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Developer Aspyr's remake of BioWare's 2003 Star Wars RPG Knights of the Old Republic has had its hand lobbed off by daddy studio heads after a "vertical slice" of the game gone awry:

On June 30, Aspyr finalized a demo of the game, known as a vertical slice, to show to production partners Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC and Sony Group Corp. [...] The following week, the company fired design director Brad Prince and art director Jason Minor.

More on that in the Bloomberg article, which paints a lot of doom and gloom for what I'd have imagined would be a relatively straightforward excursion. Such is the way with Star Wars, though.

It seems that in conjunction with the Switch release of Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the powers that be have made the laudable decision to release its soundtrack as well. As of June 8th, you can find it on a bunch of the usual storefronts and subscription services such as Amazon, Apple Music, and Spotify. But no Bandcamp, for some stupid reason.

The game’s soundtrack was the fantastic work of Mark Griskey, a prolific veteran who was an internal LEC composer in the early-to-mid 2000s. Though most of his credits during this time were Star Wars related, he also scored Gladius and Sam & Max: Freelance Police. Not that you’ve heard the latter.

It’s more noteworthy than it ought to be that a LucasArts soundtrack should see official release. When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, all of the music the studio owned (encompassing the scores to movies and games alike) ultimately wound up under Walt Disney Records. What this means if you’re, say, Limited Run Games, is that licensing a LucasArts game and a LucasArts game soundtrack are two totally distinct (read: unfeasible) processes of red tape machete'ing, which is why your no-brainer idea that albums should have been included among the extras in some of those over-the-top collectors editions never actually happened.

So anyway, this is cool, and needs to be highlighted. Plus, I figured I’d do Lucasfilm a solid by drawing attention away from the fact that the game is apparently broken as hell on Switch. I mean, sounds like KOTOR II to me?

Seeing as we’re already hanging out in 2004, we might as well get comfortable there.

During this week’s "Star Wars Celebration" in Anaheim (the same event that brought you Willow and Indiana Jones 5 glimpses), it was announced that Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords will be arriving on Switch June 8th. The port is being developed by Aspyr, the studio responsible for the recent Switch versions of the original KOTOR, Star Wars: Episode I - Racer, Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast, Star Wars: Republic Commando, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and probably fifty others. Check out a trailer below:

Obsidian’s KOTOR II was of course the sequel to BioWare’s 2003 blockbuster. After the game got a spectacular reaction at E3 2004, LucasArts rewarded the team by pushing up its release date to December of that year. Though the final game was received positively enough, it was lost on no one that it was rushed – some have said incomplete. I’d assume, then, that this promise of “Restored Content DLC” at the end of the trailer is the biggest selling point, but I’ll leave it to people who have actually played this game to talk knowledgeably about that.

Everyone watching the latest in Star Wars on Disney+? Are you all caught up without any more Boba Fett to watch? Why not checkout some Star Wars 1313 demo reel animations that were uploaded to Vimeo a mere two to eight years ago? Mojo (and other news sites) were apparently just waiting for the right moment.


Over on James Zachary's Vimeo page, he announces that he directed the in-game animation for Star Wars 1313 along with running the motion capture performances and the actual animation pipeline for the game. For a game from "a long time ago..." I would say that the graphics on the more final rendered videos sure look good.


And maybe I'm just jealous that I wasn't the news poster to post about the Maniac Mansion claymation model from the Nintendo Power cover, so for more of a write-up on this, you can perhaps read Kotaku - Canceled Star Wars Game Footage Teases Boba Fett Bounty Hunting Action.

It looks like the success of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order has enticed LucasFilm and EA into furnishing Respawn Entertainment with more dollar than can be found in Big Whoop itself. A big press release from LucasFilm announces that three new Star Wars games are coming from the aforementioned developer. Three!

Shepherding the next installment in the Star Wars Jedi story is game director Stig Asmussen of Respawn; Peter Hirschmann, game director, who has a long and accomplished history with Star Wars, leads the development of Respawn’s Star Wars first-person shooter. A new studio helmed by games industry veteran Greg Foertsch will create the new Star Wars strategy game, developed through a production collaboration between Respawn and Bit Reactor. Respawn will produce the new Star Wars strategy game while Bit Reactor leads development of the title.

Now, Respawn Entertainment is the real deal, founded by key personnel involved with driving Call of Duty to monumental success. Titanfall 2 offered one of the best single-player first-person shooter experiences of the last generation, and Apex Legends was and is a refreshingly good take on the hit-and-miss battle royale concept. The studio’s Fallen Order effort was considered a solid experience for Star Wars aficionados.

I can’t help but be a little saddened, though. Respawn Entertainment has bags of potential as a powerhouse of original games, or at the very least it could continue carving out its own lovely little universe a la Arkane Studios. Instead, I fear it is just going to become ‘the Star Wars studio’, apparently taking on genres it doesn’t really have experience with and neglecting the original IPs that put it on the map. Hopefully its developers love them some Star Wars.

I also worry for the mental health of Vince Zampella, who is apparently overseeing this new effort in addition to having been announced last month as taking the helm of the Battlefield franchise. This follows and is likely because of the disastrous launch of Battlefield 2042, which was executed with about as much finesse as delivering a new Monkey Island title that is actually a disguised Candy Crush Saga. That franchise is handled by DICE, which funnily enough was primarily handling the Star Wars: Battlefront games beforehand. What a yarn this all is.

Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain has revealed it's working on a new action-adventure game "Star Wars: Eclipse" set in the 'high republic' era (800 years after KOTOR, and 200 years before the original Star Wars trilogy).

The marketing guff says: "Star Wars Eclipse is the first video game to be set in an uncharted region of the Outer Rim during The High Republic era, known as the golden age of the Jedi. The game will build upon Quantic Dream's expertise in delivering deeply branching narratives and will go beyond their already established acclaim. Player's choices will be at the heart of the experience, as every decision can have a dramatic impact on the course of the story."

So, high on cutscene narrative, dialogue trees, and quicktime events to progress the story, one presumes? The game is estimated to be 3-4 years away, so speculating on platforms seems a bit premature, though you can expect latest PC, Playstation and Xbox support. Some people are not happy with the studio and founder David Cage due to past allegations of sexist and anti LGBTQ+ behaviour.

You’ve gotten your Milk Duds and Diet Mr. PiBB and found your seat again, all just in time to catch the second half of Genesis Temple’s roadshow interview with Larry Ahern. Picking up where we last left off in August, the story continues with the post-CMI act of Ahern’s LucasArts career, a similarly frustrating stint at Microsoft, the noble casualty that was Insecticide, and an only recently ended stretch as a Disney Imagineer that sometimes reunited him with his old cohort Jonathan Ackley.

It’s an altogether great read, but I draw special attention to the fact that Ahern divulges new information about Vanishing Act and Attempt #1 at the Full Throttle sequel (which was never really called Full Throttle: Payback, a moniker which he indirectly chides Mojo for perpetuating), as well as some soon-to-be-stolen concept art for those games that I don’t believe have surfaced before. (Update: After review it turns out we did already have them. I should have known better; fortunes have been lost betting against Mojo.)

I guess it’s up to Dune: Part II to disappoint you, as the back half of the Larry Ahern interview delivers the goods.

Okay listen, headline aside, I'm gonna dial back on the snark that it has been politely noticed I tend to dish out when Limited Run Games robs a deserving SCUMM title of one of these top notch packaged releases by routing the budget to a Star Wars title instead while their licensing arrangement with Lucasfilm presumably tick, ticks away.

It's inappropriate, it's not the time, and frankly it's not reading the room.

So in the interest of fair play here - and for gosh sakes, what do I stand for if not fair play? - and without further unsolicited commentary from the peanut gallery, here is the announced Star Wars: Republic Commando boxed set, presented in its full glory:

But if I could just say one thing. Limited Run? You listening? I want to run something past you right quick. It'll just take a second.

You get it, Limited Run Games?

See what I'm saying, Limited Run Games?

I love you, Limited Run Games.

Not surprisingly, EA has been kicked to the curb – thankfully, after the yawn fest that was Fallen Order – and Ubisoft/Massive has taken the mantle. A teaser for a new “story-driven, open-world Star Wars adventure” has been announced:

There’s a short interview which says very little, so we’ll see what happens next. Personally I’d be into a good Star Wars game that aspires to be more than painfully average.

While Jason and Ron Howard’s family are showing great excitement for Disney+’s Willow, the more rational amongst us are feeling strangely drawn to the streaming service’s new Star Wars special:

That’s right, Life Day is happening again in The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special. It premiers November 17th.

Even though George Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012, the actual offices have remained at the Letterman Digital Arts Center in The Presidio -- a park in San Francisco. As Lucas owns those facilities, Disney has actually been paying George rent for that space despite owning the assets held there.

With the conglomerate undergoing a period of COVID related belt-tightening, rumor has it that Disney is finally ready to relocate all those assets to their home turf in Burbank.

The move down south for Lucasfilm apparently has been the plan for years. It is unknown what has been the delay in getting them down to Burbank. The goal was to have all of their divisions at convenient proximity to Disney headquarters. With that, they cut down distance and they no longer have to pay Lucas rent.

Why do we care? Well, presumably this means that the Lucasfilm archives are destined to make a six hour road trip, and as elTee's illuminating interview with Limited Run Games revealed, the original assets related to the old adventure games have not necessarily been digitized. And I'm not making judgments, mind you. It's hard to ask a supposedly state-of-the-art studio to make time over a thirty year period to digitally bank Monkey Island key art when there's a hundred other things to do. Those Baby Yodas aren't going to stack themselves.

I'm just asking everyone to join me in a collective prayer that they, you know, have the straps on the flat bed fastened tight as they load it up with irreplaceable diskettes of source code or Ken Macklin artwork for The Dig. And you know, that they throw a tarp over it if the weather forecast looks dicey. Things like that.

Jason

Have you seen this lineup? I'm not newsing all this garbage as it comes out: https://limitedrungames.com/
Somebody who has actually played some of these game ought to step up. ¬

For the record those games are forthcoming Jedi Knight titles making their Limited Run appearance.

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.

The arms race for undeserving re-releases continues to heat up! Having already received a bogglingly reverent N64 cartridge recreation from Limited Run Games a while back, the 1999 bestseller Star Wars Episode 1: Racer is now getting ported to Switch and PS4 as well. Be amazed as James Vicari of Aspyr attempts to frame the most obvious tie-in product ever conceived as some sort of crown jewel of the LucasArts catalog. But he didn't count on the pushback from those notorious skeptics at StarWars.com. I'm kidding, of course:

StarWars.com: Star Wars Episode I: Racer is really fondly remembered. What do you think is the legacy of that game?

James Vicari: Legacy is an interesting thing to try and talk about. There’s like the pure metrics aspect, right? It’s one of the bestselling racing games of all time. At some level that means something, but it’s not the thing that makes people talk about a game 20 years later. That’s an intangible. And with Racer, I think its legacy is a very specific feeling of joy. When we announced it within the company, it was crazy how many faces lit up. Once we had it up and running, people from every department kept dropping in to check it out. If you’ve played it, you know. There’s just something about being in one of the coolest scenes from a Star Wars movie.

StarWars.com: Why is reintroducing Racer important to Aspyr?

James Vicari: Honestly, because good games should never be forgotten and great games deserve to be revisited as much as possible. I think Racer, like Jedi Academy and Jedi Outcast before it, has two crucial qualities: it’s a great game and it has emotional resonance. Those are very important to us. We really believe in reuniting fans with something they cherished, or connecting a new audience with something they may have missed.

Get ready to re-live the emotional resonance of Star Wars Episode 1: Racer May 12th.

Well, color me surprised that Limited Run Games seems to have produced genuine, no-joke NES and Game Boy cartridges for their re-release of the very first Star Wars console game, along with a physical PS4 port of Bounty Hunter, on Friday.  (It is especially impressive since, didn't Capcom consider that for Mega Man 9 before deciding it was cost-prohibitive?)  Not that I am unequal to the challenge of finding fault, as I sense no effort to replicate the mail-order hint book. Check out the packaging for yourself on Limited Run Games' Instagram page.

This is a little frustrating for me personally, I must admit.  LucasArts made impressive contributions to a number of consoles, but the NES wasn't a platform they did very well on; some would argue that their debut for the system, the iconic (and in-house, unlike the title being awarded this treatment) port of Maniac Mansion, was the only project worth a damn, with all due respect to Defenders of Dynatron City.  It was the gateway drug for many to the LEC adventure catalogue, and it comes with a nice juicy censorship controversy to boot.

Alas, as always, Star Wars gets the slot.  But don't let me stink up the joint with my griping, because this is still really cool.  Be sure to head over to the nearest Limited Run Games web presence on Friday to place your order.

Our thanks to Scummbuddy for bringing this to our attention

For those of you who are into this kind of stuff, here are fourteen insufferable minutes of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

Rumors of it being as adult as 1313 remains unconfirmed.

Because the world needs more Star Wars movies, and Disney apparently has burned through original content, it is now sinking its grubby white gloves into the seminal Knights of the Old Republic. I mean, I assume it’s seminal—had I played through it further than the first ten minutes, I might have more of an opinions.

The film is set to be written by Laeta Kalogridis, co-writer of Battle Angle: Alita, and Mojo will follow the development with the type of vigor usually reserved for Willow.

Comments: 5 / Source: BMD
With a full coup to turn Mixnmojo into an Indiana Jones fansite underway, we've not had time to post about an ongoing Star Wars sale on GOG. Once the mortal enemy of LucasArts adventure games everywhere, a number of these Star Wars games are now considered classics, including Knights of the Old Republic and LEGO: Star Wars. Hell, even I've been tempted.

Speaking of Star Wars....

It's worth noting that actor Peter Mayhew passed away earlier this week. I don't know much about Mayhew, except that he played Chewbecca in four of the six George Lucas Star Wars films and was a "Chewbecca consultant" in Solo, but his Reddit account paints the portrait of a very kind man, which is a worthy legacy. Our condolences to his loved ones.

Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, an FPS game released by pre-Phantom Menace LucasArts in 1997, has gotten some HD textures. The game can be procured on both Steam and GOG.

What makes the story interesting is that the new textures were created by an AI. I can see the Black Mirror episode already.

Apologies to Scummbuddy for the delay on this, as they let us know about the news in an earlier story. I can only assume most other Mojo staff has perished in an ongoing, secretive, Snatcher-like murder campaign by these AIs.

It feels like it is 2012 again. Disney has halted game production and will switch to a licensing model.

For those of you who have been waiting for more Lucasfilm figures for Disney Infinity, you're going to have to stop waiting as Disney Infinity will cease production as a result of this decision. Three characters from Alice Through the Looking Glass will release later this month, and a Finding Dory playset will be released in June. These will be the final figures released in the Disney Infinity line.

The primary developer of Disney Infinity, Avalanche Software, will also be closed. We at Mojo give our fondest well-wishes to the nearly 300 people who lost their jobs as a result of this decision.
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