Love Letter: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Dead or Alive Xtreme Schutta Volleyball

I suspect that by the point this goes up, we'll be knee deep into the backlash phase of the Star Wars Episode 7 Hype. The point where about half the people who were neutral-to-excited about it are now tired of the the social media saturation of it. You know, like with Frozen. Look, guys, it was  just okay, stop singing let it go.

Still, some excitement is warranted. Star Wars is good again, apparently.  I mean, a lot of people think that the prequels where a Dark Time for the franchise. But I remember the time fondly.

Not, because of the movies, mind you. Some people may be find because of the prequels, but I'm not among them, even though the old movies werent  all that easy to find on the 3 channels we had. I liked them well enough, but it wasn't a particular obsession of mine.

However, Star Wars GAMES are some of the Star Wars experiences I am fond of, particularly Shadows of the Empire for the N64, and Knights of the Old Republic.

Kotor is probably the game I most played on the original Xbox, having beaten it around 10 times, until I lost count. It sort of became a running joke, with people walking into my room, only to say "You're playing THAT again?"
"You don't understand the lesbian option with Juhani is RANDOM!"
Yes, again. For those too young to remember, KOTOR was the first and best Star Wars RPG, developed by Bioware, which made me a life long fan and drew me to Mass Effect,  Jade Empire, and...KOTOR, yeah, 2 out of 3 ain't bad.

In it, your generic character wakes up in a ship under attack by the Sith 1000's of years before Darth Vader was even around, so you really don't have to worry about setting up how anybody's droid was built. From there, you discover secrets, become a Jedi, meet lots of cool characters, and decide whether you want to be a heroe, anti-hero, or straight up villain.

So, this game has lots of good things, but lots of things that people forget were not so good. The game had a dearth of animations. It got really bad. The repeated alien quips got on my head, too, especially since every single one began with Star Wars' version of "bitch".
"Schutta better have my money."

It's visual customization options make about your character felt less like Mass Effect and more like Deadly Arts. Some graphics looked pretty great, some graphics looked like shiet. And sometimes it was a little to scene by scene to the movies.

 However, the story and characters are where the game sold me. HK 47, a snarky killer droid, Mission Vao, a street urchin,  Canderous Ordo, a war veteran and Bastila Shan, a conflicted Jedi, among others, made the journey felt worth it.  There wasn't a character in there that I felt like kicking off the ship.

The morality system, with it's multiple choices. Oh, my god. It truly managed a balance of giving you moral options without these options being "feed the puppy" vs "kick the puppy". And somehow it allowed you to actually defeat the bad guys as a dark Jedi motherfuckers.

The gameplay was pretty good, too. I am no fan of RPG's, but discovering and unlocking different abilities felt great.  The partially turn based, but partially no combat delivered a significant amount of strategy, while also making it FEEL like  you where in control.

I loved going to the different planets, and seeing the different things and societies, and the different situations you could encounter. It wasn't just "play the action bits of the Star Wars movies" like most Star Wars games, although it did that, too. It was inviting  you to explore this grand universe full of peoples and factions and intrigue and backstory, and made it all compelling through some good gameplay and solid characters. That's why Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, I love you.

The game is out on Android because...I guess Phones can run Xbox games now. I'm old and so's my phone.


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