Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.
Star Wars is a franchise that has lasted decades not only in film but in other mediums too. Star Wars video games have a long and storied history with both ups and downs. Today’s game is something in between and is a little different than any other Star Wars game you may have played. Today’s game is Star Wars Episode 1: Jedi Power Battles. Developed by LucasArts and released on the Sony Playstation in 2000.
Jedi Power Battles is a platforming beat-em-up based on Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Players can choose their Jedi and then jump in to mow down trade federation droids and other enemies to reach Darth Maul. Each Jedi has their own unique lightsaber fighting style, force powers, as well as statistical strengths and weaknesses. Alongside combat, jumping and platforming is also important to getting through Jedi Power Battles. Many levels consist of jumping across rooftops or moving cars. There are even a few vehicles to pilot throughout the game.
Jedi Power Battles consists of 10 single-player levels, taking place in various locations seen in the film such as Naboo and Coruscant. The player starts out being able to play as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn, Mace Windu as well as lesser known Jedi Masters, Adi Gallia and Plo Koon, both members of the Jedi Council. Players can also unlock a number of characters depending on which console version they’re playing. The Playstation version contains Queen Amidala, her security chief Captain Panaka as well as the Sith apprentice, Darth Maul, himself. The Dreamcast version contains these characters as well as Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi and the standard Battle Droid. Interestingly, several of the Jedi Masters had not yet used their lightsabers on film when this game was made so the lightsaber colors for several are inconsistent with Attack of the Clones or Revenge of the Sith, including Mace Windu who has a blue lightsaber in this game but a purple lightsaber in the later movies.
Jedi Power Battles was not well received on the Sony Playstation but an enhanced version for the Sega Dreamcast got a decent amount of praise. The Playstation version was criticised for having very little depth outside of the main levels and poor camera angles resulted in many cheap deaths during the platforming segments. The Dreamcast version fixed many of these problems with additional characters, levels and game modes but the camera angles were still seen as a problem. Both versions contained 2 player co-op though which many reviewers did say helped the game immensely. Jedi Power Battles would also receive a version on the Game Boy Advance but this would barely resemble the console versions and was not well received at all. Ultimately, Jedi Power Battles was a one-off experiment by LucasArts that just didn’t really pan out
Thank you so much for listening! For more facts about Jedi Power Battles, follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday. Archives and transcripts for every episode are on videogameoftheday.com. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.
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