unleash its biggest and perhaps most important game to date. Sure, LucasArts can make a bundle of money selling copies of Shadows Of the Empire to N64 kids, but this game could affect the sales of the actual hardware.Shadows is an all-encompassing title, with a variety of graphic and play styles included on one cartridge.The one we've shown most in past issues is the 3D flight-sim/shooter set above the icy wastes of planet Hoth. Revealed at E3 were a couple of new levels, including a -style corridor shooter and the incredibly impressive asteroid level.This is what games should really be about.All the action will be interspersed with some hamhanded blah about the Empire.
One of the problems with setting this game between Empire and Jedi is that we already know what happens, and you don't get to kill Darth Vader or the Emperor. Personally, I reckon the Emperor survived his fall into the death chasm and needs killing. LucasArts should concentrate its resources on a game where you get to kill the Emperor.Anyway, spectacular graphics and some of the best music we've ever heard combine to make Shadows of the Empire one of the most exciting Nintendo 64 games in the pipeline. OverviewThe universe has always been immediately impressive and alive with vibrant sounds, action, exhilarating music, and an unforgettable cast, and the movies were so well done that it was easy to lose yourself in the world, a rarity among current movies.
Then when Star Wars and PC games were married with the blockbuster hit X-Wing, I was excited to see what would come out next. To my delight, most of the Star Wars games to date for the PC have been excellent, and thus the expectations from gamers is always high for the next release because of past success and the overall quality that was portrayed in the movies.
Naturally, I was excited to get my copy of Shadows of the Empire, which is set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. I liked this idea for the plot because it enabled the producers to immerse you in the Star Wars universe as you know it, as well as introducing some new and exciting characters. You play Dash Rendar, a strong, Indiana Jones-style hero complete with three-day stubble and Duke Nukem biceps, whom you guide through air, land and space missions in your effort to save the universe. Don't worry, you will still get your fill of familiar Star Wars characters - complete with a cameo by Luke Skywalker and many others - so strap yourself in. Shadows of the Empire doesn't disappoint.
GameplayShadows of the Empire is one of those games that tries to do it all, from a flight sim to a first-person shooter to a racing sim. Usually these types of games fall flat because their focus is not on one particular area, and the game either sucks or is just so-so at best. I am happy to say, though, that Shadows of the Empire is the exception to this rule.
Granted, Shadows of the Empire- does not do a first-person shooter as well as, nor a flight sim as well as X-Wing, but it does well enough at each type to make it great fun. In fact, there are things about Shadows of the Empire that I like better than those other games; I even found myself wishing the levels were longer so I could fly that snow speeder a while longer. And I was immediately pleased to find out that Shadows of the Empire is not a rail shooter (I hate rail shooters) but a well-put-together game engine encompassed in a linear plot. The game is divided into episodes, each of which you must solve in succession (no skipping to the last level) to get you to your goal - which is, of course, saving the universe. At the beginning of the game and between each episode you are treated to very well-done cutscenes which propel the storyline and really immerse you in the universe of this game.
You can use just about any input device to pilot your ship, speeder, character, etc. And I found myself switching between my joystick and the keyboard all the time depending on what I was doing. The controls were very intuitive and easy to configure, so there is surely something here to fit most gamers' tastes.
GraphicsShadows of the Empire is a 3D-only game, so you must have a compatible video card to play. I recommend a 3Dfx card (I used a Diamond Monster 3D) since I got great results from with that setup. The graphics are absolutely stunning in most areas, and the animations are great - Shadows of the Empire definitely gets a high score for graphics. In the first episode when you are flying over the planet Hoth, the detail and flight model are incredible, not to mention the explosions and animations. In the first-person action sequences, it was great fun shooting the bad guys and watching them fly back or off a cliff, burning and smoldering from my red-hot laser blasts.
Shadows Of The Empire Main Menu Theme
There were a very few places that I felt could have used some extra detail, but overall this game ROCKS in the graphics department. Oh - can't forget the cutscenes - absolutely awesome, I think the best I've seen in any video game. AudioThe sounds and musical score are incredible - if you're a fan of the stirring Star Wars score, you definitely won't be disappointed.
Shadows Of The Empire Youtube
The music is so well done that I actually felt I was in the movie at times. You even get the scrolling yellow text with the Star Wars theme to usher in a new section of the story.
During the game there were times where I wanted more ambient sounds like footsteps, wind, or people talking, but this did not detract from the game too much. The sounds were perfectly done otherwise. Shadows of the Empire is a single-player only game, which at first I thought was going to detract from my experience, especially with multiplayer options becoming standard these days.
Let's just say that Shadows is one of the best single-player games out there right now and the lack of multiplayer won't be missed once you're immersed in the game. DocumentationFour words, 'leaflet in jewel case.' But that's okay because the game is so darned intuitive; there is really no need for senseless details. A little light reading on the background story would have been nice, though; maybe a tidbit on the background of your character too.
System RequirementsMinimum: 100% Windows95 DirectX compatible computer, Windows 95, 3D Accelerated PCI Graphics card, Pentium 90 or faster required for 3Dfx chipsets. Pentium 133 or faster required for other supported 3D graphic chipsets, 16 MB RAM, 4X CD-ROM drive, 100% Windows 95 compatible 16-bit sound card, 100% Windows 95 compatible keyboard, mouse or joystick Bottom LineShadows of the Empire is just a great game all around. It would be an instant classic if it came out three years ago (before the multiplayer revolution), but is arguably the best single-player game on the market. The only significant flaw is the lack of replayability. Once I completed the game, I felt a sense of closure (like a good movie) and had no urge to go back and replay my experience. So I will give Shadows of the Empire an 88 and a recommendation to any gamer looking for a riveting single-player experience.
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