Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones Review

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It’s time to take a look at the latest Star Wars game that I managed to beat. This game’s really short as it’s only about an hour long tops. That being said, the game’s poor level designs will ensure that the game could take you a little longer. Several levels took me more than one try, but there is one big trick that will save you a bunch of time once you learn it. Read on and I’ll explain it towards the middle of the review.

The game’s plot covers the second film. Good luck figuring out what’s happening from the cutscenes though. It’s not as if you’ll get confused or anything, but you’ll never get all that invested. You just see guys with swords fighting each other and that’s not a bad premise, but the story certainly isn’t trying very hard to be exciting. This is one of those games that you’re really supposed to be playing for the gameplay anyway. The title couldn’t even be bothered to give us any really cool screencaps in the mean time.

This game is a classic 2D beat em up. Think of the old X-Men games from back in the day and you’ll get the idea. Most levels consist of you beating up on robots and other enemies so you can move forward. Naturally, you’ll just get stopped by another group of enemies and you have to fight them as well. You need to really like the gameplay in order to be content. Honestly, I thought that the gameplay itself was pretty good. Blocking and reflecting energy blasts was a lot easier than I would have expected. The transition between attacking and reflecting is typically smooth and the only part that doesn’t work well is turning around. Do so at your own peril.

You can use a super jump when you have enough meter and you have to obtain energy orbs to use any other force abilities. You can learn the Force Push for example, but it takes a lot of energy. So, here’s the trick. Enemies will only give you force energy when you defeat them if you’re not maxed out yet. They’ll only give you health once you force is maxed out. The trick is to simply never use your Force abilities. Several levels require them and there will be moments where you need the super jump, but if you can resist the urge to use them otherwise, then you’re set. See, the tough levels were the ones where robots would constantly attack you and your health would be whittled down. It’s incredibly difficult to defeat them all without being hit after a while.

That’s where the health drops come in handy. If you haven’t been using your Force abilities, then the enemies will be dropping a lot of hearts for you to pick up. That results in an endless supply of health. If I had known about this from the start, I would have breezed through the game a lot faster. It won’t help much for some levels as the second to last one has a one hit KO attack for example. Still, it is of great value if you ask me. Don’t be intimidated by the final boss either, he looks like he’s tough stuff, but he’s actually not that bad. Hold the A button and keep alternating between low and middle strikes. Do it fast enough and he’ll be virtually helpless. This is also a good time to use your Force abilities if you haven’t done so already.

While most of the levels have the same format, there are 2-3 levels where the game turns into a 3D racer. It was a nice change of pace, but it was hard to keep up with what was going on. I just kept on turning and somehow made it to victory. On the last race I don’t even know how I won, but I guess my missile hit a weak spot or something since the win screen came up almost immediately. We take those. There are 11 levels total and each one is only a few minutes even if some feel much longer. There is absolutely no replay value since there isn’t anything to collect or achieve. The game uses a very old password based system so you don’t even get to keep a save file. This game gives you about an hour of entertainment so you really have to think about whether or not it’s worth the money.

One issue I have with the game is that there are no checkpoints. If you die, then you go all the way back to the beginning. That may not sound all that bad since the levels are short, but it’s very annoying. Keep in mind that some of the levels have you on a roller or in a set path where you have to wait for the enemies. You could end up waiting for a minute or two as you roll around in boredom. The levels like to start slow and ramp up later on which doesn’t work very well the second time around. Checkpoints would have made the game so much better and I dare say that it would have bumped the game up to a 7. It’s bold, but it definitely could have worked.

I do like beat em ups for the most part. Hyrule Warriors was amazing and I really enjoyed Devil Kings as well. I haven’t played as many 2D ones, but the X-Men game was entertaining. These titles also tend to be pretty difficult so I was ready for it. Without the health trick, I’m not sure if I could have beaten the level with the winged creatures. It was a really long one and I had to stop and grind out the health several times. I applaud anyone who can get through the level without it. The game really needed to lighten up on the repetition with these levels. If the gameplay had been worse, it could have severely hurt the game. As it stands, I enjoy taking down scores of enemies over and over again.

The graphics weren’t bad. The 3D levels tried to cram in too many things at once so the graphics did suffer quite a lot in this set up. The beat em up segments were a lot better though. While the Stormtroopers looked a lot chunkier than usual, there was a noticeable improvement here. Likewise, the soundtrack wasn’t half bad. The game over screen certainly had a pretty thematic feel to it and since we got very well acquainted during the course of the game, I was glad that it wasn’t a boring tune. I do think the developers put in some real effort to these areas of the game so I can appreciate that.

Overall, This is one of those games that you buy for a single playthrough and then it vanishes…never to be seen again. I can’t imagine buying this on launch day for 20-30 dollars, but for a few bucks? I’d say that it’s worth it. Some parts of the game are clearly low budget, but others age fairly well. The final boss was pretty neat even if it could have been annoying if I had lost more times since I’d have to replay the whole level. Luckily, button mashing never fails in this kind of game. I have a feeling that the next Star Wars game will be better or at the very least, longer. Still, this game was fun in the end and that’s what counts.

Overall 6/10

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