Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection | Review | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, March 29, 2024

Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection | Review | Switch

The surprise announcement of Star Wars: Battlefront Classic Collection during the February 2024 Nintendo direct was awesome. The prospect of having an online game of this caliber on the Switch set in the Star Wars universe was exciting. Well, the game is here. And…well, let’s talk about it, I guess. 

Although there are two games in the package, both control almost identically with a few minor exceptions. The first Battlefront allows players to view the action in either first or third person with the click of the left stick, while Battlefront II only allows for a first person view (unless you go in and change it in options beforehand). The second title also gives players the ability to sprint for a limited time. By and large, controls here are pretty tight. I would have loved to see the addition of gyro to help with aiming. 
Several different classes are available for each faction in the games. While many of these are similar regardless of the team you play as, there are some special classes for each. Vehicles and gun turrets are also scattered throughout the levels, offering more firepower and maneuverability.
Hero characters are also a part of Star Wars: Battlefront. Although the first game doesn’t allow players to take control of these characters, they are able to fight alongside them. Battlefront II, however, lets players take control of a number of these, including the likes of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Count Dock and many more. In total, there are 19 available in the game. The biggest difference control-wise between the heroes and regular grunts is the perspective. In most cases, these are payable in third person. Gameplay overall is very solid. The only thing that both games are missing are some kind of melee attack, but it’s not a deal breaker. 

Single Player Modes
Outside of online play (which we’ll touch on in a bit), there are a handful of single play modes on offer. While both games are a little bit different, they do offer very similar single player modes. Outside of the main campaigns, both titles offer something called Galactic Conquest. This mode has some light strategy elements focusing on taking over planets combined with the traditional gameplay that the series is known for. 
Battlefront I has two single player campaigns - the Clone Wars Campaign and Galactic Civil War Campaign. These put players through large scale battles in conquest-based style levels. While there are some light story elements and video clips played before some of these, the main focus is on the action directly. 
Battlefront II’s single player campaign, called Rise of the Empire, follows the exploits of the 501st Legion from their first battle at Geonosis. The story is told through the perspective of an unnamed clone trooper who is voiced by Temuera Morrison, the actor that played Jango Fett/the clones. Missions are quite a bit more complex than simply a repurposed version of the Conquest mode. You’ll have various mission objectives, the ability to pilot craft, play as Jedi and more. Outside of the appeal of online, this was actually a pretty legit mode to enjoy in the game both upon original release and now. 

Online Multiplayer
Let’s be real. The main draw of this collection is the online multiplayer. Of course, the Classic Collection saw a pretty disastrous launch on all platforms. Players had trouble connecting and there just simply weren’t enough servers. The first game initially offered just two dedicated servers while the second had nine. Even when I popped in to play, it was a ghost town with hardly anyone online. It’s been about two weeks since launch and Aspyr has finally released their first update to the game. This brought a signifiant increase in both the number of servers and players.
BF II Servers Pre-Update..they took some away between launch and right before the update.
BF II Servers After Update
Oddly enough, when I got connected to people online around launch, I didn’t have too many issues getting connected. The ping was high, but it was overall a smooth experience. The increase in players with the update hasn’t changed things too much for me. Online, the game plays relatively smoothly. The ping is still quite high but I haven’t gotten any disconnects. 
It’ll be interesting to see where things go from here. I’m happy that Aspyr addressed these issues as quickly as they did. Sure, the PC version got an update well ahead of the Switch. I get that. I’m not a developer, but from what I’ve read over the years, sometime the updates just take time to get through Nintendo’s verification process. That’s still not an excuse. I’m baffled as to why Aspyr released this collection in the state it was in at launch. If you’re looking for a way to sour gamers on your company and/or your game, this is definitely the way to make a lot of people upset. The only good news now is that, yes, things are working. I’ll be curious to hear from you guys out there on your online experiences with the game. 

Visuals, Audio & Performance
The visual upgrade to these games is pretty decent. Character models look sharp as do the environments and vehicles. Of course, both titles still retain the same geometry that was found in the original game, which might turn some people off, however I think most people will know what they’re getting into with these games. Aspyr proved again that they can make old games like these look modern enough.
This was my first time playing both games and I was impressed with both the presentation and sound that is on offer. I really like the menus in Battlefront II as they contain two video clips running simultaneously. Even the menu in the first title is pretty cool, offering a stylized look at some vehicles straight out of the films. The voice acting found in both games during the story modes are excellent and really help make them feel like fleshed out experiences. Of course, Battlefront II is better at this, but the inclusion of this in the first title was admirable. 
Throughout both games, you will find various clips pulled straight out of the classic films. While I think this is pretty cool, I couldn’t help but notice some inconsistencies with the upscale. On scenes with little to no movement, things looked great, however, when the action picked up, you will definitely notice a lot of artifacting. Obviously, this doesn’t take away from gameplay or anything, but it’s something you may notice. Other videos used in some of the game modes retain their very low resolution look from 2004-05, which is kind of jarring when jumping straight into gameplay immediately afterward. Again, this doesn’t take away from the gameplay at all and is something that has been in other remasters from the company in the past (Knights of the Old Republic, for example). 
Battlefront Classic Collection feels like an incomplete product that was rushed out the door. The reason behind the issues with online servers (or lack thereof) is irrelevant. Aspyr simply needed to do better here. Single player content is entertaining, but let’s be real. Most people that buy this game want to play online. If you’re looking to play this with others, things work but you might have some trouble getting enough people to fill up one of the few available servers. The bots are fine enough, but this could have been so much more. This has been said by many others, but I wholeheartedly agree - Star Wars Battlefront deserves better. 

But let’s turn things over to you. What do you think of this whole fiasco? Did you pick the game up on the Switch, Steam, PlayStation or Xbox? Did you play this game back in the day? Let us know your stories in the comments down below. We’d love to hear from you!

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