Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II Switch Review — Still a Stellar RPG

Knights of the Old Republic II has withstood the test of time to still be one of the best examples of the RPG genre, even 20 years later.

I remember unwrapping my copy of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II on Christmas Eve, 2004. I loved the first KOTOR and played through it numerous times, and I once again found myself picking a class, agonizing over stats, and preparing myself for another amazingly written RPG experience. I was not disappointed. 

KOTOR II was a stellar follow-up to the highly successful Knights of the Old Republic, KOTOR II was also a rushed development, coming out just one year later. As such, it received a bit of backlash for it. But time has been good to the game, and now Aspyr has brought the sequel to the Nintendo Switch.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II Switch Review — Still a Stellar RPG

The story for KOTOR II picks up five years after the events of the first game. You play as a Jedi exile, banished from the order for abandoning the Jedi path and following Revan during the Mandalorian Wars. Even though there is some dense lore involved, the writing flows well and makes sense with the light-side/neutral/dark-side dialog options. 

The choices you make also heavily influence the story, with options directly affecting your relationships with the game's many secondary characters, for better or worse. And there is quite a companion roster to choose from; there are over 13 potential party members -- many of whom can be trained in the ways of the force -- as well as some of great renown like the mighty Mandalore himself. 

The story itself is woven together in such a way that it keeps you on your toes and makes you feel like you’re truly living in the world. Add to that the expert voice acting, as well as a solid musical score, and it sets the stage for an epic adventure across a number of planets, each with its unique problems waiting for a solution.

While KOTOR II is a port, Aspyr has done a bit of work under the hood to tidy things up for the Nintendo Switch. Combat feels smooth. Cutscenes look and sound crisp in handheld mode, though with a bit of pixelation when docked. 

One of the more minor issues pertains to audio during cutscenes either not playing right or being clipped. I only noticed this issue when I was playing the with the Switch docked. Another issue is that some of the dialogue plays without sound, leaving just the text on the screen. I ran into this both in portable and docked modes.

I also experienced a few instances of looping after one of the minigame events, where I was put in control of a turret on The Ebon Hawk, causing the game to crash immediately. Luckily, I didn’t experience another crash during my time with the game. 

Another point of contention is that minigames still feel kind of unfinished and lackluster. Though not a remake/remaster, I wish that they would have received some more attention.  

KOTOR II Switch Review — The Bottom Line

Pros:

  • Immersive branching story.
  • A large cast of characters.
  • Great mechanics.

Cons:

  • Some audio glitches.
  • Slight framerate chug on loading.
  • Occasional repetitive dialogue. 

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II is still an amazing game and compelling sequel to one of the best love letters to the fandom. Pushing 20 years old, it is still a contender when it comes to story, mechanics, and audio, though the visuals are slightly dated.

The Nintendo Switch port has some issues to be smoothed out yet, but they aren’t game-breaking and aren’t nearly as bad as some of the issues the original game shipped with. With a price tag of $15 USD, it falls right into the sweet spot for fans of the series and newcomers alike.

[Note: Aspyr provided the copy of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II used for this review.]

Our Rating
8
Knights of the Old Republic II has withstood the test of time to still be one of the best examples of the RPG genre, even 20 years later.
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Columnist

From Atari 2600 to TTRPG and beyond I game, therefore I am. Can generally be found DMing D&D on the weekend, homebrewing beer, or tripping over stuff in my house while playing VR. Hopeful for something *Ready Player One* meets *S.A.O Nerve Gear* before I kick the bucket.

Published Jun. 9th 2022

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