Released as an exclusive for the Nintendo GameCube in 2003, Star Wars Rogue Leader: Rebel Strike III is the last game of the best selling Star Wars: Rogue Squadron franchise to date. It is the second Rogue Squadron game released for the GameCube.
Like the previous games in the series, players take control of various members of the Rogue Squadron, a team of rebel pilots created after the destruction of the Death Star I. Rebel Strike expands on the formula of the first two by adding on-foot missions, a separate 2-player co-op campaign with missions from Rogue Squadron II and versus modes for the first time in the series.
The series is known for its' high fidelity to the original movie trilogy and Rebel Strike is no exception. Rebel Strike includes original sound effects, characters and scenarios. Rebel Strike like Rogue Leader before it also includes cut scenes from the original Star Wars trilogy in cut-scenes and at the main menu.
Rebel Strike was well received by consumers and critics alike but is generally considered to be the weakest of the three Rogue Squadron games.
It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Though the Death Star has been destroyed, the Empire remains intent on crushing the Alliance. A massive Imperial fleet has invaded the Rebel base on Yavin IV in an attempt to capture the Rebel leaders, enacting swift retribution for the Alliance's earlier victory. In the face of this assault, a small squad of freedom fighters led by the heroic LUKE SKYWALKER and WEDGE ANTILLES attempt to escape the planet for a new secret base....
Like the previous two games in the series, players assume control of Luke Sykwalker and Wedge Antilles as they playthrough the timeline of the original movie trilogy of Star Wars (episodes IV-VI). In Rebel Strike players also briefly get to play as Chewbacca and Arvel Crynyd, a B-wing pilot in Rogue Squadron.
The story begins shortly after the destruction of the original Death Star with players assuming the role of Luke first, players must flee Yavin IV looking for safe refuge from the Imperial Fleet. Rogue Squadron then planet hops to assemble more Imperial defectors at Dantooine and Ralltiir, including Tycho Celchu. Rogue Squadron finally arrives at Hoth where the Rebel Alliance has established a new base, but quickly must leave again when the Empire obliterates the outpost in the Battle of Hoth.
Players now assume the role of Wedge, who leads Rogue Squadron on a hostage rescue mission on Bakura and then into a series of conflicts culminating in a firefight in the remains of Battle of Geonosis. After winning these battles and battles at Destrillion, Dubrillion and Fondor, the scene shifts to the end of Return of the Jedi with players assuming the role of various different star wars characters as they participate in the Battle of Endor to destroy the second Death Star and defeat the empire for good.
Rebel Strike like the previous two Rogue Squadron games is primarily an Arcade style space shooter sim. Players pilot a wide variety of Star Wars series spacecraft through a number of story missions in space and on planets. The space levels primarily consist of dog fighting while the planet levels throw in bombing runs and other anti-ground defense mechanics. New to Rebel Strike are on-foot and terrestrial vehicle missions (see New Features section for more details) and multiplayer modes.
Most craft have two attacks a primary blaster and a craft specific second attack that is often critical in completing mission objectives (such as the T-47 Snowspeeder's infamous tow line used to trip Imperial Walkers). Depending on the craft players also engage different levels of speed and do flight manoeuvres such as barrel rolls. D-pad Control of the friendly AI companion units (a feature added in Rogue Leader) returns as well.
Missions are replayable and players can go back with any previously unlocked craft to try to unlock greater performance bonuses and weapon upgrades. Mission structure consists of multiple objectives of standard fare (hostage rescue, escort, search and destroy etc) some of which are revealed mid-mission. New to Rebel Strike, linear progression has been replaced for a more branching level progression.
The Rogue Squadron series is known for its' series homage unlockables and Rebel Strike is no exception, besides the story missions and story space craft there are several unlockable bonus levels and several unlockable vehicles (such as smuggler Han Solo's Millenium Falcon), as well more common fare such as commentary and behind the scenes footage.
New Features and Improvements
Rogue Squadron III had a number of features added to it. The most noticeable is land based missions. There are a number of missions that are based either partly or entirely on foot or in ground vehicles, a series first. One example is on Dagobah where you control Luke as he learns the ways of the Force from Master Yoda. On foot controls are fairly simplistic being limited to shooting, jumping and boarding usable vehicles where applicable.
There are also missions where you control terrestrial vehicles such as AT-STs or Speeder Bikes. The famous Speeder Bike showdown on Endor is a prime example of this. Each terrestrial vehicle has their own unique control scheme. The walkers in particular controlled quite differently from the other vehicles, requiring the player to alternate pressing L and R shoulder buttons to make the units walk.
Another feature of Rogue Squadron III was multiplayer, being the first Rogue Squadron game to include the play style. Rebel Strike offers campaign mulitplayer co-op play and head to head vs. multiplayer. The campaign missions in the multiplayer co-op mode are all from Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader (albeit with greatly increased enemy NPC numbers). In co-op the play is split-screen and players share lives. Players also are reduced to one AI companion. In Vs. mode, play is also split screen and traditional multiplayer shooter modes are available such as Dogfighting and Survival. Both multiplayer modes are limited to two players only.
The game was improved over the previous ones from a technical standpoint as well. Factor 5 added many graphical upgrades, including even greater draw distance, larger maps, a new light dispersion technique called light scattering and a drastically increased number of enemies on-screen at one time.
Game Boy Advance Connectivity
Additional cooperative features are supported via GBA Connectivity. During the singleplayer or co-op campaign, one or two GBAs can be connected to allow the players on the handheld to see a wingman interface and take over that specific role during gameplay. This technically makes the main campaign 2-player co-op compatible and the co-op campaign a 4-player co-op affair via asymmetric gameplay.
- 1-2 Players Simultaneous
- Memory Blocks needed: 5
- Game Boy Advance Compatible
- Progressive Scan (480p) (NTSC only)
- Dolby Surround Pro Logic II
- Ace Mode- YNMSFY?P / YOUDAMAN
- Unlock All Missions- EEQQ?YPL / CHE!ATER
- Unlock Regular Missions- HYWSC!WS / NONGAMER
- Art Gallery- !KOOLART
- Unlock Co-Op Endurance- WPX?FGC! / EXCERSIZ
- Death Star Escape in Co-Op- YFCEDFRH/DSAGAIN?
- Infinite Lives- IIOUAOYE / WIMPIAM!
- Level Select in Co-Op- SWGRCQPL / UCHEATED
- Millennium Falcon- QZCRPTG! / HANSRIDE
- Naboo Starfighter- RTWCVBSH / BFNAGAIN
- Slave 1- TGBCWLPN / ZZBOUNTY
- T- 16 Skyhopper- LOOKOUT!
- TIE Advanced- VDX?WK!H / ANOKSHIP
- TIE Hunter- FRRVBMJK / LOOKOUT!
- TIE Fighter in Co-Op- MCKEMAKD / ONESHOT!
- TIE Bomber- JASDJWFA / !DABOMB!
- Unlock Credits- LOOKMOM!
- Unlock Documentary- THEDUDES
- Jedi Starfighter- BBGMYWSX / JEDIWHO?
- Multiplayer Beggar's Canyon Race- FRLL!CSF / FARMBOY?
- Black and White mode- NOCOLOR?
- Music Hall- HARKHARK
- Unlocks Star Wars Arcade- RTJPFC!G / TIMEWARP
- Unlocks Empire Strikes Back Arcade- !H!F?HXS / KOOLSTUF
- Unlocks Return of the Jedi Arcade- !?ATH!RD GAME?YES