Angry Birds Star Wars, Gameplay Impressions

Angry Birds Star Wars, Gameplay Impressions

Practically every couple of months, the popular Angry Birds videogame needs to reinvent itself to stay fresh. Last year started a trend with movie-inspired variations that started with Angry Birds Rio. This year Angry Birds Star Wars is the latest. Rovio Entertainment worked with LucasArts to bring this latest incarnation before the entire Lucas Empire got bought out by Disney.

True to the original premise, the game is very whimsically funny and addicting. Unfortunately, the cut-scenes are very limited. Unlike the trailer, which is fully animated, the videogame version is composed of stills. That’s sad when considering the amount of time spent on the trailers to promote this amusing variation of the original trilogy.  It fits right up there with Mel Brook’s Spaceballs. The early chapters in the game focus on A New Hope, and Hoth will be included in a future update. Thankfully, the prequel trilogy is ignored—that may be another game altogether.

All the birds are assigned their respective characters from the film. Red Bird is Luke Skywalker, Pink Bird is Princess Leia, Yellow Bird is Han Solo, Big Brother is Chewbacca, and Black is Obi-Wan. Instead of the standard abilities, they are enhanced to include an arcing light-saber to destroy barriers, a blaster to take down some walls (three shots are required for metallic surfaces), the Force Push (to shove debris out-of-the-way). Some of these new abilities are easy to master, but shooting a blaster while in the air does proves a touch more difficult.

Even the droids have their own abilities: the White Bird is C-3PO, who can tear himself apart, and the Space Egg is R2-D2, who can emit an electrical shot. 3PO’s ability seems largely wasted. In space, large objects create its own gravity. When 3PO’s ability requires gamers to know a bit of astrophysics, to get him to explode at the right time in order for his body part to bitch slap a pig is potentially difficult. Also, R2’s attack ability is very limited in range.

The Bad Piggies, of course, represents the Empire. The Jawas and Tuscan Raiders are featured; the Minion Pigs are the Stormtroopers, a new avian portrays Lord Vader and King Pig is Palpatine.

Much of the game-play does take its cue from the important acts from the trilogy. The game combines elements from Angry Birds Space with traditional game-play and advanced billiards strategy to make bouncing birds and laser beams sometimes a frustrating experience.

The Falcon gets a new interpretation. In the original game, this bird of prey flies in a linear path. In Angry Birds Star Wars, the Falcon looks for a homing beacon and fires its lasers in 360 degrees. Unlike the original game where planting the bait is easy, this game takes it to a new level. Any unfortunate ham to get in the beam’s way will get splattered.

Sadly, this game forgets one key ingredient that that made it popular. On the iPhone/iPod Touch, the screen needs to be sized up so gamers can get a sense of what to target. Players may need to get the lay of the land so the heroes can be launched to destroy the minions of the Empire. On the iPad, this problem is not an issue. But try to play this on a phone, forget it. A lot of the detail is lost with the small 3.5” screen.

The puzzles are more challenging, and the cost to obtain the Falcon is seldom within the game. Gamers needing to refill will have to pay their respective download provider (if not Apple iTunes Store) a respective bounty to appear.

While this game is a welcome addition, just how long will Angry Birds remain popular? After a few years of various marketable toys and collectibles, it may have run its course. Thanks to the marketing power of television, merchandise has quickly appeared in the toy stores. And just how many more franchise-inspired games in the Angry Birds universe will depend on a variety of factors. That includes how powerful the mouse wants to extend its reach; Disney acquired the rights to one of fandom’s beloved franchise. Will the company want a few ducks go quacking loose too?


Article from Gamersyndrome.com

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avatar I'm a freelance videographer and published entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, NerdTitan.com and 28DLA.com) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology, popular culture, video games, movies, technology and paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing the Future is my mantra. These days, I'm reviewing the local food scene at Two Hungry Blokes and examining pop culture at large at Otaku no Culture. Come check it out!