Hello all! It feels good to come back from that little siesta, and with it comes yesterday another look into the overwhelming text book of gaming history!
Star Wars is one of the most influential pieces of science fiction to hit the silver screen, spawning an extensive amount of books, comics, cartoons, and even video games. While the brain child of George Lucas has brought us some amazing games, sometimes even the Force slips up.
I can still remember renting this game from BlockBuster on multiple occasions and thinking that it wasn’t bad at all. Sure it wasn’t as smooth or as polished as Street Fighter, or even Mortal Kombat, but it’s Star Wars! I love Star Wars! Plus, you can play as some of the coolest characters from the universe; Luke, Han, Boba, Leia and even Mara Jade. I mean, how bad can this game really be? Years had passed before I even remembered playing the game, as I stumbled across it at a game shop back in Dallas. I bought it on a whim purely for nostalgia and fired it up.
Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi is an interesting game, as in nothing just seems to click for it. Sure, it has the roster of recognizable characters to pull from, and it is a 3D fighting game, but it just doesn’t... work. The gameplay is slow, tedious, and just not fun. The combos feel counterintuitive, and the incredible spike in of difficulty in Arcade mode is enough to make you crush a controller.
The one big surprise of the game is the fact LucasArts decided to give this game a story line, interweaving with the original trilogy: The Empire is struggling to regain their composure after having their gigantic killer moon destroyed by a teenager, a criminal, and his bipedal Shih Tzu. To help with the search, Darth Vader enlists the help of bounty hunters across the galaxy, bringing in the likes of Boba Fett and the mysterious Arden Lyn. Arden, the last known master of Teras Kasi (Space Kung Fu for those non versed in Star Wars), makes it her personal mission to find and eliminate the rag-tag group of miscreants.
Now, obviously not the best brain storm idea from the likes of LucasArts, but it is coherent and makes sense for a basic fighter.
The roster is about what you would expect. You have Luke, Han, Chewie, Leia, Boba... Pretty much what you would expect from a Star Wars game. The oddest ones to me have to be Thok, the Gamorrean, and Hoar, the Tusken Raider. Hoar appears to be a student of Arden Lyn, which is strange for a Tusken Raider to leave and explore the galaxy. They tend to be more like nomadic, savage Amish. Thok, on the other hand, just seems to be there to just be there. I assume he just wandered into a fight after leaving Jabba’s Palace one night.
Now I mentioned the controls earlier, and it’s honestly the biggest problem I personally had with the game. It plays similar to Tekken in the way that Battle Arena Toshinden played like Tekken. Slow and tedious, and somehow missing the aspect that made Tekken fun. The one thing that Teras Kasi does have is the ability to swap between unarmed and weapon based combat with the press off button. While this sounds like an amazing wish come true, they somehow neuter the combat with a bad combo system. I mean, they are just so odd and work whenever they feel like it. Similar to Street Fighter, you do build up a power meter to use these moves, which is easier to do than pull off said moves.
The game does have a slew of unlockable characters, which does add replayability to this otherwise rage inducing game. Darth Vader, Storm Trooper, Jodo Kast, Slave Leia and (my favorite) Mara Jade. The game makes you bump the difficulty all the way up to the hardest setting and complete Arcade mode with certain characters. This wouldn’t be so much of an issue if it wasn’t for a few characters to completely raise your blood pressure.
Seriously, fuck Thok, fuck Luke, and definitely FUCK Hoar!
Mara Jade, however, makes you do things a bit differently. While you still have it on the Jedi difficulty setting, this time you need to complete Team Mode. Before selecting it, however, you must hold down L1+L2+R1 and press X. This will automatically select the teams for you, by pitting the heroes Vs. villains. Rebel’s Vs. Emperial’s, Han Vs. Boba, etc. The battles are difficult, and will take quite a few attempts before you can win your prize of Luke’s future wife... Or is she anymore?
It’s hard for me to fully recommend or deny this game, because it is so cheap to pick up. It is a cool piece of my PlayStation collection, especially to scratch my Star Wars itch. It is also incredibly hard to believe this game is 20 years old, and completely negates the use of analog sticks for combat. If you’re intrigued, look up some videos on YouTube before you drop your hard earned lunch money on this game.
Tune in next time where I tread through another miserable piece of the PlayStation library! As always, comment, recommend, and thanks for reading!