Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy PC Review | Second Wind Retro Star Wars Games with Gold

Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy PC Review | Second Wind Retro Star Wars Games with Gold


Well by overwhelming popular demand
we’re finally reviewing Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy! This is my first time playing
Jedi Academy all the way through and I’ve got to say I’m sorry I never gave
this game the time it deserves. Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is not the fourth Kyle Katarn game, It’s more of a sequel to
Jedi Knight’s gameplay really, than to Jedi Knight’s story. in Jedi Academy
you play as Jaden Korr, who’s this neophyte Jedi, sent to Luke
Skywalker’s Academy, to join the New Jedi Order. Jaden can be male or female, and
can be one of five different races. Yeah, of course I’m going Kel Dor, like my
boy Plo Koon! The Imperial remnant are still kicking about, and there’s now
rumblings of this new Dark Side cult cropping up all over the place. So the
Jedi Order need fresh blood, and they need people to be out there, solving all
these problems. In the first five minutes of the game,
Jaden meets Rosh Penin, a ballsy young pup who’s out to make a name for
himself as a great Jedi warrior. You’re thinking “Hang on, this lad’s a bit keen.
He probably wants to watch himself because whenever anyone gets this
impatient with the Force..” Oh yeah! He did it! Yeah, evil! As part of his Jedi
training, Jaden is sent on all these smaller missions; I actually really like this. It
was like a really old-school gaming experience, you know. You’ve got your
desert level, your snow leve,l your flying level… There’s a really good “the floor is
lava” level a whole year before Half Life 2 came out by the way. And even better
there’s a level set on a high speed hover train! Yeah, originality might not
be Jedi Academy’s strongest suit but variety probably is. Objectively, a lot of
these missions could have been quite drab. Most of them just involved going
from A to B, maybe fighting some dudes and then eventually just triggering a
cutscene. Some of them do require a bit of puzzle solving, but that’s usually it.
Now it’s the variety that keeps the game feeling fresh, and I didn’t feel
bored at all when I was playing this game. Kyle Katarn does return in Jedi
Academy, this time though Kyle’s an NPC; he’s an instructor at Luke’s Massassi
Jedi Temple on Yavin IV. Bringing in the Massassi temple is pretty cool
because it ties neatly into those Jedi Academy
novels by Kevin J Anderson. Those books came out like 10 years before this game
and don’t crossover in any significant way whatsoever.
I love them and I think they make a really good connection between this game,
this era of the Star Wars universe and actually also the Old Republic.
I just love how all this Star Wars mythology just kind of like overlaps and
interweaves with itself. I could just get lost in this stuff for hours man…
Oh yeah, anyway, sorry, Kyle Katarn! I have to admit I did a little fist pump
when Kyle turned up, man. This guy is my favorite Jedi ever, but I was a bit
disappointed that I never got to actually play as him. You’re playing as
Jaden the whole time and obviously I understand it would be stupid to have
Kyle start again from scratch. Obviously you do need that
progression curve, like I said, I get it. But it would have been nice if in
one of the initial stages you could see what it was like to control like a fully
powered-up Jedi Master, so you could be like “Cool, this is what I’m gonna
aim for. This is how it feels to be this powerful in the game.” A really good
example of this would be The Force Unleashed; that opening level where you’re Darth Vader. Kyle does however escort Jaden on a few missions, which is
actually brilliant. It’s even better than when Luke accompanies Kyle in some of
the missions in Jedi Knight 2. It’s just me and Kyle, two grey Jedi chipping
around the galaxy zapping the s**t out the bad guys, chopping limbs and taking
names! Speaking of the grey Jedi, Jedi Academy does continue this idea of the gray Jedi; the Force user who walks the line between the light and the dark side.
I mentioned this concept in my Jedi Outcast video and Academy builds on this
a little bit more. Kyle mentions during Jaden’s training that powers from
both sides of the Force will be available for him and it’s up to him (and
I guess therefore you as the player) to choose the best way to fight your
enemies. In the first Jedi Knight, every single Power was locked and had to be
unlocked individually. In Jedi Knight 2 all of the powers were unlocked on a
linear curve, so there was no decision-making at all on the part of
the player. Jedi Academy has a hybrid of both of those games: core
powers like saber throw, force jump and force speed, these are already unlocked and
they just naturally get better as you go through the game. But there’s now two
banks of additional skills which the player gets to upgrade themselves, one
point per stage. You can’t take them all though, so you will have to
think about this. The light side sees the return of force sight,
force healing and force protection – these come from the first Jedi Knight game and
I’m really happy to see them back, because I missed these powers in Jedi
Outcast. The dark side has other eerie powers but
I didn’t choose any of them, because I’m a goody-two-shoes, me! Well, I did take
lightning… Zap! About halfway through the game, Luke, Kyle and Jaden discover
the end game of this “Cult of Ragnos”. They’ve been harvesting dark side energy
from places with strong connections to the force. Around about this point Jaden
is promoted to being a full Jedi Knight and is given his choice of lightsaber
and this – oh my God, this – is the most significant improvement from Jedi Knight
2. You can choose just have one normal blade, you can dual wield akimbo
lightsabers, or the most badass choice… the double ender. Now every
choice comes with its own range of unlocked moves, combos lightsaber forms etc.
The single bladed lightsabers use the fast, medium and strong forms from the
previous game. The saberstaff however, is always locked on strong mode, because it’s just for f***ing people up, man! Building on the player customization
that I mentioned earlier, you can even customize your lightsabers. You can
choose the blade color, the hilt design and if you’ve got two then you can mix
and match. People have been telling me that the lightsaber combat is so
much better in Jedi Academy and I’ve just been like “Yeah yeah, whatever.
There’s just more stuff, you know. More doesn’t mean better.” Nah, it is
better! Even the single bladed saber has got more going on. You’ve got katas, aerial
moves, new ways to interact with the environment, more combos. Man, I was going
wild about the lightsabers in Jedi Outcast, but genuinely the lightsaber
combat in Jedi Academy is second to none. Mate, there is still this big online
community of people even after all these years still swinging lightsabers at each
other. It’s awesome man! Newer Star Wars games have come along,
they’ve turned up the polish, they’ve massively increased the visual quality.
Fine, but no game since Jedi Academy has had such a deep, rich combat loop. Jedi Knight 2
does still have a better story, but if you’re looking for deep and rewarding
combat gameplay. Jedi Academy is the game you’re looking for.
Thanks so much for watching, this was so fun to put together. And thank you for pushing
me to actually play this game, I’m so glad I did! Please subscribe for more Star Wars
gaming videos and for more old PC stuff. Cheers!

49 thoughts on “Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy PC Review | Second Wind Retro Star Wars Games with Gold”

  1. Reviewing Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy. The last game in the Jedi Knight series, reviewed at last. What was your favourite Dark Forces / Jedi Knight PC game?

  2. Even if this series didn't have the good gameplay, there is something about the feel of the universe that is just so much more my kind of Star Wars than pretty much any game since 2004 (Empire at War is the only one I can think of).

  3. My favourite thing about JKA is that you could play as a Kel Dor.
    I want to play Old Republic but BioWare only allows you to play races that look human. Cyborgs, Twi'Lek and furries which is off-putting.

  4. Grey Jedi are massive cowards. Kyle and Jaden are just Jedi.

    "Apathy is death. Apathy is worse than death, because at least the dead feed the crows." -Darth Traya

  5. I'm working my way through the dark forces trilogy right now, I'm on Jedi Outcast, so this game next.

    A question. Where's the rogue squadron reviews on your channel? Sure, being a jedi master is awesome, but so is being an ace pilot in the SW universe.

  6. When I first played Academy, I was disappointed by the fact that you have to play as this noob Jedi youngling instead of the veteran favorite Kyle Katarn, as well as the reduced emphasis on gunplay and less challenging level design. However, as the game went on, it quickly grew on me.

    I really like the idea of mission hopping and text debriefing, a feature unseen since the original Dark Forces. Obviously, this means that the main storyline isn't as strong or developed, but honestly that did not hurt my experience of it. The hybrid progression system that borrows from JK and JO is not the most original necessarily, but it works rather well. The focus of this game really is in the customization. You get to choose everything: what race, color, gender, clothing, lightsaber style, lightsaber hilt, how many lightsabers or lightsaber blades your "Jaden" gets to have, and you even get to choose a light vs dark side ending.

    I normally go for the light side ending first then replay a second time just to see the alternate ending, but then I thought that would be too predictable and boring. I don't want another Kyle Katarn who spares the jedi and even the sith, and gets praised by Luke. You know what, I'll do the thing nobody expected and choose the dark side. I'm curious to see how that would play out–and it plays out brilliantly. It's not a phony/cop-out dark side ending like in Jedi Knight where you get one extra non-canon cutscene; it's not like The Force Unleashed where choosing the dark side immediately backfires on you, nope, you get to actually play the several following levels as a dark jedi and slaughter jedi and sith alike, Order 66 style. The rampage is magnificent. You get to kill Tavion and Kyle, then take the Sceptre and command Tavion's forces. Game over, you win. Look at that. A dark side ending where the bad guys actually win for once. The only thing that annoys me about it is that Kyle somehow survives, and just like on Mustafar in Episode 3, Jaden just leaves assuming Kyle's dead instead of first checking the body and being 100% sure.

    Anyway, I love the transformation. It's like the reverse of Force Unleashed. You train as a jedi, then before the end you join the dark side. The best part is that Rosh Penan serves as a red herring, so you never see it coming that Jaden's the real fallen jedi.

  7. Also, Academy's levels are extremely fun. Outcast had fun levels too, but because Academy's side missions are less centered around the narrative, you get the freedom to play out some of the coolest Star Wars fantasies, such as fighting on a speeding train James Bond style, an extended version of that speeder bike chase from Endor, Tibanna Gas Mines like on Bespin, breaking out of a prison (though that's been done before in MotS), the Bane equivalent of a Rancor (on steroids), disabling shield generators like ANH, etc. I could go on forever. Every level does something cool and new from the Star Wars universe that's just a fun thing to play out, and there's ample variety among the five choices you're given. Since you're also allowed to choose any out of order, you have the freedom to play whichever level you feel like playing, so it's never a disappointment.

  8. your first time playing JKJA? this was the first game I played on my first custom-built PC back in 2003 and what a start to my gaming 'career' since then lol

  9. 3.02 in the video thats why we have jedi knights of the force mode jedi autcast where you not only can play with op jedi but you also can play with all the characters from the star wars univers end spawn all the npcs from the star wars univers even battle droids

    o also i forgot to mentune the knights of the force mode is uncensoring the saber combat wich means you can realisticly cut limbs end heads

  10. Oh shit thankfully I got this game for free with gold can't wait to check it out. I'm sorta on a Star Wars benge and I'm finishing up The Force Unleashed by getting the Sith and Jedi Master achievements in the game 😆😎

  11. This along with Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic 1 were two of the best Star Wars games I ever played both on PC and Xbox.

  12. One thing I noticed back then was how Academy had this kind of half-baked ragdoll physics. It only ever worked some of the time like you see at 4:50 in the video. Most of the time enemies would just use old school death animations. Anyone with technical experience who can explain how this works? IIRC Jedi Academy uses the Quake 3 engine, so it was really novel seeing them try to implement ragdolls into what was becoming a pretty old engine at the time and the tech had just barely started becoming commonplace in newer ones like UT2003.

  13. Anyone who enjoys in depth lightsaber duelling should check out the Movie Battles 2 mod for Jedi Academy. It's an online mod that focuses alot on saber duelling, giving you full control over your lightsaber. Highly recommend to any lightsaber duel fan

  14. And to me that sums up how I felt in 2003 and still do today: “the story of Jedi Knight II is superior, but the lightsaber combat in Jedi Academy is second to none!”

  15. Beaten it so many times on original Xbox that I can only do a playthrough on Jedi master. I got my wife to do a playthrough on normal Jedi setting and I couldn't watch. When you acclimate to the game's fighting on Jedi Master the combat is so fulfilling, it's like ever Reborn Warrior and you are having a chess match at 90 mph. The Reborn use more moves, tactics, and better AI than on the low difficulty settings. This game is the reason I still have a perfect working og Xbox(That and let's see… KOTOR I & II, original SW Battlefront I & II, Republic Commando, Jedi Outcast, and SW Obi-wan). The controls on Xbox are so natural. I've played JKA on computer and I just felt like the pace was slowed for me. I only got it on a computer because it came with Dark Gangstas tw… I mean Dark Forces II in a steam bundle. And since I'm already on a huge run-on comment, Dark Forces II: play that shit homie. I hadn't played it as a kid, I just beat it at 25 years old last year, and good golly what a grind. A good one though. That game really makes you feel like you're in the imperial era. Jedi Outcast and Academy always feel to me like Imperial Remnant is spread too thin like a peanut butter sandwich in prison. But DF2 makes you feel like the Empire is heavily manned still. I know it's chronologically a lot closer to Return of the Jedi than Outcast and Academy, so you fight a few thousand imperials no joke. In the levels leading to your fight with Yuun, I really felt like I was in an Imperial outpost. Vader's castle kinda felt like the troops stationed there were a skeleton force in Jedi Academy. Also fight less Jedi in DF2 mades the fights more person and climactic/ important.

  16. i always go dual or single saber, the saber staff is cool but i have a lot of trouble controlling it, the worst offender being the uncontrollable butterfly-something-or-other that triggers when jumping, attacking, and moving in any direction

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