In the lead up to Force Awakens I decided, "why the hell not?" and I'm going to revisit several Star Wars games I own.
First up is Shadows Of The Empire.
AKA, The one with the best opening level ever.
Talk to anyone about Shadows Of The Empire, the first thing they'll say is "the Hoth level is amazing", and they're right! Empire Strikes Back was always my favourite of the original trilogy and being able to play one of my favorite scenes back when I was young is one of my fondest childhood moments, and hey, it still holds up! It's fun, responsive and it still controls great even now!
However after the first level, you get into the main crooks of the game. The regular levels of this game are at best, decent, at worst, mediocre. Honestly, most of the levels are very similar, not in terms of plat forming and design (which definitely have enough variety), but what you do is roughly the same for each level. Shoot at troopers, activate a few switches here and there and fight a boss. It's pretty basic stuff and some levels pick up the pace like the Ord Mantell Junkyard train level, and the Mos Eisley Speeder chase both of which I found pretty enjoyable, but others like Gall Spaceport are a little bit long and tedious.
The game does get steadily trickier as it goes on, Xizor's Palace has a lot of tough spots for instance. The bosses however don't hold up as well.
Fighting an AT ST is awesome at first, but they are fairly easy to take down if you have the either awesome or crappy seeker missles (give or take).
IG-88 is difficult to track down (doesn't help there's no radar during boss fights) and therefore can sneak up on you easily, but you can corner him and deal with him, but like with a few bosses in this game, you just have to move and jump around A LOT whilst trying to keep your eye on him, and it's definitely not easy to pull off.
Boba Fett is similar, but amped up by 10 and easily the hardest boss. He can fly around and you need to follow him around on your jetpack without wasting too much fuel, but at the same time, you need to keep your distance, because his flame thrower attack is almost an insta-kill. His Phase 2 form (Slave 1) is a little easier to dodge, but pretty hard to actually hit his weak spot which isn't very well defined.
Then you have the Imperial Loader Droid who is incredibly easy. Shoot, soon as he gets close, jump to the next corner of the room. He only has one attack,which is extending his claw hands (with one of the coolest sound effects I've ever heard).
Then you have Dianoga...who's even easier, shoot the red eye and it goes down really quickly.
Then you have the Gladiator droid who has 3 phases. Phase 1 is pretty easy, use the flame thrower here because you're not going to use it for the rest of the game. Phase 2 is his torso and the boss gets trickier, take IG-88's boss strategy and apply it to a maze, hopefully you've saved up enough seekers for this part of the fight, (don't get too close, he shoots thousands of seekers at you). Once Phase 2 goes down, you have his final phase, his head, who actually is really hard to hit...that is unless you saved up enough disruptors, he'll go down in a second if you use them sparingly.
Then the final level is the Skyhook Battle and it is an AMAZING level to end on (not as amazing as opening Hoth level but still great!) where you take down the giant Skyhook Station in the Outlander. It's an ace level!
Overall, it's a good game with one or two outstanding moments of glory. It's not AS amazing as when I first played it as a kid, but it's still pretty enjoyable. However, I think Lucas Arts and Factor 5 took this into account when developing one of their next Star Wars Games: Rogue Squadron which I believe went like this:
"You know, the first and last level of Shadows Of The Empire? Why don't we just make THAT the whole game?"
"Perfect! Cut Print!"
So up next is Star Wars Rogue Squadron!