Knights of the Old Republic

Retro Gaming

Actually Not About Japan For Once.

Actually, it’s only in the last, oh, two weeks, that I was able to get a copy of the old Knights of the Old Republic role-playing game for Xbox functioning on my Xbox 360. There were known backwards compatibility issues with it, and the first time I’d tried this, I got nowhere at all. So, I’d been missing out on a classic video game for far too many years.

Most of the studio that created the first of the two games, Bioware, is actually located in my native Canada. I recognized certain Canadian forms of English, particularly in the subtitling but not only there.

The basic idea is rather simple.

  • Star Wars, some 4000 years before the movies
  • Start as a non-Jedi, become a Jedi later
  • Well written plot
  • Memorable characters, but human and non-human
  • A highly memorable assassin droid (cute concept)
  • Vast freedom to play both Dark and Light sides

So in other words, you can dabble in the Dark Side or play as a goody-two-shoes and it’s all up to the player. You can even straddle the fence a lot, if you choose. In the end, all that matters is that you find a way to win, really.

On the way to that, well, the gameplay is based on Dungeons & Dragons type RPG systems, similar to certain other computer/ console games, with plenty of dialogue and steeped in all matters Jedi, plus a lot of people to interact with in a universe that feels real, divided, at war, and full of people who need blasting, even if you decide to help some deserving souls along the way.

I have come to appreciate why this game is considered a masterpiece. Among other things, it doesn’t try to be what it isn’t. It’s there to be enjoyed, do its thing, and be finished with an epic (at least for length) final boss fight. It has enough creative ideas and just, well, the feel of Star Wars to carry it through.

At any rate, being able to swing around your own lightsaber in a role-playing game is a pleasure that does not get old easily.

One must wonder if a third KoToR game will ever be made and what form it might take. Certainly memories of the first are strong. Even the second, which I had played previously, wasn’t bad except for the fact the ending was largely unfinished; it did have a lot of gameplay enhancements. How much could be done with a third?

Anyway, I do like Star Wars in general, though I will say this, for the record.

There’s no problem with Han firing first in the Cantina. None.

I rest my case.

J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: [email protected]
This entry was posted in video games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Knights of the Old Republic

  1. Jic Opinai says:

    This is a good post about this aspect of japanese culture!
    Learn more about this tradition here.

  2. glee music says:

    The Xbox 360 had the top-selling game of the month (Red Dead Redemption) and 4 other titles within the top 20