Quikee: Top 10 Xbox Games that I Played On the Game Pass

December came and I was doing my rounds when I was recommended the X Box GamePass. It was a dollar for a month, so I was like, “hell yeah!” Now I was late for so much because it was just so good!

You might be thinking, “and? What’s so exciting? It’s Xbox.” Let me explain. I am a Nintendo person. Over the years, I’ve only played consoles from their lineup. Gameboy Advance, DSI, 3ds, Gamecube, Wii U, and the Switch. I have played Steam, which was my first outing outside of Nintendo, but I’ve never played anything from the other two big boys in the gaming world. So, to be able to play the big lineup from X Box was an exciting juncture.

Admittedly, I accidently played for the next month. That gave me 2 months of full access to a slew of games I never thought I’d ever play. This post is going over the top 10 I played over the course of that period.

This is based on how much I played them and enjoyed them. This isn’t to say that one game is better than the other. So, please don’t get mad at me. Leave down in the comments what games you liked on the service or any recommendations for when I inevitably get it back.

Number 10:

Ark: Ultimate Survivor-I guess you’re in this list

Truth be told, I only played about 12 games. You’ll see by like number 2 why. So…Ark. I wasn’t a big fan of it. I played about a night of it because I saw dinosaurs on the cover and I was like, “sweet. I’ll try it.” Yes, it’s that simple for me to just play a game.

I haven’t played an MMO since Cartoon Network’s Fusionfall, and it showed. So many menus to keep track of, the leveling system, and the pretty okay graphics. Not all bad points, but a lot to get back into. If I had one big issue, it was the weight system where too much inventory slows you down. That’s not bad, but the game gave me a bunch of special sh!t I couldn’t use as some kind of event, but I didn’t want get rid of it. So, I couldn’t get a lot of materials because then it would weigh me down.

Then, and I probably could have gotten used to it, but the menus were a mess. Like, you have a menu for crafting, but you can only craft when it’s on the hotbar (just learned what that i)?

Finally, didn’t really find a lot of Dinos. That’s it, that’s the con.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t played an MMO since I was like 10, but I don’t think this was a good re-introduction to it. (I do regret not taking a screenshot of it).

Number 9:

Destroy All Humans

Wanna live out your dreams of being an alien from “Mars Attack!” Well, I’ve got for you today Destroy All Humans, where you can just conquer the world by destroying everything! Just commit war crimes all over the place in your conquest.

This is one of those stress relief games because all you do is throw cows around and blow up buildings with a giant UFO. I only got to the 2nd level by the end of my session, but that starting level is just peak fun. You really feel like a space invader by the end.

Can we bring back grey aliens again? They’re such a classic but perfect design.

Number 8

Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer Simulation

Close your eyes. Let me throw some imagery at you. You’re in a pastoral city. You’re a deer. A normal, peaceful deer. Now hook shot onto buildings with your head. Walk over to victims like a macho 80s film character. Shoot down building with guns strapped to your horns. Okay, now you’re being tracked down by cops throughout the city. The cops are sheep, the cars have pandas under them, and their boss is a giant freakin dog. Now open your eyes. How do you feel? Good? Bad? Well, however you feel, I’d like you to get of my house now.

Very much like Destroy All Humans, you’re basically throwing yourself around the city to cause as much damage as possible. It’s very much about insanity and fun. I got a little chuckle every time I just wobble around the map. I love the complete madness of just attaching weapons all over my face to fire everything like a monster movie general losing his mind. The whole map can be destroyed, so it’s your own little sandbox of destruction.

I stopped around the first boss, but I won’t spoil it so you can experience the goofiness yourself.

Number 9

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare?

Okay, I played this one with a friend before I had my own game pass, but he had it so I’m counting it. Out of the shooters on this list, this is my least favorite. Only because the other 2 were more of my style.

With this game, I wasn’t expecting a lot since COD gets so much slack. I’ve seen people call it mindless, some kind of generic shooter, and all kinds of negative comments. I will say, I don’t remember which one it was. I swear to god, I didn’t do this on purpose for a bit. I legit don’t remember which one it is. I looked up a list, and they all look the same! I can’t use my memory because they all-

Anyway, from what my blanked memory is remembering, one of my favorite things was how balanced the maps are (please forgive me if they aren’t. I’m a noob). It introduced me to how there is no safe place to camp out in modern shooters. Yes, you can camp out, but it’s not like an invincible area where your safe forever. Yes, this seems bare bones and basic, but as someone who’s played the OG Star Wars Battlefront 2 by myself due to poor internet this was my breakthrough into the online scene.

Number 6:

Dragon Quest 11: Playin as Android 17

As someone who loves RPGs. Dragon Quest was a foreign land to. Like, I’ve heard more about Final Fantasy than Dragon Quest. All I knew was that the art style was made by Toriyama, and there are slimes. Other than that, nothing else. That actually made me more excited to play this game when I found it.

This one is more complicated to me. The game drew me in with its high fantasy, which has been my trend with RPGs, and I really liked the environments due to Toriyama’s art style. Made me realize how much I loved the locals of Dragon Ball, and I hope it gets as much love as the fight scenes. The first area was gorgeous, and it made me want to run around even if I was on bare time.

Two problems, however, ruined the experience. I never got into the combat. So, it’s the standard RPG battles I’ve done several times before. Basic attack, magic, run; the usual. However, they added the ability to run around while performing actions. But what rubbed me the wrong way was how, from the first few battles, this mechanic didn’t change anything. I could run around the enemies, so I thought that being too far away would not allow me to use basic attacks and I had to utilize magic, and vice versa. But that’s not how it went. It’s the same turned based action of FF and Pokemon. IT doesn’t matter how far you move away from the enemy; they still land direct hits. So, what was the point of moving around if it didn’t affect anything? It felt like a cop out.

Secondly, and this is more so towards what I played it with, the game would not run properly. This is because I was using my work laptop for all of these games, so it had trouble running anything super modern. Especially when it was on a browser using campus internet. So, I didn’t continue because I didn’t know if it would run or not.

Does that mean I won’t play Dragon Quest ever again? Not really. But I will say that, even if I did get the pass again, I don’t really have interest in this one.

Number 5

Doom: Rip and Tear, Until It Is Done-oh wait that’s the sequel

Basically a transcription of me playing the game:

*Laughing madly*

Oh sh!t I died…

*Goes back to laughing madly as I rip and tear the demons of hell*

This is the most Christian game ever made! I’m making my crusader ancestors proud!

Number 4:

Halo Infinite: A Title That’s a Declaration

Yep, this is the first Halo game I’ve ever played, and it’s a pretty good introduction to the multiplayer…I think. This is coming from the most casual perspective ever, so take that with a grain of salt. I’m a Nintendo Gamer who’s bever touched this stuff, so I’m trekking into unknown territory.

The multiplayer is really good, but there are some meh areas. I like the standard game mode, 4 vs 4, but it got really repetitive after a few matches. I like having a large team pool between each side since it unlocks the bigger maps. The maps that I had played in 4 v 4 were so small that they ended up becoming boring. I’ve seen a few videos, such as the Act Man, talking about a lot more major issues like low map count for each mode. When I played, I just found the normal multiplayer repetitive.

I’ll admit, it took a while for me to realize that enemies will have a red aura as an indication instead of being completely red. It’s still a bit confusing because other shooters like Splatoon and Battlefront have a clearer indication based on color coding, but I did eventually get over it.

I remember trying my best to be a lot better at this game. At least, in my own weird and flawed way. I remember feeling like a complete loser, getting t-boned every second, so I tried my best to understand the basic controls rather than letting it get to me. Sure, I found moving the camera janky compared to Battlefront 2, but I ended up getting used to it. I learned to rely of smacking people during close combat, I almost getting good aiming with the controller (not gonna lie, I can’t aim with an X-box controller to save my life), and using the event I at the time to learn how good the other weapons work. I never truly mastered it, I would even admit that mastering multiplayer isn’t something that I can get fully invested in, but I did really enjoy getting just as good enough to not feel like a hassle to my companions.

Can I just gush about how effective smacking people with the gun is. Destroying their shield and bam! Turn your enemy into a ragdoll. It’s so fun when you take the chance.

Number 3

Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order- It’s so beautiful!

I’m a Star Wars nerd. My Republic Commando post goes a little more into it, but I’ve loved the franchise since I was kid. But, the sequel trilogy left me disappointed and left a hollow piece in my ehart. It didn’t have the same intrigue and storytelling that hooked me, and they’re not good movies in general. It’s why I loved Dark Forces 1 and 2 because it was the OG expanded universe, territory I never trekked before that actually capture the spirit of the franchise.

Fallen Order is not in the OG Expanded Universe, it’s a new game with a new story between Ep 3 and 4, but it radiated the same giddy from me. The combat system is basically “parry, parry, force slow, slash, watch the attacks, and rinse and repeat.” It’s easy to understand but fun to master, though the game will kick your ass if your not good. My one complaint with it is none of the Stormtroopers being cut into pieces after dying. It bother me to no end when all they’re left with are pathetic little slashes. Dark Forces had that and that game is old.

For example, the first giant toad fight (called a Oggdo Bogdo. Really broke out all the word bank for that one), I remember rushing in and getting my a$$ handed to it. Then, after coming back, I took my time and finally beat it. I loved how my brain decided to win right after I fell into the boss pit when I gave up. This may seem basic like “oh wow, you beat the toad.” But that feeling of accomplishment kept me going. I love that it was intentionally made harder but optional if you really wanted to get good.

Like with Dragon Quest, the only reason why I ended up not continuing was because of my set up. Especially during Dathomir, where one session ended up slowing down my input with the controls due to poor internet (I blame the night sisters). Anyone looking into PC gaming, do not do what I do. I have to rely on what I have, but if you have the spending cash buy a better computer.

You think after this game, the main character joined Disney Channel to star in the hit movie, “Zombies 3?” I didn’t even need to joke about him being in a 4th one. There are apparently gonna be aliens in the 3rd movie. Yo, can we get our main boy in Zombies 3?

Number 2

Dead Space: Covid Omega

It’s The Thing meets Alien. This was made for me.

One of the best aspects of the game is its sound design. Being in this hostile mining ship with the Necromorphs, hearing the whispers, the ambience, and the distant roars helped aggravate my anxiety. Despite the point being to be afraid, I was mesmerized and drawn to how everything was crafted to create this perfect horror experience.

By far, my favorite mechanic is stomping the monsters after they’re dead. Just taking it all out on them too be able to release the anger after being jump scared and attacked. Best decision made. Best part is when our mute protag vents out his frustration. The way he grr’s is such a mood. Having a relatable mechanic made me want to play the game more since I had a break in between the scares to let it all out. The story too, but the gameplay really kept me going.

So, why is this not number 1? Well, it’s because I found this gem around the last 2 weeks of my membership. Had I played early, this would have easily been number 1.

Also, Zombies 3 should totally include the Necromorphs. That would easily get me back into Disney Channel.

Number 1

Star Wars Battlefront 2: EA addition

Growing up, I used to play the original Star Wars Battlefront 2 (which was my brother’s) on our old computer. Though I could never play multiplayer, I had a blast going to all the Star Wars planets I knew and absolutely recking the enemy army. Though the dumb AI made things easy, I still managed to make a lot of memories

Admittedly, I was one of the guys who hated the remakes without ever playing them. In my defense, when I heard all the controversies on the lootcrates, it made me think they messed up what could have been a great remake. But, playing it in December, any fears or biases I had were blown away.

This became one of my favorite Star Wars games of all time. The look of the game is gorgeous (especially each character model), the maps are expansive and recreate everything from the movies, I love dying to Darth Maul every few seconds, and the points system made learning the base classes viable. I love how much variety there is as well. There’s Conquest, Galactic Assault, Heroes vs Villains, Blast, Space Assault, and Ewok Hunt. Surrpisingly, the lootcrates that were left didn’t really affect my enjoyability with the game at all since I felt I was on the same level as everyone else playing, even if veterans were on the field. It’s a really good casual experience, but there is something veteran shooters will love.

Now, the question might be: did I like this more than the original. Now, before you shout at me like Kylo Ren to choose which ever one you like more, here’s my take. A comparison is not fair. I only had single player in the original. What I love about the new one is that I can actually do multiplayer. I’m not gonna say I had more fun on one over the other because of that. I love both for different reasons. They both have a special place in my heart as being amazing Star Wars games.

Yes, I did come at the end of its life. There are apparently no more updates. But, what I experienced was something amazing, and I hope a Battlefront 3 happens. One that doesn’t include the First Order.

Can we just get Legends content? Ea, you gave the sequels enough love. It’s time to give the real sequels a spot in the spotlight. I want Mara Jade, Omega Squad, the real Ben Solo, and whatever else happened after ep 6.

*Here is me reliving two of my favorite moments.

My remember when me and a random person just got together and just stood at an enemy spawn point to decimate them with the gatling gun. I know that sounds like an asshole move, and I did try to leave. But when we looked at each other, he nudged me with some shots, and we just turned back to continue, I knew we became bros that day. Or they were a girl. Idk.

Another was when, in Kashyyk, I was with a whole squad in one of the Turbo Tanks just defending it from droids. There was so much to do in that map, yet we all banded together to protect this one spot. There was so much tension, so many times I died, yet we did it…I think. I can’t remember it well.

I’m very sorry that most of these screenshots are the menus on the game pass, but I want to save up some money before I get the pass again. If I do get it again, and I remember, I’ll try to replace these screenshots with actual gameplay.

And that’s it for my list of reasons that kept me from actually doing my job. Next time, I go back to Kamen Rider to talk about what in the world the Saber movie was. See you next time.

-Samuel Argueta

Republic Commando: Dark, Gritty, and Full of Banter

Star Tre-I mean Star Wars! The gripping science fiction masterpiece that’s spawned so many different story mediums Disney had to make it all non-canon just because it’s too f@cking big. Like my lightsaber. Farm boys becoming ace pilots, X-wings swimming through space to evade bow ties, and sword wielding mages fighting to protect or enslave the galaxy. Star Wars is an awe-inspiring science fiction franchise and, to me, the science fiction franchise that many see today as historically relevant and genre breaking.

You’ve the got the smart one, the child, and the psycho-path all in one place. One happy family.

I would say I’m a major fan of the franchise, but I’ve mostly viewed the movies and shows, for better and for worst. Reylo makes me sick. I was an avid fan of the first 6 movies, my jaw dropping at the Death Star imploding in Ep4 and Anakin and Obi-wan fighting their way through General Grievous’ ship in Ep 3. This was my jam as a kid, never getting tired of sword fights and incredible set pieces…well, except for the shitty CG added to the original. Funnily enough, I used to think that the prequel trilogy was made first before the original. My 6-year-old brain never noticed how old Ep 4 was. .

However, despite this love, I never really went out of my way to experience the all-expansive Expanded Universe much (Legends now, if you’re a newbie), only playing Dark Forces, reading 2 books, and watching the Old Republic trailers. Now, like many properties growing up, my computer was slow as balls, so I never learned there was such thing as an EU past middle school. Same thing with Nintendo; I legitimately thought every character in Melee only existed in Melee. While it’s exciting and refreshing to finally experience some of the EU content, I couldn’t get into it because of how big it was. Like my lightsaber. I compare it to the Bionicle lore, except even more massive. As stupid as it was making EU non-canon, I could almost agree with some of the logic considering no general audience is gonna read, watch, or play all the sh@t to understand a sequel trilogy. Then again, to my dismay, my journey into the EU turned out to not be confusing at all, especially Darth Plagues, so what do I know. In any case, I love this franchise. Anything from the EU is a genuinely exciting feeling and brings back the adventure of discovering something new, and I do think Star Wars is in good hands with Filoni. If only a certain KK would leave already.

So, why I am rambling and not diving head first into the game? One, cause I have the keyboard. Two, setting the scene. One aspect about Star Wars that’s interesting is the latter war. The Prequals would end up showing how war is in this franchise, with the movies and Clone Wars giving a full in-depth look into the different conflicts the Jedi and the clones went through against the several Separatist and 3rd party enemies. While I did find Clone Wars to be a masterpiece, and especially helped with the viewing of the prequals, there is one game before that showed not only a uniquely grim side of the war, but also the fact that clones have personality. Republic Commando; the black ops story of the Republic. Ever wonder who takes care of the behind the scenes during the war? You didn’t? Too bad, here it is.

“I made this joke already.”

Republic Commando: No Fancy Weapons and Ancient Religions Here

“Tuning in to Clone TV, bringing you all the movies with none of the propaganda. Today we’re playing the Lego Movie, just to remember how you are the special till the day you die.”

Created by Lucasfilm in 2005, released on PC and Xbox, this game is about a black ops team of commandos performing several missions during the years of the war while being as unprofessional and professional as possible. It’s incredible how much they walk that thin line. With Temuera Morrison returning to play Boss, the playable character, a slew of talented voice actors giving it their all, and more violence than usual in a Star Wars game, Republic Commando sets itself apart as a hard-edged game while managing to balance the grittiness with bantering humor.

The Story: Uhh…

It isn’t…much of a story per say. There is a consistent plot within, but each campaign is essentially its own thing. The game starts with a montage of Boss’s life, being bred by the noodle necks to be trained in the republic’s new, totally-not-shady, clone army. However, unlike many of his brethren, Boss is trained to become a Commando, an elite soldier specialized for infiltration mission(despite the fact that their given one of the best guns in the army considering it can be customized to be a machine gun, a sniper rifle, and an actual grenade launcher. Someone knowledgably in Legends explain this to me, because Regs would live longer if they had this).  However, he isn’t alone, as he’s chosen to be the leader of Delta Squad, consisting of: Scorch, the demolition expert who’s got something to say every 10 minutes, Fixer, the no-shit attitude soldier who follows orders and quiets banter, and Sev, the murderous sniper who counts kill and banters a lot with Scorch. Okay, Filoni, we all know you played this before making Bad Batch. Afterwards, Boss is seen outside as everyone is loading up for Geonosia during Ep 2. Once you enter the Republic Gunship, it’s time to rack your kills.

There are 3 campaign missions based on a world(or a ship): Geonosis, the Prosecutor, and Kashyyyk. While that sounds short, each campaign lasts a while with several different missions within. And lots of enemies.

Geonosis: Pest Control

Something of a side story during Ep 2, Delta Sqaud to take out of Sun Fac, a Geonosian leader with a beautiful, evil beard like chin. You meet each of your squad one by one as you make your way, while simultaneously taking care of other missions behind the scenes to give a Republic their first edge in this starting war.

“You know how that Shoretrooper got a following because they died just getting their lunch? Can we get a following for this unnamed clone being the only company Boss had? And, yes, this guy does fit the criteria of dying.

The Prosecutor: Because All Republic Ships have to Enforce the Fact That They Are The Ruling Government

Delta Squad is going deep into space when a republic cruiser, their first home, has mysteriously stopped all contact and has been found damaged in a sector it shouldn’t be in. The squad splits up to receive data on what exactly happened, slowly realizing the horror of a new alliance brewing for the separatist faction.

“I don’t know if you can see it, but Boss is currently entering…the enemy scrotum!”

Kashyyyk: Even the name is asking “Why!”

Sometime during the timeline of Ep 3, this new alliance comes into play in the final mission, where the Wookies are under threat of invasion. The first task is to save their leader, Tarfful, before breaking out into all-out war to secure the Wookie civilization away from separatist tyranny. All mechanics come together in this race of time to prove Ki-Adi-Mundi right.

“Hey Sev, the last time Boss was in a LAAT with another clone they…ooohhh”

I appreciate how Delta Squad’s story is this small part of the prequal trilogy while still feeling like a fully fleshed story on its own. It’s paced well due to its constant action, but it allows for slow and downright creepy moments, especially the 2nd mission. This special ops perspective gives a different and unique look to the franchise and world; a perspective lacking in the safe and magical feeling the Jedi always gave us.

Gameplay

Solo: Shoot First, Ask Questions Never

The game mechanics are split into two different categories: solo and team. On your own, the game is a standard FPS. You’ve got the guns, the bombs, and the armor to take out anything in your path. Besides the customizable DC-17m, you’ve got a pistol with unlimited rounds, an arm blade to cut NEEEECKS, and enemy weapons that are either dropped by them or just lying around carelessly. From the Geonosian Arm Cannon to the Wookie Bowcaster, there is a lot of variety for play that keeps fire fights from becoming stale.

There are some rules to weaponry to keep in mind. There are different grenades for different situations that don’t work in others, like the flash grenade to stun organics and the EMP for mechanical foes. Enemies require logical strategies to conserve as much ammo as you’ll want or need for the next level, as transitions to the next section (sometimes) doesn’t replenish it in a way like Metal Arms. Will you use grenades or the grenade launcher to quickly deal with Supers or save it in case you’re in a swarm of enemies later on? I never really noticed, but enemy weaponry is said to not be as effective against their maker.

I went back to test this and I noticed a few things, and the few things are that it doesn’t matter! The in-between level text was added to the switch (unless the PC version just didn’t have this) and that’s where the quote came from. Spoilers, the Trando shotgun and machine gun and the Geonosian laser beam do the job on their makers. If anything the machine gun is crap against Super Battle Droids, and even then they’re hard with the standard weaponry the commandos get. I’m not quite sure what they’re referring to. Maybe this was a feature meant for the game but was never implemented? Maybe the writers for the quotes weren’t informed? I don’t know, either way it probably would have ruined the streamline and creativity of fights anyway if the enemy guns didn’t work on the enemies.

Here’s a segment of videos showing it off:

Author Note Here: I can’t do a side by side because it doesn’t allow for fullscreen.
“It doesn’t f@ckin matter!”

Movement is pretty standard, though I wouldn’t get used to the jump button like Mario. You’ll use the left stick to move to run around while you use the right for camera/aim. And… it’s pretty clunky on the Switch. Unlike the accuracy of a computer mouse, I have a difficult time aiming at enemies because of how sensitive the camera movement is. The wired controller for dock mode is a lot better, but playing hand held can be frustrating. Starting out the first time, I stared at droids with a deadly grin while using 20 bullets to kill one. There is a zoom in button and assist aim, and enough practice will help, but expect some sluggish controls at the beginning.

However, and I’m not sure if this is in the other versions, there is an apparent limit to how much you can move the camera left and right. Unfortunately, there is a constant glitch where the camera will just sky rocket all the way in different direction, mostly up and down. Because of this, it moves the camera to its limit, so it appears as if it got locked from that position. This gets infuriating during combat because it makes it so you can’t hit enemies on either side. This is, unfortunately, the beginning of this port’s problems.

Here’s an example:

“Btw, it’s inhumanly possible to be that fast with the camera.”

Finally, since there are levels where you’re on your own, it’s best to understand the solo mechanics well because the game is way harder when it’s by yourself. When you die with your team, you can command them to revive you, prompting some funny lines and moments. When you die alone, it’s game over. Luckily, these levels accommodate your loneliness, so it never “feels” like you need the team in these moments. I’ll admit, I enjoy these sections because the game becomes a solid single FPS, allowing you appreciate the rest of the game for managing to balance both, and listening in to your squad do their part.

Together: Boys will be boys, Clones will be murder machines.

The game’s best mechanic is its command controls with the team. While dealing with blaster fire, you have to command and navigate the team effectively if you hope to get through a level in relatively one piece.

The A Button: If Only We Had This In Real Life.

The A button is your best friend when performing quick commands, something the devs did to ease Star Wars players into this kind of tactical FPS genre. Throughout each level, there will be interactive objects for you or your team to use in order to advance, such as hackable data terminals, sniping positions, and bombable walls. The coolest one is door breaches, where you can choose to either go into a room quietly by hacking the controls or performing an actual break in procedure by placing a small charge on the door.

“I will say, it’s super obvious that a different animation plays when they get into position. It’s pretty jarring at times.”

The process of simply pressing A is seamless and fun, with the only nitpick being the lack of control of who goes to do what and sometimes making a squad member do a task despite the fact you’re standing right in front of the thing! Plus, only squad members can use sniping positions.  The way the game sends squad members is that it makes the closest one or the one who isn’t doing anything do the task, while with bacta it’s the person with sustained damage.

I understand that having the option to choose a member breaks the quick pace and concentration during fire, which is perfectly fine, but I wish I could choose which member does what because I have to rely on either the game choosing for me or meticulously manipulating it to what I want, which is a lot slower. The game gave the squad member’s specialties to reduce the time spent on a task: Fixer is quick with datapads, Sev is good at sniping, and Scorch is faster with detonators. It’s agitating watching Fixer be put in sniper duty and having to rely on Sev or Scorch to take so long on a terminal. Not being able to choose who does what and rely on luck in the situation, I feel, take as bit away from player control.

“So…is the door stuck? Man, the Geonosians really cut on the budget.”

By the way, besides doing commands, you are the only one who can detonate charges, meaning you have to rely on squad members to revive you if you die. The game is difficult for many good reasons, but its stuff like this that feels arbitrary.

Advanced Maneuvers: When A Really Becomes the Best Button

When you hold A, you bring up four maneuvers/tactics that the team will follow:

-Form up: When you want the squad to stay close together

-Seek and Destroy: An offensive position where squad members roam around to find and kill enemies.

-Secure Area: A defensive position where they stay to protect a single spot.

-Cancel All: This is best for when you have every member doing something, i.e sniping or taking a torrent, and you need to move on. It’s a faster way to tell them to get your ass over hear instead of pressing A to individually cancel each position.

The Helmet: Micromanaging All in One Space

“You know what, y-y-you have a point Scorch.”

On your own, it’s just about using low light when it’s too hard to see (which makes the abandoned ship level so much better for its lonely atmosphere), your own health, ammo on the gun, and which grenade is equipped. But, to explain why I saved it for this section, the part that draws a lot of attention is your team members health, located on the bottom left. Green is good, yellow is worrisome, and orange is when you get a man some bacta. Normal or hard, you’re gonna want to pay attention to this so you know who needs health and needs cover when your being overrun. If you’re in a situation where a member or 2 (or all sometimes), it becomes crucial to get this menu stuck in your routine.

Overview of Squad Commands

The difficulty in Republic Commando comes from this balancing act of completing the objective, killing enemies, and creating damage control through commands. Because of how straight forward and non-linear they are, it allows for creative experimentation on multiple replays, seeing which different strategies work best or worse in a given situation. It’s not very complex, although some would be nice, but the devs implemented in a way where it doesn’t hinder the intensity of fights. It’s the perfect blend that reinforces the team aspect of Delta Squad. It’s engaging as hell and never gets boring thanks to the way each level is made and paced. I’d say this game mechanic it was solidified Republic Commando as the perfect videogame: fun and replayable.

Miscellaneous Things

Enemies: They’ve Sent In the Supers!

To reference a past game, one of the things I adored about Metal Arms was its enemies and A.I. They each packed a punch, even the lowly grunts when they’re together in groups. It required a lot of patience and strategy to take them down within each level, but it allowed every weapon to be used against them in creative ways. Plus, they were great at duking out damage and simultaneously crapping on you for being a scrub.

Republic Commando has its own slew of enemies, though some are more difficult than others. If you seriously die to a regular battle droid that was not from behind or from previous damage, you need to git gud. If you died because the camera messed up, well then you get a pass and a beer for my empathy. Super Battle Droids, on the other hand, will decimate you. I’m gonna say it, this is the best iteration of the Supes in the franchise (I know I talked about not knowing the EU. I meant be the best I’ve seen). The shows and Battlefront make them out to be as expendable as tin cans, but this game portrayed them as hulking, heavily armored terminators that take a beating just to damage a portion of the shell. Their rocket launchers hit hard, they take more than just regular shots to kill, and they sometimes still go on even when their legs stop working. Somehow, Supes being walking tanks are more terrifying in this game than the Droidekas, also named Destroyers. Let that sink in. Their difficulty is reminiscent the Metal Arms Titans, especially their heavy weaponry and mountains of armor. I’d love to see a death battle between them.

“Now, imagine these guys in droves in tight corridors, filling up hangars in ships, and generally being a looming presence. Nasty stuff.”

The other typical enemies are the organics. Geonosians become difficult due to their flying tactics, mostly seen with the Elites, and close combat attacks with a spear, plus their babies. The best way to describe their children is like a baby xenomorph who’s born in a sort of midway point to the adult Xeno. They use the dark areas where they’re born to screech like demons and spit acid at you. Gonna say it, I don’t feel bad murdering the little shits. Then there are the, spoilers, Trandoshans. These guys are a huge nuisance, especially in the second campaign. One of their tactics is coming out of literally nowhere. Vents? Trandos. Corner? Trandos. A f@cking tree? Lizard! They’re a lot smarter with their A.I, such as picking up your grenades and throwing them back. Other than that, they have… jetpacks? The ones with machines guns have these strange backpacks which I’m not sure what’s it used for, but it sends them flying in a blazing glory when you fire at it. Finally, the Trando Elites are these hulking hulks who uses a Gatling guns of death, murder, and eviscerations. They’re pretty much the trando version of Supes, but they’re a lot easier in my opinion. First appearance is great, especially how they show him physical crushing clones like their nothing, but that first appearance is quickly diminished since they appear in areas with a lot of wiggle room compared to the choking hallways Supes are found.

Humor: My Ways Both Confuse and Disturb Scorch

Let’s be real, the best thing about Republic Commando is the commandos themselves. In a game full of death and violence, their constant quips and bantering during levels gives life to the grim situations, eases the tension, and gives character to them behind the mask. Most of it consists of Scorch and Sev talking smack to each, Fixer having enough of their shit, Scorch making commentary like how he can’t remember if it’s the green wire or red wire (and he’s supposed to be the demolition expert); Boss sometimes making comments to himself while Fixer asks about it, Fixer once complaining about a Wookie in the middle of crossfire but hesitating when Scorch says that he should tell them and so many other quips and lines, and Sev just letting out some disturbing facts. It’s so much that I had to make a poorly structured list just to fit a general synopsis of their humor.

Here’s a few of my favorite:

Even cutscenes have some fun little moments, such as the squad helping each other adjust their backpacks, Sev zoning out when he was supposed to press the elevator button, Scorch and Sev having some brotherly fights, and many. It brings a nice breath of air in between the tense moments, and gives real character to a squad that otherwise never gets development (this isn’t one of those games). They aren’t just mindless soldiers, they’re real people who have a sick sense of humor. The humor itself helps them stick out from the rest of the clones, even the ones in Clone Wars, but also allows for the serious situation are never downplayed. It’s well balanced to perfection and you’ll leave the game hearing their quotes in your head for months.

Attention to Detail: This is Where the Fun Begins

I’m currently learning how important attention to detail really is for a piece of art medium. While it may appear that little things shouldn’t matter, it greatly elevates it because it shows how careful the writer, developer, or whoever was with the art. The creators of Republic Commando went out of there way to immerse you into the world in a very flawless way.

The first mission alone sets up the quality and tone of the game, right as you watch a fellow clone get snagged and killed in first minute. Now, whoever did the sound design is a god because it has weight and is satisfyingly crisp. As you move through the battlefield, you hear gun shots, clones screaming for their lives, the devilish roars of Geonosians, bombs going off, and so much chaos that it creates the perfect war environment. The coms have a nice static and low frequency to them like a real radio. The sound of your gun is effective at giving “umph” to attacks, much like the impact the guns in Metal Arms had. The best part is that no music plays; It allows the environment to speak for itself rather than dramatic music. A perfect first level to lay down what you’ll expect.

Other little sound and seeable details include:

-The sound of steam when you reload

-Reverb in large, chasm like places to create an echo effect.

-The shink of your vibroblade

-The robotic sound effect for droids

-The little click and clacks of armor and footprints

There is also a lot of smaller things that gives the game more life:

-Commandos limp when heavily hurt

-The DC-17m, when in the standard mode, has this little rivet at the end of the muzzle that ricochets as you fire.

-The weird claws of the Geonosian gun “tapping” your arm like a bug. It’s it…trying to dig in but can’t cause of the armor?

-The squad doing littles things during cutscenes, mentioned before.

-The little details behind the Super Battle Droid armor, like the little wires and buttons revealed when you blow it off

-Add many more

Soundtrack: *Insert Raging Mandalorian Language*

It’s okay. A lot it is leans towards the atmospheric side, which greatly adds to the tense tone of the campaign but isn’t that enjoyable outside of that, at least for me. It utilizes pre-existing Star Wars music from the movies which, from what I’ve experienced with Battlefront 2, Dark Forces, and Dark Forces 2, seems to be the go-to way to further cement a Star Wars game as a Star Wars. It brings a nice familiarity considering the game barely has notable Star Wars characters, though I do enjoy its main theme. The Mandalorian chanting has presence, giving a gothic mood like the Commandos are some heavenly force (which they are). Other than that, there isn’t much to say. Great music for in the moment, but not something I’d listen to on my own.

Multiplayer: Escaping the Bull of $20 Internet

Not on the Switch version. I saw some gameplay of it while writing this and it actually looked fun. With the single mode already being pretty tight, I could imagine the multiplayer being a fun FPS like Battlefront. But that’s all for me on that. Let me know in the comments your memories of this cause I do like nostalgia and other’s people nostalgia for stuff.

The Extras/Unlockables:

Like with Metal Arms (Jesus I’m referencing this game a lot), unlockable are just interviews about how the game was made. I love these because, like I’ve stated in previews reviews, you get to understand how the game was made. It gives insight into how the team actually learned from a special ops agent on how to perform the right positions and movement to later implement in the 3d design, how Morrison gave personality to Boss and why he’s the greatest after a spa day, and how the sound designer created the effects. It’s not new maps, it’s not costumes, and it’s not anything that affects the actual game, but it’s there to inform you on how a masterpiece was made if you’re interested. And that, to me, is better than loot crates.

On the history of development, it’s amazing how Republic Commando managed to be this good in what I can only describe as a hostile work environment. Lucasfilm games was going through changes once the prequals came, ending up changing management and going for more “numbers” than unique quality. The game suffered a lot because the president didn’t believe in it, wanting more broader audiences with all your favorite characters. It’s this disrespect that ended up giving the game poor marketing and sales. There were even apparently layoffs in the team, yet they still persevered and delivered a quality game. I suggest watching GVMRs discussion on the history for a better insight into this strenuous development history. He gives more detailed insight, a reason to love the development team, and kind of a satisfying feeling knowing that the president failed because of his actions.

Presentation of the Switch Version: A Sadness Undeserving for a Legend

Alright, now that I’m done talking about the game generally, besides some mentions of how this port controls and has, I’m now gonna divert attention to crapping on the switch port. Now I personally can’t compare it to the PC one my brother owns back home now right now, considering I’m in a college with potentially horny people, but I can say that the comparisons throughout Youtube make a good point. The graphics and frame rate can be choppy at times, especially with character models. For me, the frame rate isn’t too bad, but it could look a lot better for a Switch port. Plus, despite the fact that I praised it for having echoes in large areas, this version got rid of it. 0/10, worst port ever. For real though, it’s a shame such a great game has such a crappy port. Compared to the other versions, this game just looks straight from the 2000s with all its graphical problems. I know it wasn’t marketed as a remaster, but I’d much prefer a remaster to touch up on the graphics short comings. All in all, the presentation for the Switch version is poor. And this is the same console with Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild, yet an older game runs worse.

“Um…okay! Do you mind elaborating on that?”

Overall Overview: A Great Game Nonetheless

“I guess these guys landed in Angel Island Zone Part 2.”

Its Star Wars games like this and Battlefront that cemented the love I have for the franchise. While this port’s bugs and graphical errors degrade it, and a lack of multiplayer if you veterans enjoyed that, the single player campaign is investing, playable, and fun enough to get it. I do have to recommend the X-box or Steam versions, even a physical PC version if you can somehow find one, for better quality, but if you have a Switch primarily then I’d say go for it. At least it’s not too expensive; just $14 bucks. Really wish the porters went for a remaster.

If you’re hungry for some good Star Wars content, want to see how the original EU was (yes, I know I said this is technically canon, but this was during the EU years), or just want a stellar Tactical FPS game full of death, Black Ops missions, and bros hanging out along the way, then I highly recommend getting Republic Commando. I’m giving this game a 10/10 overall, but an 8/10 for the switch version.

Btw, did you know a sequel was in the works back in the day, but it ended getting cancelled. Apparently Sev, who’s, spoilers, status was made killed-in-action by the end, would have come back and, essentially, start the rebellion. There are no words to describe how much I hate this timeline.

-Samuel Argueta

Star Wars: Republic Commando Hard Contact

I highly recommend this book, by Karen Traviss, for those who can afford to read books. It’s a solid that continuing what the game started in terms of Black Ops operations and tone, though depicting Omega Squad instead of Delta. Don’t let that stop you from reading it, because you get the same amount of action, death, and themes of what it means to be a clone. A team of the last surviving members of their own squad are sent to Qiilura to stop a Separatist Bioweapon aimed to kill all clones, created by Dr. Uthan under the protection of Ghez Hokan, a Mandalorian warlord who’s come to have strong feelings about the clones of the legendary Jango Fett. He also has a lightsaber; not the Dark Saber, that’s later. Aided by young Padawan Etain, this batch of clones must reach the city to destroy their brother killer before the doctor can finish it.

Also there’s romantic subplot between a clone and the…padawan. In his defence, he’s 10 like Cell from DBZ. Still weirded out…just up her age. Listen, it’s not even that important in the story but…it-it’s a good book.

The Untouchables

Real talk, it’s not historically accurate, but it is historically bad@ss. In the time of the prohibition, when man and woman’s quench for booze has been stifled, Al Capone comes in to save the day, except for the fact that he’s a gang lord. With a crime spree infecting Chicago, leading to the death of a little girl, prohibition agent Eliot Ness is joined by a rag-tag team to find evidence of tax evasion to finally put Capone behind bars.

Brilliant acting, a suburb score by Ennio Morricone, and an amazing plot that’ll have you on the edge better than my bargain bin movie descriptions, this film is one of the greats and deserves a movie night by everyone. And yes, that means no love making.

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly

Oh look, another movie Ennio made. I literally just watched the film last night and it holds up so well. Made in 1966, this film not only stacks up to modern films, it surpasses them. Now, there are two types of men: those who love the Italian western, and those who’s only heard of them. This film can be enjoyed by both. You dig what I’m saying?

During the Civil War, it is a time of western paradise. This is the story of 3 men after gold hidden in a graveyard: The Good “Blondie,” who’s honor lights up his more dubious morality, the Bad “Angel eyes,” a mercenary willing to do everything devious and malicious to be thorough in a mission, and the Ugly “Tuco,” a conniving sleezebag with a moral code. Each holds a clue to the gold, yet none of them trust or like each other. In a time of uncertainty, witness the brilliance of each actor as they go through some kind of west/south…desert…area to discover what the ecostasy of gold means. Whenever people say, “they don’t make movies like they used to,” its films like these that make me agree sometimes.