LucasArts Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels

Strictly for the younger half of the fandom.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
LucasArts Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
  • LucasArts Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
  • LucasArts Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
  • LucasArts Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels

Pros

  • A solid roster of fighters to choose from, good (albeit shallow) fun

Cons

  • Won't appeal to older Star Wars fans, battles between experienced Jedi Masters amount to a lot of waving the Wii remote to and fro

Bottom Line

If the Clone Wars branding wasn't enough of a clue, a quick play session quickly confirms the game's intended audience. Younglings will revel in the simple-but-engaging battle system that casts them as their favourite Jedi (or Sith) and more experienced, curmudgeonly Jedi Knights will moan about the blind slashing, the cartoon-grade dialogue and their aches and pains.

Would you buy this?

Star Wars the Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels is strictly for the younger half of the fandom, the kids who are still awed by the rise and fall of Anakin and the antics of Jar Jar Binks, God help them.

The concept behind Star Wars the Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels is pretty obvious. Based on 2008's computer animated movie (aesthetically and plotwise), players take on the role of familiar faces like Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, each armed with a lightsaber. Or two, or four. What follows is a lot of Wii remote waggling and Force-pushing until one player is cut down.

Lightsaber Duels ticks off most of the boxes on the "Standard Fighter Features" form: single players can fight the computer or play through the campaign mode, which follows the movie's plot through cutscenes and stops for battles at all of the proper junctions. Single players also have the option of completing "challenges" ("Defeat Obi-Wan in a training session" and whatnot). Of course, multiplayer is the star of the show. Each character has his or her signature moves, combos and repertoire of, er, quips.

A tutorial walks the player through the basic controls, which work as expected. Slashing up delivers a neon-trailed uppercut, just as slashing the Wii remote side to side does what it's supposed to. Linking motions can perform special movies and combos and the trigger buttons can employ the Force if the Force Meter, which fills slowly on its own, is feeling up to it.

In the tutorial, Anakin warns his Padawan Ahsoka Tano against "just waving" her lightsaber in front of her. It's obviously a message to the player, but let's face it: have Wii remote, will waggle. It's not to say the controls are inaccurate; they're not perfect, but the on-screen character generally mimics the appropriate motions. However, going to the trouble of remembering combo-swipes and searching for rocks and boxes to Force-lob at an opponent isn't worth it for the minimal amount of damage caused. Lightsaber Duels doesn't reward strategy over wild dancing and even changing characters is inconsequential. Some fighters do demand the adoption of a different strategy (General Grievous can't use the Force) and each character has strengths and weaknesses, but it comes down to one Jedi feeling the same as another.

Which is where the age divide comes in. Kids will have a blast with this modern-day update of the "lightsaber" (dead branch) battles 20- and 30-somethings had as children. Those grownups, on the other hand, won't get much out of Lightsaber Duels regardless of the nostalgia factor. In fact, an extended session with the game gets pretty rough on the arm and wrist.

The character models in Star Wars the Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels are close to what's found in the movie. This makes them difficult to rate. As far as the transition from movie to game goes, the graphics are well done. The downside is that it's hard to praise stylistic choices that give Count Dooku a face like a basset hound's. The animation is nicely done, with individual character traits — such as Dooku's confident one-handed fighting stance — giving the otherwise vanilla-flavoured fights some style.

The music involves John Williams' standard heroic space trumpets and the voice acting is decent, even if the script is about as deep as the fighting system. The voices can be turned off in favor of subtitles, but there are no subtitles for in-game text, which often makes characters look like they're chewing gum in each others' faces.

At least the clear age divide between Episodes I through III and Episodes IV through VI makes it easy to figure out whether or not you want to pick up Lightsaber Duels. The shallow fighting system, the teenage snark and animation won't impress older fans of the series, but it's good fun for younger Jedis in training.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?