I was quite disappointed to find out that Star Wars: Jedi Academy wasn't getting a follow up, but a few years later, hope glimmered. After a string of poorly conceived mundane movie tie-ins (check out Neil's article for more on this most prickly of subjects) news came that LucasArts were planning on bridging the gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope with a game, and that you'd be able to wield The Force like never before.
You can pick up The Force Unleashed, which technically constitutes Episode 3.5 in the Star Wars saga (although that might go down to 3.333 when the sequel arrives), at £9.95 if you own a PS3 over at ShopTo, saving you about £3 on the nearest competitor over at 101cd.com.
The Force Unleashed plays like most big name hack'n'slash games: beat waves of enemies with your violence stick (or, in this case, lightsaber) and various powers, earning points for combos and particularly balletic kills. The big plus here is that those aforementioned powers come in the form of every geek's favourite hokey religion: The Force.
You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice, old mask face is apparently trying to get one over on the Emperor whilst also hunting down the few remaining Jedi left. Before any of that happens, though, you get to play as the hooded Sith Lord himself in the opening prologue, with access to near-unlimited Force power. Throwing Wookies off of treetop bridges has never been so much fun. Unfortunately, being cast into the body of the Apprentice immediately afterwards seems a bit anti-climatic, but this game has a pretty good difficulty curve and there are so many different ways to eliminate your foes that it's a game you'll probably come back to for multiple playthroughs if you like this sort of gaming genre.
The Force Unleashed won't dazzle you, although if you're a Star Wars completionist then you should probably just buy it for the story alone, but it does provide a fair amount of fun with its destructible environments and wide array of fighting techniques. There could have been more variety in terms of the enemies, and the repeated boss fights are a letdown (with the exception of Darth Maul...wait for it, you'll see), but overall this is well worth your time, and well worth a tenner.
Thanks to Zuulan at HUKD