Genre: Action Developer: Krome Publisher: Lucas Arts Classification: G8+ Release Date: 11th Nov 2008 Platforms:Wii
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The Good bits
Animations are great - it’s like watching the movie.
Multiplayer has its moments.
The Bad stuff
Shallow fighting system.
Only 10 characters to choose from.
Not enough cool lightsaber moves.
As the title suggests, Lightsaber Duels is a fighting game based on the not-so-popular CG animated film The Clone Wars which came out in theatres semi-recently. For those of you who didn’t catch it – The Clone Wars film takes place during Episodes II and III before Anakin is tempted by the Dark Side. The council has given him an apprentice to train and together with the rookie and Obi-Wan they
embark on a mission to save Jabba the Hut’s son. Of course those diabolical fiends General Grievas and Count Dooku get in the way and so the battle begins.
The cut-scenes in the single-player campaign are inspired by the film and you’ll jump into action whenever a one-on-one battle takes place. The visuals are fantastic as it’s like you’re watching the film play out on-screen - except you’re the one controlling the action. The Wii-mote mimics your actions on screen fairly well – if you stab forward then your character will gut your opponent, if you swing left and right then they’ll swing the lightsaber like a Jedi master and if you go all Star Wars Kid then your character may actually pull off some sweet combos.
Sadly linking combos is the only strategy available to you in Lightsaber Duels - hacking and slashing doesn’t do enough damage to opponents and using the Force to throw crates or objects into them has little to no effect. Waving the Wii-mote up, down, left, right and towards the TV performs a different strike and landing these strikes in a particular order will build up your Force meter which once full can unleash an unblockable attack that does a world of damage. To finish them off you’ll have to repeat this method until your opponent is flat on their back like Amy Winehouse after an awards night.
Multiplayer is a little more entertaining – mostly because watching two people swing around Wii-motes like lightsabers is hilarious but also because battles tend to be longer as it’s harder to pull off Force Strikes when you have another human player countering your attacks. The arenas are fantastic - each level contains multiple tiers with platforms available with a simple jump.
Our favourite would have to be Jabba’s Pit which has Stormtroopers shooting at you while you’re trying to take out your opponent and Dooku’s ship as it’s easy to get distracted by the Tie Fighter battles in the background. The only downside here is that there are only 10 fighters to choose from and the lack of downloadable content on the Wii means we’re not likely to see anyone else added to the roster.
Compared to The Force Unleashed’s Duel Mode, Lightsaber Duels is too simplistic and shallow to warrant purchasing – while it would suit younger fans, the wait continues for the rest of us Star Wars fans for a game that lets us unleash our inner Jedi and use the Wii-mote like a lightsaber in a realistic manner. Well, realistic for a game based on a fantasy space opera, anyway.