Last week, Nintendo released a surprise mini-edition of their Direct online video series where they show off upcoming games and new updates for existing titles.
Among the highlights of the Direct were the announcement of “Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition,” that 2K Games is releasing “BioShock: The Collection,” “Borderlands Legendary Collection,” and the “XCOM 2 Collection” on Switch all on May 29 and the Nintendo-developed “Good Job!” which sees players performing puzzling tasks around a sprawling office building, was revealed and released that day.
Most exciting for me was the Direct was used to show off the new trailer for the Switch port of the classic game “Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy.”
“Jedi Academy” was either the third or the fourth in its series depending on how you count things because it has one of the more confusing lineages in Star Wars gaming. The series started in “Star Wars: Dark Forces,” a first person shooter, but its sequels evolved into Jedi games.
In “Jedi Academy,” you play as a new character named Jaden Korr, and you get to choose what species and gender your version of the character is, what their lightsaber looks like and what kind of Force powers they use.
The game’s story takes place several years after “Return of the Jedi” and has Luke Skywalker send Korr out on a mission to the Jedi temple that is attacked by Sith cultists. If you go in playing it expecting Kylo Ren or the First Order to show up, keep in mind the game originally came out before Disney bought Lucasfilm. The game’s story is now considered Legends material, not part of the new cannon that’s been created by Disney.
This is the second Star Wars title that game publisher Aspyr has released for the Switch in the past six months. They released the game’s predecessor, “Star Wars: Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast” in October.
While the Switch and PS4 ports of “Jedi Outcast” were single player only titles, Aspyr has included “Jedi Academy’s” multiplayer modes with last week’s re-release. The game includes six different multiplayer modes including Siege, Capture the Flag and Free for All and it’s just as much fun now as it was when the game first released in 2003.
I’ve been pretty critical of EA, who has the exclusive license to release new Star Wars games on current consoles, for not releasing a single Star Wars game on the Switch in the past three years despite the system selling more than 50 million units worldwide.
With EA not supporting the Switch with new Star Wars titles, I’m really grateful that Aspyr has been re-releasing these classic titles from the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The Direct shared some even more exciting Star Wars news. It also announced that Aspyr’s next port they’re bringing to the Switch and the PlayStation 4 later this year will be “Star Wars: Episode I - Racer.” As much as I loved the “Jedi Knight” games when they were first released, “Racer” is one of my all-time favorite Star Wars games. It takes the podracing scene from “Episode I” and expands the concept into a full game with races spread across eight different planets. It’s one of the fastest racing games I’ve ever played and it’s a game I can’t wait to go back to.
Dusty Ricketts is the editor of The Destin Log and The Walton Sun newspapers and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.