If I had to rate Xbox Knights of the Old Republic based on the first 5 hours, I'd have given it a meager 4/10 , and those 4 points were solely because of the Star Wars universe. You are stuck on boring planet Taris. Your character slowly jogs around the upper and lower levels of a city block, talking to characters, breaking into apartments (how exciting!), trying to remember who's who and why you care, and engaging in some turn-based battles with unimportant characters. Blah. The music, voice and sounds are pretty good, and the graphics not bad for that era, but it just lasts too long, and that's why I gave up on the game 15 years ago.
To be honest, I played even longer than 5 hours on Taris because I forgot stuff and re-explored, and I'm not sure how 'fast' you could beat the planet in a replay.
But the game immediately gets more interesting once you get off the planet and head to Dantooine. And then, you can Pass Go and proceed directly to Tatooine! Yes! I really enjoyed the cinematics of the
Falcon Ebony Hawk taking off, hyperwarping, and entering the new planet! But it is a thousand years before Anakin...
Dantooine was mentioned by Princess Leia as a bluff to Grand Moff Tarkin, back in the original Star Wars film. The Imperials investigated and found remnants of an ancient rebel base , that's all. To which the evil Tarkin, who just exploded Leia's home planet of Alderaan, exclaimed hilariously, "she LIED to us!!". What comes around, goes around, Monsieur Tarkin.
Back to KOTOR, I was finally seeing Dantooine, and that was a little bit exciting to me. There's a Jedi counsel, farmland to explore (those people must starve regularly because the Xbox can only render a few polygonal fruit trees), mysterious Force-related stuff to learn about, and rogue Mandalorians to battle!
I was again growing frustrated with the game, because I ran out of things like grenades and credits. So in desperation, I did what the game's creators wanted me to do, I searched around. Oh! There is a Rodian (Greedo's race) selling weapons! I passed right by him a few times. Oh! By going back to my base ship, the Ebony Hawk, I find that the Wookie and Mandalorian in my party will actually give me free grenades (not the type I really wanted) and Stim enhancement shots! That's good. So far in the game, I'm low on credits but I refuse to play the Pazaak card game to try to win more money. That will have to change, I suspect.
There were 2 tough battles for me on this planet. The first comprised of 2 individual attacks against a security droid. I seemed to be attacking it, but it wasn't getting harmed. So I re-engaged my brain and examined the weapons ... oh! ION weapons are good against shields and droids, and sometimes Vibro Blades might be better than a lightsaber due to energy shielding. So I switched things up, threw an ION grenade, and both Droids fell quickly . The final battle on Dantooine was against the leader of the Mandalorian thugs that were bullying and killing the populace. This guy was TOUGH. And I didn't have any Frag Grenades because I was out of credits. After at least 10 losing battles, my team defeated him (and the rest of his team was a snap to finish off after he fell), and the experimentation did teach me better how to battle in this game.
Mostly my other 2 party members have been the Mandalorian guy and Jedi Bastila. I've been talking to both, hearing his glorious war battle tales, and her sad tales about her family. This is likely par-for-the-course for an RPG (I don't play many), but I took note that KOTOR has very good writing and very good voice acting. The one problem with the game is the frequent re-use of character faces and builds for different characters. But hey, it was 2003.
So now I'm on Tatooine, at familiar Mos Eisley (ahem) - I mean at Anchorhead (not that they look any different). I'm actually eager to get back to it after work tonight! I love the idea of destroying Sand People and outwitting Jawas!
And the Star Wars Binge continues ....