Review by Sour
May the Force be With You
Since so many were clamoring to find out what happened between the events of Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars canon, Lucas Arts decided to release this title, along with a novel. It creates a bridge between the The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, but not completely. Still, it's an important piece of the saga and gives some more character depth to Anakin during his time as the Emperor's right hand man. Be ready to speed across the galaxy as Vader's secret apprentice!
Story: 10/10: The story for The Force Unleashed fills in a large segment of the space between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Vader, on a mission on the planet Kashyyk, discovers a Rogue Jedi, during the time of the Great Jedi Purge. Vader bests and kills the Jedi, and discovers that the Jedi has a son. Vader takes the small child back with him, and informs the Emperor that he has disposed of the Jedi, but does not mention the child he found. Darth Vader raises the boy as his own, secret apprentice, unbeknown to even the Emperor. Vader names the boy Starkiller. Upon completion of Starkiller's training, Vader send Starkiller on missions to rally support against the Empire. The plot takes a few, nice twists, and you will be surprised.
Game-play: 9/10: My only gripe about this game, is the fact that you cannot go back to levels once you've finished the mission there. You have a Navigational computer that gives you a decent layout by the looks of it but you can only select where your next mission takes place. They shouldn't have bothered to add the hologram for the Navi computer as it's very misleading. Other than that, this game plays absolutely great. If you have Wii you should know by now that the console makes use of motion controls. In a lot of games this usage is never really exploited to it's full capabilities. The Force Unleashed on the other hand is pretty much completely dependent on them. So I guess if you're not looking for really motion control heavy controls, then this isn't the version for you. Every level also has holocrons scattered about, which give you access to official artwork. You'll also be finding color crystals and saber hilts to change your light saber.
To swing your light saber you'll have to actually swing the Wiimote. And what's more is that what direction you swing the Wiimote in affects how Starkiller swings his light saber. This allows you to come up with and create a variety of deadly combos. Also, making a forward, pushing motion with the nunchuk will make Starkiller do the Force Push attack. When grabbing onto an enemy or object with the Force, you can toss them around like rag dolls. Or you can hold an enemy with the force, and swing the Wiimote to make a nearby object hit the enemy. This makes for great fun as you feel like you have total mastery of the Force yourself, immersing you into the game-play. Sometimes you'll get into a Saber lock with an enemy, which prompts you to tilt the Wiimote in indicated directions. Something similar can happen with the force, which requires you to tilt the nunchuk into place as indicated. And then there will be Active Time Events that require you to shake the Wiimote or Nunchuk, depending on what the indicator shows. These happen typically during boss battles and when executed correctly can do massive amounts of damage.
In addition to the great control scheme, when on Starkiller's ship, you'll have access to tons of extras. With the points you earn from defeating enemies, you can purchase new Force powers. You can also earn costumes throughout the game and this would be where you apply them. The same goes for color crystals and power crystals for your light saber. Power crystals can have different effects, one such being that it makes your Force Lightning even more powerful. All of this allows you some customization to Starkiller and improves the overall feeling of the game.
Graphics: 7/10: For a Wii game, the graphics here are actually pretty bad. Mind you I'm judging it only as a Wii game. But plenty of other Wii games have had much better graphics. They're not *terrible*, they just could have done better. I don't care that much about graphics myself, but I was a little underwhelmed with the visuals. Still, it doesn't make this any less of a great game. Every game has it's flaws, and this would be one of them. It's not that big of a deal really. You'll still be able to tell what everything is, the graphics are just pretty lackluster, with the characters in particular.
Sound: 10/10: Honestly, I don't have much to say here. It's Star Wars, with a great soundtrack that helps pull you into the game. It features most of the music composed by the legendary John Williams, who did all of the Star Wars movies, Indiana Jones, and Jurassic Park. The music sounds excellent and the sound effects closely resemble those of the movies, they're more than likely the actual sound bytes taken from the movies, that being said. And the voice acting is really top notch. The voice of Chad Vader, of all people (excellent choice), landed the part for voicing Darth Vader in this game! The lucky guy. And he does a great job, as does the rest of the cast.
Overall: 8.5/10: The only reason I'm giving it such a low score is because of it's linearity and the graphics are a bit meh. But the controls are excellent, and I wish more Wii games would use the motion controls to the fullest extent, as this game does. And as far as the linearity goes, it plays out a lot like the movies, so I suppose it makes sense for them to have done it that way. I would've liked just a bit more freedom to be able to go back to places where I might have missed something. Even with that, this game is most certainly worth owning.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (US, 09/16/08)
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