Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy (Video Game 2003) Poster

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Fun? Yes. But What the hell happened to the story?
WakenPayne2 April 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I love the previous 2 entries. Jedi Knight is a game that I played so often as a kid I could (and did) write a review entirely based on memory even though I haven't touched the game in about 6 years at least. Jedi Outcast was fantastic. From the fun game play to the really good story I can't see a better game of 2002. And now there's this...

So the plot. Jaden Koor is a new student at a Jedi Academy. You are given Kyle Katarn as a master. You find out that Tavion has been draining energy from all the points Luke Skywalker has felt a strong Force connection with a magic Septer. The other Student of Kyle falls to the dark side in the process and you end up fighting and killing Tavion and the owner of the magic Septer who died 5000 years ago and gets resurrected.

Now I don't know if it's just me but the stories to the previous Jedi Knight games were marvelous. I'll go far to say those stories scream "movie adaptation" to my ears. But this one is only okay-ish. It's not the worst story I've seen in a video game but to call it satisfying would be a lie.

Then there's the game play. The absolute saving grace of this game. The combat is extremely well done. I'll go so far to say that it was even better than in Jedi Outcast. The ability to customize your character was a great touch. As is the choice between Jedi and Sith about a level before the game is over. If you choose to be a Sith then be warned that when this happens Jaden turns whiny, arrogant, obnoxious and basically all the things that made me want to control Jaden to leap into Lava.

So get this game if you are a completionist or just want a few days of great game play but that will be all this game has to offer. Well, except if you're a fan of Kyle Katarn, because this game will be the last time you'll see him in a game.
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Just for fun.
swedzin2 July 2012
If you have played "Jedi Outcast", that you are extremely aware of this game. It's the same engine, from Lucasarts and Raven production. You create your own jedi character, from other races, and you go thorough a variety of missions to clean universe from last empire scraps and remained sith scraps. Your trainers are Kyle Katarn and Luke Skywalker themselves. The game is basically simple, the graphics are the same, some characters are the same, and you get a few new ones. The only interesting thing in game is that you have a moment... when you chose to be jedi, or sith. That's what I like here. Also, you got ability to have two swords or double edge lightsaber (like Darth Maul). It's pretty fun.
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Really,Really Good!
Fedgeroony19 September 2003
This has got to be the best Jedi Knight of them all!

Customizable Characters and Lightsabres,choosing your own path to either light, or dark sides!!Fighting against Rancors and Wampas.Train with Kyle Katarn and Rosh Penin(Another student)! An awesome storyline, not much improved on graphics from Jedi Outcast, but you can see the difference.Riding on Swoop bikes and Tauntauns! Also the ragdoll effect on dead enemies is really cool! This is my favourite Star Wars game out....until KOTOR comes out for Xbox.

Graphics- 9/10 Gameplay- 10/10 Longterm- 11/10 Sound- 7/10

Overall- 9.5/10
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Another success from the golden years of Star Wars gaming
Jonathan Roberts21 February 2017
I've read one or two reviews which are critical of 'Jedi Academy' on the grounds that it is too similar to 'Jedi Outcast' and doesn't really bring anything new to the table. Whilst I do think that's a valid point, it certainly didn't detract from my experience of the game - an experience which I found immensely enjoyable. In 'Jedi Academy' you play Jaden Korr, who is canonically a human male but can be played as several well-known alien races like the Kel Dor (Plo Koon's race) and Rodian (Greedo's). On my playthrough I chose the Kel Dor, which I admit later regretting due to the fact that the voice sounded nothing like a Kel Dor voice. (Perhaps it's unfair to pick holes in a 14-year-old customisation system!) The rather superficial appearance of your character isn't the only thing you can customise, though. As you progress through 'Jedi Academy', you are introduced to different fighting styles, which culminates in the ability to choose your own lightsaber. If you thought this feature was good in 'Knights of the Old Republic', wait until you see what 'Jedi Academy' can offer. Overall, I'd say that whilst this game falls slightly behind 'Jedi Outcast' in one or two areas (e.g. a less memorable villain, a less challenging final level), it's a fantastic way to spend 10-15 hours (per playthrough, that is), and I'm almost certainly going to return to this game at some point in the future.
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Could have been better
I think the title says it all. Now admitedly I played this after playing SW:KOTOR which could possibly have altered my judgement. I consider KOTOR one of the best games ever made and when i came to playing JK:JA I guess I expected more of the same. As you can tell I was dissapointed. The Pros. Its star wars and its got completely cusomizable lightsabers which I really consider a pro as that was one of my favorite aspects of KOTOR. The light sabre combat is compelling but in the end for to random.

The Cons. Well the voice acting is terrible, far worse that JK:JO and is a shame as I really expected more from a SW game. The Plot is as see through as a peice of glass. The Quake 3 Engine is really showing its age now so the graphics were really lacking. The gameplay itself I found far to easy, even on hard I flew through most of the levels in the game without dying once. Im not trying to say its a bad Game but it "Could have been better".

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Could've been a lot better, could've been a lot worse.
reginald-anselm30 August 2012
Well, certain things have been upgraded and a load of things have not. First of all, you have access to two lightsabers at the same time(notably used by Anakin in Episode II and by Boc in Jedi Knight 1) and the double lightsaber(used by Darth Maul in Episode I). Other than that, the levels are more varied. You take on the role of Jaden Korr, a normal human man(human man is canonical) from Coruscant who is on his way to the Jedi Academy to become a Jedi and "befriends" a fellow Initiate called Rosh Penin on the way. The journey to the temple isn't the best as the shuttle gets shot down and you have to fight a mysterious Dark Jedi. You are then given a set of five missions you must accomplish. The levels in this game follow this pattern: 2 story levels, 5 filler levels, 2 story levels, 5 fillers, 3 story levels, 5 fillers and 4 or 5 story levels. While there are a ton of new lightsaber moves you can do(I especially like the stab into the ground when the enemy is down), the levels are MUCH weaker. They are way shorter than Outcast ones and way easier and much less sophisticated. The enemies are not as hard as in Outcast(even the bosses). The story is also weaker. But I find it still fun and it's a must-play. Multiplayer on the other hand is VERY much better. You now have access to Power Duel(two on one) and Siege(can't really explain until you see it).

One thing I must note is that it constantly reminded me of Mysteries of the Sith. First of all, both of them have filler missions. Second of all, your character is an apprentice of Kyle. And so on. I think it's very worth buying.
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Hmm... upgrades
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews28 February 2008
Yes, this is more of an upgrade to Jedi Outcast than a sequel... and it takes so many steps back and forth(in quality) that it winds up being overall on about the same level... which, should be noted, is "pretty good". If you dug JO, well, grab the shovel again. I might not pay full price for this, as if it was a full new game, as it's more of an adjustment, but that's not to say that it's not worth playing(at all). The music and sound in general isn't bad. There is technically only one new weapon, and a change of appearance of another. The two new multi-player modes are interesting, if not terribly original... Power Duel and Siege, the first one is two-on-one duels, and the second seems to be(I've never played it) basically Assault mode from Unreal Tournament... again, these facts don't have to be negative, not at all. More liberties are taken with the canon... at what point do bent rules get so out of shape that you almost wonder why they acknowledged their existence at all? The makers go for(and sometimes succeed in) delivering the most fun(and at points, open) experience than making sense or following aforementioned rules. Most of the changes are to make the game more like the movies(and some *are* great), both trilogies... some of them do seem to be more about making it seem like a new release, instead of a polishing up of the last one, and they all vary in quality. The references do almost get too much at points, some(*not* all), however, are well-done(humor/boss-fights, same). One new vehicle(and similar). The multi-player levels are reasonable, but the amount is somewhat underwhelming. The single-player portion is about as long as that of JO, but shorter. Mostly, missions are one-shot(and the order in which you play them is more or less up to you), and both that fact and the levels themselves, are hit and miss. Level design is clumsy and rushed, at points, visually appealing at others. Voice acting is poor(but not the joke that that of Mysteries of the Sith was). There is an overall story, and though parts are obvious, it's decent, and one twist is OK. You no longer play as Katarn, and you can now customize the look of the original character you control. There are two alien races per gender, in addition to human. That's five in total, four of them alien, and both genders. There are multiple choices for each of them, and three(head, torso and legs) groups, with several options. Bringing back from when this series first turned to Jedi affairs, this lets you choose between the Light and the Dark side of the Force. They took the easiest way out on the way they integrated that, but at least they have game-progression and endings based on your decision, following it. Now, the biggest change or addition is what was added to the Lightsaber. You can now choose between each of the variations we've seen in the movies(I won't say what they are here, if you've watched them, you know, if not, I won't spoil the surprise). Moves are added, as well, and you can now actually read how to do them and what they require(of powers and circumstances), and saber battling becomes more interesting(if still not necessarily too demanding in skill), as does the use of the weapon, in general. Mods of JO are in existence that attempt to do almost all of the things that this does, and some an awful lot better(fans and just in general unpaid creative souls manage to outdo the studios(and no, I'm not just referring to the medium of video-games, here) too often to be ignored... perhaps that's why so few games are released with tools to create more content or alter what is already in the game, and/or the reason for the easy user-interface to be so seldom seen in said instrument(in an effort to scare off those so inclined from working on modifications). But I digress. More acrobatics are introduced, as well. Where JO stopped after wall-running and -jumping, which, whilst commonly attributed to The Matrix, I am willing to maybe accept isn't just, you know, trying to capitalize on the success of something recent and popular, because I'm not certain that it originated with the Wachowski brothers' film(in fact, I've seen signs of that not being the case), and it maybe isn't the *last* thing a Jedi, Dark or Light, would do. This time... they add running up(further than that of the JO one, which remains in the game) a wall leading into a jump backwards, and "sticking" to a wall momentarily(going so far as to even striking the pose), then automatically jumping back down... yes, Spiderman. As in, popular release of 2002. Nevermind the fact that they're useful(yes, they are, I'm not trying to deny that), that's *too* obvious to ignore, and a really cheap, easy strategy for getting your game attention. A long jump also finds its way into the game, and it's hardly useful anywhere. On that which is not useful... all the Force Powers are now in the single-player portion, and you can choose between all eight(the Light/Dark ones, the neutral and saber ones are upgraded automatically), and they aren't all equally helpful, so you may wind up using those that are it the least. The Powers are tweaked, the result of which varies(and depends on how you prefer them to be). Someone on the boards remarked that they didn't realize how much they liked puzzles until playing JA. Yeah, there aren't many(if any), at all. The game-play is still entertaining, but perhaps more tedious(in spite of plenty efforts to keep it fresh, within levels). Bugs/glitches are plentiful, varying in severity. You don't need to know the other games before playing this. You should have watched the films, in particular the OT. I recommend this to fans of JO, and anyone wanting FPS/Third-person-action set in the Star Wars galaxy. 7/10
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