I played a REALLY short game.

Sadly, this post and the next two are in reverse chronological order, which kind of spoils the progression. Oh, well.

Anyway.  After finishing Gurumin and then writing a couple of posts talking about it and Borderlands, it was a little after 5 PM, so I had some dinner and then scanned the shelf O’ PSP games for the next candidate.

I picked out Star Wars: Battlefront: Renegade Squadron because I’d heard that it had a “short campaign” and also because I’d heard that the game features a sequence in which you defeat Emperor Palpatine by trapping him in a temple with rocks and that seemed simply too ludicrous not to see for myself.

I should clarify that last bit.  The rocks are not his companions in the temple – rather, they are the means by which you imprison him.  English is not a terribly precise language.

Anyway, I was a little puzzled when I went looking for definitions of exactly how short the campaign was, because no review that I found seemed inclined to actually nail it down.  I saw a couple of “less than six hours”, though, which seemed about right for a PSP game, so I figured that I’d get going on it – it was almost six by this point – and I’d probably be done by midnight or not too much afterwards.

At 8:45, as the game’s credits were scrolling, I realized why no review had been keen to pin a firm play time on the campaign.  When this game came out, it was forty bucks, and that’s an awful lot to ask for an experience that lasts less than three hours, even if you CAN trap the emperor in a temple BY MEANS of some rocks.  I doubt any professional reviewer really wanted to be the guy saying, look, the best thing about this game is that you can play it start to finish on a single charge of your PSP’s battery.

Nevertheless, the game does offer some opportunities for entertainment.  In addition to the rocks thing, you also get to watch Han Solo charging imperial stormtroopers as their blaster fire splashes off his chest – yes this is an actual cutscene – and you get to wonder about the biology of your character, who can take three story falls with no negative effect but who dies as soon as he touches water.

The story, biological improbabilities aside, isn’t too bad; it’s a series of “while the plot you remember from the movies was happening, here’s what was happening elsewhere” side stories, and there’s some nicely done static interstitial art between missions.  It also answers the question of “just who WAS the bounty hunter that Han Solo ran into on Ord Mantell”, though a quick look at Wookiepedia reveals that Han Solo has – if you take all the various stories into consideration – been to Ord Mantell on no less than four separate occasions and been attacked by bounty hunters every time.

I’m not making that up.

Also it uses the sound effects from the films, which adds a LOT to the nostalgia value.

Put simply, I paid nine bucks and got my fun out of it, though I’ll freely admit that a lot of the entertainment value comes from writing a snarky blog post about it.


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