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Join the Rebellion and See the Galaxy
Good plane games are rare for the game cube. Good flight combat games are even rarer. Slapping “Star Wars" on a game’s title increases the sales of the game, but it does not always ensure that such a game will be of the highest quality. Rogue Squadron II, however, is not a bad game. The Gamecube version of Rogue Squadron II suffers from some design flaws that detracted from the game.
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The Good of Star Wars Rogue Leader
What Star Wars fan hasn’t had the fantasy of being the pilot who makes the killing shot on the death star? It would be the ultimate test of a pilot’s skill and guarantees the pilots fame and fortune throughout the galaxy. (It also earns him a high price tag on his head as the Empire is not happy about people going around destroying its battle stations that are roughly the size of a planet’s moon.)
The game play is quick and the musical score comes directly from the music written for the series by John Williams. (The repetition of this music in the game does become tiring to the player. Strangely, this makes it seem even more like one of the Star Wars movies.)
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The Mediocre Elements of this Star Wars Game
The voice overs that provide the player vital information when selecting the game proceed slowly and the voice actor chosen was not the best one available. The World War II propaganda style could have been pulled off well, but instead it just seems to be uninspired and a little monotonous as you cannot cut the voice off once you have heard it. What the descriptions, say however, is worth listening to at least once, especially when selecting a fighter to fly on new missions.
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Where Rogue Squadron II Could Use Improvement
The game controls are a little bouncy and there seem to be few piloting tricks you can pull. One major concern for this type of game is that there seems to be no way to apply brakes on the vehicle. This can be a problem for strafing runs as you cannot slow down to get more shots in on ground targets, or to get more shots in when you are behind the intended mark.
The controls are also a little bouncy, as if the designers forgot the Gamecube did not have as much power as some of the other systems for which the title was released. This makes it all the more likely that the player will have Luke fly his X-Wing into the ground. (With his Jedi-honed reflexes, it seems unlikely that young Skywalker would suffer such a shameful end.)
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Gameplay for Rogue Leader
For a flight simulator, this game has some annoying flaws. Even though you are flying a space fighter rather than an aircraft, there is one feature that game lacks. A player cannot break his craft. Slowing the spacecraft down to give you a longer fire window against stationary targets is a time-tested tactic of flight combat games. You cannot do that in Rogue Squadron II. Oddly enough, you can speed the vehicle up when you need that extra boost in speed. Why a flight combat simulator would include one and not the other is a mystery that only the developers at LucasArts can answer.
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Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader Graphics
Rogue Leader II does not break any ground in video game graphics. The art direction gives the game a cohesive look throughout and the graphics are as true as possible to the Star Wars Universe. If you are expecting to be amazed by the graphics on a Gamecube game, there are other games that can show you the console's capabilities. The graphics are good, but not impressive. Star Wars fans will find little to complain about.
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Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squardon II Overall Rating
Its controls may be a little bouncy and the other systems on which the title appeared may have been able to handle it better, but the Lucas Arts development did a good job of making sure the game was fun. Not only that, the title will appeal to any Star Wars fan, although Luke does not really get a chance to use the force on his run against the Death Star. (We all know that this is what enabled him to accurately fire his proton torpedoes.)
For a flight combat game, this is one of the better options available for the Gamecube, although it should be noted, that not many flight combat titles were made for the Gamecube.
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Screen Shouts -- Rogue Leader: Roque Squadron II