Battle Front I&II
 Battle Front I or Battle Front II Review
Well this is a real tough one for me, as both games are quite unique. When I first started playing Battlefront 2 I thought it was quite disappointing compared to the first game, however after a couple of days of playing the campaign I noticed its advantages and changed my mind.
One of the main things I like about Battlefront 1 is the ability to go prone. I personally found it very useful as a sniper, giving me that slight bit of extra cover, and not having that in BF2 was a real bummer. However, Battlefront 2 makes up for the lack of going prone by having the ability to run throughout the battlefield, which I find much more useful then going prone and use more regularly.
Now, with the maps, I was a bit disappointed with the fact they seemed to take all of my favorite maps out when making the second game, leaving only the bad ones from the first. I used to always love playing Bespin, Rhen Var, Tatooine Dune Sea and Naboo Plains, but all of these were taken out. I also liked the fact that every planet in the original game had two levels for it, giving you more of a variety in the planet. BF2 however, has more planets with only one stage per planet, which is also alright I suppose. So both games are pretty even in this respect, however it would have been better if they hadn't taken out the good levels.
Galactic conquest is very different in the two games. At first glace I much preferred the original galactic conquest, however after playing it for a bit I realized how much more tactical the second one is, and how much more flexibility it was. The first GC feels like a series of battles, whereas the second feels more like a tactical board game. I prefer the second approach, as the first one gets boring after a while, while the second stays fresh with the various tactics you can use, such as building new fleets.
One area where Battlefront 2 definitely excels over the original game is in aerial combat. The first game attempted to include this, but it didn't really work as the fighters and bombers would always overpower all the ground units, never giving them a chance. The designers were heading on the right track with Bespin Platforms, but didn't quite perfect it until the Space Battles of the second game. I love being able to fly through space, destroying either capital ships or picking off enemy fighters. It works much better then having a fighter fly over your head shooting you while all you have to defend yourself with is a lousy machine gun.
The Jedi system is an interesting point. On one hand you have the ability to play as lethal killing machines, giving you a different perspective on the battlefield and the ability to pulverize your opponents, while on the other hand it takes some of the tactics away from every battle, turning it into a race for the first person to become a Jedi. I mean, it's never any fun when you are a single soldier stuck against a Jedi opponent, it's awfully difficult. So my opinion on this is that the addition of Jedi are absolutely brilliant, and a great tactical move, however they should either be made weaker, controlled like AI opponents like in the original game, or limited to Hero Assault stages instead.
Which brings me onto different platforms. Obviously, Battlefront 2 is the worst on the PS2 as it has no downloadable content like all the other platforms. It was great on the X-Box how you could just download new characters and levels to spice up the game a bit, and how on the computer you could even create your own custom levels for online and offline play. Always good fun. As far as I am aware, for Battlefront 1 you could only do this on the computer (but not with as much ease), and there weren't any download packs for the X-Box.
Overall, I'd have to vote for Battlefront 2 as its advantages just outweigh its disadvantages. However there are a lot of areas which the original game is better then the sequel, which should be merged back into the third game if it was made.
Review can be found here:NeoDebates Thread
 Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
 An Integral Part of the Star Wars Saga
- This is an amazing book. Incredibly well written and detailed, and gives a much greater insight into the story line then the movie does. This book gives an intriguing insight into the relationship between Anakin and Obi-Wan, and provides much more emotion then the movie did when they are torn apart and follow different paths. It also explains in much more detail all the reasons behind Anakin turning to the dark side of the force; such as his fear of the dark because of the story Obi-Wan had told him about "How even stars burn out." The story also uses many different writing techniques to explain the plot to the reader, without stating the obvious. Some of the styles the author uses are things like First Person, Third Person, writing not about the actions of the story, but rather the feel of the rest of the galaxy at the time. He also uses the script of a voice recording from the council chambers to describe the plot at one point, not the way the movie tells it, but rather the way the Galactic Senate would have heard the story of where Palpatine is put under arrest and murders the four Jedi Masters. I also love the intro and ending to every part of the book; Part 1 - Victory, Part 2 – Seduction and Part 3 – Apocalypse. This book is truly amazing.
- I had great difficulty finding anything even remotely bad about this book. One thing that could be improved though is the story runs very quickly after the great Jedi Purge, and the following storyline advances rapidly. I believe this section could have been described better and taken up more pages. The whole of Part 1 is merely describing the first 20 minutes of the book, right up until the rescue of Chancellor Palpatine. But Part Three describes the entire final fight scene, the battle in Palpatines office; every after the point where Mace Windu first discovers that Palpatine is a Sith Lord. I believe he tried to cram too much plot line into that one part, and would have been better off to add a part four. But the way he did conclude the story was a great one anyway, and I congratulate him on such a great book, for the way he did write Part Three is unique and a fascinating read none-the-less.
This book is a necessary read for ANY star wars fan, and non-star wars fans alike. Every point in the novel is gripping, and makes you not want to put the book down!
One of my favourite parts of the novel, which I explained briefly before, is the introduction to every part, and the ending to the last part. If you read the passage on its own, it seems irrelevant to star wars. However, when combined with this book it has incredible power. It really matches the storyline, each section summarising the previous part and leading into the next. What follows is an extract from the book; the beginning and end to every part.
Following Text From: Star Wars – Revenge of the Sith Novelisation by Matthew Stover
This story happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. It is already over. Nothing can be done to change it. It is a story of love and loss, brotherhood and betrayal, courage and sacrifice and the death of dreams. It is a story of the blurred line between our best and our worst. It is a story of the end of an age. A strange thing about stories- Though this all happened so long ago and so far away that words cannot describe the time or the distance, it is also happening right now. Right here. It is happening as you read these words. This is how twenty-five millennia come to a close. Corruption and treachery have crushed a thousand years of peace. This is not just the end of a republic; night is falling on civilization itself. This is the twilight of the Jedi. The end starts now.
The dark is generous. Its first gift is concealment: our true faces lie in the dark beneath our skins, our true hearts remain shadowed deeper still. But the greatest concealment lies not in protecting our secret truths, but in hiding from us the truths of others. The dark protects us from what we dare not know. Its second gift is comforting illusion: the ease of gentle dreams in night's embrace, the beauty that imagination brings to what would repel in day's harsh light. But the greatest of its comforts is the illusion that the dark is temporary: that every night brings a new day. Because it is day that is temporary. Day is the illusion. Its third gift is the light itself: as days are defined by the nights that divide them, as stars are defined by the infinite black through which they wheel, the dark embraces the light, and brings it forth from the centre of its worn self. With each victory of the light, it is the dark that wins.
The dark is generous, and it is patient. It is the dark that seeds cruelty into justice, that drips contempt into compassion, that poisons love with grains of doubt. The dark can be patient, because the slightest drop of rain will cause these seeds to sprout. The rain will come, and the seeds will sprout, for the dark is the soil in which they grow, and it is the clouds above them, and it waits behind the star that gives them light. The dark's patience is infinite. Eventually, even stars burn out.
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins. It always wins because it is everywhere. It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table, and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet. The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.
The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins - but in the heart of its strength lies weakness: one lone candle is enough to hold it back. Love is more than a candle. Love can ignite the stars.
I am not quite sure why, but I find this section of the story fascinating. However, I also enjoy another section of the book. The Jedi Purge. I absolutely love the simplicity in the way the author described this section.
And the clones have no malice, no hatred, not the slightest ill intent that might give warning. They are only following orders. In this case, Order Sixty-Six. Hold-out blasters appear in clone hands. ARC-170's drop back onto the tails of Jedi starfighters. AT-STs swivel their guns. Turrets on hovertanks swung silently. Clones open fire, and Jedi die. All across the galaxy. All at once. Jedi Die.
The reason that section was so powerful for me was because of the simplicity of it all. Jedi Die. He does not try and explain in detail the horrific events that must have happened, but sums up the sad event in a few sentences. It leaves the reader to think about what had happened. I remember every time I get to that part in the novel I have to put the book down and pause, reflecting on it, which is a great affect for a book to have.
All in all, this book is a must read if you are a fan of the Star Wars saga. You have not had the complete experience of Revenge of the Sith unless you have read the book. Of course, the movie does have some aspects to it that are left out of the book and vice-versa. But together, the duo makes a powerful couple. I seriously recommend this book to everybody who can get a copy of it. I am not sure if this novel would have quite the same affect on non-star wars fans as it had on me, but it is definitely worth reading anyway. I rate this book “Fit-for-a-Sith” ;-)