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Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels (Wii) artwork

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Lightsaber Duels (Wii) review


"When the Nintendo Wii first launched in 2006, conversations sparked among gamers of what titles could be made using the system’s groundbreaking gyroscopic technology, and it seemed that almost all of these exchanges came to the same conclusion – they have to make a lightsaber game. "



When the Nintendo Wii first launched in 2006, conversations sparked among gamers of what titles could be made using the system’s groundbreaking gyroscopic technology, and it seemed that almost all of these exchanges came to the same conclusion – they have to make a lightsaber game.

Early on in 2008, Ubisoft attempted to fill that demand with its artistic third person hack and slash title No More Heroes. Much to players’ dismay, the less-than-fine-tuned control scheme offered a short list of attacks and allowed hordes of enemies to be slain with a few wiggles on the wiimote.

It only seemed natural that Lucas Arts, the father of all Star Wars games, would come save the day and give players the truly immersive lightsaber experience they’ve longed for. For those of you who have yet to play the game, a bit of bad news – get ready to wiggle.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Lightsaber Duels is yet another game that requires the user to pretend like they are wielding a sword rather than successfully simulating the feeling. Unlike Heroes, the Clone Wars offers a wide variety of moves, but the execution of these moves requires keen precision – something that is nearly impossible at the game’s fast pace. When these moves are pulled off they are undoubtedly rewarding, but attempting them and failing could leave players wide-open for attack, thus reverting them to the primitive wiggle.

Game modes are simplistic, split up into multiplayer one-on-one duels and a single player campaign. The campaign mode is set-up in typical fighting game fashion, but each battle is separated by pre-rendered cut-scenes borrowed from both the Clone Wars movie and TV show. The attempt to make it feel like more than just a fighting game is appreciated, but not carried out as one would wish.

The length of the campaign increases as the selected difficulty level increases, but in every case it seems to end abruptly and without closure. This only seems fitting as its big screen counterpart also lacked closure and sense of direction.

The multiplayer duels also include bits of dialogue and short cut-scenes, which feel incredibly out of place. The cut-scenes make for frustrating wait times from round to round and the dialogue, though sometimes witty, repeats itself more than the sportscasters in old Madden games.

Despite these flaws, the Clone Wars is still a relatively enjoyable game. I have to admit a somewhat simple joy derived from waving the wiimote around like a maniac, especially since there are other combat details that help make up for the swordplay. Cornering problems that hurt many fighting games are averted with single button evasive moves, and force attacks using the nunchuck add a needed extra dimension of play. There are also mid-battle reflex tests that often change the tide of play and help the game establish its “more than a fighting game” goal.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Lightsaber Duels is a game that doesn’t quite live up to what gamers had conceptualized, but is the basis for what probably will be a great sequel. I’m sure Lucas Arts felt shafted once Wii Motion Plus was announced almost immediately after the game’s release, but now that they have their hands on the technology I have faith that Lightsaber Duels will strike back.

~Ferraratron

Rating: 5/10

Ferraratron's avatar
Community review by Ferraratron (October 01, 2009)

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zippdementia posted October 01, 2009:

To this day, the best sword fighting is to be found in Red Steel, but no one plays the game.
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randxian posted October 13, 2009:

I like how you keep mentioning that this game does try to be more than a fighting game. One reason I don't want to shell out $50 for this game is because it seems like just a fighting game, even though I actually enjoy the movie that spawned the new "The Clone Wars" series.

I also like how you bring up the difficulty correlates to the story's length.

However, parts of this review seem short and need to be fleshed out more with a few specific examples to help illustrate some of your points. I'm glad you don't ramble on and on about what amounts to a fighting game with a few trappings to try to disguise it, but I also feel there could be some more detail.

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