Star Wars: Battle for Naboo
It has been mooted within the pages of this rag that I "don't like" Star Wars. It's a ludicrous claim to have to defend, but for the record I thoroughly enjoyed the film when my Dad (eventually) took me to see it in 1977, and again 20 years later when I took him. However, I don't own the box set, I don't have my monitor adorned with models of the various characters, and I don't think about it every waking moment. Which in this godforsaken industry pretty much puts me in a minority of one.
As for The Phantom Menace, I saw it in LA, and like most sane people concluded that it was muck. Admittedly my judgement may have been impaired by a 12-hour flight and the fact that I was busting for a piss, but having seen it again in more orthodox circumstances, I can confirm that I was right. But unlike more emotionally unstable patrons, I don't feel betrayed, and I'm not upset. Get a grip, it's only a film. There are far more important things in the world to worry about. Like Planet Of The Apes, for instance.
It's The Phantom Menace that we're dealing with here though, but it's not actually mentioned by name, probably in the hope of throwing people oft the scent. There's no disguising the fact though, as you find yourself cruising around the verdant environs of Naboo in a variety of wholly unfamiliar craft. There are seven on offer, including a land speeder, a river buggy, some airborne affairs and even a bit of space combat.
To be honest, you don't really need me to tell you what it's like as it's written on the cover ot the box in capital letters. 'FAST, FURIOUS ACTION IN THE TRADITION OF STAR WARS: ROGUE SQUADRON' it boasts, and fast furious action in the tradition of Star Wars: Rogue Squadron is exactly what you get. That is, 15 totally linear missions interspersed with passable cut scenes. However, the key difference is that in Rogue Squadron you were Luke Skywalker doing battle with the Evil Empire, felling those fourlegged things and generally giving Dave Prowse a hard time. Here, you are Gavin Sykes, mincing around the countryside, mildly irritating the Trade Federation.
Lost In Music
But despite the faceless nature of the levels, there's a vaguely entertaining narrative to be had, combining the usual Star Wars fodder of standing up for the little man, betrayal and shooting stuff to a background of rousing music. It might not be 'proper' Star Wars, but even men with steel hearts can't help but feel a twinge of excitement P I when the trademark John Williams score kicks in.
Likewise with the time honoured scrolling text at the beginning, which depending on your personality (disorder) will have the hackles on the back of your neck rising, or see you vainly slapping the Escape key In parts, Battle For Naboo is actually a right old laugh. There isn't a great deal of brain power required, but who wants to think anyway? LucasArts has sullied the Star Wars name with a slew of inferior titles, and while this does little to redress the balance, perversely its lack of ambition is its saviour. It's a piece of piss to play, there are no major shortcomings and it's mass-market fodder that can be enjoyed by anyone. Which has to be better than a Jar Jar Binks doll.
Download Star Wars: Battle for Naboo
PC compatible, P-100
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features: Single game mode
2019-02-04 Star Wars: Battle for Naboo game added.