Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II Review
Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II improves upon its predecessor and serves up one of the best showcases for Nintendo's new system and an equally impressive game.
When it was released on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, the original Rogue Squadron hooked players with its engaging gameplay and slick graphics. Factor 5 and LucasArts mined the classic movie trilogy and managed to create one of the most immersive Star Wars titles on a home console to date, setting a new standard for Star Wars games in the process. However, the bar for Star Wars games has been raised again by Rogue Squadron's GameCube sequel, the developer's first effort on Nintendo's new console. Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II improves upon its predecessor and serves up one of the best showcases for Nintendo's new system and an equally impressive game.
Like its predecessor, Rogue Leader draws on the original Star Wars trilogy for its story. This time, you'll find yourself in two different flight suits as you take control of both Luke Skywalker and Wedge Antilles over the course of the game. The various missions you'll embark on weave in and out of the trilogy and expand on incidents hinted at in the films. For example, you'll participate in missions such as protecting a rebel transports moving alliance forces from Yavin to Hoth and commandeering supplies for the Rebel Fleet's attack on the Death Star. The game's narrative is much more tightly focused than the one in Rogue Squadron and Factor 5's last N64 game, Battle for Naboo, which was similar in style to Rogue Squadron. The tighter narrative complements the missions and makes for an extremely cohesive and satisfying experience, as every mission flows very naturally into the next. Toss in negligible load times, and you have a game that simply won't let you go.
Players familiar with Rogue Squadron on the N64 will feel right at home with Rogue Leader's gameplay and control layout. Rogue Leader follows Rogue Squadron's mission-based gameplay and medal system exactly. You'll select a mission from the briefing room and find yourself in the cockpit of one of several Star Wars craft from the game. X-Wings, Y-Wings, Snowspeeders, A-Wings, B-Wings, and even the Millennium Falcon are yours to fly. In addition, it's possible to switch to other familiar ships, like a Twin Pod Cloud Car, during missions. Intrepid players may even find others or unlock ways to play as more craft.
You'll be introduced to each of the 10 missions' individual requirements at the start of a level, and at the end of a mission, you may be awarded a gold, silver, or bronze medal depending on how you performed during the mission. In addition to being shiny and looking cool, medals provide points that you can use to unlock bonus missions within the game. While bronze medals are relatively easy to earn, gold medals definitely take some work to achieve. As you work your way through the game, you'll find that you can replay missions with other ships, which is a big help in earning medals. The game's AI can be quite brutal and adaptive during a fight, forcing you to stay on your toes to stay alive. The control is the same as Rogue Squadron's but has been improved, working very well with the GameCube controller. You'll steer your craft with the analog stick and use the L and R triggers to brake and accelerate. You'll be able to rotate your craft by holding down the Z-button. The D-pad is used to call up and issue commands to your wingmen. The A-button fires your main weapon and the B-button fires your craft's secondary weapon. The X-button shifts to a cockpit view. You can use the C-stick to look around your ship during flight. The Y-button calls up a slick new enhancement to the control scheme: your targeting computer. Basically an onscreen overlay that highlights mission critical targets in yellow, the targeting computer is a welcome improvement.
- Player Reviews: 101
- Game Universe:
- Star Wars Episode I: Racer (GBC, N64, DC, MAC),
- Star Wars: Yoda Stories (PC, GBC),
- Star Wars: Demolition (DC, PS),
- Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast (PC, GC, XBOX, MAC),
- Star Wars: Starfighter (PC, PS2),
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC, XBOX, MAC),
- Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (PS2, XBOX),
- Star Wars: Bounty Hunter (PS2, GC),
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars (GC, PS2, XBOX),
- Star Wars Galaxies (PS2, XBOX)
- Number of Players: