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"Star Wars: Renegade Squadron [PSP]"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron'.
Fri 04/01/08 at 22:08
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
While waiting for the next big console adventure from the Star Wars Battlefront series, Renegade Squadron appears to fill a gap, albeit a PSP sized one. But with the known control issues of handheld First and Third person games, I wanted to know if this game came straight from the dark side or was a jedi sized force to be reckoned with.

Okay, enough clichťs, whatís it all about? Well, it seems (through a series of half static, half animated cut scenes) that during the whole cufufal of the Rebels fighting off the evil empire they had a little help from a secret team of fighters put together by Han Solo. In fact it looks strangely like half the Mos Eisley Cantina regulars joined, must have been something in the beer.

All this leads us, unsurprisingly, to a range of missions both on the ground and in the air, bringing down parts of the Empire bit by bit and finding some familiar faces such as Boba Fett turn up prior to their big screen appearances. So far, so Battlefront. But what sets this game apart is the way that weapons and items are dealt out. Thereís a new item system which means you can assign different weapons etc to your Primary and Secondary Weapons, Backpack and equipment. The only limits are that each item costs a specific amount of credits and the whole lot has to come to 100 credits overall. I found myself really having to think about what I needed before I set out to take down a shield or go up against a bunch of AT-STs. That said, as soon as you reach one of your bases or capture an enemyís base (in the same way as all the other Battlefront games) you can swap everything around.

As per usual the standard medical droids are dotted around the landscape to heal you at vital moments (and as usual even the enemy ones seem to do this), other droids replenish your weapons and you can grab a vast array of vehicles to rain death down on those naughty Dark Siders. Thereís a lot of familiarity here that fans of the series will be pleased to see returning. There is also quite a huge amount of cameo appearances to keep Star Wars fans happy, as this story criss-crosses the main Star Wars saga (you know, the real one with Luke and chums).

The last Battlefront PSP game provided some questionable control setups, meaning you either found yourself standing still while trying to aim or crossing your thumbs and ending up with crippling hand-ache after a game. Renegade Squadron tries to address this by providing quite a good control setup from the start. You have an automatic aim and just control the character, not their sights. This does create another issue in that it makes shooting down the enemy far too easy, on both land and in the sky. Just lock on and keep firing. You can choose to manually aim by setting a different control method, however, but then this ends up repeating the issues the last game provided. Still, the default system does seem to be very natural for movement.

Graphics are top notch for PSP, the cut scenes are interesting in that they donít try to go full CGI or cartoony, but try for animated matt painting effects. It takes a little getting used to but it does make a nice change and seems to suit the game. The in-game graphics are pretty detailed considering the hardware, on a par with the PS2 Battlefront game, some great moments have you facing down whole swathes of enemy vehicles without much noticeable slowdown.

Iíve only dipped my foot in the multi-player game, but it was a good experience and Iím likely to try it again. It seems even more involved than the ones introduced by its big brother on the PS2 and Xbox, there are a wealth of options and games to choose from, including a cool Jedi Hero game where you get to play as the main characters from the films. Multiplayer works well over an internet connection, though I had a problem finding a game at times.

Overall the content of Renegade Squadron is quite impressive but the controls let it down in a different way to the last game, making it less of a challenge and more of a wonder through the battle. Itís still fun to play (and you can change the control setup if you need to) and offers plenty for any Star Wars fan to see and do, plus some real stand out moments that will have you smiling as you meet your heroes. So it really depends on how much you love Star Wars and are willing to forgive the controls. Itís certainly worth playing through at least once for any fan of the series.
Sun 13/01/08 at 17:09
Regular
"you've got a beard"
Posts: 7,442
glad you enjoyed it overall pb ;)
Sat 05/01/08 at 20:13
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
Bareable, yes, but make the game easier in the process, too easy for some perhaps.
Sat 05/01/08 at 11:50
Regular
"previously phuzzy."
Posts: 3,487
Are the controls bearable? I find with most of my PSP games that the absence of that magic 2nd thumbstick drives me crazy, to the point where I just wait for the inevitable PSP -> PS2 conversion. Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters, anyone?
Fri 04/01/08 at 22:08
Moderator
"possibly impossible"
Posts: 24,985
While waiting for the next big console adventure from the Star Wars Battlefront series, Renegade Squadron appears to fill a gap, albeit a PSP sized one. But with the known control issues of handheld First and Third person games, I wanted to know if this game came straight from the dark side or was a jedi sized force to be reckoned with.

Okay, enough clichťs, whatís it all about? Well, it seems (through a series of half static, half animated cut scenes) that during the whole cufufal of the Rebels fighting off the evil empire they had a little help from a secret team of fighters put together by Han Solo. In fact it looks strangely like half the Mos Eisley Cantina regulars joined, must have been something in the beer.

All this leads us, unsurprisingly, to a range of missions both on the ground and in the air, bringing down parts of the Empire bit by bit and finding some familiar faces such as Boba Fett turn up prior to their big screen appearances. So far, so Battlefront. But what sets this game apart is the way that weapons and items are dealt out. Thereís a new item system which means you can assign different weapons etc to your Primary and Secondary Weapons, Backpack and equipment. The only limits are that each item costs a specific amount of credits and the whole lot has to come to 100 credits overall. I found myself really having to think about what I needed before I set out to take down a shield or go up against a bunch of AT-STs. That said, as soon as you reach one of your bases or capture an enemyís base (in the same way as all the other Battlefront games) you can swap everything around.

As per usual the standard medical droids are dotted around the landscape to heal you at vital moments (and as usual even the enemy ones seem to do this), other droids replenish your weapons and you can grab a vast array of vehicles to rain death down on those naughty Dark Siders. Thereís a lot of familiarity here that fans of the series will be pleased to see returning. There is also quite a huge amount of cameo appearances to keep Star Wars fans happy, as this story criss-crosses the main Star Wars saga (you know, the real one with Luke and chums).

The last Battlefront PSP game provided some questionable control setups, meaning you either found yourself standing still while trying to aim or crossing your thumbs and ending up with crippling hand-ache after a game. Renegade Squadron tries to address this by providing quite a good control setup from the start. You have an automatic aim and just control the character, not their sights. This does create another issue in that it makes shooting down the enemy far too easy, on both land and in the sky. Just lock on and keep firing. You can choose to manually aim by setting a different control method, however, but then this ends up repeating the issues the last game provided. Still, the default system does seem to be very natural for movement.

Graphics are top notch for PSP, the cut scenes are interesting in that they donít try to go full CGI or cartoony, but try for animated matt painting effects. It takes a little getting used to but it does make a nice change and seems to suit the game. The in-game graphics are pretty detailed considering the hardware, on a par with the PS2 Battlefront game, some great moments have you facing down whole swathes of enemy vehicles without much noticeable slowdown.

Iíve only dipped my foot in the multi-player game, but it was a good experience and Iím likely to try it again. It seems even more involved than the ones introduced by its big brother on the PS2 and Xbox, there are a wealth of options and games to choose from, including a cool Jedi Hero game where you get to play as the main characters from the films. Multiplayer works well over an internet connection, though I had a problem finding a game at times.

Overall the content of Renegade Squadron is quite impressive but the controls let it down in a different way to the last game, making it less of a challenge and more of a wonder through the battle. Itís still fun to play (and you can change the control setup if you need to) and offers plenty for any Star Wars fan to see and do, plus some real stand out moments that will have you smiling as you meet your heroes. So it really depends on how much you love Star Wars and are willing to forgive the controls. Itís certainly worth playing through at least once for any fan of the series.

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