Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon Review
Posted by Jon Wahlgren
Turds in space
We can only imagine what mind-numbingly stupid things people were thinking during the pitch for Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon. We suspect it started out with noble intentions: the Rogue Squadron games were well received, and crazier games had successfully made the leap to the Gameboy Advance. Why not put the Millennium Falcon at the forefront of a new, portable space flight game? It'll make millions. Hojillions!
And thus was born another terrible, horrible Star Wars game. Like the Rogue Squadron games, Flight of the Falcon is a series of space combat and other vehicular missions, but here you're limited to flying/driving a set path through missions inspired by the original trilogy. In other words, it's a space flight rails game, and one so bad you'll be confused as to what dark magicks are at work in your GBA to strangle any notion of fun.
Sure, you can move your craft around the screen to aim at what we theorise are TIE Fighters and other Imperial vessels, but the aiming system is so boneheaded that the outer quarter of the playing field is completely impossible to target. See, you can send the Falcon flying any which way on your screen, but the aiming reticule is planted firmly in the centre and won't let you target the corners. The reticule is also stupidly small, making it extremely difficult to actually target anything.
It gets worse. Stages drag on for far too long with such lofty and complicated goals as "shoot TIE fighters" or "reach the end before time is up," with a progress bar giving you vague hints as to how long until you finish your one of 14 obnoxious missions. In the case of the timed stages, the progress bar is actually just your timer ticking down and you have no clue whatsoever of how far through you are. It just ends and then throws you back to the beginning if you don't make it to the arbitrary end. Checkpoints are nonexistent, so you'd better hope nothing goes wrong.
The framerate is on life support the entire time and the graphics are, shall we say, rough. It's the blockiest Star Wars has looked this side of Lego. Mos Eisley looks to have been the target of an atomic mud bomb and is so indistinguishably brown as you speed through it. And by speed through it we mean die a slow and painful death on the inside.
Had whoever was in charge of such decisions not been such a cheap-o and opted for cart saving instead of passwords then Falcon would have been slightly less of a travesty. Passwords would be fine and all if the game ever gave you one between stages, but the only time it decides to grace us with a magic four-symbol code is between episodes. Episodes. As in the end of each of the three movies it pulls from. Do you know how many stages there are per episode? Way too many. Since there's no battery backup, your scores go away when you power off too. There's a neat idea of exporting your own scores to a friend's cart using a password, but what's the point if the game just erases them?
The one nice thing that can be said about the game is that the sound effects sound like the movies. Then again, this isn't a particularly impressive feat since you can say the same thing about an Internet soundboard. Congratulations on not screwing it up, we suppose.
Flight of the Falcon is a very bad game. As such, you should not play it. However cool the screenshots look, however promising the premise sounds, just remember that the Force is not with this one in any way, shape or form.