Even with those shortcomings in mind, the game is still unexpectedly hard. It's not necessarily because of the above problems, though. There are some mechanics issues involved as well. For instance, in the Comm Satellite mission, your task is to destroy three shield generator probes before actually taking on the satellite itself. Your fighter only starts with ten proton torpedoes, however, and it takes seven or eight to destroy one of these generators alone. Furthermore, the satellite is armed with missile launchers, making the task even more difficult. The game becomes less of an issue of talented flying and more an issue of resource allocation. In other words, when you run out of torpedoes, then you kill yourself so you can restock and continue. I thought this seemed like a silly idea, and maybe my flying is just off, but in checking various walkthroughs and FAQs on the Internet, it's actually a common recommendation.
I finally got stuck in the ninth mission and couldn't proceed any further. This mission involves saving refugees from attacking droids. At my best count, though, it's one Starfighter (you) against fifty-plus AATs and droid Starfighters. I gave it about twenty attempts before I finally gave up. It turns out that in this mission, most people don't survive unless they're using bonus items which can be recovered in previous missions. I found one of these items by myself, but some of them seem to be long shots in a random discovery. I would hate to be the gamer that's trying to finish this game without knowing there were secret items to be found.
Wow…a powerup…Don't see those often…
I'd also like to take a moment to comment on the lack of a shield-strength indicator. In the game, they use a colored aura around your ship to represent the strength. Why can't I be given a fixed value for my shield strength? That makes a lot more sense to me than trying to see how fast my shields are flashing to know just how badly damaged they are. I know that LucasArts is going for the arcade feeling in this game, but the Star Wars Trilogy Arcade games have a shield percentage indicator, so that makes no sense at all. On top of all that, the coloring difference between yellow and green on the HUD is not much different, so I have a hard time telling the difference in shield strength. Also, in some cases, I would get hit by a laser blast, and the only way I'd know I got hit is because the ship icon briefly flashes. But the difference in the shield color wouldn't be enough for me to know if I got hit or not. This means that if I didn't immediately look at the HUD to confirm damage, I wouldn't ever know if I actually took a hit or not.