Welcome to Empirical Purple

A blog by Simon Brady to cover a surprisingly wide range of geekiness, in a combination that no-one else does quite the same way. Probably. Either that, or it'll just be Simon talking about the likes of Football (usually the Soccer variety), PC & Tabletop Gaming, WWE, Movies, Music and occasionally even my actual job of Graphic Design, depending on what I'm up to in the world.



Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mr Sith Sith Bang Bang

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm about two years too late to 'review' Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

As much as you do get to unleash the Force (hey, now the title makes sense!) in that game, throwing Wampas and other things around with insane abandon, the whole thing suffers from a lack of... interaction.

Run, attack, run, jump, multi-attack, rinse, repeat.

Other than the bosses, during which you occasionally have to chain a series of attacks to on-screen prompts during semi-cut scenes, the whole game is fairly pointless. Another case of Lucasarts bringing some great new technology to the scene, then consummately failing to make a worthwhile, playable game out of it.

Now, I love Lucasarts for what they've done over the years. In the 90s they produced games that weren't technically (or graphically) as good as what Sierra On-line managed, but were extremely playable: in the 90s they made X-Wing, Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones & the Fate of Atlantis, Sam & Max and Monkey Island - some utterly fabulous games.

Unfortunately, they decided that bigging-up the Star Wars franchise with a series of pointless, atrocious, badly-made and unplayable licensed games. Empire at War, Dark Forces, Battlefront and Galactic Battlegrounds. Some geeks will tell you that Jedi Knight and Knights of the Old Republic were stand-outs, but that was the time of Quake 2, Wing Commander: Prophecy, Carmageddon and Tomb Raider, which I all vastly preferred.

I had a blast playing Star Wars:Galaxies, of course, and the more-recent Lego Star Wars (along with the Batman and Indiana Jones versions) are brilliantly-made games.

The latest offering is an Open Beta for Clone Wars Adventures. Never one to resist an Open Beta, I figured I'd have a go at it. As usual, good old Sony Online Entertainment suffer an Epic Fail in compatibility for the Mac, I have to play it via Windows.

It's an MMO for kids, really - no other MMO I've tried asks you to get a parent to read the Terms of Service, just in case you're a child -  and running around the highly-stylised look of the 3D version of The Clone Wars (as opposed to 'Clone Wars', which was just Samurai Jack with a Lightsaber).

Other than the obvious social and pay-us-now-for-cool-stuff every 3 seconds, Clone Wars Adventures is just an MMO lobby with a series of mini-games attached, the sort of which you'll find on any flash game website. Racing, puzzles, fighting, launching, tower defence, etc, all with a licensed Star Wars twist.

I had more fun beating the snot out of Obi-Wan by pressing Up, Right, Right, Left a few times than I did in all of The Force Unleashed, though but still ranks nowhere near the endless fun I had playing X-Wing, using a mouse instead of a joystick, in the early nineties. Ah well, back to the emulators...

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