I ruffled some feathers earlier this week when I underestimated the nostalgia people had for Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. The repudiation of my assumptions continues with this paean to the Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace game published by The RetroBeat. Their argument is worthy of Criterion Collection liner notes:
Look, I’m not trying to suggest that the Episode I game is some massive hidden gem. It has not held up as well as other Star Wars games from that era, such as Episode I: Racer and Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast. It also has some glaring problems, such as an awkward camera angle that is positioned far too high above your character and some lazy voice-acting.
But The Phantom Menace also has a lot of merit. It’s a snapshot of a much different time in the history of licensed video games, when developers were struggling to make 3D experiences that felt like true interactive versions of the moves they were based on. Eventually, this practice became much too expensive and difficult to create with a release date guaranteed to coincide with the release of a film, so now we see movies flock to the mobile space for their licensed games.
You know what, I'm just going to keep my mouth shut this time. Except to say this: If Masters of Teräs Käsi gets some sort of lionizing reappraisal next, a straitjacket's getting appended to my wardrobe rack.