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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords (Xbox)

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    8 Reviews
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      03.04.2012 00:44
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      Dark epicness, dull in places, quality sequel

      The remnants of 2004 saw the release of the sequel to Bafta award winning game of the year (2003) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. KOTOR 2: The Sith Lords, this time made by Obsidian Entertainment instead of Bioware, takes place 5 years after the events of the first game. Those that are familiar with the original, will know that the majority of the game is open to your own playing style and moral choices - Light vs. Dark or on the fence Neutral - and because of this, the games ending differs as do the characters who played a part. With such freedom, KOTOR2 had a blank canvas to do with what they wish. In the end they decided to go down the darker path, setting the game in a time where the jedi numbers have been obliterated by the sith and making your character play another pivotal role in the fate of the galaxy. Take control of the jedi Exile, prove your past just or make amends, choose your prestige class, mould those around you in your image of heroism or dish out the insults to keep them in line - Dark, Light or Neutral, as the back of the case says: "This Time Your Choices Affect Everyone Around You".

      Unlike the first Knights game, Sith Lords starts with an out of the ordinary tutorial of T3-M4, the trusty bleeps and bloops utility droid, roaming around the Ebon Hawk (the main ship used in both 1 & 2) fixing various devices and in the end, saving you and your transport. After playing it once, you won't play it again as it serves only to tie in as to why your character is in the initial situation and why the ship is with them. This tutorial is skippable however but even the 'real' beginning is a complete bore. After customising your characters appearance, stats and class (Scoundrel, Soldier, Scout) you awaken in a kolto tank in nothing but your stylish lycra skivvies. Dazed and disorientated you regain your composure and try to figure out whats going on, in a seemingly abandoned mining facility on the asteroid, Peragus. You bump into 2 recruited characters quickly: Kreia, a mysterious old witch that has an extraordinary knowledge of the jedi and the force and Atton, an imprisoned young pilot with a hidden past. Kreia is a key character (voiced spectacularly by Sara Kestelman) serving as a master type character and beacon of wisdom, especially as she helps you rekindle your connection with the force, of which you have been stripped by the jedi council, for reasons unknown to start, but free for interpretation. Something unique to this game - events that happened before the game are discussed and are judged by you - defend your shaded actions or repent, its up to you.

      After finding your bearings, equipment (and clothes!) you trudge your way through a hostile droid infested, industrial nightmare, with the help of your new teammates (and tutorial droid T3). After being hunted by undead antagonist Darth Sion, or as Atton affectionately names him "Sleeps with vibroblades", you escape on the Ebon Hawk, the facility self destructing, taking out an entire asteroid belt - all of which is magnificently displayed in FMV fashion, just as good if not better than the predecessors graphics. No.2 has 6 worlds to explore, 2 of which were included in the original (Dantooine & Korriban) but vary and offer new explorations. Travel to a mandalorian based jungle moon Dxun, pollution fogged metropolis Nar Shaddaa, war torn save-the-environment Telos and the eastern like dust city space port of Onderon. While the landscapes do prove to be a new, larger experience they don't quite match up to the extravagance of the first game. The reason to explore is to find the skattered jedi council masters and learn from them, gaining new information on your past and 'stances' (these help you adjust to battles, whether its against blasters, force powers or being overwhelmed in numbers). You can even exact your revenge should you find the 'master's' words too condescending and attitudes unapologetic.

      Original characters of different species/races join you throughout your journey, some only when certain specifications are met, ie. if male, you are accompanied by a silver haired Handmaiden, if female, a male disciple. The same goes for morality, be an evil git and recruit a butchering wookie, play by the rules and receive the aid of a well travelled huntress. Every teammate has their own special stories and huge varying dialogue. They can also become trained in the ways of the jedi. The battle system is exactly the same as the first game as is the method in which you progress physically. Once you get through enough of the game you get yet another big choice - choosing what type of jedi you will become. Unlike the first game, you don't choose one of three classes (Guardian, Sentinel, Consular) instead, 6 new choices based on your alignment - the 'good' classes jedi weapon master, jedi master, or jedi watchman, and the 'bad' ones, sith marauder, sith lord, and sith assassin. Each class unveils new traits and abilities for battle and conversations and changes the speeds of your levelling. The Sith Lords can be played and enjoyed without the experience of the original, though I wouldn't recommend it as you'd be missing out, but you are in for a far darker game that pushes you to make tough decisions and ultimately makes the dark side choices more beneficial.

      Shamefully, composer Jeremy Soule did not take part in this game, and it shows as the music is downplayed and only pops up now and then for battles, otherwise its pretty ambient and menacing. The low points though, unfortunately ruin what should be the best, most stable parts of the game. The ending is a clear indication of running out of time and simply not meeting the schedule. Endings don't really exist to be frank. Glitches also occur without the aid of the xbox live patches (characters get caught behind walls and the game cannot always progress). Amongst the competition, this game still stands taller and better, compared to the original.. well thats why I've docked one star. Totally playable and more than satisfying for anyone who played games in the franchise. Pray for a 3rd installment.

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      03.02.2010 23:39
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      Rarely has there been so poor a sequel

      Knights of the Old Republic II is the sequel to the highly lauded Knights of the Old Republic, a game set in the star wars universe some 5000 years before the events in the star wars movies. It uses the D20 rules roleplaying rules, though that's unlikely to mean much to most folks. In short, you have different classes that you can play, some basic stats and some different skills you can improve, and some special abilities you can learn, broadly falling into the traditional warrior/rogue/mage paths that you find in most roleplaying games.

      In KOTOR II you take on the role of a Jedi who has lost both their memories and their powers, and must a recruit a group of followers to join you on a quest to recover both, and stop a band of villains threatening the universe into the bargain.

      Because KOTOR II follows on from the events of KOTOR I it subtly probes you as to how you ended said game (I.e. were you good or evil) and alters some of the dialogue accordingly, giving you some sense of continuity. It also features two of the characters from KOTOR T3-M4 the plucky little utility droid, and the hysterically bloodthirsty assassin droid HK-47.

      Like KOTOR the adventure begins in one location from which you must escape, and then another location, and then the freedom of the galaxy is yours, allowing you to visit as many as four different planets, before moving on to the final showdown location.

      In short, it is a pretty much uninspired clone of the original, offering little that is new, and blandly copying the old formula in the hope that it somehow still works. It doesn't. It feels like a game designed by committee and strangled of any creativity or life. The plot is vague and and uninteresting, the characters are unsympathetic and unmemorable, and really I was glad to finish it so I could play something else. It is a poor poor imitation of a very good game. The characters in KOTOR, while not perfect, were entertaining for the most part, and the plot made some sort of sense. Not so this time. I finished the game not caring which of my comrades had survived, and not really knowing what I had even saved the universe from or why.

      If forced to say something good I'll concede that both game play and graphics were adequate, but if that's all you care about, play KOTOR again. Roleplaying games need something more than that.
      All in all, a big disappointment.

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      12.06.2009 23:37
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      great game

      This is a superb sequel to what was an already great game, levels are huge, missions that you recieve are very satisfying when you complete it, oh and the long wait for when you finaly get a lightsaber is worth it!i just wanted it straight away but this game makes you beg for it with parts for the lightsaber coming to you in drips and drabs, finaly when you hear that familiar hum oh my does a big smile play across your face.
      The gameplay is great and easy to follow a breif introduction is all you need at the start when at the prologue before anything you can use the droid youare issued with to repair the ship thus learning everything there is to know about how the game functions, those who have played the previous game and know whats what can just skip this.
      graphically its much sharper and more detailed although issues with my laptop and graphics card prevented me from getting the full use of these functions, The story is that you wake up and have lost your memory so basically you have to go round the universe and finding who you are and gathering your motely crew at the same time.
      The option to chose light or dark is excellently implemented to be honest ive alway been a nice guy so went at the jedi throughout, being a Sith just didnt appeal to me!doing good things affect your team mates as well amking them more approacheble and opens new dialogue.
      its quite a long game but never gets boring there are many twist and turns at the end though there isnt much of a big surprise on whom is going to turn on you, choosing team mates is important so depending on your style of play you can tailor it to your needs.
      All in all a superb game right to the end, having a decent computer and a great graphics card will help you get the most out of this, like myself you will be playing it for 30min and then realise its been 2 hours!thats how addictive it is, my main niggling bit is the items you get in that it takes and age to swap things round and if you have upgrades on a weapon you have to remove them!i reccomend this to anyone who has played the previous title and those who are new in coming into the series, play it now!

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      21.08.2008 17:11
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      Like it.

      Star wars nights of the old Republic two is the sequel to the excellent first game, this game was made by Obsidian.

      The story starts when you wake up on a space station with, surprise surprise, no memory. You must regain your memory and discover who truly are. Like the previous game you can choose to be good or evil and whichever path you follow will have a direct consequence on the game world. The story is good but it is over too quickly.

      You will revisit locations from the previous game along with new worlds, it hasn't really changed too much but that is not a bad thing. There are some improvements such as you can now upgrade your light Sabre more and there are additional minigames such as when you use a mounted weapon on your spaceship.

      This game will cost you from 10 to 15 pounds which is reasonable. It will also work on an Xbox 360 console. It's not is amazing as the first game was but you should still play.

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        04.05.2007 22:58
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        Only a poor ending really let this game down, but even it isn't enough to ruin a great game.

        When you take into account how good Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (herein referred to as simply KOTOR for the sake of brevity) was, both in terms of both financial and critical acclaim, not to mention just in terms of enjoyment, it was little wonder that they would try to pump out a sequel to it. The problem was, KOTOR was a fairly un-linear game, it's main character could be either male or female as well as either Jedi or Sith, as well as being designed by the player...how could they follow this up properly? use the save file ala what Shenmue 2 for the Dreamcast did? I have to admit I was very sceptical when I learned that it would only relate to the first game's plot directly in a few parts. My hopes hit the floor when the company responsible, Bioware, jumped ship to work on Jade Empire, however, nobody ever accused me of being sensible, so I naturally bought the game the week it came out and threw myself right into it. For those who didn't read my review, I pointed out there that the original KOTOR was one in a million, in that it managed to not only entertain, but completely engross a die-hard hater of Role Playing Games(RPGs) in the form of me, so I wasn't going to tolerate a shoddy game that would possibly taint the great atmosphere that should surround the title of the original. The fact that the game's best attempt at advertising itself was to make much of the fact it was the 'sequel to the game of the year 2003!' instead of actually saying anything about the game itself didn't exactly inspire much hope in me either.

        As with it's predecessor, the second game, subtitled The Sith Lords, is a Role Playing Game, where you take a character, whom you customise, through the game from a 3D third-person point of view, trying to complete tasks and find out information, while doing battle in a combat system that is pseudo-turn based, but that I'll get back to in a minute. Your character has to enlist the aid of several other characters in his or her quest, and take part in several mini-games, such as Swoop racing and shoot-outs in the spaceship en route to completing their game.
        As I mentioned, the battle system is turn based, a system I usually abhore, however, Obsidian, who took over from Bioware, have quite smartly stuck to the same system as the original, a system that while I've never been head over heels for, it is certainly more enjoyable for an action orientated player like myself than out and out-turn based. Your attacks are assigned to buttons, which you enter, and can have up to 4 waiting to be launched at an enemy. Whose attacks connect and miss is determined via an off-screen dice rolling system, all of this system began its life in Bioware's Neverwinter Nights games. I think.
        The created character can have it's face selected, as well as the obvious gender choice, and can be given a unique name by the player, before selecting a class (Jedi Guardian, Consular or Sentinel) and giving out points to various attributes to influence gameplay. For example giving him high security skills will enable him to pick more locks and so on. There are attributes in various divisions, and your character can also develop combat skills and force powers, the more you 'level up'. While Im sure the majority of you know what that means, for those non-gamers out there, it basically means your character gets stronger the more Experience Points, or 'XP' you collect, this is done via various means, such as killing enemies, or performing tasks like hacking computers and so on.
        You can have up to 2 companions with you on-screen at almost all times, and they can also level up, and sport their own strengths and weaknesses. You can also outfit your entire party with a wide variety of weapons,armour and equipment for use in battle, such things being found dotted around or available for purchase from one of the many vendors you will encounter in the game.

        Thankfully the fighting system isn't all that Obsidian took a 'not broken, no need to fix' mentality towards, as The Sith Lords plays almost identically to it's prequel, adding a few new moves and powers and such to the available arsenal of the characters, not to mention obligatory new weapons and upgrades and so on.
        The only problem with this is that it really doesn't seem to be different at all from the original game to the untrained eye, and you really do have to go through things with a fine tooth-comb to discover the little nuances that have been added. While I'm immensely glad they didn't opt to drastically redo things and ruined it, it does seem more like nothing more than a KOTOR with a different story at points. Possibly the most significant alteration is how much you can affect and influence your party members, some of them are even candidates for becoming Jedi themselves, and you can choose to train them. As you would expect, the ability to alter what side of the force one follows is still present, the choice dictated by not only speech but also actions, and this doesn't just affect plot, it also relates to how much 'force points'(a bar of energy that depletes as you use the force) certain powers cost.
        Controls are, as far as I can remember anyway, also identical to the original, L and R Cycle through potential targets, all of the face buttons actions vary depending upon the situation, but are used to talk to people, assign fighting moves, activate items and so on, the D-Pad controls the combat mode attacks, black alternates which character in your party you control and the start button enters the menu where you equip and make your team and such.

        The response of these is about is perfect as you could expect, and I can't really say much about how well assigned they are, because I was already well adjusted to them and would have been thrown off by anything else, however I don't see any immediate problems for anyone.

        One of the game's biggest annoyances for me was how frequent and how lengthy loading times are, every time you enter a new area expect a good few minutes waiting for the next to load up. Granted many of these are huge areas, but it's still quite irritating, especially if you go through the wrong door and have to wait all that time just to run back through and wait all that time again.
        As with the original, the game is already garnering quite a reputation for being riddled with bugs, yet once again I got fairly lucky and managed, for the most part, to avoid them. Granted on one occasion my character refused to run the way I wanted to, leading to his death, but for the most part, the infamous glitches kept away from my experience.
        The game also, like it's predecessor, comes with 2 endings, one for the Dark Side and one for the Light, adding some replay value to it.
        With all that said, Obsidian have managed to carry over one of the first game's greatest strengths: how addictive it is. Start to play The Sith Lords...and don't expect to lose the urge any time soon. The plot reels you in, and it's just generally a great game to play, not to mention being one of the few things that actually deserves to be thought of in the same light as the original trilogy. When Revenge of the Sith hits DVD, they should put out a box set of KOTOR,The Sith Lords and the Six Movies, because these two games have probably come closest to matching the atmosphere of the films like nothing else. I mean Dark Forces was quite fun at the time, but was it really adding anything to the Star Wars legacy?

        The plot of this game takes place 4 years after the events of the first game. Your character has disappeared, leaving a number of questions unanswered. Your new character, a former Jedi, exiled for following Revan into the Mandalorian Wars, awakes on an abandoned Space Station where the droids have went crazy and killed all life. The only other person you find initially is an Old Woman named Kreia with ties to the force, but who does not appear to follow any conventional set of rules, Jedi or Sith. She takes you under her wing and promises to teach you how to regain your connection to the Force, but first you must find a way to get off the space station, as it turns out that you are believed to be the last Jedi, and the Sith, lead by Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus are out to kill you, but there has also been a hefty bounty placed on your head by the Galactic Crime Syndicate known as the Exchange. You set off on a quest to try and track down more Jedi, but if your decision is the try and rebuild the order, or to try and end it once and for all is up to you...

        I don't want to give the story away, but thats a brief summary of the start. I felt the plot was actually pretty excellent, possibly even better than the original, and it's an integral part of the enjoyment of the game. While it may not appear to have anything to do with the first game other than the name of Revan being dropped, the Darth of the first game does come up several times in relation to the plot, and the ship you fly on is the Ebon Hawk, from the first game. I'd like to take the chance here to point out one of your enemies who pursues you, the fearsome Darth Sion. This is a 'man' made up entirely of broken body parts held together by the force. A Force-Frankenstein's monster...I just think he is awesome. Granted they kind of mess up the whole 'only 2 Sith' thing, by having 4, but I suppose 2 pairs of 4.
        The Sith Lords also features brief cameos from Bastila,Carth and Malak from the first game, as well as T3 and HK-47 appearing as well. Canderous also crops up, but not in his original role, and you only discover this at the end of the game, with absolutely no explanation as to how he got to where he did. People who haven't played KOTOR will probably ask who the hell Canderous is when he is referenced.

        Ah, now I think about it, that's one thing I really didn't like about the game's plot. The ending. It stinks. In all honesty, the movie was probably going to scrape 5-Stars, simply on the grounds of how much I was enjoying it, I was going to let away it's other faults, but the ending absolutely sucks, and left me cursing that I had played through for 40 hours, loving almost all of it, only for it to be ruined by a brief and silly ending that leaves lots unresolved.

        Graphically the game doesn't seem to have comes leaps and bounds from the first game either, and it's still a bit of a let down. The stages still look absolutey spectacular, and are teeming with detail and things going on, but the character models still don't look as awesome as this game deserves. I mean, they aren't by any means bad, and had they not appeared in an epic game like this I probably wouldn't have bothered, but they certainly aren't exactly Team Ninja standard character models(but then who else can come up with those graphics?)

        As with the first game, the sound is a high point, and while it may not boast any real recognisable names in the voice cast, I really liked everyone's voices, thought they fit the characters well, and all performed well, keeping up the high standard set by the original title.
        Music once again incorporates John Williams famous, for a reason, score, which gets the atmosphere going, helped along the way by authentic lightsaber and blaster sounds, and even the original music is really good and sounds like it should be in Star Wars. Aural triumph then.

        All in all, The Sith Lords is a pretty damn good game. It didn't quite pack the 'WOW' Factor of the original, and it's ending really, really cheesed me off with how lame it was, not to mention the game's numerous bugs and minor niggles, but at the same time, it's engrossing story and enjoyable gameplay more than make up for it, and even if the ending did irritate me to all hell, I still don't at all even contemplate regretting playing The Sith Lords, it was a , mostly, mighty enjoyable experience.

        It's quite funny, when I was starting to think about reviewing this game, in the very early stages, I was expecting the game to be lucky to garner 4-Stars, it would be ok at best, but the more I played, the game was actually, as I say, well en route to hitting full marks, before the shoddy ending brought it back down to 4, but I feel the game is still very good, and while maybe not having the same impact as it's predecessor did upon me, I still really liked it, and feel it definitely earned 4 out of 5.

        I would once again recommend this game to most people, providing they like Star Wars. Even good old RPG hating me still loves this second installment, which really says something for the series, although while not really necessary, I would definitely recommend playing KOTOR through once beforehand, just so you pick up on all the little nuances of the plot that hark back to it.
        So, The Sith Lords, it may not have overtaken it's awe-inspiring first game in my eyes, but it certainly didn't let the name down, and Obsidian can be proud that Bioware's absence wasn't really a problem at all, and while they may not have crafted the best Star Wars game ever, they certainly didn't waste the licence.

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          15.06.2005 13:51
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          Knights of the Old Republic 2:

          The follow up to the popular game of the year Knight of the Old Republic, it is another Star Wars masterpiece. Star Wars game have been coming and going for a very long time and they do provide a fun and enjoyable experience, I think most people know the themes behind Star Wars and find it really easy to get into the games. For those more hardcore fans they can pretend to be one of their favourites and get enrolled in to the wonderful world of Mr Lucas.

          This game is not the normal 3D fighting simulation that the lightsabers would indicate this game is built around a complex story which you can influence the flow and end of with every decision you make during the game. Both paths are equally open to you the path of good the light-side or the path of the dark-side, both with its own ending and both bringing you closer to the story of different characters and finding out about more and more of the great story.

          ~ Graphics ~
          The game has some breathe taking graphics with individual grass moving in some scene but, on average the graphics are nothing too amazing. In my mind the game could have been made darker to add to the mood of the game, but do not get me wrong the design department have done an extremely good job and the graphics are by far good enough to get away with. Due to the size of game and the most possibilities the story can take that the graphics had to be compromised to allow for space on the disc. Sometimes too much graphically change goes on in the bigger battles and the game will slow down and become under-responsive, it is highly annoying when this happens but it really is restricted to the longer, bigger fights, which are quite rare.

          ~ Sound ~
          Everyone in the game talks and I liked this very much, even the little common people who hang around to make the city seem busy and have nothing to do with the game still say what is on their mind.
          The sound of blaster fire, steel hitting steel and lightsabers connecting all sound of high quality and I do add highly to the enjoy-ability of the gaming experience that this game offers.

          ~ Controls ~
          The controls are laid out in the most logical way for me anyway but you can change them around to fit your needs, good idea to read the manual if this is the first time you have played this game and have not played the original.

          ~ Story ~
          The story relates heavily back to the first one and I would have to say that you have to play the first one to get the full enjoyment out of this game. It keeps referring back to the original and filling it what has happened between the first one and the last one. The storyline in the first one was such a major storyline that they could not ignore it, because if it was true then it would be what most of the characters in the game would talk about, so they have had to link the first game into the second one. They have done it masterfully you can completely ignore what has happened between the first games and just scratch the surface going through the game from start to finish playing the game on the skills required to complete the game, or you can take a lot more time in the game to ask a lot more questions do a lot more tasks and unlock a lot more secrets held with in the game. Some characters are dark-side and some characters are light-side the closer you get to a character the more influence you gain over that character and the more you influence them to the same side that you are on. As you get closer and closer to each character they will each tell you more and more about themselves and about what has happened in the last 4 years since the first game. I will not give away anything more.

          ~ First to Second ~
          If you have played the first game you should be able to pick up and play this game like it was the next levels of the original with nothing much changing. They have added in an option to choice how the characters you are not controlling act in a battle situation staying long range, being aggressive, or keeping their distance. This allows you to use the characters best abilities in battle with gun specialists not being drawn into close battles like in the original.

          The game features a large selection of weapons but in the end you will defiantly just use a lightsaber as they can be built to be incredibly strong, and are without a contest the best weapon in the game, but you will need a strong long range weapon which you can switch between with the press of a button now rather then cycling through a menu. Weapons can be got in many different ways from buying them, to finding them, to stealing them, but now you can build weapons you need to have certain levels of attribute in the right areas and the right equipment which adds a new level to the game trying to collect the right parts from the right places as you try to make the game as easy on your character as possible by having the best weapon in your hand.

          ~ Characters ~
          A characters strengths and weakness depends upon the attributes that you decide to give him and not. Three main routes you can take you can put most attributes into acting areas and slaughter everything in your way, or you can put points into the mechanical side and be able to stealth your way into most battles and hack most consoles, or you can put most points in intelligence and wisdom which will help you uncover the storyline. Strength will help you in battles and will help you progress through the game quickly and with ease. Hacking computers and picking locks will help you to get through doors with ease and helps a lot if you are trying to get somewhere, or do not want to damage important items in locked parts of the game. Wisdom and Intelligence will help you notice things when people are talking to you and this will give you a lot more possible answers for you to respond with and will allow you to get closer to the other characters and this will allow you to reveal more of the underlying game.

          I thought the character interaction was the best thing going for the game, it may not have the best fight scenes, but the story in the game is really well woven into each and every character that you meet each with their own personality each responding better then others to certain paths you decide to take during the game. This almost taking side with one of the many sides of you allies really is interesting and make you want to complete the game multiple times to just to try and get closer to different people in your team and find out their own personnel story.

          One plus to getting close to your allies is they will tell you things that will give you additional missions, extending the game play and the enjoyment you should get.

          ~ Gameplay ~
          For me it took 40 hours to complete the first time, and I have played it for nearly 100 hours now which I am sure you can agree is some amazing gameplay but that is because I really like this game but I know that for everyone of me that loves this game there is another two or three that hate it. It is not fast paced you have not a lot of control in individual battles of the characters you control.

          ~ Light side, Dark side, or Neutral ~
          All 3 will give you different ending, and all ending are worth seeing in my opinion I will not tell you anything about them but they are different. For the light side just help everyone you can and try to kill as little as possible. For Dark side just attack everyone every chance you get. For neutral do a mix making sure that your force stays in the middle.

          ~ Overview ~
          This game was most enjoyable for me because it followed on from the first one and I would have to advice you to play the first one before this one if you have liked the sound of this game. If you have played this first game and enjoyed it then this game is defiantly for you if you didn’t then don’t.


          Thank you
          David Clark
          (DavidJamesClark@hotmail.com)

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            21.03.2005 07:48
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            • "graphical glitches"

            It's a general rule in these circles that whenever a computer game is tied into anything other than another game then the results are generally sub standard. Sadly examples such as Goldeneye, The Chronicles Of Riddick, or Transformers are the exceptions to an otherwise unbreakable rule. Star Wars tie ins are different though. Games based on George Lucas popular film saga are, by and large, incredibly fun games. Personally I suspect that a large part of this is down to the fact that Star Wars is now much more than just a film, and games like Rogue Squadron, or the Jedi Knight series work in conjuncture with the comics, novels, action figures and art work to create a mythology so intricate that the universal struggle portrayed in the films plays a very small role in it's history.

            2003's game of the year Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic is the strongest example of this I've ever seen. It was a Star Wars game with a difference, an RPG (Role Playing Game) that focused less on the action, and more on the inner struggle against the dark side that lies at the very core of the Star Wars legend. Now 2 years later we have the sequel Star Wars: Knights Of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords and the question burning on the minds of fans everywhere is; will this game live up to its predecessor?

            The biggest concern for most fans was how the new story would tie into the old story when the actions of the player dictated whether people lived or died, and whether or not the main character saved the republic or conquered the galaxy as a Sith Lord. The Sith Lords actually takes place about 4 years later (the first one was set about 4000 years before episode one) and initially appears to have nothing in common beyond a few fleeting history lessons. As you start the game you'll be given a few dialogue options that enable you to tell your story, and this will dictate how the conversations will develop later in the game. Other than that the story has developed as such. Shortly after the events of the first game Revan disappeared and a new Sith threat emerged. This new Sith were different, attacking through the force itself and absorbing the life energies of force users to all but obliterate the remaining Jedi order. Now all that remains are rumors of Jedi spotted throughout the galaxy, and you, a former Jedi who had joined Revan in the Mandalorian wars, but who failed to join him when he fell to the dark side. Your connection to the force was severed at the end of the war and the Jedi order exiled you to wander the outer rim alone. Now all these years later you find yourself waking on a decimated mining facility with no lightsabre, no force powers, and a fearsome Sith Lord hunting you down.

            There has been some criticism in regard to this opening level, but in my opinion there couldn't have been a more perfect introduction to this darker chapter. As the Jedi outcast you have to try and escape the mining facility, whilst simultaneously using holo recordings and datapads to uncover just whatever the hell has happened there. Aiding you in this quest are T3 (The R2D2 type droid from the original), Krea (a mysterious force user who adheres to neither Jedi or Sith beliefs, but respects anyone who can analyze the best way to manipulate a situation for their own ends) who decides to become your new master and re-awaken you to the force, and a prisoner of the mining facility named Atton.

            Anyone whose experienced the original game should be able to jump right into this investigation, and new players to the series should have no problem getting to grips with the game mechanics. Each character you meet will talk to you, and for everything they say you will be given a selection of responses. These can range from "Thanks for the advice." to "Shut your mouth, I don't need your help." and each response carries with it the consequences of your choice. On the surface it effects only your alignment between the light and dark side of the force, but of far more importance is the way it effects your influence over the character in question. This is a new feature to the series where the amount of time spent with a character is of less importance than the way you treat them. Forcing you to think about who your are speaking to so that you can select the responses that will enable them to trust you enough to open up, and eventually allow you to train them in the ways of the force. What I found most clever in this regard was the fact that you can now effect a characters own force alignment based on how clever you are in selecting your responses when they challenge your decisions.

            This is important because a characters force alignment will have a direct impact on which force powers you will want to teach them. A Jedi never strikes in attack, only defense, while a Sith values the more immediate path of raw power. Although it is possible for any character to learn any power it works out that a light side character will use up obscene amounts of force points on dark side powers, and vice versa. So if you want a character to use the force for motivating and healing the squad then you better get them light side fast, but if you just want them to charge in flinging lightning bolts in all directions then it's dark side all the way baby.

            Of course since this game is a fully fledged RPG then there's also a lot for the stat heads to get their teeth into. Moving through the game you'll gain access to a wide variety of weapons including blasters, clubs, vibro-blades (for all intents and purposes this is a sword made of a material known as cortosis, the only material a light sabre can't cut through), and of course the light sabres themselves. Each of these come in both single and double handed varieties, and can be duel wielded for added power at a reduction in accuracy. You can teach your character to become a master duel wielder, but this means less experience to spend on other useful abilities. There are also constant armor upgrades to be found in every shop, some improving accuracy, others strength, and some offering a high level of protection but at the expense of inhibiting your force powers. All of these can also be upgraded with additional items that you can find too, which ensures that the games replayability factor is nearly limitless.

            The final thing that marks this game as a classic of the RPG genre is the simple fact that it has the single greatest RPG battle system yet seen. Like the first game The Sith Lords uses a combination of real time and turned based battles. You can take up to 3 characters into a battle and you will control one of them and have the complete freedom of movement that a hack-n-slash game would have provided, but you still get to tactfully select your attack from a series of options and take turns to use those attacks. You can, for some of the bigger opponents, keep pausing the game in order to tactfully use all of your party Final Fantasy style, or you can simply let them do their thing while you control the one character and let the whole Star Wars atmosphere draw you in.

            Where that atmosphere really shines is in the games audio department. If you've seen the films then you know what to expect, from the moment the crawling text rolls along to the Star Wars theme music you know where you stand. After that the sounds of blaster fire and vrooming light sabre duels ensure that this is far more atmospheric than the usual swords and sandals type of RPG. It's the voice acting that really does it, being a massive improvement over the whiny irritating cast of the original. Now you have Atton's sarcastic inflections, Krea's cold and calculating training, and Darth Sion's Robert Carlyle impression, it's just all absolutely superb.

            Sadly as much as I love the game I have to admit that there are a number of glaring faults. The most noticeable will be in the games graphics that feel really incomplete. The locations have all been immaculately conceived, with everything down to individually animated blades of grass being rendered, but then the effect is spoiled by occasions of pop up and blocky character models that barely register as an improvement over the 3 year old original. If that wasn't bad enough then there's also the fact that some of the games bigger battles feature more slow down than the entire Matrix trilogy.

            Now the next point is something you'll likely be expecting if you've ever played the original and that is the fact that the game is still buggy as hell. The worst bug I experienced was that during the later levels my heal was inexplicably damaging my enemies. It was the light side heal that I was trying to tactfully use during battle, but it ended up healing me and destroying half of an enemies life bar and made the game way too easy. That was the worst bug I experienced but, like the original, I have heard reports of people experiencing severe bugs that forced them to restart their entire game so once again you'll want to have at least 4 save files to protect yourself from these.

            The final is the fact that, while I personally found the story and characters to be superior, the story was rushed out and left incomplete. At various points through the games start you will be attacked by a series of assassin droids, with your own droid then claiming that he can trace down the production factory given the right timing. After that you never hear from those droids again, the reason being that the idea got cut from the game but the early programming was left in, leaving you with an empty feeling as the story just ends without resolving the issue with these droids. This was not the only such occurrence.

            It's a shame because The Sith Lords is an example of a sequel that improves on the original. If you can tolerate the constant bugs and a slightly incomplete story then you will be rewarded by one of the best RPGs ever programmed, and certainly the best Star Wars game to date. Unfortunately once again those faults leave me feeling that it doesn't quite deserve to win the game of the year award.





            Rated 12+ for mild language and dark themes.

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            • More +
              25.02.2005 21:53
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              This is a review on the game called Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords. It is the long awaited sequel to the 2003’s game of the year Knights Of the old republic. This is a game that is to do with star wars, but has its own story-line. It is set 4000 years before Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope movie. You will be able to fully design your character to the way you want it to be at the start of the game. You will be able to choose what type you want to be, there is a Jedi Consular, Jedi Guardian or Jedi Sentinel. You will also be able to choose if you want to be a male or female. Some of you may expect it to be like previous Star Wars games like Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace, and Star Wars Jedi Power Battles. Which may have been disappointing to some of you, but this game is different, you will not start off with a Light Sabre, you will start off with nothing and find stuff along your journey. I shall tell you some of the story so you get the gist of the game, and may understand it more. You are an exile, a former Jedi that is no longer one, as you decided to go to war when the Jedi Council disagreed with it, that is how you became exiled from the Jedi kind. You slowly get re-connected to the force, and can become strong with the Light Side, or the Dark Side. That is the basic beginning story really.

              When you are in the game, you can become Light, or Dark, Jedi or Sith, depending on your actions within the game, and how you reply at speaking to people. If you want to become a Sith, and become corrupted to the Dark Side, then you will want to kill everyone, and always bad mouth people who talk to you, and never go along with what they say, and always help out the bad guy. But if you want to turn to the Light Side, then you will want to do the complete opposite to roughly what I just said. If you are pretty far in the Light Side, you can always turn to the Dark Side, same the other way; you can be anything you want to be. Anyway, when you have played around 8 – 10 hours into the game, you will find pieces of a Light Sabre and be able to put one back together. There are two kinds of Light Sabres you can have, a single one, or a double-ended one. You are able to hold two single Light Sabres, and only one double-ended one at one time. They both are good to use, in my point of view, I prefer to use just a single Light Sabre on its own, as it looks more professional. There are also different colours you can have for your Light Sabre, there is Orange, Red, Blue, Yellow, Green, Purple and Silver, which all look really great and spiffy.

              In this game, you will be able to level up, you gain experience by killing enemies, there are loads of different enemies, at the start you will fight droids, and then you end up fighting harder droids, and so on. Depending how hard the enemy is, is depending on how much experience you get. When you level up, you will be able to increase your attributes, get feat, powers and your skill. Some times when you level up, you won’t be able to upgrade some of them; it is different each time you level up. You will need to be a certain level to use certain items, or have certain skills learnt to use certain items or weapons, you will need to learn Light Sabre Mastery to use a Light Sabre, and other things for other items. There are many things you can wear, you can change your armour, which will also change the look of you, and you can wear helmets or stuff that will go on your head, shields, waste bands, shoulder stuff, to give you the maximum advantage.

              This is an RPG based game, you will be able to wander around many planets from the Star Wars movies, including Tatooine, Dantooine, Telos and Korriban, and there are loads others, which will have its own storyline for you to crack and complete. Mainly you will be searching for the left over Jedi masters, but you can talk with them, or Slay them. As you are supposedly the last Jedi, you have the Sith chasing you throughout this hectic outstanding Star Wars Role-playing game. You will find many allies on your journey that will all have their part in to help you through the game, you can have 2 allies with you at one time when you are adventuring, and each ally has their own set of skills. You will find other people in the game that also can use Light Sabres, they could be secret Jedi, or Sith in disguise. Play the game and see where your story unfolds to, do you end up becoming the saver of the universe, or do you intend to destroy everything in your path, just to serve your selfish greed, you decide. That is the beauty of this game; you can change your story at a blink of an eye. If you become corrupted to the Dark Side, your skin will start to change, you can become pale and start to rot, or turn into an evil blue demon, and some others, it is random each time you start a new character.

              Before I finish the review I thought I might let you know about the downfall of this game, which can put off people from buying this, but it did not to me. There are many glitches in this game, when you get into battle, sometimes you will have slowdowns, when the game has trouble keeping up with the movement, also now and then the game may occasionally crash, which is not the type of thing you would expect from a new and up to standard game. Also there might be some glitches in the game, like the graphics might just blur up, like it has done to me now and then. Also there are some more glitches, sometimes the game-engine will fail to realise that you are in battle, you will be attacked, yet you will not be able to reply the attack, but that has just happened once to me, so that could well be just a one off fluke, but there is no harm in letting you know if it does happen to you. Well that is around about it about the glitches, so if you wish to buy a Knights Of the Old Republic game, buy the first, it might be a bit shorter, yet it has the same graphics, no glitches, and certainly no slowdowns.

              This game is extremely playable, a very fun game indeed, but the game could be better, as I said above about all the glitches in this game, but still… it is a great game to play, and have fun all the time, very entertaining game, and also it is great to wield your very own Light Sabre. The game is really addictive, it is a massive game, there are loads of things you will need to do, or you could just have fun killing enemies, or neutral monsters to gain experience. That is exceptionally fun when you have a Light Sabre, as you kind of whip there butt’s so easily. The game is pretty original, it is the best Star Wars game that I have played (as I have not yet played Knights Of The Old Republic 1), it is cool to get your Light Sabre to kill enemies, and have duel with the Sith Lords, that is just way cool, and looks very good also. Very worth getting this game, if you don’t mind the infrequent glitch.

              The graphics of this are excellent, even though they are the same as the 2003’s game of the year, the detail in the characters is great, and when you run through long grass, it sways out of the way like it would in real life, same as when you are running in shallow water, splashes around and all of that, very good graphics indeed. The Light Sabres look very detailed, and very cool and spiffy. The background music to this game is great, it has music that you would expect it to have, cool, yet not too hardcore music that is just suitable of what’s going on. There are voices in this game, the only voice that you don’t get is the one for your character, you will here what the other person is saying, as they are speaking it, and also it will be written out so you can read it also. Even the people that are not important speak, which is pretty good. The sound effects for this game is great also, with the slashing with the Light Sabres, and generating the Light Sabre itself, it all sounds very cool, also the noises of the people that die, when they go ‘AH’ and that.

              The game can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t know what you are doing, the length of the game also can make it difficult, as you can tell that each planet can take very long, yet it will keep you entertained. The game can be very difficult, as it is just not all strength, you will need the mind power, and the strategically know how to play this game also. This game is around £30 - £40 new, even though it got it for £20 new, as someone at the place I bought it at screwed up (not allowed to name names, legal reasons), and they sent me the wrong game by mistake, as I originally bought the first game, and got the second, so feeling pretty good about it. It is worth to buy the game at that price, for all the length of the game, the RPG game-play of it all, just brilliant. I thought this game was really good, just disappointed about the amount of glitches and slowdowns this game has, that is why I shall give this game 4 star * * * *, it would be 5 star if it was clear of slowdowns and glitches, but the game is still certainly playable, and it is recommended to all Star Wars fans, as they would probably love this game.

              Join the Darkside, and live the life you have always wanted!!!

              THIS GAME IS

              Very Long
              Glitchy
              A great Star Wars Game

              THIS GAME IS NOT

              As good as the original (So I’ve heard)
              2 Player
              XBOX Live Compatible

              Will you be corrupted to the Darkside? I was...

              Thanks for Reading, and also sorry for taking so long for writing a new review. Thanks For being patient.

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            • Product Details

              With an all-new storyline, new characters, classes, locations and force powers, The Sith Lords occures approximately five years after the events of the original Knights of the Old Republic. The galaxy is in turmoil and the Republic no longer has the strength to protect its worlds.