As was the case in the PlayStation 2 version, the graphics are probably the weakest point of the game--but more so on the Xbox, where you've come to expect superior graphics. Visually, Jedi Starfighter was a decent-looking PS2 game with some frame rate issues. On the Xbox, it still looks like a decent PS2 game, though the frame rate problems have been improved somewhat. The game runs more smoothly, despite the frame rate still getting jumpy on occasion, but for the most part, it's much better than the PS2 in that regard. Ship models and terrain are decent, but they are outfitted with bland textures that take away from the overall visual appeal. This is compounded by the ability to zoom in on targets, which makes for an even less savory view when you're up close and personal. One improvement seen in the Xbox version is the use of colored lighting. For example, in the first mission, you find yourself meeting a contact outside a red nebula. The nebula casts off a red glow that bathes your ship in a dark red light and makes the level much more moody and atmospheric. Your ship also casts shadows on itself as a result of the lighting. The effect is quite nice when it's used; unfortunately, though, it seems restricted to only a handful of missions.
The sound is what you would expect from a LucasArts game, complete with all the appropriate sound effects. The soundtrack is a mix of the Episode I music, along with a few new tracks. The voice work for all of the speaking characters in the game is well done, but as was an issue with the first game, there are only a few different responses you'll hear repeatedly. However, there is a significant amount of scripted dialogue that takes place in each mission, and some of the radio chatter is quite good and helps move the story and mission at hand along rather nicely.
Another thing that Jedi Starfighter has going for it is the two-player mode, in which you have missions designed for two players and can play the game through entirely in a split-screen co-op mode. In co-op mode, there are more ships to initially choose from. In addition to the Havoc and the Jedi Starfighter, you'll have access to the ships piloted by allies in the regular missions. The two-player-specific levels act, for the most part, as they would in co-op mode, but in some missions, you can divide control of the Advanced Havoc, an improved version of Nym's regular ship. In this mode, one player assumes control of the ship, while another mans a turret that has been added to the top of the craft. A new mission has also been added to the Xbox version. In it, two players fight for control over platforms, which are tagged when either of the players shoots them. The mission takes place on the busy city-planet of Coruscant and sports hi-res textures that are of a much higher quality than those seen in the rest of the game. It's a small bonus for Xbox owners, but a bonus nonetheless.
Jedi Jedi Starfighter offers a two-player mode and other extras for good measure.
Along with the two-player modes, there are a handful of single-player missions that can be unlocked and played outside of the game's main story mode. Each mission in the story mode has a list of required objectives that you must complete to finish the mission, but there are bonus and hidden objectives lurking in each mission too. Achieving these objectives will unlock up to nine more ships for use in the story mode (several of which will please fans of the classic movies and games), new single-player and multiplayer missions, and DVD-style extras. Some of these extras include trailers for upcoming and recently released LucasArts games, concept art, team photos, and a gag reel like the one seen during the end credits of A Bug's Life, Pixar's computer-animated movie.
In the end, Star Wars: Starfighter is a solid game that fans of the previous entry in the series should check out without giving it a second thought. While it's not the prettiest Xbox game out there, let alone the best-looking Star Wars game, it does offer good control and entertaining gameplay, as well as the sound and music we've come to expect from a Star Wars game. These merits combined with the multitude of ships and missions that can be unlocked through extensive play further add to the value of Jedi Starfighter, a good Star Wars game that's not quite great.