Tuesday, September 16

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

God of War with Light Sabers - Is it Christmas Already?

"September 13, 2008 - We're actually three months from Christmas, but for any gamer who likes a good action/button mashing game, it might as well be December 25th. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed will not only appeal to the Star Wars fan, but to the average gamer as well. It's a combination of God of War and of course, Star Wars. In a nutshell, it's God of War with light sabers, and oh, force powers too. Sounds fun already, huh? On top of that it does have decent visuals and a lot of variety when it comes to gameplay. It's so damn good I don't know where to start, or maybe I do?

If you haven't looked at the preview videos, the game's story line is about Darth Vader and his apprentice (whom Vader secretly trains). After the first couple of missions, you will know what I'm talking about. It's a brand new story to the Star Wars series and it will interest the Star Wars geek who can recite every Jedi out there, along with the newcomer who doesn't even know what a Jedi is.

When you first boot up the game, you'll be greeted by a very sleek menu. Lightning seems like a very continuous theme in this game. Every time you move up and down the screen, lightning bolts flash across, it's a nice visual. In addition, there will be this huge logo of the Force Unleashed on the top of the screen, with a bright light coming out of the "O" in Force, like the way it looks on the cover. To say the least, the presentation on this game is done very well. The menus are neat and of course, how can you not like the epic music of Star Wars?" - ign.com

"At first glance, I thought this game looked very average. If you put this game next to a game from the Battlefront series, there's not much of a difference. However, where the difference lies is the main character models, Vader looks absolutely awesome in the game, so does all the other major bosses you face. The average trooper on the other hand, looks kind of meh. The textures in this game aren't exactly well done either. But like I said, the character models of the main characters is where it's at. Another impressive thing they did with this game is the force power visuals. The lightning and force push actually give you the illusion that you actually have the force. Lightning bolts stretch around the entire screen when you perform lightning, when you use repulse, the entire screen is affected by a giant ball of wind, and when you go to throw some kind of an object or an enemy, a whoosh effect comes over the screen. The cut scenes in the game aren't well done though, they're basically the game's normal visuals. There are no CGIs in this game whatsoever. Overall, the visuals come across as decent. It suffers a lot on close ups, but it looks very good during gameplay and gives you the feeling that the force is indeed with you." - ign.com

"Force Unleashed's gameplay is what separates it from the normal action title. In some aspects, it's even better than God of War. Why? Variety. Yes, you can kill people with different moves in God of War, but they're all with the chain blades. In Force Unleashed, you can use your light saber and force powers numbering in the double digits. Now, that's variety! I've taken my enemies out with just pure lightning before. I've also used combinations that included repulse to knock them down and then a couple of light saber throws to finish them off. I've also choked my enemies to death while they're in the air. Ground slammed them and then electrocuted them with lightning. The possibilities are endless. One of God of War's biggest drawbacks on the PSP was that it had very few boss battles. I think there were about 5 boss battles in total? Force Unleashed has 5 boss battles in the first couple of missions. This game is beyond epic when it comes to boss battles. I've had three of them on the same mission before. They're usually with giant monsters or mechs and they usually end with a Jedi. In the midst of the battle, you'll have to do a lot of button mashing in what I like to call, "button-coordination mini-games" where you basically press the button accordingly when it tells you to. Sometimes it's mash as hard as you can, other times, it's press one button fast and you're done. Once you have enemies down to very low health (like 1/10 of their health bar) you can finish them off with a mini-game that asks you to press the action buttons that are displayed on the screen. Each boss fight usually ends that way. It might seem kind of repetitive at times, but in the end, you'll have fun. One of the game's biggest drawbacks is its camera. It's not user-controlled, instead the CPU centers it for you most of the time. You can ask it to re-center, but it won't always do it correctly. When you're in boss fights or just getting ganged up on, it's a complete mess. You have no idea what you're doing and you just press square repeatedly. Even with such a problem, I enjoyed the gameplay A LOT. It's not a huge issue, but it's definitely one that could of been improved.

Okay, I'm almost there. I'll end it here with audio and some replayability stuff. The voice acting is superb, it wouldn't be a LucasArts production if it wasn't. The music can say the same because once again, it's LucasArts. We don't have to be Star Wars geeks to at least enjoy Star Wars music. Now, onto replay value. Although there is no infrastructure play, there is Ad-hoc, so you an duel with your buddies. In addition to that, Sony's new firmware update will allow users to take ad-hoc only games online by the use of a PS3, so that could be excellent for this game. In addition, there are historical missions you can do with many different Jedi. There's also missions where they will throw a bunch of enemies at you at once and you'd have to kill all of them to move on, called Order 66. So basically, there's a lot of replay value on this game without infrastructure.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is truly an epic game. With good visuals, stellar gameplay, and great presentation, this game is a must-buy for any action game fan or Star Wars fan. If you've ever wondered what it's like to be Kratos and Darth Vader at the same time, this is the game for you and your dream will become true. This is probably one of the best ports on the PSP this year and in my book, it's the third best PSP game of the year after God of War and Crisis Core." - ign.com

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