By Dalton Ross
Updated March 08, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

As a film, The Phantom Menace certainly had its flaws, but at least the Podrace scene was cool. Young Anakin’s high-speed, high-stakes duel with Sebulba also inspired the best of the first wave of Menace games with 1999’s Star Wars: Episode I Racer, which is why LucasArts is now back with this sequel for the PS2. The action is certainly impressive: Revenge features more than 16 alien contestants tackling 13 courses across the galaxy. The graphics are crisp, the gameplay smooth, and the aggression encouraged, with extra dough awarded (by the ever-scheming Watto, of course) for taking fellow racers out of commission. But isn’t Podracing supposed to be, like, insanely difficult? Unfortunately, this simulation is anything but. Even the casual gamer will be able to complete the Tournament mode in one sitting. (We didn’t even graze the brake button.) So expect the Force to be with you, but only for a few hours. THE ASSIST Use Jedi-like timing and hit the boost button directly at the start of a race to get a jump on the rest of the pack. THE LAST SHOT Sure, it’s repetitive, unoriginal, and not very challenging, but we have two words for you: Star Wars. THE GRADE