Thaku: The Rodian Bounty Hunter
Mission Type:
Post Date:
Level Review
Overall Score:
Date Reviewed:
62 / 100
November 16, 1998
58 / 100
61 / 100
50 / 100
First Impressions
There were no plot problems I could find. Part of this is due to the fact that you can stick this just about anywhere. If it wasn't for the Rodians, you could argue that this level wasn't even in the SW universe. Still, despite the uninspired plot, I was ready for a potentially well made level. The idea of placing a character into an average bounty hunter can yield some surprises, going along the premise that even ordinary people can have adventures...
Review Screenshot 1
Review Screenshot 2
Design / Visuals
Unfortunately, any optimism that I might have expressed previously was shattered upon looking at the design of the level. Boxes abound everywhere and take up the majority of the geometric shapes used in the level (all the rest were rectangles). I realize that it's the author's first level, but it's not that hard to hit the "cleave" button, and make some shapes that aren't giant cubes. Texturing was equally poor, not to mention repetitive. It was as if the author couldn't think of anything beyond red, gray, and brown. This is perhaps the first level I got lost in because I couldn't tell one building from the next. The hotel was a cube with no windows, no signs, or anything that let me know that I was in a hotel. The author needs to put a little more variety in his next level. Recent levels have shown that authors are starting to make levels with some good architecture. Such levels include "Siege at Vol Kanst", and "Back to Sulon". What this author needs to do is take some of those examples into account when making his next level. Lighting, while better then the architecture and texturing, was below par. Most of the level consists of one degree of light. When added to the boring architecture and repetitive texturing, it only serves to lower this levels score.
Dynamics / Interactivity
Nol Sivron must not be a very popular guy. I counted fewer than a dozen enemies while progressing through the level. Although, each of them had a rapid firing rate, all but two of them die after one hit, even from long range. This means that you can sit back and snipe at them before they know what happened. Fortunately, to balance out the lack of enemies, the author limited the number of shields to zero and the number of health items to two: one health pack and one bacta tank. Despite the number of weapons that the author gives you, this is not a level where you can just cruise through. As it turned out, I beat the level with almost no health left. It was a little bit of a shock though, to start the level without any shields (Thaku must be one of those struggling bounty hunters). I was a little disappointed in the COG department. The level starts out with a cut-scene (usually a good sign). However, It's really boring with everything except Nol Sivron being gray. Also, the ending cut-scene is more of a screenshot, with the in-game text being the only thing that told me it was, in fact, a cut-scene. All other COG's are standard door and elevators. There was one nice thing about the level though. The author was successful in using "hidden objectives", something I haven't seen too much of. Thaku's ship in the beginning was nice, but it resembles the Crow too much.
Playing Experience / Atmosphere
If you're looking for detail then this isn't the level for you. Part of the problem is the lack of architecture and texturing. It's bad enough when the building you're entering is a box, let alone the fact that the box has no exterior detail whatsoever. I guess the city doesn't have a high number of claustrophobic people, because there isn't so much as a window in the first half of the level. This level also raised a few questions, which hurt its realism. For one thing, the ending didn't make too much sense. You swim in the city sewers for a bit. Then you swim up into a huge maintenance (I'm guessing that's what it is) room with one computer sitting near the opening in the floor that you just came up from. When you activate this computer it, apparently, floods Nol Sivrons hideout. This doesn't make any sense. Who set up this switch? Why is the only entrance to it through the sewers? Why would Nol Sivron build his base near an area that can be easily flooded? Also, I felt a little cheated at the end. You work your way up to Nol Sivron, expecting some great show-down. Then, a flip of the switch later... he drowns. Maybe if the switch opened the doors to his base, the level would have been a lot better. Instead, it's too abrupt of an ending. I would also like to point out that due to no detail, architecture, or varied textures, this level has absolutely no mood. When you're playing this, you won't feel any excitement or delight or challenge from this level. The only puzzle is trying to get over the blockade, but that can be accomplished within the first minute of play. Without proper mood, a level will suffer. Unfortunately, this is one of those levels. It's just too dull to play, since it doesn't offer much in the way of anything. With almost no detail (architecture and/or otherwise) this level doesn't offer much in the way of replay value. There really isn't much of a reason to play the level again. One good thing about the level is that it has a high framerate due to the boring exterior scenes. As far as bugs go, this level has a couple. Some of the long, bar tables aren't stitched properly, and in certain places you can walk right through the them: very unrealistic. The texture that says "Rodians Suck" was kind of cool, but it too is stitched incorrectly, and obvious to detect. The biggest problem was that there was no sound when Thaku was walking or running. It not so much of a bug as it is annoying. It tells me that the author didn't go through his level upon completing it, because it's hard to miss something as obvious as that. I also noticed a lack of beta testers, a big mistake since they could have picked up a lot of the said problems.
Review Screenshot 3
Review Screenshot 4
Final Thoughts
For a first level, it wasn't too bad. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to be lenient on it. I hope the author tries again. I saw a lot of opportunities that he could have taken advantage of, but what's done is done. There is a link that allows you to download this level. Nonetheless, I wouldn't recommend touching it unless you're curious or desperate for SP levels.
58 / 100
61 / 100
50 / 100