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Archive for December, 2007

First off, I must say that the Play Station Portable system is really incredible. I recently received the Renegade Squadron PSP bundle for Christmas, which came with the white PSP, complete with a Darth Vader helmet silk-screened on the back. The graphics are amazing, and the PSP also comes with a wide array of other features, including WiFi Internet connection and UMD movie drive. The screen is bigger than both of my Nintendo DS’s screens combined.

The story starts with Renegade Squadron’s leader, Coll Serra, telling the story of Renegade Squadron to Tionne, a New Republic-era Jedi historian, who is compiling a database on the Rebellion’s history. You play out the battles as Coll Serra tells the story of Renegade Squadron. Essentially, Renegade Squadron was a fighting unit composed of outlaws, smugglers and bounty hunters, operating under the command of Han Solo. You get to play battles like Yavin 4, Hoth and Endor, as well as a good number of missions created for this game.

I was surprised to find that almost every single map in this game was new, exclusively created for Battlefront: Renegade Squadron. We got to see a lot of Expanded Universe references and locations in this game, including maps like Boz Pity, Saulucimi and Sullust.

One of the coolest features in this game is the character customization. In previous Battlefront games, you had the different unit kits, all of which had a different array of weapons. With Renegade Squadron, not only do you get to customize the look of your character, but you also get an “equipment budget” with which you can buy weapons with. There are a number of weapons that were created for this game, like the Tri-Shot rifle and the Carbinite Freeze-Gun. Also, with your budget, you can buy things like a Jet Pack, Stealth Suite and Personal Shield.

My only complaint about this game is the awkward arrangement of the controls. You use the small movement pad on the left of the PSP to move, and the rest of the buttons are used to do things such as jump, fire, change weapon or target. It is impossible to aim without using the target button, but I guess that’s one of the trade offs for building a game for a portable system.

Overall, I think this game was entertaining, fun and addictive, and a step in the right direction for future Battlefront games. I’d definitely suggest it and the Play Station Portable to anyone.

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Sorry I missed the date, but I’ve been quite busy these past couple of days. Knights of the Old Republic #24, the Knights of Suffering part three of three, is on sale now! This is the conclussion of the twelve-part Daze/Knights story arc. I can’t reccomend this series highly enough! Check out the preview here at Dark Horse’s official website. http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/preview.php?theid=14-777

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As the gigantic Daze/Knights story arc comes to an end for Knights of the Old Republic, Issue #23 sets readers up for en explosive ending, in a battle between the Mandalorians and the Taris Resistance.

After surviving a near-death encounter at the hands of his former childhood sweetheart Shel, who believes he killed her brother, Zayne and the Hidden Bekks form a treaty with the Taris Resistance in a mission to kill Cassus Fett. When Zayne is assigned to help Raana Tey and Shel scout out the enemy base, the Shel and Tey plan to kill Zayne using Shel’s dead brother’s lightsaber.

While much of the comic was just the buildup to #24, it was a very entertaining issue. As always, Dustin Weaver’s art is spectacular. I can’t suggest this series highly enough at the moment, especially to anyone who’s played the KOToR video games. I really hope the conclusion of this series doesn’t let us down; I would hate it if they ruined the stellar job they’ve done with the series this year.

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Dark Times #7, Parralels part 2 of 5, is on sale today, according to Diamond Comics and Dark Horse’s official website. I highly reccomend this arc after the great job they did with #6. It looks like we’ll finally get to find out why Crys hates the Jedi so much; if I can judge anything from the preview Dark Horse has in it’s Star Wars section. Here’s a link to that. Happy hunting! http://www.darkhorse.com/profile/preview.php?theid=14-781

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It wasn’t until about a year and a half ago that I went from being a casual comic book fan to a serious collector. I recently looked back at my large collection on my books and comics from this year, and I tallied it up. I suddenly realized how much I had spent this year on comics and books alone. More than four hundred dollars. While that might not be much to some people, to me, a more low-budget collector, this is a substancial amount of money.

While there are a lot of Star Wars comics, when you break it down, only two or three, sometimes even less, come out every month. Other than a few issues of Knights of the Old Republic and Legacy that have slipped through my fingers, I’ve picked up almost every single issue.

As for books, this year I’ve bought and read up the first four Legacy of the Force books, Allegence, Destiny’s Way, Outbound Flight, X-Wing: Isard’s Revenge, and X-Wing: Starfighters of Adumar. As usual, these are in addition to re-reading older books with the Star Wars Action News book club.

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Originally a four-part comic series released in late 2003, I recently decided to pick up the trade paperback collection that has been sitting on the stands of my local comic book store for some time now.

I was disappointed at first to see that our main characters are nowhere to be found in this series; the plot follows a group of scheming Imperial Moffs who plan to assassinate the Emperor and Darth Vader. Vader sets off a series of the Moff’s traps as he travels to the outer rim to confront a renegade Jedi, while the Emperor and his royal guards fend off a legion of Stormtrooper drones. Most of the excitement was taken out of this plot because of the fact that we know both Vader and Palpatine survive to take place in the story of the original Star Wars movies.

The art in this series was excellent, penciled by Ryan Benjamin, who has worked with the Star Wars infinities comic series. This comics features some awesome fight sequences, as well as a cameo appearance by Boba Fett, who gives Vader a hand escaping a horde of bounty hunters. We also got to see the Royal Guards in action, which was cool to see. Four of them took out an entire brigade of Stormtrooper drones.

Overall, the story was engaging and fun, even though I was disappointed with the lack of familiar characters. I look forward to getting more of the early Empire comics that have been collected into trade paperbacks.

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Dark Times #6 marked the beggining of a new story arc for Dark Times: Parralels, the a five-part story arc preceding the Path to Nowwhere. I was origanally skeptical of this arc because of artist Dave Ross. Anything is really a step down from Doug Wheatly’s amazing pencil art, but I was pleasently suprised with Ross’ work in this issue. Ross brings a fresh perspective to the series, with some excellent action sequences and sequential art.

I was glad to see the return of the long-lived Master Kruhk, who plays a large part in this issue. Most of the issue is about Kruhk’s story of surviving Order 66. Even though I know he lived, because he later shows up in the Legacy comics, I was rivited by the fight scene between him and the clones. Kruhk kicked some butt in this issue.

We catch a small glimpse at the crew of the Uhemele, with one of their crewmates fleeing stormtroopers and ultimatly getting captured. No doubt, the rest of this arc will be about saving him. We get to see a little bit of Bomo Greenbark, who will undoubtly play a big role in this series.

Overall, I enjoyed this issue. If you’ve been following Dark Times, definatly pick it up. Also, this would be a good place for anyone new to the series to jump in and begin a new arc. Currently, only issue #1 is available. Dark Times #7 is planned to come out in less than six days now.

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