Wednesday, May 18, 2011

DEMO: LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars for Xbox 360 (Xbox Live)

Genre: Jedi Action Platformer
Full Game Price: MSRP $40
No. of Players: 1-2 (simultaneous co-op)

In 5 words: darker, funny, easy, construction, fun

So I recently lucked into an Xbox 360, and wouldn't you know it, my oldest son, now five years old, has played this demo more than I have. He loves LEGO Star Wars almost as much as I do and we have had a lot of fun playing through the LEGO Star Wars III demo multiple times.

If you're familiar with previous entries in the LEGO Star Wars series of games, LEGO Star Wars III (LSWIII) feels very comfortable, and yet, it is fairly innovative when compared to the other games. In the demo, you get to play two different levels, both focusing on General Grievous' ship, Malevolence. One level features ship-based combat while the other is on foot. The ship-based level innovates in that you have to switch between planes of flight and you also land and disembark to perform some tasks. The other level shows how controlling the Force is different in LSWIII compared to previous games. You have more control over how and where you use the Force, and it can lead to some comical results, such as lifting a super battle droid into the air and making it shoot at its comrades. This added level of control raises LSWIII's interactivity and fun factor while also making the game more challenging.

One thing I noticed as I played LSWIII is how dark the levels are. I was constantly struggling to see what I needed to do next the first time I played through, but it seemed to get a little better as I went. The trademark humor of the LSW games remains, and the sound effects and music are great (it is a LucasArts game, after all). In addition, the cooperative multiplayer is a riot and features an interesting split screen mechanism that makes going off on your own a breeze. The demo features everything from barrel throwing to crashing a capital ship into a moon. It is very fun.

If you've never played a LEGO Star Wars game before, this demo is a fine place to start. With a little help, your younglings should find it quite entertaining. What the demo did not convince me of was the value of the full game. I'm probably going to wait for this to drop a few dollars before I buy.

Demo Gamer Stats:
Age range: 5+
Demo length: 20-40 minutes
Demo worth playing? You get to crash a starship. Into a planet. Using the force. Yes. Play the demo.
Full game worth buying? Not sure, but at $40, it is not a full-price title for the Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3, so it is essentially already on sale.

Any LEGO Star Wars fans out there? Have you played LSWIII? Is it worth the time/money? Sound off in the comments!

--Demo Gamer

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