Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (DS) Review
A Long time ago in a galaxy far..meh we all should know how that goes by now. The Star Wars games are the longest running and without a doubt the most successful series of Movie franchise games to have appeared in the world of video games. Appearing on the grand daddy of them all the Atari 2600 going through almost every system to the present day & now the DS is getting its very first Star Wars game. Revenge of the Sith DS puts you in control of either Obi Wan or Anakin Skywalker in the tried and tested form of a 2D side scrolling beat em up, with some outstanding 3d flight sections put in for good measure. So how does this game stack up, read on to find out.
Ill divide this part up into 2 parts one for the 2D parts one for the 3d parts.
OK, lets not dance around the fact that all of the 2D section of the game is taken straight from the GBA version of the, so despite not using the DSs graphical advantages much, they do still look very good, all of the animation is smooth, not once does it look blocky. It looks very good on the DSs screen, it kind of reminds me of the excellent Clone Wars Cartoon Series, which if you havent seen is outstanding.
Now for the part all of you want to know about, the 3d flight areas. If youve seen the screen shots forget everything about them, they really do the game no justice at all. In motion this game looks smooth as silk, boasting a really smooth frame rate. The ships for the most part look really good, some look a bit blocky but you dont notice it most of the time. The environments in flight mode range from asteroids, broken hunks of ships, Clone Star Destroyers, to Buildings all look astounding. Also the lighting and shadowing is fantastic, with out a doubt the 3d graphics are quite astounding for a 1st gen DS game, I really cant wait to see what the future holds for the DS in the way of 3d graphics.
The sound in the game is outstanding, instead of hearing MIDI renditions of the Star Wars themes we all know and love, you hear near authentic tracks of your favourite Star Wars soundtracks, most of them are there even my all time favourite Star Wars song, Duel of Fates is present. Also all your favourite Star Wars sounds are present, all of the Lightsaber, Blaster, Tie Fighter sounds are present & all sound like they have been taken straight from the film.
OK here comes another one of those 2 part sections.
The 2D side scrolling beat em mode feels and plays a lot like the old 2D Arcade side scrolling beat em ups of old. It kind of feels like playing Double Dragon but with Lightsabers and the force and trust me this is a very good thing. Force Powers are pulled of very well, using the R button and a combination of other buttons you can very easily pull off Force moves. Also by using the L button you can deflect back enemy blaster shots. An interesting note is that there is also a RPG element in this game, your character will gain points throughout the mission at the end of the mission if you have gathered enough points you will be able to increase one or more of your force powers. Also at the end of every level you can get to increase one of your stats. There are also 2 storylines to go through, Anakin and his ascension to the Dark Side of the Force and Obi-Wans battle against the Droid army and eventually Anakin. The Touch Screen is used, albeit in a very minimalistic way, all it is used for is using special moves.
The Flight mode is very reminiscent of the Rogue Leader games, you view the ship from behind and you have you target in the middle of the screen & thanks to the magic of a 2nd screen all of your health and shields are displayed down the bottom. If you have played the Rogue Squadron games then you will need no telling on how to play this as it play more or less the same as them. You can also change the position of your shields in this mode thanks to the touch screen, having the shields stronger at the front helps in head on dog fights, where having them stronger at the back is great for times when you need to make a hasty retreat. In Multi-player this mode excels, you and up to 3 friends can participate in all out dog fights, but if no one else is present you can have up to 3 bots to play against & in the right ships they can be just as hard as any human player.
The single player mode has a fair bit of replay value in it, after you have finished the game first time around with both Anakin & Obi-Wan you can play through it again this time on Master mode which is quite hard, also you can try and get 100% completion on each level which trust me is quite hard even on Padawan difficulty. Then there is the flight mode which when you first get the game only a small number of ships are available to you and unlocking some of them, the Tie Advance and the Falcon can be quiet hard indeed. The one downside to this game is that it is Multi-Card Multi-player, not even the option of sending a single level download to a friend is present, which mean to experience the fantastic Multi-Player mode then you must know someone who also has this game. But considering how good this game is, most people should have it anyway.
I have honestly really enjoyed this game, then again I have always liked playing Star Wars games, with Star Wars flying games and the Superstar Wars games holding a very special place in my heart. I really hope for the next DS Star Wars outing, that LucasArts go for a full flight game, can you imagine how much fun playing Tie Fighter or Rogue Squadron on your DS would be, with any luck from the really good feedback the flight mode seems to be getting I dont think our chances of seeing a game like that for the DS would be too remote. So in closing if youre a Star Wars fan youll love this, if you like Flight games youll love this, or if youre a fan of the Old School beat em ups youll love this. I would make this a must buy for anyone who owns a Nintendo DS.