Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (XBOX 360)

WARNING: Minor spoilers

- So I finally sat down and finished this game. I did both light and dark endings.
- Difficulty on normal felt just about right for me.
- Some people find the game a bit short but the length felt right to me (or maybe it’s because I’m 70 hrs into Fallout 3 and I’m STILL not finished so I welcomed a shorter game).
- I thought the presentation was great. The graphics, art direction, sound, music were all excellent. The framerate was smooth and even. Animations were mostly excellent thanks to the use of euphoria and havoc.
- Cut scenes looked really good too with great voice acting.
- Story was great. It’s right up there with KOTOR and fits nicely between star wars 3 and 4 (especially if you go with the light ending). Interesting that they let the dark ending break canon.
- To make life easier I would suggest maybe a holocron cube faq so you can grab all of those to help upgrade your character better. You’ll find plenty of red so eventually you will unlock all your combos. You don’t get as many blue or yellow. I focused mostly on grip, lightning (I would get this maxed out early), health (max, amount obtained from defeating enemies, etc) and force related (regen, max) skills. The black crystal is my favorite. UPDATE: I just went back and grabbed the few remaining holocron cubes that I missed.
- Grab the dashing blast combo as earlier as possible to make navigation and some of the longer jumps easier. It really extends your air time.
- Level design is kind of a mixed bag. Some levels are great, others (like the junk yard) not so much. There are way too many invisible walls, and they are way too obvious.
- Most boss fights are exciting, epic, and seem mostly fair except for one. The star destroyer one is just plain broken. I mean as I consider it a bug. Here’s a tip: When aligning the star destroyer and trying to make it go “yellow” sometimes the directions on the screen will show you to leave your analog sticks in neutral yet it will still be red. Just keep moving the star destroyer even further in the previous direction until it goes yellow. In other worlds, the red/yellow color coding isn’t quite in sync with the analog stick directions. The stick directions are a bit looser so you have to fiddle a bit to find the sweet spot before the color will change to yellow again. IMO, they should and need to be perfectly in sync. If the screen says I don’t need to align the star destroyer, then it damn well better be yellow. Once it is yellow then just pull both sticks down and keep them down until your health is around 25%. To quickly take out tie fighters I would stand a bit to the right or left of center. As the tie fighter turns and starts to move horizontal then double jump, aim your stick up and toward the direction the tie fighter is flying to get the little blue targeting indicator to pick the tie fighter and use lightning.
- The force powers and light saber combos are exciting and spectacular. What sucks is the kind of arbitrary auto targeting system for your force grip which you will use often. I wish there was a more manual way to pick what target you want to grip.
- I’m a bit tired of quick time events but they sure do look great. At least the qte in this game is very forgiving often letting you immediately retry if you messed up.
- The easy way to get both endings is back up your save game to another storage device (MU or hard drive) right after you finish the convergence chamber and it saves. This lets you basically get both endings by just repeating the end boss fights.
- Check point save system seems fine for the most part. They seem close enough not to be too frustrating.
- It’s pretty kid friendly. I didn’t mind playing this one in front of the kids.
- You can re-watch all the excellent cut scenes.
- Check out the webdocs and other related free videos in the marketplace. It’s some pretty interesting making of stuff. I’m glad they didn’t make that wookie game!
- I also grabbed the Jedi Temple DLC. It’s basically one level that will take you less than an hour to finish. I found it fun with a great boss battle but over priced at $10. It really should be $5. You do get more achievements though.
- I’m about half way through the audio book novelization of the game. It pretty much follows the game. A lot of text is spent on the action and can become a bit dry and tedious.
- Definitely give the demo a try. If the combat doesn't grab you in the demo, then you probably won't like the full game that much either.

Recommended. Even with all its faults (and there are quite a few serious ones) I still found myself really enjoying this game. It’s just so much fun, has some great characters and story, and you do feel like a really powerful Jedi with force powers that are cranked way up.


Anonymous said...

Will you review Fallout 3 eventually? 70+ hours into the game must be enough for a decent review ;)

ARogan said...

Sure! I write it up as soon as I finish it. I think I just need a few more hours. Hopefully I can find some time this week.