So… Is It Good?

A blog featuring the various writings of E. H. Lau.

Posts Tagged ‘Force Unleashed’

Another Attempt At Unleashing The Force (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Review)

Posted by cyberpfalcon on February 14, 2011

Recently, my friend got me Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II for the PS3 (thanks, Robin!). And…, I finished it in 8 hours. The main story (both light side and dark side endings) and just passing the extra challenges only took 8 hours… If I had bought this at full retail price like I did with the first The Force Unleashed, I’d be angry. In fact, now that I look back, I was upset about how short the first game was too, as good of a game as it was. This game, however, doesn’t get to use the excuse of being a short but good game, because this game is basically the first game with the smallest of changes, a story that is barely satisfying, and is actually a bit shorter than the first game.

Let’s just get this out of the way first, does Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II live up to any of the hype? No, no it doesn’t. Is the Force unleashed this time? No. What about the exciting story of finding out if Starkiller is a clone? YOU NEVER FIND OUT (before anyone says anything, in my opinion, the extra cutscenes that are not part of the main game don’t prove anything, Darth Vader could be lying, and that could have been a clone too)! Having two lightsabers instead of one this time should be awesome, right? No, it doesn’t make lightsaber combat different from the first game at all, in fact, I’m pretty sure that all of his lightsaber combos are EXACTLY THE SAME! Boy…, this series is really bad at living up to it’s hype…

The story is about Starkiller (or his clone, you never find out) escaping from Darth Vader again, and searching for Juno, his love interest from the last game. Along the way, he meets up with the Rebels and… that’s really it. There’s not much to the story, but I suppose it does its job.

In terms of gameplay, there are a few tiny little differences, but otherwise, it feels exactly like the first game. First, there is the addition of Starkiller in free-fall, where he’s dodging obstacles. Fun, but nothing significant. Second, they removed the Lightning Shield power and replaced it with the Jedi Mind Trick… Granted, the Jedi Mind Trick is interesting, allowing you to either make enemies jump to their deaths or turn against their allies temporarily. However, in my opinion, the Jedi Mind Trick gets boring quickly, and while the Lightning Shield wasn’t the greatest power on Earth, it was Starkiller’s unique power and no other Jedi had used it before. Third, the upgrading system has been simplified, the only thing you can upgrade now are Force powers, gone is the need to upgrade your Saber combos or things like Health or Defense. This third difference is probably the only significant upgrade from the first game that’s worth mentioning, because it makes lightsaber combat a lot less tedious in the early stages in the game, as it means that you start off with most of your lightsaber combos already, and you don’t have to purchase basic ones.

Do note though, that the game assumes that you’ve already played the first game, as it doesn’t really bother to teach you anything beyond the basic Force powers and how to attack, so the learning curve is a little bit steep for people who haven’t played the first game. However, it’s very manageable, and not too hard to pick up.

Also, the loading times are MUCH better than the first game’s.

The challenges that come with the game are… lackluster. They’re basically things like survive waves of enemies and getting to a goal under a time limit. They don’t add a lot to the game, and unless if you really love the game, you’ll probably not be bothered to get Platinum on them just to unlock a few more costumes.

So is the game good? Yeah, it’s a fun game that I enjoyed. In fact, if you’re a Star Wars fan and liked the first game, I’d recommend it to you. Just don’t buy it at the original retail price, in my opinion, the game’s only worth $20-$30.

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No…, the Force is Still Leashed. (Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Review)

Posted by cyberpfalcon on April 23, 2010

Hello all of you out there! Alright, finally, all my exams are done, so let’s get this review out!

I’ll admit it, after watching the Star Wars films as a kid and as a teenager, I wanted to have the powers of the Jedi. I wanted to have a lightsaber to fling around and I wanted to have all the powers of the Force at my disposal (I still want that, but that’s an entirely different story). In fact, probably a lot of you out there have, at least once, imagined yourself with the powers of the Force. That is why, when Star Wars: The Force Unleashed was announced, I was excited. It was game that was supposed to allow us use the Force as creatively as we wanted to. As the titles of the game says, the Force was supposed to be unleashed in this game. So, let us take a look at the PS3 version of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and see if the Force was with this one.

Firstly, the story of the game is set between Episodes III and IV of the Star Wars Saga, and deals with Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, Starkiller. The story is told very well throughout the game, and is definitely a great tale worthy of the Star Wars name.

Of course, a good game also needs good gameplay, and this game does deliver it. First of all, The Force Unleashed is an Action Adventure game like the Devil May Cry series or the God of War series, and thus it uses a lot of the same conventions such as combos, power upgrades, and quick time events.  The Force Unleashed manages to take these conventions, give it a Star Wars spin to it, and make it a fun and enjoyable game to play.

Lightsaber combat in The Force Unleashed is fun. There is a variety of cool combos that you can do, and you can also mix your lightsaber attack with your force powers (for example, electrifying your lightsaber with Force Lighting, or performing a Force Push at the end of a series of lightsaber slashes). Force powers in this game, while not as unleashed as it was made out to be, are fun to use, and are actually quite useful in the game. Also, what I liked about this game was that upgrading actually causes your Force powers to gain effects (for example, after an upgrade or two, the Lightning Shield can also reach and zap your enemies).

So while it’s nothing groundbreaking (in fact, pretty much all of the Force powers have been implemented in other Star Wars games already), the gameplay in The Force Unleashed is a fun experience.

I also loved the music in this game. The music compliments the game, and is a great to listen to.

However, the big factor that stopped this from being a great game are the loading times. First of all, the game has to take time to load… pretty much anything. First of all, regular loading between stages already takes longer than average, but when there are loading times that take around a minute for things like the upgrade screen, the lightsaber customization screen, changing the colour of the lightsaber, the level selection screen, the costume selection screen, and other little things, it all adds up to a big, fat, huge annoyance. Also, it actually seems like the loading screen itself has its own loading times…

Another annoying bit from this game is that if you change your costume in the middle of a level, you have to start the entire level again (which of course, means loading the whole level over again), and your costume is automatically changed everything you finish a stage… So changing Starkiller’s costume is a very… arduous task to say the least.

Alright, the title probably gave it away by now, but no, the Force has not been unleashed in this game. While the story and the gameplay are good, the annoying factors prevented this game from a great game. However, this is still one of the best Star Wars game out there, and is generally a good game. Just… play it when you have some time on your hands.

Now that exams are over, stay tuned and hopefully the next review will be up within the next two weeks.

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