Yesterday, Fool contributor Steven Mallas discussed the sales boost that last week's DVD release of the first Star Wars trilogy gave Wal-Mart
First off, I'd like to point out that I beat him to the punch, having purchased my own set last Thursday. But along with it, I also bought a copy of the Star Wars: Battlefront video game for my Xbox.
The game was released last week with the DVD, and the timing was brilliant for a couple of reasons. As Steven noted yesterday, the obvious one is that the hype generated by the DVD release helps make the game an easy sell. The other reason is that the game release comes neatly before this year's big holiday video game season rush.
Unlike this time last year, the next few months are chock-full of highly anticipated megahits. Gamers have only so much time and money to spend on video games, yet everybody is going to want Sony's
In addition, the market of mature gamers is growing, and many -- if not most -- Star Wars fans are old enough to buy their own games without waiting for the holidays. So why go up against impossible competition if you don't have to?
Star Wars: Battlefront offers something that every Star Wars fan wants: a Star Wars game that is fun and solidly playable. The gamer gets to play out the battles of the movies, and he can be almost anybody he wants including a rebel soldier, imperial soldier, wookie, clone, or droid. He can also choose from an assortment of specialists, some who carry jetpacks, others with sniper rifles, and even the spider droids from The Phantom Menace.
The battles take places at locales on several planets in the Star Wars galaxy, including Hoth, Tatooine, and Naboo. In battle, the player can hop into any vehicle from any Star Wars movie, including X-Wing fighter jets, speeders, and those nasty imperial four-legged vehicles from Return of the Jedi. Basically, you get to do everything. And to top it off, the game is multiplayer and online-compatible.
The game is not particularly deep or thought-provoking, and some might find the progression of the Historical Campaign (story mode) a little odd -- in one battle you fight as the republic (good guys), and the next as the separatists (bad guys). I suppose this makes sense in that the battles follow the progression of the movies (with movie clips); you have to win the battle to move on, and the bad guys sometimes win.
Honestly, I wasn't in the mood to spend another $50 after dropping $42 and tax on the movies. And if the game had been released at the same time as say, Gran Turismo 4, I would definitely have chosen GranTurismo 4 instead. Star Wars: Battlefront just happened to be the right game at the right time, and worth every penny.
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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang owns shares of Electronic Arts.