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12 July 2010

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels [Wii]

Plot Synopsis: 5/10
There isn't a whole lot, in the way of specifics, in the plot to this game. It takes place during the same time line as the Clone Wars show. It involves all the same characters as the show. It is, simply, a number of various encounters between various characters as the Clone Wars progress.
I'll give the plot a 5 out of 10. I can't really score it too high, because there really isn't much to the story. But let's face it. Fighting games tend to suffer a little when there's too much story involved. This is just fan service from Lucasfilm, because he knows fans will buy and play a game where they can pit various Star Wars characters against one another.

Game Play: 7/10
Lightsaber Duels is, simply, a fighting game. The only real difference is that it's a Star Wars title, instead of the usual Mortal Kombats and Street Fighters that come along. As a result, there are lightsabers. That's it. The idea of a fighting game with swords isn't even new. (SoulCalibur, anyone?)
This is the type of game that I have come to refer to as a "flailer". This is basically the same concept as a "button-masher", except with motion controls. There are some rare times when the player is directed to swing the Wii-mote in specific direction to achieve certain things, and you can usually pull it off, with a bit of practice. For the most part, though, you just slip on the wrist strap, grab the Wii-mote, and flail your arm around, occasionally pressing a button, as well, until the fight is over. And, as long as you go through the little training sessions, you should still be able to do fairly well.
I'll give the game play a 7 out of 10. It's just too tough to make a decent game where the player swings the Wii-mote in order to determine how the character swings their sword (or sword-type weapon).

Graphics: 10/10
Since this game is based on a cartoon whose visuals are all computer-generated, already, it was fairly easy for the game developers to make the graphics look exactly like the cartoon. There's no choppiness. No glitches. It all moves quite smoothly. And thus, I give the graphics are rare 10 out of 10. I'm not basing that score on realism. I'm basing it on loyalty to the exact product the game is based on. And these graphics are extremely loyal to that.

Audio: 10/10
Music and voice actors ripped right from the show. This is how we know Lucasfilm was directly involved in the game's production. No complaints. Even the oft-repeated taunts from characters as they perform a successful attack are perfectly tolerable.
Again, due to extreme loyalty to the product the game is based on, the audio gets a rare 10 out of 10. No complaints here, what-so-ever.

Overall Score: 8/10
One of the best franchise-based games I've ever played. They got all the same voice actors from the show. Ripped some of the music directly from the show. To my knowledge, they didn't mess with the existing continuity of the Star Wars franchise. Even some of the little details are impressive, like some of Anakin's taunts foreshadowing his eventual fall to the dark side. An impressively well-made and loyal game, from my point of view.

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