Saturday, December 30, 2017

Plug n Play Game Corner: Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith GameKey Expansion

Well, I just talked about the very first Star Wars Plug n Play game last time. Figures I should also talk about its expansion pack. This is the Jakks Pacific GameKey for their Revenge of the Sith console. ...Which honestly looks like the kind of thing they'd use to store data on in Star Wars' retro-Industrial-futuristic setting.


Game: Star Wars Revenge of the Sith GameKey
Developer: Jakks Pacific/Griptonite Games
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Arcade/Platformer/Shooter

 Alright! It's finally time to talk about GameKeys!

In February 2005, Jakks Pacific announced at the International Toy Fair that they'd be introducing expansions to their current and future Plug n Play consoles in the form of little "keys." These would run on the console's engine and hardware, allowing new games to be played without having to buy relatively-expensive new consoles. Instead of $20-$50, you could spend $9.99 on one of these and continue your gaming by simply inserting them in a slot on the console! Sort of like DLC. ...Except physical hardware.

That July saw the release of the first wave. Mostly, they were new arcade games for their Ms. Pac-Man console, but soon a few others came along for consoles like Disney Princess, Dora the Explorer, Nicktoons, Disney, and, of course, Star Wars. Consoles produced during this period all came with little "key slots" on the top, ready for you to buy these keys, stick them in, and continue your gaming just as easily as taking out and putting in a game console cartridge. In fact, Jakks announced that their end goal was to basically phase out most Plug n Plays and release these keys for a universal system instead, basically creating their own game console that will run on GameKeys and allow you to play already produced games transferred to keys, as well as future titles to be released on their own keys. This was clearly a huge passion project for Jakks and a huge step for Plug n Play games in general!

Within about a year, they were gone.

Yep. The project that Jakks Pacific was trying to build up would turn each Plug n Play game into its own microconsole lasted a little over a year before Jakks pulled the plug due to poor sales. In that time, only a handful of the consoles produced with a GameKey slot even received expansions!

Consoles like Fantastic Four, Dragonball Z, Wheel of Fortune, and Spider-Man were all produced with GameKey slots, but no expansion keys were ever created. And no, GameKeys from other consoles aren't compatible...

The discontinuation apparently happened so quickly, that some games still bear the GameKey logo, despite not being produced with a slot! Games like the Scooby-Doo game we looked at last year, and at least one Power Rangers console.

As for the games that were produced on GameKeys, some of them were packaged into later consoles, most notably later releases of Namco Arcade and Spongebob Squarepants(which I also pointed out earlier this year.)

I'm a little sad that this idea was so short-lived, but I can understand why it didn't quite take off. For one thing, Plug n Play games are much more of a novelty, and the fad only lasted around 2004-2006 before people decided that spending a few hundred on an actual game console with a huge library of fun and ground-breaking games was more rewarding than spending $30 on a self-contained console with outdated graphics and sound and which usually only had around an hour or two of gameplay to it. For another, they were basically asking you to spend more money on expansions to already cheaply produced games with limited game options, sort of like offering new levels for a Tiger Handheld... And lastly, even in their heyday, Plug n Play games were more of a niche market, so I'd imagine releasing an expansion to an already obscure line of games wouldn't be noticed by most of the buying public. So great idea, but they were overconfident in how popular what they produced was. ...Insert Ataribox joke here...

Still, being the overzealous Plug n Play collector I am, I do own a few of these GameKeys, and I intend to buy ones I'm missing when I decide to review their respective consoles. ...Provided I don't already own a console with the GameKey games repackaged.

As per its name, a GameKey is molded in the shape of a key. ...Or the top half, anyway, with the handle on the top and teeth on either side. So I guess they were shooting for a car key style. ...Or a shed key, as I own both of those keys with a similar design to this.

 The cartridge is inserted downwards, with this little protector sliding up to reveal the contacts. ...I feel like there was another console with games that functioned this way(as opposed to having a permanent shield a la Game Boy or with the contacts exposed a la Atari Lynx), but since nothing's coming to mind, I'll just say it's like a floppy disk. ...Remember those? The precursor to CDs? ...If you remember CDs? ...I'm old...

The sides of the protector include a website for the GameKey(long defunct) and the Jakks Pacific logo. Gotta keep get that branding on somewhere!

But in case you're still clueless what this is for, the Plug It In And Play logo is in the center of its handle

Which has the bonus of lighting up when inserted and turned on. Cool feature, if just to let you know it's recognized by the game.

Since the GameKeys are all made the same(with the occasional color change), the back label is what lets you know which system it's for and its contents. In this case, the label is orange with a large Star Wars logo above the titles Yoda's Escape and Turret Defense. ...And just in case you're completely hopeless, they also included a GameKey symbol with "SW" on it in the upper-right corner, so there will be no question what system this is for. ...In case you STILL insert it into the wrong console, you're just greeted by a blank screen, so don't waste your time...

Same developers and publishers as last time, so no sense in going into another long history again. ...Unless you WANT me to.

As stated on the back, the expansion only contains 2 games:

Turret Defense
Yoda's Escape

...And interestingly, the two music tracks in the game are switched. Instead of what we had in the actual Revenge of the Sith console, now the Star Wars theme plays on the menu and the Imperial March for the High Scores. ...Guess they wanted some foreshadowing for their Original Trilogy game?

The first game is Turret Defense, where you're a lone turret fighting off Separatist dropships and parachutists across the worlds of Kashyyyk, Felucia, and Mygeeto. All of which make their first appearance on this system, and two of them you probably wouldn't know about unless you're big on Expanded Universe material, since the latter two were quick scenes where two Jedi in the film were killed. It's nice that they decided to feature two planet backdrops that normally wouldn't get any attention, so right away, we're shown that at least one person involved in the production of this game was a major fan. ...Or they just went through a list of planets in the film and picked a few of the less obvious out. ...Either way is commendable for the design work they put into it.

When I was a little kid in the mid-90s, still playing games on floppy, there was this one game I played all the time called Night Raid, which also dealt with a lone turret fending off wave after wave of drop ships and parachutists. More of you might be more familiar with the Atari 2600 Commando Raid, the PC Paratrooper, or Parachute, which came on several early iPod models, but this is the version I remember the most. So, as you can imagine, the game scores enough nostalgia points to immediately be more fun than any of the games on the main console! And I haven't even explained what you do yet!

As you can guess from the game's premise, and if you've played any of the games mentioned above, you control this turret and shoot down Separatist ships flying overhead, including all paratroopers they send flying down to the ground.. The turret turns with the thumbstick, so you aim by simply moving it right and left and either rapidly tapping the A button or holding down the B button to Rapid Fire.

Or you can hold down the A button to charge a shot that takes down numerous ships and troops. However, you'll be so busy with the clouds of enemies this game throws at you, it's likely you won't find time to charge a shot besides boss battles and if you start charging immediately after a wave passes, so time your charges wisely to avoid missing the larger crowds of soldiers.

At the beginning of the game, ships don't attack you directly, preferring to drop Battle Droids on you from above.

This might not sound like a threat, but if a droid drops below a certain height, the turret is unable to shoot it. And if it manages to land and make its way to the base, it causes a good chunk of damage. It's not as bad as Night Raid's "three strikes and you're out" mechanic, but it can still be deadly if unchecked.

 Later levels introduce these jetpack Super Battle Droids, who will float around and fire projectiles at you and any allies before eventually landing and dealing additional damage. And considering how hard it is to hit the droids that fall in a straight line, you can imagine how annoying these guys are to shoot...

Luckily, there do exist ways to repair and repel. The most obvious of which comes in the form of Clone Commandos that are occasionally dropped by passing gunships. If they make it to the turret, they'll repair a portion of damage, plus shoot down any droids that have also landed as they head over there!

...But, as you can imagine, in a crowded battlefield, friendly fire is not only possible, it's practically unavoidable, meaning you'll shoot down your own allies if you're not careful. Which the game decides to add insult to injury to, since shooting your own ship or troops results in a 12,000 point deduction... I think it's enough that I won't be seeing many power-ups or base repairs if I accidentally kill my own air force. You don't need to slap my wrist for doing it as well...

Besides, seeing as how the Clone Troopers will eventually turn on the Jedi, isn't it a GOOD thing that I'm cutting down on the amount of troops available to carry out Order 66? Dark Times probably wouldn't have happened if not for me...

As well as the Troopers, there also exist three power-ups to aid your fight, which are dropped by passing Gunships.

There's Extra Lives, of course, Slow Time, which slows things down, but the most useful one in this case is the Shield, which instantly destroys any droids that try to enter the bunker until it wears down.

This is an absolutely crucial power-up to catch if you intend to get far in this game! Especially in later levels, while you're being bombarded by swarms of droids, none of which are there to deliver your pizza...

At the end of every level is a boss fight against one of three battleships, depending on the zone you're in. However, while the design of the ship varies, the pattern and method of attack remains the same, the ship dodging from side-to-side as it deploys droids and fires missiles at you. So not only do you need to shoot down every troop and projectile coming your way, but there's the additional requirement of shooting down the warship that's throwing all this stuff at you! ...Hope you grabbed that Shield before the end of the level...

Like the Utapau Chase from the main console, I actually ended up playing this game for quite a while. UNLIKE Utapau Chase, it wasn't because the levels were mind-numbingly repetitive and easy! This game was actually quite challenging, requiring quick reactions, a sense of timing, and attention towards the screen at all times! Yes, the Shield power-up helped make the levels slightly easier and prolong how far I got, but never once did I feel like I was sleepwalking through any of the levels! Heck, I was so invested in this game, I always felt that my next mistake would be my last, so I was blown away that I managed to make it as far as I did! It's fast-paced, well animated, has a lot of variety in the enemies and patterns, with a visible difficulty curve that increases with the player's skill, and rewards you for accuracy(or at least doesn't penalize you if you let the Troopers live.) This is a game better than all the others on the main console, and this alone justifies tracking down and buying one of the increasingly rare GameKeys!

Not to mention the slight bit of humor in the death animations. When enough damage is done to the turret, it explodes.

Lose all your lives, and the turret head pops off, bounces a bit, and explodes. ...That is darkly humorous and I love it!

And finally, the last game that can be played on this console: Yoda's Escape. Also easily the most unique of all the games so far and the final one chronologically. Order 66 has been issued, so Yoda must fight his way through the now-enemy Clone Troopers to escape Kashyyyk and regroup with Obi Wan on Coruscant. ...Why the Wookiees aren't guiding him to his ship in the midst of a heavily armed platoon, I have no idea. ...Maybe the Order occurred on Life Day...?

The major reason this game stands out from all the others, and what you could probably tell by the previous screenshot, is that we again get that super rare genre for Plug n Play games: Platforming!

...Though considering the last platformer featured on this blog, the genre's scarcity might be for the best...

 This game is comprised of Yoda jumping from platform to platform as he makes his way to the end of each level, cutting down all Troopers in his way using only his trusty lightsaber!

Which, in addition to its regular attack, he can also Spin Attack through the air with, taking down anyone in his way!

That's right! This game is a Plug n Play variation of the SNES Super Star Wars games, which also featured platforming and lightsaber spin attacks through the air!

Considering that the Original Trilogy console had a remake of the Return of the Jedi arcade game, I guess the mindset behind the first few Star Wars consoles was to reintroduce classic Star Wars game styles to a new generation. Which, hey, their remakes are really well executed, so I'm on board with reintroducing the Star Wars fundamentals.

It's just like The Force Awakens! ...Done in game form and 10 years beforehand...

Something else it has in common with Super Star Wars? It's brutally difficult! Yeah, I know that I've beaten that term to death by now, but this one really does take the cake! For starters, Yoda's range is stunningly short, what with his size and his custom-built smaller lightsaber. Hits you think will land will prove to fall just short of the enemy's hit box, meaning you have to be in EXACTLY the right spot for a blow to connect! Too far, and the Trooper shoots you. Too close, and you take damage from coming into contact with the enemy! Just ONE Trooper can deplete your life bar by half, and the game is peppered with them around every corner!

As with the previous games involving lightsabers, Yoda can also deflect laser blasts right back at the Troopers. ...But the timing here is MUCH more precise than Grievous Onslaught. If you don't hit a laser during one of the few frames Yoda has his lightsaber directly in front of him, you take damage. And since the firing pattern is slower than Yoda's attack, easily bypassing the attacking frames, mashing the button repeatedly doesn't help...

 Yoda also has an attack that was introduced in the movie, where he throws his lightsaber if you hold and release the attack button. ...But with that attack's pathetic range, the damage done no different than a regular attack, and how long it takes to charge, I don't recommend using this particular move either, since it's likely a Trooper will leave your health bar knocking at death's door before you manage to fell him...

 My advice? Don't bother attacking the Troopers. Just lightsaber spin to the end of the level as fast as you can, only taking on the Troopers that get in your way, most of which will already have been dispatched from your spin attack as you land. Sure, your score will suffer, and you'll still take damage from leaping in and out of Trooper squads, but you'll take considerably less damage than trying to take each one on at a time and you can worry about score AFTER a few full playthroughs to get well acquainted with the layout. Me, I'm just concerned with completion.

However, even with the strategy of getting to the other side of the level ASAP(in fact, especially so), you'll still have to contend with the greatest obstacle prevalent in platformers: The pits. Most levels are SWARMED with huge gaps, most of which can't be jumped over regularly and you must hit the platforms dead on to cross. So even if you're trying to get to the end of the level quickly, you still need to look for paths over these large pits and not jump blindly into them, as they will cost you a life.

Speaking of which, Health and Extra Lives are especially precious in this game, as, unlike the other games, they're not dropped by enemy troops. Instead, they're hidden on out of the way platforms and dark corners, where you wouldn't find them trying to do a straight runthrough, and, 9 times out of 10, they're heavily guarded by Troopers. So trying to grab ANY power-up in this game will require knowledge of where they even are AND a lot of patience as you hurdle through waves of soldiers in an attempt to grab the power-ups before your health completely depletes.

Luckily, their positions don't change, and restarting the level respawns the power-ups, so if you took an accidental dive somewhere in the area, you can rush back and grab the Extra Life so nothing is lost.

Additionally, the game employs 2-3 Checkpoints in each zone, which themselves are about 2-5 to a level. Cross a checkpoint, and you'll respawn there if you're killed.

Still, even knowing the locations of all Extra Lives, pressing forward with no regard to enemy troops, and taking advantage of the Checkpoint system, things come hard and fast at you in this game! Unless you've mastered and memorized every layout, you will die

 And die

 And... You get the picture.

And, just like Lightsaber Duels from the Original Trilogy console, it doesn't matter how far you made it. Lose all lives, and you have to start again. No continues, no passwords, no level select. You're kicked back to the menu and have to start ALL OVER AGAIN!

This didn't take me nearly as long as Lightsaber Duels to complete, but it was still the source of much screaming in rage at having to start from the beginning for the umpteenth time! If you hope to get anywhere in this game, here are three helpful hints:

1. Learn when to jump to avoid overshooting platforms
2. Find every extra life you can, as you'll NEED them for boss battles
3. Don't stop for ANYTHING! Engaging the enemy is much riskier, and puts you in a position to take additional hits from other troops, than simply speeding through them and taking a few hits in the process. So unless you're trying to achieve that top High Score so you can post it on Facebook or Pintrest to show the few people who care, DON'T FIGHT IF YOU DON'T NEED TO!

Unlike the previous games, there's a good amount of level variety in Yoda's Escape. Might as well do a quick walkthrough to finish us up!

 Level 1-1 starts Yoda off in a grassy field that quickly turns into a mess of platforms. I'm guessing this level is built to get you accustomed to the jumping and platforming prevalent in the game. ...As well as get you used to the large pits that spring up everywhere in a stage where you don't have to start too far back again if you lose all lives from falling...

Just adopt the regular style of running from left to right, jump on any platforms required to get over the pits, and grab the Force Push power-up near the end, which instantly kills all Troopers around you. It'll take a bit of practice to speed through this level without a good amount of damage, but this IS the place to start mastering your skills, so when you feel confident rushing through this level, you're off to a good start.

Level 1-2 is a quick run through one of the Wookiee villages, and also introduces you to the Jetpack Troopers, which take a few more hits than the regular variety. Once again, don't worry about fighting them off and just speed by. They can't follow you anyway. They're not the Boba Fett clone.

Before you reach the end, be sure to grab the Health and Extra Damage power-ups in the upper-right corner. You'll need them for your first boss battle.

The first three bosses take after early NES licensed games by being texture swaps of regular enemies, amped up a bit in their attack and defense. For this first battle, it's a regular green Trooper, which shoots three lasers, runs forward, shoots three lasers again, then runs to the other side of the screen to shoot once more. It's pretty much as simple a boss pattern as they come. ...I'm guessing this guy didn't come of the line quite right...

This guy's a cinch to beat. Just jump over him and the lasers he shoots, wait until he's crouched and firing in the opposite direction, and wail on him with the lightsaber. It'll take a short while before he's in that position enough times to inflict enough damage, but, if you play it right, you can get through it without taking much damage.

 You may also be tempted to defeat him by ricocheting his lasers right back at him, which seems to work at first. ...But, with the exact timing required to deflect even one laser, it's more likely that you'll take more damage than he will...

Level 2-1 is a vertical-scroller, where Yoda jumps from platform to platform, trying to reach the top of the screen. Same rules as the previous level. You just have to contend with reaching the higher platforms.

This level DOES suckerpunch the uninitiated. Since you're not expecting it to scroll upwards, and you're so anxious to continue after the boss battle, you'll probably be pressing right as the level starts, leading Yoda into one of the side pits before you even realize what's going on! ...So don't do that! ...Nuff said.

Besides the beginning, there are no other pits, so you don't have to worry too much about the consequences of falling. ...This wood maze midway is annoying, though, since the only way through is by jumping upwards through this ladder-thing, and it's quite narrow and guarded by missile-launching Troopers. ...But if you are rushing through, as I recommended, you probably won't notice too much.

 Level 2-2 is one of the game's annoying "dark levels", as you have to guide Yoda through a maze where the only light is the slight aura from Yoda's lightsaber.

AND where every passageway is a narrow slot that's stuffed with regular and missile Troopers, all waiting to screw you over once you're in range! Even if you're rushing the level, not caring about fighting off enemies in your way, you'll be lucky to make it through with a sliver of health left!

And be sure to track down the Health after each section of this zone, or you don't have a chance of making it past the next bombardment. You're not quite ready to burn the Jedi library in ghost form just yet...

Also, even though the exit's about 2/3rds of the way up, I'd recommend making it all the way to the top and grabbing the two Extra Lives. Believe me. You'll NEED them!

Level 2-3 is more of the same as 2-1, so just hop, skip, and jump across the platforms to the top and face the next boss.

Level 2's boss is a pallette-swapped jetpack Trooper, who has much less of a pattern than previous and future big bads, so this is where stuff gets real... His favorite attack is hanging out at the top of the screen, shooting a stream of lasers at an angle, then flying across the screen, firing wildly.

All while you're trying desperately to avoid him, usually ending with your health reduced down to a sliver, or straight-up dying... ...He's not easy.

The best opening for attack is when he apparently decides to show you mercy and just hovers at the bottom of the screen for a while, letting you wail on him for a few seconds! There's literally no other reason why he'd do this! I guess since he's fighting one of the last of the Jedi, he wanted his victory to last for as long as possible, and maybe give the little green man a fighting chance?

Dude, in an alternate timeline, Yoda sent the Death Star smashing down into Coruscant, single-handedly defeating the Emperor at the cost of his own life! He does NOT need a handicap!

The other way to land a few hits is to jump up and stab at him while he's briefly in another hovering position, which is ultimately how I defeated him. Either strategy works. It just depends on how patient you are.

...So, you hate pits? You hate moving platforms with no definite pattern? ...Well, you're REALLY going to hate Level 3, then, because nearly the ENTIRE level is based around hopping from Trooper speeder to Trooper speeder, often blindly! The speeders aren't all on the same plane, so to get from one squadron to another, you just have to know there's going to be a speeder right below you!

If you misjudge your jump distance, it's a long way down...

There's really not much else to say. It's three straight screens of hopping from one speeder to another, trying to reach the end, with the occasional piece of solid ground from which Troopers can blast you off your perch! It's one of the most frustrating sections of the game, and can very quickly drain your stock of lives if you don't master the patterns! Really, my only bit of advice is "Don't fall." ...Useful, I know.

And just when you finally reach solid ground right before the boss battle, they suckerpunch you AGAIN by putting the power-ups right below the platforms! To grab them, you need to very carefully inch your way off the platform through the small gap, fall just far enough to grab the items, then quickly lightsaber spin back up to solid ground! ...Physics to be broken...

But yes, this means you can easily die simply by trying to get your regular pick-ups... This game knows no mercy...

The boss is just a repeat of Level 1's, except he shoots missiles that can't be deflected. Just follow the same strategy as that boss and you're home free. ...At least they recognized how annoying this level was, so they gave you a quick way out at the end...

Level 4's zones are similar to Level 2, except instead of going up, you're going DOWN, CLOWN! On the plus side, it's much easier to fall than climb, and there aren't any insta-kill hazards, so you can just drop down every time you find an opening.

There are still large squads of Troopers, but if you just run through, you can get through these sections in under a minute.

However, you still need to contend with the dark maze sections of 4-2 and 4-4. Again, it's much easier to get through than Level 2's, but with the crowded tunnels and nearly every platform having a missile Trooper, it's still a pain to get through without losing a good number of lives.

Finally, at the end of 4-5, you reach the boss section. ...And it's here the game decides to introduce multiple form bosses...

In his first form, the hovertank Trooper just sweeps the screen, shooting lasers. Simply jump onto the hull and swing your lightsaber until the first bar of health is depleted. ...Then quickly jump off to avoid taking damage from the second form.

 Second form is basically the same, only he now drives off the screen and fires missiles. Jump on the hood whenever he's on screen and wail on him as much as you can, before quickly jumping off and away from the edge to avoid taking damage from being dragged away. Repeat until the second bar of life is drained.

...And now things get serious, because in his third form, he erratically flies across different altitudes on the screen, attempting to ram you. He is VERY fast here, and the window for attack is VERY narrow, especially since the pattern takes a while to recognize! This is where that stockpile of extra lives is going to play its part, so I hope you're at maximum beforehand.

The only advice I have here is to play this stage enough times to time your jumps right and lightsaber spin the guy at the right height. This is going to take a LOT of patience and trial & error, so expect to have to restart from the beginning a few times(and possibly throw the console across the room at least once), before you get the hang of it. But once you do, congratulations! The final level is right around the corner!

Level 5 is what I can only describe as an extreme version of Level 1. It's the same layout, same platforms, same Troopers, and the same pits, just a lot more of them. It's just the exact same strategy of jumping from platform to platform, carefully angling each one so you don't fall into the abyss, and running past any and all hazards. It's the endgame, and even if you cared about the combat before, you don't now!

Just breeze through those first two screens of platforms and platoons and arrive at Level 5-3, the Final Boss!

And BOY does it deserve to be! As your final obstacle, a Trooper keeps you from getting to your ship by piloting what looks to be a mini AT-ST. This last battle will test EVERYTHING you learned throughout the game, filtering out all necessary mechanics and challenging any and all mad skillz you've acquired from repeatedly playing through the game and its brutality! ...Now you can only hope and pray that what you've learned will be sufficient...

Once again, it's a boss in three forms. The first form is simple. Just jump over its lasers, spin attack over it every time it passes by, and avoid getting stomped on. ...Which seems to be really inconsistent, since sometimes it walks over you without damage, and sometimes you lose a great deal of health. I think it's from what angle you're at when it runs over you, but I could never tell. It just adds another layer of difficulty onto an already difficult final battle...

The second form also doesn't take that long to combat, though it's a little harder. This time, he'll shoot a laser AND a missile at you, so be sure to time your jumps so you're high in the air when the projectiles start flying...

But the third form... Oh geez. It's like the second form, only MUCH faster! You barely have any time to land and dodge both the robot AND what it throws at you, so whether you're jumping or you're on the ground, you have a 90% chance of taking a hit! On top of that, since he's going so much faster, there's barely any window of attack to take advantage of, since by the time you've entered into your spin attack, he's out of range! So with you being almost permanently in range and he being almost entirely OUT of range, it's no secret that you're going to die.

 And die

 And die

 And DIE!

And once again, lose all your lives, START ALL OVER!

I don't even have a strategy for this part! I don't even know how I got through it! All that was flashing through my head was having to start the game all over again if I lost! All I can recommend is that you stay as far away as possible from the AT-AT and jump over all projectiles shot your way. Then when he comes your way, jump over with your spin attack, and, if you're lucky, you'll avoid his stomping and any projectiles he quickly turns around and fires at you...

But once you've finally gotten a pattern down, lucked out, and struck that final blow, the scene with the AT-AT exploding and Yoda leaping into his escape ship to blast off to safety will make you cry tears of joy and accomplishment! You've saved Yoda and helped him escape extermination! I see nothing but sunshine and happiness in his future!

...Oh... ...Right...

 Well, might as well roll the credits.

Now despite it seeming all I did was complain, this game is AWESOME! EASILY the best game out of the console's lineup, and INFINITELY better than Spider-Man platformer! The gameplay's easy to understand, the controls are fluid, the enemies are varied enough for its length, the levels each have their own designs and some change up where the end is located, there are various bosses, each with their own patterns, and it's actually structured like a platformer game, with goals and an ending! It's challenging, but in the way you want to KEEP playing. You WANT to get further in the game and see what happens next, eventually reaching the end goal! Admittedly, the fact you have to start over from the beginning when all lives are lost is annoying, but considering the game's length, it probably won't take too long to get back to where you left off. ...Though the length is a bit of a problem, as the whole game can be beaten in roughly 15 minutes if you know what you're doing. But, for yet another departure to traditional Plug n Play inclusions contained on a Star Wars console, this is one of the top tier games, right alongside Lightsaber Duels and Red Leader.

And that's the GameKey expansion for the Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith console.


Design: ...I'm not sure if there's a reason to judge it based on its design, since all GameKeys have the same mold and you're not exactly buying it based on its looks, but since this is the first featured here, I might as well. The design is just fine. I like that they designed it like a key and that it's built sturdily, while still having a spot on the back to include game information for whatever system it's built for. It's an interesting design for an interesting concept for a Plug n Play console. ...Sure beats most DLC...

Controls: Again, a perfect score for using analog controls. While the Turret Defense game probably would have worked better with a mouse or a trackball, they still worked just fine and pointed where you did. The controls were absolutely tailor-made for the Yoda's Escape game! The sensitivity of the analog stick, the buttons laid out perfectly to execute actions, the lack of any sort of delay, all perfect for a high-action platformer! I REALLY wish more consoles incorporated analog controls, because that addition alone increases the games' enjoyability TENFOLD! ...Yes, even the Sudoku games I reviewed...

Music & Sound: Same music and sound as the main console.

Graphics: For the most part, the same as the main consoles. However, I do appreciate the 3D look of the turret in Turret Defense, as well as the variety in backgrounds and settings for Yoda's Escape. Just the fact that they included a darkness layer in some levels makes the level design leagues beyond most other Plug n Play games! Again, everything looks much more cartoonish here than the Original Trilogy game, but when the animations are this smooth and varied, there's no reason to complain. ...Unless you absolutely want to...

Gameplay: 5/5! ...Ok, I'm jumping the gun, but this was seriously some of the most fun I've ever had playing ANY Plug n Play game, and a HUGE improvement over the main console's games. The main console had its moments, and I can't say any of them were outright awful, but the games on the GameKey absolutely had the most work and thought put into them! Turret Defense, as well as having a nostalgia factor, played very smoothly, with a forgiving difficulty curve, a lot of different mechanics in its gameplay, and a good variety of obstacles and power-ups to keep the game going for quite a while! It's something I really wouldn't mind coming back and playing one day! Yoda's Escape is the finest example of a Plug n Play platformer I've ever seen! I already gave it a detailed review above, but this is one of those few Plug n Play games I could see standing on its own, especially with its similarities to the Super Star Wars series. If they added a few more levels detailing different scenes in the movie, as well as included at least one other game mode, it could easily be its own homebrew SNES or Genesis game. As is, it could fit in in a rerelease of one of the games as a bonus set of levels. Any complaints I have about either of these games are minor nitpicks at best, and the good points overshadow all negative features, and for Plug n Play games, they go above and beyond!

Replay Value: The Turret Defense game is a standard arcade-style game, so there is a lot to come back to and attempt to beat the High Score. Plus, it's a lot of fun, so I'd recommend coming back to it. Yoda's Escape, while the most fun out of the lot, does end, and once it does, all you can look forward to is the same game all over again. One of the major flaws of any platformer game. However, it also records High Scores, so if you're the type to see how far you can get in a "limited score" type of game, I guess you could come back and attempt to cut down every Trooper in your way.


Another perfect 5/5 for a Plug n Play system, and the first one since last year's Original Trilogy! This is the cartridge that makes tracking down one of these Revenge of the Sith consoles worth it! The graphics are great, the controls are fluid and responsive, the replay value is high, and the games are Triple-A for a Plug n Play game! I legitimately can't say enough good about this expansion! If you can find a console and one of these keys, pick them up and prepare yourself for an unexpectedly fun experience! ...Also, go watch The Last Jedi, if you haven't already. In IMAX, if possible.