sunnuntai 17. huhtikuuta 2011

REVIEW - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)

GENRE(S): Action
RELEASED: May 2002
DEVELOPER(S): David A. Palmer Productions, LucasArts

The movie Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones wasn't a really huge improvement over Episode I: The Phantom Menace, but it was a notable one and there was a trace of classic Star Wars in it. It is truly an entertaining movie, if nothing else. Of course, a new Star Wars movie called for a bulk of video games... but it didn't get it. Actually, Episode II spawned only two video games, and both of them were released exclusively on Nintendo's Game Boy Advance, whereas Episode I spawned a total of six games for multiple platforms, and an arcade title. An optimist is led to believe that the two games were so good there was no need for fulfillment, while a pessimist knows exactly what to expect from Attack of the Clones. Let me correct that, not _exactly_; I thought they stopped making this particular brand of manure back in 1993.

I've got a bad feeling about this

I prefer to see the movie. Thanks, anyway.
Dooku, a former Jedi Master and now a servant of the dark side of the Force, organizes a resistance movement against the Galactic Republic. Senator Padme Amidala reacts to the situation by attempting to create an army to assist the fledgling Jedi, and therefore becomes a target for assassination. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine assigns Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan Anakin Skywalker as Padme's bodyguards. Obi-Wan soon leaves to follow up on a lead regarding the identity of the hired assassin, while Anakin is left alone with Padme, whom he has loved since he was a child. Conflict ensues.

After finishing a sort of a sub-marathon that felt like one of the longest I've ever had, by beating Star Wars Episode I: Obi-Wan's Adventures, I was totally stoked about finally being able to move on to the two games based on Episode II. I downed a couple of cupajoes, went jogging for a couple of hours, returned home, took a shower and sat on the bench, totally ready for Attack of the Clones. I always thought the movie was underrated; it was unfairly placed in the same category as The Phantom Menace. OK, it isn't great, but cut it some slack. At least Jar Jar Binks isn't the one character to utter every third line of the whole movie, at last there's SOME Darth Vader to be seen in Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi sports his coolest look ever, and we witness Boba Fett's coming of age. With the best parts of this fair movie in mind and Yoda's sudden
über-athleticism totally ignored, I start up Attack of the Clones. In less than one minute, my brain lies scattered across the floor. This game is the worst movie license I've played since the "golden" days of the "fatal four" (read on).

Attack of the old-school polygons.
Large, digitized character sprites extended to 3D with polygons, on the Game Boy Advance. That's all I've got to say about the standard gameplay graphics; everyone has a different opinion on the style. I guess it looks OK; Anakin's movement at least looks dynamic, which it isn't in terms of control. The enemies are kind of flat, though. The music is good, and surprisingly well produced for the system, but I can't help but sigh when I start up the game and "The Imperial March" plays as the main theme. Even if it was in the movie, it's not this much of a central part of the prequel trilogy. What can I say, I'm a detail pervert.

There have also been a few detail perverts working on this game - different sorts than me, though. The cutscenes spill all the most important details, and spoil the movie, totally. Not that it would matter that much, I just thought I'd point this out 'cause there's really nothing more relevant to say about the game that it's a tight bundle of crap. Star Wars games haven't always been that good, but whenever there's the LucasArts logo in any capacity on a game, there are certain expectations, none of which are cashed in by Attack of the Clones.

The only thing that separates Attack of the Clones from an overtly generic side-scrolling beat 'em up game and rather makes it an "action" game, is the inclusion of 3D shooting and racing levels, which are as simple as they can possibly be, and also as rough, messy and ugly as they can possibly be. The rest of the game pretty much comprises of the most stiff trio of models of Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Mace Windu you've ever seen, beating the shit out of droids and whatever comes their way with awkwardly controlled lightsaber offense, quick jumpkicks and weak Force spells which take an eternity to charge up. Shielding yourself from blaster shots using the good old saber stunt looks easy enough, it's just too bad that it actually shields you from about 50% of projectiles. Your health drains rapidly, there are enemies coming from the left and right, and the attack button doesn't do jack by itself. You always need to "direct" a swing from your lightsaber by using the D-Pad to make it do _something_. Just try to maintain some control in a game that constantly refuses to co-operate, get overnumbered in the process, die, start over. I've seen this before - many, many years ago, in almost every SNES movie license made in the early 90's, most of which were made by the "fatal four": LJN, Ocean, Sony Imagesoft and THQ. Who actually published this game, by the way? Oh, THQ! Not much of a homecoming.

Haha, your blasters can't match my lightsaber!
Yeah, sure, the game is hard, in the usual wrong sense of a movie license, so its initial lifespan is pretty close to plain zero, or it would be, if I was willing to go beneath the magic number of 1. Changing the difficulty to "Padawan" doesn't make the game any better, but I guess the most dedicated (read: crazed) Star Wars fanatics will keep on bearing the game for an extended while longer on that level. Check a few more additional points out of pity. The game really is this embarrassing, I'm not intent on being overtly negative just because I was personally disappointed.

Of course, some might say that disappointment is inevitable when it comes to movie licenses, but I disagree at least when it comes to Star Wars. Like I said, there are always at least some expectations when a new Star Wars game comes out; all of the movies, even The Phantom Menace, have so much good source material for video games, more than any other movie franchise. 20 years of Star Wars games, so much know-how... and then this. There have been bad Star Wars games in the past, but Attack of the Clones takes the cake. I guess it's the much spoken great disturbance in the Force.

SOUND : 8.5


GameRankings: 38.87%

8 kommenttia:

  1. Good review. I remember conciously passing on this game when it came out for most of the reaosn you listed above. While I never played it though, I test drove it at GameStop and quickly decided to spend my money on something else.

    You caption "I prefer to see the movie. Thanks, anyway." made me laugh. That is the way I feel about movie recaps in *any* kind of game. The only exception is the Lego Star Wars games because their Lego movie recaps are just so darn cute.

  2. Good thing you tested it! A friend of mine didn't. He contacted me after I made this review and said "You know what? I have that game." I laughed out loud. Not an ounce of sympathy.

    However one might feel about all Lego games across the board, I think they're somewhat genius in their cutesy ways. They're kind of a guilty pleasure. :) Starting to repeat themselves a bit, though.

  3. Meh the Lego games can repeat themselves all they want. When my younger brother (a college graduate) and I happen to be in town at the same time we pull out my Game Cube and play Star Wars Lego II (Original Series) until we are blue in the face. It is difficult to tell if we have more fun playing that or Mario Kart. We like to free play as two Darth Vaders and then spend the whole time force choking each other ;) I also have the SW Lego games for my handheld and tend to pull them out when I'm eating at a resturaunt by myself. It's a good, adorable way to pass the time.

  4. Also, I apologize for my typos. With final research in progress, my brain is completely fried and I don't seem to notice my typos until too late :/

  5. Nah, don't worry about it. :) For me, there's never been a more gratifying multiplayer experience than Mario Kart, especially 64. (I think I've never played the GameCube iteration, now that I think of it.) Can't imagine Lego Star Wars in multiplayer being anything THAT good, but thanks for the insight, maybe I'll try it sometime if I have the chance.

  6. You would be surprised at how fun the multiplayer is IF the other person knows what the heck they are doing. I tried it once with a friend who rarely touches games at all and it was a nightmare. I usually avoid multiplayer most of the time no matter what the game may be, but my younger brother and I have a good report and see the humor in accidently (or "accidently") killing each other and pushing each other off of ledges. It would be quite boring if we took it too seriously.

  7. As I have mentioned a few times in the past, I'm not too much into multiplayer either. It takes much persuasion or some very, very high point of personal interest to get me into any co-op or vs. game. LittleBigPlanet, Mario Kart, Resident Evil 5, Grand Theft Auto IV and rhythm games are some of the only exceptions to come to mind thus far.

  8. I hated this game, bad controls, shitty graphics annoying music. strange there wasn't a PS2/Xbox Version like most movie license games