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Plugged In

Beloved role-playing great Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic hits iPad

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Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Credit: Bioware)

The history of Star Wars games is filled with hits and misses. For every Battlefront, there's a Masters of Teras Kasi.

But Bioware's Knights of the Old Republic, released in 2003, has always stood head and shoulders above the rest -- and now it's coming to the mobile gaming world.

Aspyr Media has resurrected the game, which many feel remains one of the best role-playing games in the history of the genre. KOTOR is available now for $10, but you'll need an iPad 2 or higher to play it. Sorry Android tablet owners, no KOTOR for you yet.

While the quality of the game has never been questioned, fears about how it might translate to a touchscreen aren't unwarranted. Thankfully, IGN says the transition has been a mostly painless one. In fact, it notes, "the iPad’s touch interface is largely an improvement over the original."

It's worth noting that Knights of the Old Republic isn't the same as the recent Bioware MMO, which was simply titled The Old Republic. This dive into the Star Wars mythology is based on Dungeons and Dragons rules, letting players design their own Jedi and choose whether they would travel down the path of the Dark side or Light side of The Force.

Set 4,000 years before Episode I of the movies, the game is beefy by today's standards, with roughly 60 hours worth of things to do. It's loaded with plot twists, and even 10 years after its release, it remains firmly entrenched on several "Best of All Time" lists, including those by Game Informer and Time Magazine.

KOTOR also marked the beginning of a lucrative new direction for Bioware. Though the company had previously enjoyed success on the PC with the tremendous Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights franchises, KOTOR was its first entry on the home consoles, initially launching on the Xbox before being ported to PCs and Macs. Bioware didn't develop the sequel, however, opting instead to focus on developing new properties like Jade Empire and Mass Effect.

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