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Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II The Sith Lords (KOTORII) is a sequel to one of the best and one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2003. But, does the sequel live up to all the expectations that were set for it? Before we get into the review I'll judge the game based on these categories: graphics, sound/music, storyline, game play, and general fun. I will score each category our of 10.

Graphics Score: 6.5
Graphics is where KOTORII and Obsidian dropped the ball. The game does not look any better than last years installment. TO me KOTORII actually looks worse than last years game. But the game still looks good and isn't an eyesore. Yes, there are still the movies in the game all of which are beautifully rendered and look really nice. The light sabers look good and give off a cool glow to them still. They have also added a bunch of new colours for you to use in your light saber. The blaster shots look good but travel a little slowly. How ever in some situations where there is a lot going on graphics wise the game will slow way down to about 3 FPS for a while. There are some problems with clipping where your characters feet when on certain floors actually seem to go into the floor when their running. The textures are all well done for the most part and the metallic surfaces look really good. There are some jaggies on a few surfaces, but they are only visible when you take a very good look at them. The force powers still look good and there are some cool particle effects throughout the game. But all in all the graphics just seem to fall short this time around. But it's nothing that should discourage you from buying the game.

Sound/Music Score: 9.5
As with all things Star Wars the music and sound effects are amazing. The music sets the right tone for different situations and is all performed by an orchestra. You get all the John Williams Star Wars music in there too. There is no comparison this year (2004) for music. This is easily the best music in a game this year. Now about the sound effects, they are all nearly perfectly done. You get that cool sound when you turn on your light saber and the low growl that the red sabers make. The sounds of the blaster fire is done well too. The explosion sounds are also quite well done. Obsidian knows how to do music.

Storyline Score: 9.9
While not the huge sweeping story line like last years game. This story line focuses more on the personal struggle of your group. There are 10 party members this time around. The only two returning ones though are T3 and Hk-47. The characters are all done quite nicely. There is one more planet to visit and mess around in their affairs. Just like in the last game there is a branching story line but each story line has the same ending. It's just what you do to reach that ending. Each character has their own personal story and if you have a few spare hours you can find out about their background and what they've been up to. However, there are two shortcomings to the story line. If you played the first game you are going to expect a big twist some where. That twist doesn't occur. Instead they give you a series of small twists. The second shortcoming is that must have played KOTORI to really understand whats going on in this game. As you will subtly be asked a series of questions about the first game which also effects the storyline slightly.

Game Play Score: 9.9
This is where the game really shines. There are two paths that your Jedi can walk down, the light side and the dark side. Each time you make a decision that is inherently good or evil you will earn dark side or light side points. This, if you have influence over your party members can make them good or evil. You gain influence with them by doing things that they like. For example, if HK-47 is in your part and you kill someone for no reason you will gain influence and push HK-47 even more to the dark side. It is hard though to gain influence, with each one of your part members though. Now, thats really all the refinements that were made to the game play. If you've played the first KOTOR then you will know pretty much how to do everything that you need to. Obsidian did though add a bunch of new force powers and some new feats for you to use. But, they took out the random battles where you got to go on the Ebon Hawks turret and shoot down your enemies. I thought that was a poor decision on their part. Now you can also create your own med-pacs my collecting chemicals; similarly you can create repair kits by collecting parts. It takes a few parts to make a repair kit but the number of parts required goes down if you have a high repair skill. As long as you have played the first KOTOR you should be able to jump right into this game and know whats going on. If you haven't played KOTORI go and buy that. You need to learn about the game play mechanics as they are governed by a Dungeons And Dragons type rule set.

Overall Fun Score: 9.5
Once you have beaten both the light side and the dark side parts of the game there really isn't much to go back for. The good news is that the game will last you about 30-35 hours if you don't get stuck. The game is fun from the time you put it into your X-Box until the time you take it out. This is a game that you should not miss out on. If you don't have the first KOTOR you should buy it as its about $20(Cdn.) used. Having both these games will last you for about 100 hours if you beat both games on the dark side and the light side. This game is not for everyone though, there are a few people who don't like KOTORI and won't like KOTORII. So if you are unsure about weather you should pick it up you should give it a rent and see how you like it first.

Overall Score
9.7

Closing comments
I had more fun with the first game than with this one. But this game defiantly warrants a buy. You can forget about Halo 2, GTA:SA and Metroid Prime 2 this is the Game Of The Year (2004). I can't wait for the third installment.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

 

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords

ESRB: Teen - T
Platform: Xbox
Category: n/a
 
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Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic II The Sith Lords (KOTORII) is a sequel to one of the best and one of the most critically acclaimed games of 2003. But, does the sequel live up to all the expectations that were set for it? Before we get into the review I'll judge the game based on these categories: graphics, sound/music, storyline, game play, and general fun. I will score each category our of 10. Graphics Score: 6.5 Graphics is where KOTORII and Obsidian dropped the ball. The game does not look any better than last years installment. TO me KOTORII actually looks worse than last years game. But the game still looks good and isn't an eyesore. Yes, there are still the movies in the game all of which are beautifully rendered and look really nice. The light sabers look good and give off a cool glow to them still. They have also added a bunch of new colours for you to use in your light saber. The blaster shots look good but travel a little slowly. How ever in some situations where there is a lot going on graphics wise the game will slow way down to about 3 FPS for a while. There are some problems with clipping where your characters feet when on certain floors actually seem to go into the floor when their running. The textures are all well done for the most part and the metallic surfaces look really good. There are some jaggies on a few surfaces, but they are only visible when you take a very good look at them. The force powers still look good and there are some cool particle effects throughout the game. But all in all the graphics just seem to fall short this time around. But it's nothing that should discourage you from buying the game. Sound/Music Score: 9.5 As with all things Star Wars the music and sound effects are amazing. The music sets the right tone for different situations and is all performed by an orchestra. You get all the John Williams Star Wars music in there too. There is no comparison this year (2004) for music. This is easily the best music in a game this year. Now about the sound effects, they are all nearly perfectly done. You get that cool sound when you turn on your light saber and the low growl that the red sabers make. The sounds of the blaster fire is done well too. The explosion sounds are also quite well done. Obsidian knows how to do music. Storyline Score: 9.9 While not the huge sweeping story line like last years game. This story line focuses more on the personal struggle of your group. There are 10 party members this time around. The only two returning ones though are T3 and Hk-47. The characters are all done quite nicely. There is one more planet to visit and mess around in their affairs. Just like in the last game there is a branching story line but each story line has the same ending. It's just what you do to reach that ending. Each character has their own personal story and if you have a few spare hours you can find out about their background and what they've been up to. However, there are two shortcomings to the story line. If you played the first game you are going to expect a big twist some where. That twist doesn't occur. Instead they give you a series of small twists. The second shortcoming is that must have played KOTORI to really understand whats going on in this game. As you will subtly be asked a series of questions about the first game which also effects the storyline slightly. Game Play Score: 9.9 This is where the game really shines. There are two paths that your Jedi can walk down, the light side and the dark side. Each time you make a decision that is inherently good or evil you will earn dark side or light side points. This, if you have influence over your party members can make them good or evil. You gain influence with them by doing things that they like. For example, if HK-47 is in your part and you kill someone for no reason you will gain influence and push HK-47 even more to the dark side. It is hard though to gain influence, with each one of your part members though. Now, thats really all the refinements that were made to the game play. If you've played the first KOTOR then you will know pretty much how to do everything that you need to. Obsidian did though add a bunch of new force powers and some new feats for you to use. But, they took out the random battles where you got to go on the Ebon Hawks turret and shoot down your enemies. I thought that was a poor decision on their part. Now you can also create your own med-pacs my collecting chemicals; similarly you can create repair kits by collecting parts. It takes a few parts to make a repair kit but the number of parts required goes down if you have a high repair skill. As long as you have played the first KOTOR you should be able to jump right into this game and know whats going on. If you haven't played KOTORI go and buy that. You need to learn about the game play mechanics as they are governed by a Dungeons And Dragons type rule set. Overall Fun Score: 9.5 Once you have beaten both the light side and the dark side parts of the game there really isn't much to go back for. The good news is that the game will last you about 30-35 hours if you don't get stuck. The game is fun from the time you put it into your X-Box until the time you take it out. This is a game that you should not miss out on. If you don't have the first KOTOR you should buy it as its about $20(Cdn.) used. Having both these games will last you for about 100 hours if you beat both games on the dark side and the light side. This game is not for everyone though, there are a few people who don't like KOTORI and won't like KOTORII. So if you are unsure about weather you should pick it up you should give it a rent and see how you like it first. Overall Score 9.7 Closing comments I had more fun with the first game than with this one. But this game defiantly warrants a buy. You can forget about Halo 2, GTA:SA and Metroid Prime 2 this is the Game Of The Year (2004). I can't wait for the third installment.






 
 

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