N64 Said:

The first and last levels are superb. Some of the rest are good. A sad few are awful.

Not a John Williams score unfortunately but the (mono) sound effects are completely authentic.

The Challenge Points add a lot. Uncomfortably Doom-clone in places.

Good as long as you play it at 'Hard' or 'Jedi' difficulty settings. Far too easy otherwise.

Basically solid, but lacking the innovation and brilliance of Nintendo's other launch titles. Get Turok before you get this.
Shadows of the Empire
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14/11/2013 Weeelll this is a disappointing game. First impressions aren't so great, the menus are rubbish looking and the story sequences alternate between middling 2D character cutouts with text (Are we still playing on a SNES here?) and budget 3D sequences. There's nice music, but it's terrible quality, apparently mono-aural which goes some way to explaining it, but certainly not excusing it, the later Star Wars games have such great sound. On to the gameplay! N64 Mag says playing on any difficulty below Hard is a joke, so I set it to Hard and jump into level 1. It's a mixed bag, the Rebel's ships and the Empire's forces actually look quite nice, but the terrain is downright nasty - there aren't enough polygons here to start a fire with, and the textures are being worked too hard for their small size. But it's fun! Slip into cockpit view and tear around blasting the crap out of the probes - which are a little tricky to target, and the walkers - which have enough armor to require two attack runs. Not dodging turns out to be a bad idea and I'm blasted out of the air 3 times in a row: Game Over. It's so much more fun than I was expecting though, I go straight back to it and soon I'm wrapping tow cables around transport walkers legs and bringing them to their knees (they seem to be walking on the spot rather than actually attacking the base, but I'll let that go) until BOOM! POW! Level Complete. Fantastic, this is actually loads of fun, sadly N64 Mag cautions that things get worse from here, in fact according to them the only level of the game as good as this one is the final (10th) level, with the rest ranging from ho-hum to shit. Ah well, it was probably too much to hope the whole thing would be genuinely enjoyable. And yea, no surprise, level 2 is pretty dull. Run around in first or third-person view blasting stuff with your laser pistol, this sounds promising, but the controls are awkward - no sidestrafe or aiming while moving - and to make up for this your gun will autoaim at any enemy nearish the center of the screen. Winning comes down to having the fastest trigger finger, there's no sneaking up behind enemies or ambushing them, just running around plain (four walls, the odd crate) hallways mashing fire until everyone is dead. And the 'secrets' are really obvious, I guess that means they're not secrets, so there are no secrets. Apparently the next three levels are progressively worse than this one, so I'm going to give up now while it's only pants.