Star Wars: Bounty Hunter
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|Star Wars: Bounty Hunter|
Promotional North American PS2 cover art
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is a Star Wars video game developed and published by LucasArts for the GameCube and Sony PlayStation 2, released in 2002. In the game, players play as the bounty hunter Jango Fett, featured in the 2002 film Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, to which this game serves as a prequel. Both Temuera Morrison and Leeanna Walsman reprise their roles from the film, as Jango Fett and Zam Wesell, respectively.
The main objective of Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is to hunt Dark Jedi Komari Vosa. During the game, it is revealed why Jango Fett was chosen as the template for the Grand Army of the Republic, how Boba Fett, his cloned "son" was born, and how Jango acquired Slave I. Players also fight many "bosses", such as Montross and Longo "Two-Guns". There are also side objectives, such as collecting secondary bounties, that open special bonus items in the game. When the player beats a chapter, blooper reels - comedic machinima productions - are unlocked.
Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is played in third person. Jango Fett has access to a wide array of weapons in the game; from his trademark blaster pistols to flamethrowers to jetpack-mounted missiles. In game, Jango can make use of his acrobatic abilities by somersaulting and jumping to the side to backflipping to avoid enemies. There are also many pickups, powerups, and items to help along the way. In every level, there is a primary objective and several secondary objectives, relating to the capture of several bounties; bounties are found and marked using his ID scanner (which switches the game to the first-person perspective). Amassing enough credits unlocks concept art. Each level also has a secret feather, which unlock Wizards of the Coast cards; if all feathers are found, bonus footage is unlocked. After every level, pages of the comic Open Seasons are unlocked for viewing, and after completing chapters, "blooper reels" for the cutscenes in that chapter are unlocked.
This game occurs shortly after the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace with bounty hunter Jango Fett hunting a criminal named Meeko Ghintee for his friend Rozatta, the Toydarian owner of Outland Station. After bringing down Meeko's ship and capturing Ghintee during a battle in the docking bays, Jango receives a transmission from Darth Tyranus inviting him to participate in "a special hunt... for a special prey." The reward is five million credits for the capture of the deranged leader of the Bando Gora, Komari Vosa. The Gora are a group of Force-worshiping criminals who are proving a thorn in the side of Tyranus and Darth Sidious' plans. Jango reluctantly agrees to the hunt despite Roz acknowledging the danger in attempting to defeat such an adversary.
There are rumors that the Bando Gora are behind some strange narcotics shipments (referred to as 'death sticks'), and Jango decides to pursue a low-life death stick dealer named Jervis Gloom, who is wanted by the Coruscant police. Jango captures Gloom in the Entertainment District, and coerces him into revealing his sources. This leads Jango to a nerf processing plant in the Industrial Sector, run by a gangster named Groff Haugg. When Jango arrives, however, he encounters Montross, a Mandalorian bounty hunter, who has already tortured and killed Haugg. Jango learns that both Montross and himself are pursuing the same prey. Jango fights Montross, who flees, before finding a message on Haugg's computer terminal from the gangster's co-conspirator, the corrupt Senator Trell. Jango then fights his way through Trell's heavily guarded apartment tower to the Senator's penthouse, and learns that the death sticks came from a Malastare crime lord named Sebolto. Jango proceeds to kill Trell by throwing him off the building before fighting with a Corusant Security Force Gunship, destroying the ship with a grenade launcher and sending it crashing to the streets below.
Jango then proceeds to the asteroid prison Oovo IV to jail break Bendix Fust, with the idea of delivering him to Sebolto to curry favour with the gangster. Deep in the prison, Jango is surprised when another bounty hunter, Zam Wesell, reaches Fust before him. The two meet at gunpoint, but are forced to work together to escape. Jango's ship, Jaster's Legacy is destroyed, so he breaks back in and destroys a prison security ship, before commandeering a Firespray class police ship, naming it Slave I. Before leaving, Fett destroys the hangar. Montross- across the galaxy- realizes that Haugg gave him a false lead. When Montross hears of the riot at Oovo Iv, he realizes that Jango is on the right trail and heads to Malastare.
Fett and Wesell travel to Malastare to deliver Fust to Sebolto. When Sebolto realises what is happening, he flees, but falls down a pipe into a Death Stick Factory, crashing into a wall and falling down a chasm into the Death Stick liquid. Jango ventures through the factory, and eventually comes to a cave crawling with members of the Bando Gora. Once he gets past them, he reaches a supply ship. On further inspection, he finds Huttese markings on it. Montross again reappears and taunts Fett about the death of his adoptive father Jaster Mereel and the disastrous battle at Galidraan when the Mandalorians were wiped out by a Jedi ambush. Jango battles Montross, with Wesell providing cover fire and allow the two to escape.
Not knowing which Hutt is involved with the Bando Gora, the pair split up to question the two Hutts, Jabba and Gardulla. After killing Longo Two-Gun and his gang and giving their bodies to Jabba (who wanted the whole gang dead or alive) Jango questions him and finds Jabba to be uninvolved, with Jabba asking for Jango to kill Gardulla. Fett proceeds to Gardulla's palace through the Jundland wastes, battling Tusken Raiders and Gardulla's guards, before finding Wesell in a holding cell. He tries to leave her there to avoid sounding an alarm, but she compromises his position, and he is apprehended. After escaping detainment (and discovering that Wesell is a changeling), Fett reaches Gardulla, who refuses to give up Vosa's location. Fett then feeds Gardulla to her own Krayt dragon, before finishing the Krayt dragon off himself. Out of anger for her betrayal, he leaves Wesell on Tatooine to continue searching for Vosa alone.
Fett contacts Rozatta, but Montross is listening in and attacks the station, rigging it to explode. Montross then taunts Fett, telling him that his friend is in danger. Enraged, he temporarily abandons his mission to help Rozatta. When he arrives, he discovers she is fatally wounded, but before she dies, she is able to give him a guidance device to help him track Vosa, who Rozatta managed to locate on Kohlma, a moon of Bogden. Fett leaves Outland Station, with it exploding moments later.
Fett arrives on Kohlma, discovering the hideout of the Bando Gora. After fighting his way across the planet's surface, he arrives at Vosa's castle, where he finds Montross is already waiting for him, and they duel a final time with Montross wearing his Mandalorian helmet and jetpack. Jango finally defeats Montross, who wishes to have a warrior's death. Fett, however, as a means of revenge for his murder of Rozatta, lets the Bando Gora tear Montross to pieces as he walks away. Upon entering the castle, he is taken prisoner by the Bando Gora. He is tortured both physically and mentally by Vosa. However, Wesell then arrives, but is injured by Vosa. As Vosa moves to kill her, Wesell blasts Jango's restraints, freeing him. Fett attempts to shoot Vosa before she tries to escape, follows her through the castle, battles and ultimately fatally wounds her. As she lies upon a staircase, defeated, she seemingly chokes to death. Darth Tyranus steps from the shadows and greets Fett (it can be assumed that he strangled her using the Force). Tyranus explains that the entire ordeal was a test, and that Fett has passed with flying colours. He offers Fett a considerably larger sum to go to Kamino, to be the template for a clone army. Fett agrees, on the condition that he gets the first unaltered clone for himself (passing on his legacy as Rozatta had requested he do before she died). The game ends with Fett carrying the wounded Wesell to Slave I.
Bounty Hunter received average to positive reviews. The PlayStation Official Magazine gave the game an above-average 7 out of 10, complimenting the core shooting and production values, but criticizing its repetitive nature; "A Star Wars-themed 3D shooter with some optional bounty hunting. Good fun, but it promised more."
IGN awarded the GameCube version of the game 8.3/10, and the PS2 version 8.2. Praising the graphics, sound, length and level designs, they criticized the implementation of the bounty hunting system; "The whole process is pretty clunky, and there should have been a way to streamline this to make it more fluid - especially in the heat of a battle when your mark is mixed in with four or five other opponents. It works the way it is for sure, but it certainly could have been fixed to be more intuitive than it currently is." In the end, however, they found the game to be one of the better Star Wars tie-in games; "Star Wars Bounty Hunter is a solid, if not technically challenged third-person action/adventure. Successfully combining our favorite aspects of the Star Wars universe with a clever stage design and a fantastic presentation, LucasArts has done a great job in suppressing the myth that games based on the Skywalker universe aren't any fun. A definite recommendation for Star Wars fans, Bounty Hunter isn't necessarily built for everyone, but for those of you out there who just can't get enough of this stuff, it's one of your better choices for this or any holiday season."
Less impressed were GameSpot, who awarded the GameCube version 6.5 out of 10 and the PS2 version 5.4. They found the technical issues of the game to be too significant; "Bounty Hunter suffers from an array of technical problems that have plagued other third-person action games. You can move the camera perspective using the right analog stick, but the camera will still cause you some major headaches when in tight corridors or when trying to draw a bead on a specific enemy. Often it'll automatically swivel to point you in entirely the wrong direction. Clipping and collision-detection issues also abound." They also criticized the graphics and the overall gameplay, concluding that "Star Wars Bounty Hunter may have all the basic ingredients needed for a solid third-person action game, but it falls flat in the execution and is far too often cumbersome, confusing, or in some other way un-fun to be recommendable on its own merits. Serious Star Wars aficionados should enjoy the game's story, but they'll be forced to slog through a lot of tedious action to see how it pans out."