Star Wars: Clone Wars - Saber Rattling

By the time I got done playing Star Wars: Clone Wars for the Nintendo Wii against an obnoxious, spikey-haired little German kid I was ready to cut out the middle man, knock him unconscious with the Wii remote and be done with it. Luckily my sense of decorum along with an overabundance of witnesses staid my hand, but I am telling you that little punk had it coming, spending the entire round making suggestive gestures with his controller and still winning. Clone Wars is of course the new lightsaber fighting game for the Nintendo Wii, heading our way this holiday season. It follows the story and adapts the art style of the major motion picture and television series, with a plethora of animated Jedi ready to smack eachother with glowy sticks. It's what they do.Maybe it was just the display on the show floor, but the game's graphics seemed a great deal more muddy than I remembered from the demo I watched at E3 last month. Perhaps I was just too far away then, because Anakin and friends are looking very rough. The duel was fought between me, playing dashing young cardboard cutout Anakin Skywalker, versus German brat-boy as (inset name here), one of the new characters introduced in the movie. I studied my moves, figured out how to block and perform jumping attacks, and then proceeded to get barely a hit in as Kid Deutschland went to town on me. I suppose you can't call it button mashing. Stick wiggling? Perhaps too suggestive, but it certainly fits. The characters certainly animated well as he did the dance of death on Anakin's head, but even a well-choereagraphed dance of death still results in death. Many simultaneous hits led to many saber locks...moments when the two combatants lock lightsticks and have to perform various feats to overwhelm their opponent. Some required each player to move their Wii remote in certain directions, with the player with the most matches at the end of the sequence winning, while others seemed to simply award whoever slashed first once a timer counted down from 3. These moments are supposed to add to the drama but only serve to remind me of that time Vader and Ben Kenobi were fighting and then paused to count to three for, which never actually happened. The first round ended with my opponent smashing me through a metal grating into a rancor pit below, and the second round consisted of the two of us fighting near an angry rancor, engaging in at least three drama-inducing saber locks before he put me out of my misery for good. From what I experienced, Star Wars: Clone Wars gets relatively close to the look of the new animation, relatively close to portraying the drama of a lightsaber duel between Jedi masters, but I cannot help but imagine how much better the game would have been had it been able to receive the benefit of Nintendo's new 1::1 motion control doohickey. I think I'll keep waiting a bit longer for the lightsaber game we've all been waiting for. Oh, and incidentally the German kid was actually extremely courteous and polite about the whole thing, which somehow made it worse.


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