Video Game Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (PC) (2003)

Overview: Play as Jaden Korr, apprentice to Kyle Katarn, and choose between a path of light and dark in this Star Wars video game.

20171019: Part 1
Looking for possible games to stream among games in my library highly rated on SteamDB, I decided on playing Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. It was not until writing this post, however, that I realized this game is the fourth and last game released in the Jedi Knight series.*

Jaden Korr (technically the character is a human male, but during character customization I chose Twi'lek female)

Setup: Difficulty: Jedi. Prior to starting the game and choosing the difficulty, the first order of business was getting the proper screen resolution. Since 1920 x 1080 was not available by default, I did a little search and learned that I could open up the console and make some adjustments:
Bring down the console by pressing Shift+`. Then enter each line one at a time:
r_customwidth 1920
r_customheight 1080
r_mode -1
vid_restart
Light saber battle!

Corresponding to this widescreen resolution, it was also recommended to adjust the field of view. I did the following:
Enter a game (either New Game or Load Game).
Bring down the console by pressing Shift+`. Enter the following:
cg_fov 110

Play around with the value to get an acceptable field of view with the resolution.
It was also recommended to remove the FPS cap and I did that as well: com_maxfps 0.

Luke Skywalker (left) and Kyle Katarn (right)

Game Log:
Kyle Katarn [he is the playable character the other Jedi Knight games]
Luke says "I detect a disturbance in the force," and Katarn replies, "You always detect a disturbance in the force."
During the training, I fell down and couldn't make my way back up. It was frustrating. I just reset to the start of it. Remark: the "force jump" is just a regular jump.
I didn't know where I needed to go when trying to disable the tractor beams. Apparently I needed to trigger a cutscene. I was upset that simply trying to go through the tower door was insufficient.
In any case, my favorite way to take down opponents was to force push them and then slash them. Unfortunately, the force push appears to be a single-target ability.

Steam Game Time: ~65 minutes (including time for OBS setup: 94 minutes)

*With respect to Disney's destruction of the Expanded Universe, this series will likely not be seeing any new entries, unless it gets rebooted.



20171019: Part 2
I then played for an extra 18 minutes to test adjustments to my OBS streaming settings and when I was done (with a little headache, probably from the caffeine I consumed), I realized I hadn't started streaming. I thought I set an OBS keyboard shortcut to trigger it, but it didn't work. How unfortunate.

Steam Game Time: 18 minutes

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Captures the essence of wielding a light saber.
+ Force powers, both light and dark.
+ Mods

Neutral:
~ Older graphics; downloading various texture mods can potentially alleviate this aspect
~ Part of the former Expanded Universe (which was removed)


Cons:
- Controls feel old
- Using guns doesn't feel satisfying

Summary:
Having played newer action games such as Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009) and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (2014), I envision a satisfying Star Wars game to utilize a combo system that allows chaining of Jedi abilities in a way that is visually satisfying and replicates the full visual experience that one would encounter when watching a Star Wars film.*

Unfortunately, this game didn't come close to that, but it was released in 2003, and I could see it being a solid light saber experience for it's time.

Personally, I had more fun playing LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (2005) and LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (2006) than I did playing Jedi Academy.


In the end, there's a lot of fun that can be had with this game, but mileage may vary depending on the amount of tinkering with mods and add-ons the player is willing to try. As it stands, I found out about the mods in the process of writing this post and didn't want to investigate any of them. However, it reminds me of when I installed texture mods for Deus Ex (2000) and remembered being absolutely amazed.

In short, it's an old game, but it has the potential to serve up hours and hours of fun for fans of Star Wars. It should, however, be noted that the game's original story is no longer considered canon, but the game remains a modding platform for Star Wars stories and gameplay, particularly those dealing with Jedi.

*Apparently there is a mod called "Star Wars: Movie Duels 2" where players can relive famous duels from Episodes 1-3 and Rise of the Empire.

Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (PC) (2003)


Relevant Links:
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (Wikipedia.org)
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
STAR WARS Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy (Steam Store Page)

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