Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy for the Nintendo Switch Review
A long time ago, in a home on Earth, a child sat at his TV watching the legendary Star Wars. Multiple times. Over and over. Flash forward to the present. The same Star Wars loving child is at home, writing a review at his computer of Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy that he played on the Nintendo Switch. Although I, the aforementioned child, no longer is in love with Star Wars, its world still is full of potential. And that potential is always done right in video games, for whatever reason. Take Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Better than all the latest numbered Star Wars entries combined, with direction. As much as people dislike EA, I do think that the Star Wars movie writers should take note from EA. Just sayin’.
Then even Star Wars Battlefront II, like, the new one. Campaign is cool, and even if it took many updates, the multiplayer is just like a real Star War. Even if you take into account the non-canon entries of Star Wars games, seems like, save the Original Trilogy, most Star Wars games are just better than prequel and sequel trilogies. I’m looking at you, Knights of the Old Republic…
Our review of Star Wars Jedi: Jedi Knight II wasn’t positive. Just to make sure Tay was right, I bought the game (it’s $10, why not?) and while the story was certainly cool, really dated design decisions plagued the game. Unfortunate. So, how does Jedi Academy fare? Well, some design decisions in the story are actually OK. In the second half of this review, you’ll find why I enjoyed Jedi Academy, and why I have concerns for its longevity.
Dark, or Light. Light or Dark?
Right off the bat, you create a character out of a few alien races, pick colors and such, you get the gist. You pick your name, and upon crash landing, begin training under Luke Skywalker and Kyle Katarn. From here on out, you pick the order missions are completed in and you pick if you want Light-sided or Dark-sided powers. For sake of not spoiling, I will say the story is relatively good, and provides great insight on the pre-Disney merger Star Wars. Unfortunately, it’s all Legends now.
Missions have clever designs and are incredibly varied in my opinion, and have cutscenes to go along with, so they’re not just filler missions. They’re also rather quick. That’s a good thing in my opinion. I personally enjoyed the missions. After each mission, you pick an ability to gain or level up, giving you an edge with later missions.
Aged like milk, or wine? More like cheese.
With that being said, Jedi Academy hasn’t aged quite like some other classics, but it isn’t terrible either. Yes, the graphics could be considered “trash”. But, at the time it was the latest and greatest achievement in graphical prowess. Character faces are kinda ridiculous, and lip syncing… let’s not talk about that. Nightmare fuel…
It is argued that Jedi Academy has the best lightsaber combat in any Star Wars game. (I’m sure it was… until Fallen Order came) It is actually quite deep, I feel and it’s a cool fact that a single lightsaber, dual wielding, and double-sided blades are yours to choose from. Shooting mechanics are in first person, and they’re pretty standard fare.
Though it is weird that holding the opposing trigger button does a special attack instead of zooming in… That’s just a custom from the early 2000’s in video games, apparently.
Epic 16 Player Jedi Duels
So here’s why my recommendation is that you play Jedi Academy. The online multiplayer. Easy. It’s not balanced. It’s lacking modern online multiplayer touches. But they’re hella fun. Free for all is insane and team free for all is quite fun. Picking your Force powers and lightsaber and character, then duking it out like you’re all enemies is something that absolutely needs to come back. Listening EA? Battlefront is cool and all, but we want to be Jedi fighting other Jedi with like, Fallen Order combat. Battle royale…? Actually, that isn’t a bad idea…
Two problems with the online, though. One is the absence of four-player offline splitscreen. Man, I wish this was included because the longevity of Jedi Academy would be greatly increased.
My other isn’t a problem, but a concern. The online battles are awesome, but as it is an older game ported here to Switch, without updates or a “roadmap” I really feel the appeal is limited to “cool Star Wars battles”. That’s a very enticing appeal, I would think- Jedi Academy isn’t expensive, it’s at $20, also. I predict the online community will die pretty soon, which is a shame. There are AI enemies though, so if that can keep you entertained, then by all means, this isn’t a bad buy with the single-player added in.
Again, if Jedi Academy had the split screen, I would highly recommend this awesome Star Wars experience. If features were to be added, like an enhanced port, the online would probably flourish. But for now, experience awesome online battles. (or AI) See how cool Star Wars was before the Disney merger in the single-player campaign. (Hot Take!) Basically, I recommend Jedi Academy, but if it had extras and split screen, instant recommendation from me. PC version might be a better go, but I’m not sure. It sure is a cool title to diversify the Switch library, though!
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Reviewed by Jack Bankhead on the Nintendo Switch. Game provided by asypr.