Review – The Force Unleashed (Wii Format)

The Force Unleashed on Wii

The Force Unleashed on Wii (Caption by: Clever Captions R Us)

What’s it about?

From the official site:

The Star Wars saga continues in Lucasarts’ latest videogame epic Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Casting players as Darth Vader’s “Secret Apprentice”, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed promises to unveil new revelations about the Star Wars galaxy. The expansive story of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, created under direction from George Lucas, is set during the largely unexplored era between Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars:

Episode IV A New Hope. In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, players will assist the iconic villain in his quest to rid the universe of Jedi – and face decisions that could change the course of their destiny

Review it:

I had previously played the 360 demo and been wowed by the physics and controls. How much more fun to see all this while waving the wii-mote like a maniac and thrusting the nunchuck at my foes? Read on to find out.

Game Engine

OK – let’s start with the bad. If you’ve seen all the hype about the PS3 / 360 versions or played the demos then you know how brilliant the graphics and the physics are. Well don’t expect either on the Wii. The Graphics are at best a high-end PS-2 game, which is not surprising given that the PS2 and Wii versions were developed by the same company. Having said that, I’m generally not graphic-centred and during gameplay you barely notice. It’s only the cut-scenes that suffer. Also – there’s a way to improve the graphics slightly: Turn up the brightness. I kid you not, the game looks much nicer if you do!

Kentucky Fried Chicken Walker anyone?

Kentucky Fried Chicken Walker anyone?

The environments are nice enough as you play though they lack the vistas available to the higher end machines. Again, it’s really only the cutscenes that this downpoint is noticed. Well, that was the case with me anyway.

The Physics engine has none of the “Uh oh, I’m flying … better grab onto something or try and shoot” that is in the other version of the game. For the first couple of minutes this annoyed me somewhat – but not for long. Because the game is so much fun and the story is nicely told within the format of the game and its’ cutscenes. I won’t be spoiling anything here as the twists are all part of the fun.

Gameplay

The controls are superb – the nunchuck takes control of most of the force powers (my favourite move is a Force push – Thrust the nunchuck forward followed by lightning – Press C.

The only move I had trouble performing was Choke which entails turning the nunchuck upside down and then pressing C. But I prefered grabbing and throwing or lightninging anyway. The lightsabre is controlled from the wii-mote through set actions (swipe, raise, thrust) which actually don’t feel as limited as I imagined they would. The on screen action is animated so nicely that the fact you can’t twizzle the sabre willy nilly is no issue. To block you hold the wii-mote infront of your face horizontally and press A. Mr. Apprentice does the same and blaster bolts are sent back “return to sender – address not known” stylee.

Eat my lightning, Rebel Scum!

Eat my lightning, Rebel Scum!

Levels are pretty linear and fairly short. Having said that, once you start you don’t want to stop – Just one more level syndrome abounds. In addition, there are four more levels on the Wii than on the other versions – three set in the Jedi Temple (with its’ haunting whispers) and an extra cloud city level pitting the Apprentice against a horde of Mandalorians and an annoying Gungan. Just pretend it’s Jar Jar and the rage will follow.

Boss fights are fun if sometimes a little too easy and death simply means respawning at the last save point with full health. Your opponent will have recovered some of their health but still likely be injured. I had trouble with maybe two bosses other than the end-game fights.

Speaking of the end-game which consists of two duels… WOW. I’ve not had so much fun in any game for a long long time. By the end, I was sweating and a little bit achy as if I’d actually been duelling. Yes the controls really make this game I can not get over how much fun it is to slam people into the floor (hold Z, raise nunchuck and rapidly lower it), throw them into each other (controlled by the thumbstick, nunchuck motion and Z) and then finish off with a three-attack lightsabre combo (swipe, swipe, thrust). Force and lightsabre locks are performed by twisting the nunchuck or wii-mote into the right position and then flicking forwards – again this adds to the immersion.

Replay wise – there are two endings. Basically you choose which end boss to fight and the appropriate ending occurs based on the outcome of the fight. Short levels mean you can plow through again and again without too much time being wasted. On the downside – you can’t revisit individual levels or boss fights which means you have to play all through to get to a favourite fight. IE. THE END GAME.

Multiplayer

Wii version (and Wii version only) includes a duel mode that pits you and a friend against each other. A total of 27 characters are unlockable , though 10 of these are the Apprentice in different clothing which is a bit of a let down. I’ve not experienced this yet, but based on the duels from the game I can only imagine titanic combat against a living opponent. Still, the inclusion of this mode has to be a plus as it is not in any other format.

Do you want to do this mutha fraking Tango now, Mara?

Do you want to do this mutha fraking Tango now, Mara?

Overall

Awesome stuff. Yes it has a number of flaws but for me the fun of the controls and the excellent story combined with the inclusion of Duel Mode more than cover for these.
Rate it: 4.25 / 5 The most fun I’ve had with the Wii-mote in a long time. Short (I finished

the main game in about 07:46 though I’d missed a fair portion of the collectibles).

Dry Slaps: 1 for the Graphics quality.

Reviewer: WedgeDoc

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