Compared: May 23, 2002
Star Wars Jedi Starfighter builds upon the success of last year's original Starfighter game by adding the new wedge-shaped Jedi starfighter seen in the new Episode II: Attack of the Clones movie. You play as Adi, the aspiring Jedi Knight who is putting this new craft through trial runs. You quickly discover that weapons are only a small part of this game and that your ship's true power lies in its ability to channel the Force in a variety of offensive and defensive powers that almost resemble spellcasting.
The PS2 and Xbox versions are only separated by two months yet the Xbox manages to squeak a few new features and improvements into the mix. Aside from those minor enhancement the games are nearly identical in content and quality.
Round 1: Control
The buttons and command structure is really intuitive and controlling your ship has never been easier with the twin thumbsticks of the Dual Shock. The Xbox shares the same amazing controls. The triggers control your speed and the rest of the buttons are used for the various functions such as targeting and weapons fire and the D-pad is used to control the “command cross” that lets you issue orders to your wingmen on missions where you command other ships.
Your new Jedi powers are summoned with the D-pad whenever you are piloting the Jedi Starfighter, otherwise they revert to the standard weapons selection or command controls. Many of the Force powers require special timing of the button presses, so there is some finesse in getting the optimum usage from the Force.
You are gradually introduced to the controls and flight basics through a series of tutorial missions that will have you flying like a seasoned Jedi pilot in no time. This round is a draw as both games share the same flawless control scheme.
Round 2: Visuals
Jedi Starfighter maintains the same standards of quality that the first game delivered and the Xbox version is visually superior to the PS2 version in both frame rate and level of detail. The scope of each level is massive, and the vastness of space or the sprawling planetside vistas are breathtaking. Ship models, textures, colors, and backgrounds have all been graphically taken up a notch, and you will find yourself using the zooming sniper view to check out the glorious attention to detail.
The power of the Xbox is pushed to the limits with some of the best visual effects seen to date. Particle effects, transparencies, massive detailed textures that don’t visibly repeat, all combine to create a feast for the eyes. Capital ships are modeled so they blow apart in substantial chunks of fiery wreckage, and bombs leave scars on both terrain and structures after the radiating shockwave subsides.
The PS2 manages to achieve about 95% of the visual excellent of the Xbox, yet the planetside missions can often suffer from severe framerate hits during periods of intense action. While this can often be overlooked, there are times that it can result in a premature death such as racing through narrow canyons. The Xbox easily beats the PS2 in this round.
Round 3: Music & Sound
This game failed to use the Dolby Digital support of the Xbox so you are left with an identical sound mix from the PS2 version. Both games feature the amazing John Williams score, plenty of excellent dialog, and all the rich sound effects of the vast Lucas audio effects library. This round is a draw.
Round 4: Other Deciding Factors
Small as it may be, the Xbox offers one extra goodie; an exclusive level that lets you go head-to-head against Jango Fett in a breathtaking Coruscant level. While its not enough to make you run out and buy an Xbox just to play it, it is a very nice bonus to consider if you have both systems.
Owners of both systems will definitely want to hop onboard the Xbox version of this game. The graphical power of the Xbox delivers a much smoother visual presentation with flawless framerates, both in space and on the planet missions. The extra level is just icing on an already sweet cake.