Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike

Pros & Cons:
Pertaining to My short list below.

Full Pros & cons re-review coming soon...

This game is a bit of a mixed bag. It has great graphics—but since little has changed from the last game, the "wow" quality is somewhat diminished. The flying and walker missions are fantastic, but the on-foot missions should have been cut, and the Speeder Bike missions should've received more polish. However, like the last game, this has huge amounts of replay value, is challenging, and this time they've included the entirety of the last game, which you can (only) play in 2-player co-op.

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Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating and My age rating.


Coming soon...

Difficulty-wise: Content-wise, this game is mild as it gets. However, unless you're used to flight simulators, this can be pretty challenging (and frustrating) for adults, let alone kids. But if your ten year-old loves flying games—they are all he/she plays, and he/she is good at them—by all means, look into this one. But overall, this game is suited to an older, more patient group who are more used to this particular genre. And this is actually harder than the last—the badly made on-foot and (slightly better) Speeder Bike missions are partly to blame; I'd recommend starting with the last one if you plan on trying this series.

Fun for:

Coming Soon...

Full content re-review coming soon...

Gameplay sum up: For a game so challenging, the controls are pretty simple, left-trigger is to slow down; right-trigger is to speed up/boost; A button is to shoot; B button is secondary fire (missiles); Y button is your thermal aim screen; X button is to switch camera view; Z button is to spin (which is almost useless); and the directional pad, which is used to issue orders to the other two aircraft by your side. All this is simple to learn and easy to use, as the controls are responsive, smooth, and intuitive.

The game starts with a tutorial placed in Tatooine, and teaches you the basic game mechanics. From there you start the first mission, which happens to be a recreation of the Death Star battle at the end of A New Hope. This is probably the easiest mission, but shows how hard it's going to get, as the basic difficulty elements don't change much here on out. The game gauges your stats by time completion, enemies defeated, aim accuracy, lives lost, and pretty much anything else you can think of.

If you fail in one of these areas, you won't even get a bronze medal, let alone the silver or gold (which are very hard to get on any mission). Of course, you can complete the entire game (excluding unlockable bonus missions) without earning a single medal, and this isn't the main issue with the difficulty.

The real difficulty lies during missions, devoid the stats or controls. For one, every level is packed with enemies, who are constantly firing on your position. Almost all battles take place in space, and the majority of your enemies consist of Tie fighters, which are tiny compared to the environment, and blend in perfectly with the black background. Not only this, but they are extremely fast, and you'll constantly be having to adjust your speed just to locate them.

Now you could use your thermal targeting system with the Y button, which reveals enemies as bright neon purple and yellow, but you'll never get a medal (because there is a limit on use concerning the stats), and more importantly, you have to hold down the Y button the entire time to use it (as it wasn't made to use constantly), which makes the already difficult maneuvering even more difficult. Your guns' lasers are also very small and require perfect aim to hit smaller enemies. Last but not least, you're only given 3 lives (and they run out fast), and if you die, you have to start the entire level from the beginning.

Speeder Bike and walker missions, make up about 10-15% of missions. The walker missions play just as well as the flying mission, and the overall controls remain the same. The Speeder Bike mission retain the controls from the flying missions, but aren't as much fun. The first Speeder Bike mission has you going extremely fast down a narrow ravine, with sharp rocks protruding from the water. And when you get near the end of this level, you have to maneuver over extremely narrow cliff paths, and then boost at the right time to make it over multiple gaps. The second Speeder Bike level recreates the scene from Endor in Return of the Jedi, where you have to maneuver through a tiny path in the forest and watch out for huge trees, all the while shooting at Scout Troopers ahead of you. It could be fun if the Speeder Bike missions weren't unbalanced, difficult, very hard to control, and just plain frustrating.

Now to the worst addition: on-foot missions. They make up about 20-25%, and are extremely clumsy, badly thought out, hard to control, and overall abysmal. You control your character with the analog stick, shoot with A, roll with Z, jump with X (almost usless), and take control of turrets with the C-stick. The main objective is to run through while shooting, then (often) find a turret, shoot a wave of enemies, and escape; fair enough. But the camera isn't adjustable and does a bad job of giving you a good view of the situation; there's no cover system, so you're left out in the open to aimlessly shoot at the enemy; and although there are ammo and health packs, they are scattered very lightly throughout levels, so it's very easy to die. There's one on-foot mission that is passable (and almost fun), but beyond this, the rest are terribly put together, hard to control, and plain pointless.

Violence: This is a flight arcade/sim based on the original Star Wars trilogy, and relives all the flight combat scenes (and many new ones) from the movies. Since all the battles take place in a cockpit, with your sole enemies being flying aircraft—and because the source material wasn't overly violent to begin with—the overall tone of violence is unrealistic, and extremely arcade-y, with absolutely no blood, gore, or language (other than one use of d*mn). In addition, about 25% of the game missions are on-foot, and your character is equipped with a gun. However, everything said about the flying missions in regards to violence is exactly the same; these missions are extremely tame. Content-wise this is appropriate for all ages.

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