So here we are in 2015 and once again Star Wars fever is gripping the world, not only do we have a new movie out on December 17th but we have a brand new Battlefront game to enjoy while we wait. It has been 10 years since both the last Star Wars movie (Revenge of the Sith) and the last Battlefront game (Battlefront 2) but it seems Star Wars is something to get excited about once again.
Back in 1997 it was a very similar story to now, Star Wars was back in the wider public consciousness with the release of the Special Edition movies and the announcement of a forthcoming prequel trilogy. Star Wars had never really gone away as there had always been new books, comics and video games to satisfy any fans Star Wars hunger, but the Special Editions got the world talking again. Video games, in particular had always served the franchise well, with a whole host of great Star Wars based games coming from Lucasarts; unfortunately Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi was not one of them.
The idea of a 3D, Star Wars based, one on one fighter in the same vein as Soul Blade, had many licking their lips with anticipation. Players could choose from a whole plethora of the galaxy’s finest including, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewie, Leia, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and even Fett impersonator Jodo Kast. In principle the idea was solid, unfortunately however the execution was far from stellar.
The plot to Masters of Teras Kasi was a little thin (as is to be expected with the fighting genre), Old Darth has hired a martial arts master by the name of Arden Lyn to assassinate Luke and the other rebels in retaliation for the recent destruction of the Death Star; seems exciting, however things go downhill from here.
The fighting system was awkward and sluggish with only a few moves available for each fighter, lightsabres were used more like clubs or baseball bats so there were no limbs flying here there and everywhere. Characters with blasters had to wait to charge their weapon before firing, which left them open to attack and a quick death from their lightsabre wielding foes. Each character had a special move, which unfortunately were anything but special. Boba Fett could fire his rockets into the air, while the Gamorean Guard breathed fire and Luke did a few tricks with his sabre, but all in all the moves were disappointing compared to the potential held by the characters.
On the plus side there are interesting characters to unlock and the graphics and sound are really quite polished, especially for a PS1 game, but none of these make up for a frustrating and disappointing experience.
It is not surprising then, that we never saw another Star Wars fighting game, however, now, 18 years on it could be the right time to give it another try. A Star Wars fighter on the PS4 could be excellent and with 7 films worth of characters at your disposal, a new game could be massive; if done well of course.