By now, most of you have probably experienced one (or more) of the LEGO games. Traveler's Tales began the barrage of video game titles with LEGO Star Wars in 2005, and the series is still going strong. So how does the The Clone Wars pan out, in 3D no less? Read on to find out.
In terms of story, well...I'm honestly lost because I haven't followed The Clone Wars TV series at all. From what I gather, the game follows portions of seasons 1 and 2 of the TV series as well as the movie of the same name, and there are some loose tie-ins with Star Wars Episode II: The Clone Wars.
I'm guessing that the story takes some creative liberties from the TV series (similar to how LEGO Star Wars did with the movies). Still, the cutscenes are humorous, though without proper background, sometimes it's tough to make sense with that's going on. Several levels were cut from the 3DS version, further complicating the story.
The game is somewhat linear in nature, although you have some freedom to roam throughout the game's thirteen levels. Essentially, you take control of a character at the start of a level (sometimes it's just one, sometimes it's a small team at the start of that you will soon amass) and go crazy. Most levels are corridors, though you have the freedom to move in all directions.
Move your character with either the circle pad or d pad (both work the same since your characters are always running), attack with Y (gun, lightsaber, etc) and jump/double jump/hover with B. L and R switch between characters, though you can just as easily use the touch screen to do this.
The A button is the action button. If you see a pile of jumping LEGO bricks, hold A to build it into something. Some objects also require you to interact with them by pressing (or holding) the A button as well. For example, a Jedi can wall jump up nearby walls in some instances, or light Troopers can use a grappling hook to swing across chasms. Sometimes, you'll press A on a pad and have to use the lightsaber to cut through a wall (which requires you to use the touch screen). Mini-games occur when trying to open doors using certain classes (match the LEGO bricks in a pattern with a droid, for example).
There is a lot going on with the controls, but don't get worried if you get confused by them. R2D2 will pop up on the bottom screen and tell you what to do.
For the record, this thing just won't die!
Graphically, I'm torn. On one hand, the game looks pretty. Environments are detailed, characters are well animated, and the world of LEGO generally comes to life well. On the other hand, the 3D really doesn't do a whole lot for the game (outside of the space combat levels, which helps with depth). Whenever you turn on the 3D, there's a noticable dip in framerate. If you can handle that, keep it on. It's cool to see the studs pop out at you as you collect them. Even the game's cutscenes are rendered in 3D.
As far as the sound goes, it's your standard Star Wars fare. Lightsaber swings give off that laser sound, explosions are loud and clear, and the music sounds just like it always has. I'm not sure if there's anything new in the music department, but that isn't a bad thing.
For completionists, there's a ton of unlockables. Thirteen vehicles (which can be used in free play flight levels), thirteen red bricks, four mini-games and a ton of characters to purchase. Unfortunately, the game is a bit too easy. I had everything purchased in under twenty hours. The game utilizes StreetPass, but I'm not entirely sure of what it does (I never StreetPassed anyone with this game). Also worth noting is that I had the game lock up on the loading screen several times (this only happened when WiFi was enabled).
The bottom line: for a launch game, it isn't bad. If you're just itching for a game to play, this isn't a bad one to pick up. However, with the eShop and Ocarina of Time available, you may want to wait for a price drop before you give this one a go.
I can agree with that assessment. The outward 3D is impressive (though the dioramas in Pilotwings Resort and figures in SSFIV3D are pretty impressive), though it does hog resources. It at least shows what the 3DS is capable of, and it will only get better from here.