View Full Version : A Very Vicious Review: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy

Vicious Horizon
11th January 2009, 05:30 PM

Developer: Lucasarts/Raven Software
Platform: PC / Xbox Original
Multiplayer: Yes
Single player: Yes

JK: JA is a game which is just over 5 years old now, although the Quake III engine on which it is built is slowly aging, the game is still being modded, skinned and mapped as I write this review, the community of JKA is still growing and expanding as quickly as it was two years ago, when Fan-run Tournaments were starting up and people were becoming famous in the JKA Community.

I'll start with the Single-Player. The way in which LucasArts have designed the game is ingenuitive, and give the player a feel of freedom, you are shown a screen with 5 missions on, you can choose 4 of these missions, then after they are complete, you can either for-go the 5th mission and go directly to the Last level of the tier or do Mission 5 then do the final level. The levels have a great deal to do with the plot, which has many twists and has huge replay-ability value, and has a number of puzzles in later levels which uses the force engine perfectly. The final-few levels have you make a choice where you can either stay on the Light side of the Force, or turn to the Dark Side, this triggers the last two missions to be different and the final boss-battle is changed. The Dark-Side ending is one of my favourite endings of all time.

Multi-player is still played constantly by thousands of people, and has some great reviews from the past, it averages 80% in popular magazine's charts. The multi-player engine differs slightly from SP to help balance the game, and changes some effects of force-powers. The individual servers can change almost every detail of the game through server configuration files, and can create huge diversity in the game, I once regulared a server which had all saber-damages to 1,000,000, and gave a 'saber rub' value of 1000, which meant that even touching someone with your lightsaber up would kill them, which was huge fun. The Five different types of lightsaber styles can be used to great effect and new 'custom-moves' are discovered and refined every day. The pre-made attacks such as Katas and Spins are over-powered, but immobilises the user for a period of time, which can be suicide against a good opponent.
There are tonnes of user-made modifications, the three most popular of these mods are:
JA +
This mod adds a huge range of features to the game, including RGB values for your saber colour, giving huge diversity to your character, it adds game mods, such as Highlander and Jedi vs Mercenary. JA+ Gives admin commands which are both fun and useful in managing the server. The mod helps tackle the problem of 'lamers', people who attack other who have their chat-bubbles on or lightsabers off. JA+ also adds emotes such as sitting, surrendering, kissing, and other random and often funny emotes for your character. JA+ also gives the player the ability to boost some graphical edges such as realistic shadows (which actually eats my PCs card). But possibly the most useful and widely used aspect of this mod is the Grapple, which enables the player to shoot a hook at any surface, and zoom towards it, it can also loosen slowly or you can do a SWATesque movement and drop towards the floor with the grapple before stopping inches above the ground.


A highly advanced mod which gives 5 levels of administrator rights, the most-used aspect of this mod is that Level 1 admins are able to add 'entities' to the maps on which they are playing, entities are objects which are included in their 'Base' folder which are from maps which they have or have downloaded, they can then save the entities and effectively create a new map. Most admins only use the entities which are included with the vanilla version of JKA so that the players don't have to download maps to log on, Lugormod is genius in the way that new maps can be created without people having to download the map before they join the server.
Another, more advanced feature of LM is that the Admin can create quests, which the player uses 'credits' to enter and then complete for more money, this money is then used to level-up, then getting more skill points to add to their skills, the player can either choose Jedi or Merc when they create their account on the server.


A very basic version of Lugormod, which allows everyone to build anything, the mod is built to be very user-friendly and is controlled completely through the console, the mod has some great potential and is still being fine-tuned to
make the mod even better, new features are added, and a brand-new feature is that players can create NPC and then make it so that the NPC do not attack them, and basically turn them into hireable mercenaries, a feature which is being intergrated into Lugormod.

JK:JA is an absolutely amazing game which is still being changed and improved every day, the game is almost perfect, the combat system is brilliant and can be used by people of all skills, almost everyone on the game is friendly and will help people out and teach them, there are still a huge number of clans, although most of these clans are now run more like businesses, with people being kicked and banned to protect their own, but these cases are rare, and are slowly dying out.

I seriously reccomend this game as although it is aging, it is still very much alive and kicking hard. Recent polls at LucasArts have shown that people prefer JKA to Force Unleashed, and there are rumors that people are making a mod of JKA which will enable MMO style play, with servers of over 200 people!
Definately watch this space.

Good points Quake III engine works brilliantly, combat is great, Mods are awesome, huge community, very fun.
Bad points Aging graphics, riddled with glitches, quite alot of 'lamers', requires a patch to connect to most of the servers.

Reviewed by Vicious Horizon.

12th January 2009, 12:24 AM
you love ur reviews, quite interesting, being a fan of the whole starwars thing, not my kind of game but i think i wuld play it if given it. Followed oric stlye of essay writing but i had time to kill :P

Vicious Horizon
12th January 2009, 04:55 PM
Haha :P Thanks ^^

EDIT: The Trandoshan in the middle of the picture with the double-edged staff saber is me XD

13th January 2009, 04:51 AM
it woz another gud review keep em coming!!!

13th January 2009, 06:46 PM
ah cool, this is 1 of them games ive herd about but never rly bothered with, but i might give it a closer look now :D

Vicious Horizon
13th January 2009, 06:51 PM
The demo doesn't give the most fun.. most of it comes from multiplayer =)