Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Review

TCW_Lightsaber_Duels
The Star Wars marathon continues. I’m finally into the TV show continuity so that takes me one step closer to the original films. It’s been a fun marathon, but it is almost time to put it on hold since my Birthday is quickly approaching and that means that Legend of Zelda is on the horizon. Still, Star Wars will be back and this is a really solid game to have as the latest title. A Star Wars fighting game makes perfect sense and the series certainly took its time before coming to this conclusion.

The plot adapts classic fights from the movie and the show. Most of the levels are relatively stand alone in that sense as they skip you from fight to fight and it works as a nice abridged version. Honestly, the plot was pretty exciting as a result since the fights just kept on coming. It’s the kind of editing that would work well for many other titles as well. Imagine a DBZ adaption where it skipped all of the set up and just threw you into the fights? To an extent, Tenkaichi already did that, but it included a lot of minor fights while this one only kept the best.

One strike against the game is that it’s incredibly short. There are only 9 levels and each level will take you about as long as your average Street Fighter match. Maybe a little longer if your opponent starts to block a lot, but it’s still nice and quick. This game would probably not even last you two hours so it’d probably be sad to have gotten this game at full price. It’s not as if there is no replay value though. You can play challenge mode to unlock the final fighters. I tried one of the challenges which was to not use any force abilities, but it’s hard to not do this accidentally. I would have preferred that the game just disable those attacks so you can button mash at will. If you really want the characters then it’s worth trying out, but I can’t say that it nabbed my attention.

Multiplayer is where the real replay value is at. The gameplay is surprisingly fun considering that it’s heavily motion based. You wave your Wii remote around like a sword and try to take names. It may not be quite as epic as the Bleach game for Wii, but few are. You won’t hurt your wrist the same way that the Bleach game weakened it so that’s a nice trade off. The controls are easy to learn, but hard to master which is always a good balance. It’s the best way to develop a game because then casual gamers can get into the fun and people who take it seriously won’t have to hit a skill ceiling too quickly. I’d say that I’m still a casual in this game as I basically stuck to button mashing and trying to figure out what combos to use in the meantime. I learned a little about Force attacks and would randomly throw them out during the fight. It worked and I beat all of the foes so that’ll suffice. There are higher difficulties for you to play the levels in as well which should give you a real challenge based on the normal difficulty setting.

The graphics are pretty good. At times, I couldn’t tell which parts were from the game and which were the clips. It’s all pretty smooth and having cutscenes with action inside of them was a nice treat as well. I feel like this game actually got a pretty reasonable budget which is nice to see. Imagine how cool this game could be with Gamecube controller support. I dare say that it would have been one of the Wii’s top tier titles. The soundtrack is rather bland. We have a decent “previously” music theme that plays a few times, but the others aren’t very notable at all. You’ll likely forget them as soon as you finish playing.

The cast of characters are all pretty likable in this game. From Dooku to the Killer Droid, everyone brings something to the table. I especially love all of the overconfidence that emanates from everyone. The amount of trash talking in this game is impressive and the stream of comments just never stops. It’s safe to say that Anakin is my favorite character in this game as expected, but the Killer Droid probably had the best design. A robot wielding Lightsabers just makes sense. I really want to see more wielders in Episode VIII because these games keep reminding me how much I miss those battles. High octane Lightsaber battles is what Star Wars is all about.

Overall, Lightsaber duels is actually one of the better Star War titles although the bar is already quite high so that might be misleading. It’s certainly not as good as Episode III and Bounty Hunter, but I dare say that it’s better than all of the small console titles and maybe even the two Gamecube flying ones. It’s a tough call, but being a pure fighting game can do wonders for you. I do wish that the game had been longer and contained more characters though. That keeps it a little lower than I would have liked the game to be at. Next up is the DS Clone Wars game so it’ll be interesting to see how that one plays out. If it’s essentially a portable version of the same fighting style, then I think we’ve got a real winner here folks.

Overall 7/10

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