Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II features some of the best graphics ever seen on a home console, and it is a proper, old-fashioned, Star Wars game. If those two facts don't raise at least an eyebrow of your interest, then there's probably not much in the world of video games that will. Thankfully, the jaw-dropping graphics are matched up to a very playable shoot-'em-up concept that works as a slightly more in-depth version of the PS2's Star Wars Starfighter, except without any of that Episode I nonsense. Rather, it re-creates everything from the Death Star trench run to the Battle of Hoth.
The game is actually a sequel to Rogue Squadron for the N64--an excellent game that many only remember from the rather lackluster PC version. It's structurally very similar to the original, with a dozen or so levels and a Star Destroyer full of secret levels and ships. The game does feature a few new ideas, such as controllable wingmen and ground troops, and some of the levels are set in deep space rather than planetside, but at its heart this is still Rogue Squadron deluxe.
What elevates the game to an object of worship is the graphics--they really do look almost identical to the movie's, with several scenes appearing like exact copies. The ships move with a fluidity and grace you wouldn't have thought possible from such a tiny purple cube. The only flaw is that the missions are needlessly short, but there's plenty of replayability, and by gosh there's those graphics. --David Jenkins
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