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It had to happen didn't it? After all, if Lego can do it, why can't other properties? And so, the gaming phenomenon Angry Birds melds its DNA with the sci-fi juggernaut Star Wars.
For the two of you on the planet who don't know, Angry Birds Star Wars is a physics based game now available for virtually every platform known to man. The Angry Birds rebel alliance (some of whom have special Jedi powers) must defeat the evil Imperial green pigs by hurling themselves from a catapult. If all pigs are destroyed you beat the level and unlock the next.
For your 69p download price, you get a huge amount of levels and the game will take you a long time to get though them all -even longer if you try to get the maximum three stars on each level. Rovio, the brains behind Angry Birds are also pretty good at releasing new levels on a regular basis (and unlike some greedy gaming companies, they make these available for free), so don't expect to be finished with this game any time soon. Value for money is not up for debate here.
Curiously, though, addictiveness is. With the original Angry Birds, I could scarcely put it down (I still go back to it on a regular basis); the same is true if Angry Birds Seasons to a lesser extent. Yet, somehow, Angry Birds Star Wars never held that same level of compulsion. It was fun, yes; but only in a vague sort of way. If someone told me tomorrow that I had to delete Angry Birds Star Wars from my phone, I'd do it without too much dismay. If they told me I had to delete the original Angry Birds, they would have to pry the phone out of my cold dead fingers before they could do it.
At first I thought that perhaps the wheels were coming off the franchise; that the idea had been over-used. But that can't be true because, as I've already said, I still enjoy the original. Then it dawned on me: Angry Birds Star Wars makes some minor, but crucial changes to the formula that have actually have quite a large negative impact on gameplay.
You see, Angry Birds Star Wars tries to be a little too clever when it comes to level design. It introduces ideas like gravity, which is much trickier to get your head around and robs the game of the pick-up-and-play simplicity that made earlier versions so appealing. Equally, the special powers of the birds take more getting used to. They are just a tiny bit harder to master, which again means that the game is not quite as accessible or fun. The original Angry Birds was the very definition of accessible - something that could appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike. Angry Birds Star Wars - because it takes a little bit more practice to master - is not as appealing.
Still, let's not run away with the idea that it's a bad game.Levels can be frustrating, but you still get that massive sense of achievement when you finally beat one that's been bugging you. It's not quite as addictive as previous versions, but it will still keep you coming back (if not quite so regularly or for so long) to play a few more levels.
And it makes great use of the Star Wars licence and is not just some cheap cash-in. From the opening parody of the Star Wars theme, through to the fun, cartoon-like graphics (pigs wearing stormtrooper helmets, birds fashioned after Luke Skywalker or Obi-Wan Kenobi) the presentation is fantastic. It's clear that a great deal of thought has gone into how the licence can be used properly, rather than just slapping the Star Wars name on a pre-existing game. Like the Lego games, two apparently very different properties have been combined to great effect. Star Wars fans will love spotting their favourite characters as birds or pigs; Angry Birds fans will enjoy using the new Jedi Bird powers.
There is something missing, though and it's not a patch on previous iterations. The adding of the Star Wars licence is a nice touch, but the addition of things like gravity are not quite so good and make the game harder and more frustrating. Once again, the old adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies. By trying to do something a little different to previous game, Rovio have actually lost something that made the games so special to start with.
© Copyright SWSt 2013
What do you get if you cross a catapult, a flock of furious avian, and an army of evil swine? If you're answering anything but Angry Birds then you've obviously been living under a rock for the last 4 years.
Angry Birds is Roveo Entertainment's popular gaming franchise where you must catapult a selection of very angry birds straight at a group of sinister pigs and try to cause as much damage as possible with each shot. Personally I played the first few levels of Angry Birds and got a little bored, but then I purchased a T-Shirt featuring a furious Yoda bird and my interest in Angry Birds: Star Wars was piqued.
Angry Birds: Star Wars is a spin off to the popular franchise that plays remarkably similar to the original, but with an ingenious Star Wars spin that increases the fun ten fold. Whatever storyline you have is told through a series of static pictures that seem to mimic the popular scenes from the Star Wars movies, but without dialogue. All things considered this is not a game where the storyline is particularly important; or even relevant, if you stop to think about it.
Essentially Angry Birds: Star Wars follows the same set up as the main Angry Birds game. It is a Worms style strategy game in which being able to observe the games physics engine is essential to your success. At the start of a level you will be given an overview of the evil Empire's fortress, and you will then zoom in on your first bird sitting in a catapult. You have to pull back the catapult; select your ideal angle, and fire the bird at the imperial swine. Whatever damage you inflict will rack up a few points, and the level is concluded once all of the pigs are KO'd. At the end of each level you will awarded mega points for each Angry Bird that you have left standing. To be honest the majority of the early levels can be completed on the first attempt, but then the game grades your results. It then becomes an addictive challenge trying to earn a 3 star rating on each level, and this is where the tactics come into play.
In this Star Wars version of the game each Angry Bird will feature a unique ability based on the Star Wars universe. This can range from Luke Skywalker's single light sabre swipe through to ObiWan's ability to push distant objects with the force; with a quick check in for Han Solo's ability to shoot distant objects with his blasters. Each of these abilities must be activated once the bird is already hurtling through the air, and so utilising them to inflict maximum pointage can be a cunningly complex process.
Further challenges can be unlocked in later levels as the characters blast into orbit and the birds are catapulted across a zero gravity landscape. Some of these levels feature small planets and you have to figure out how their individual gravitational fields will effect the path your bird will take. There's even one level where an evil pig version of Darth Vader will use the force to prevent you from moving certain objects in his surroundings. So all things considered this Star Wars atmosphere increases the tactical nature of the gameplay and contributes to much of the ensuing funnage!
Graphically speaking the game does a decent job of maintaining that atmosphere. Like the original Angry Birds: Star Wars looks very similar to a game like Worms. The Angry Birds; and any interactive objects, exist on top of static backgrounds. These can range from the deserts of Tatooine, through to the icy depths of Hoth, and even into deep space. Both the birds; and the imperial pigs, have been re-created with some wonderful outline sketches that are wearing hilarious Star Wars costumes.
However It is the games sound that sealed the deal for me. The angry squawks remain present and correct, but are here joined by a series of brilliantly rendered Star Wars sound effects. Both blaster fire and light sabre vroom's have been recreated wonderfully, and there's a sinister laugh from the Darth Vader pig that must be heard by everyone.
So overall this is a fantastic little strategy game that will appeal to any Worms fans looking for a single player experience. The Star Wars makeover really heightens the atmosphere to take a mildly diverting game and create an insanely addictive experience.
It is currently available for all Android devices as either a free download with frequent ads; or an ad free version that costs just a few pounds. It is also available for £10 on the PC, but I can't imagine paying that price for it when there's a complete free version available. The game is easily worth a tenner, so is easily worth a few pounds also. The free version can get a little irritating as it constantly advertises the Croods game every 3 times you attempt a level, so you're probably best off paying the price for the ad free version. Whichever you select be assured that you will not be getting much else done until you have mastered each and every level that the game has on offer.
When it comes to having new games for the iPhone or iPad it is hard to judge what the game will be like just by pictures and small reviews but this game appealed to me on many levels.
== The Game ==
This game is based around the movie franchise known as Star Wars. I have to admit I have never ever watched a single film of this franchise but I am aware of certain characters that are famous due to playing roles in these films.
The other franchise is Angry Birds for the last few years almost everyone has played or heard of this game which is about you throwing birds into pigs and hoping to destroy them. This game has mixed the two and combined them to try and form a unique game which offers a different range of challenges and plenty of fun as well.
This game involves the same idea as in previous editions of Angry Birds and this involves you throwing your birds to destroy coloured pigs. You're given a set number of birds to throw and you have a select number of pigs to hit.
You get given points for the pigs you hurt and the idea is to hit them all before you run out of angry birds. You never see the pigs move unless they are hit and they remain static throughout the game. You will have various sized birds as you play the game which can separate into many smaller birds or even explode.
You will have obstacles in the way of the pigs you need to take out and they could be a block of ice, wood and other objects designed to stop you in your tracks. You want to try and achieve the best score possible and eliminating and destroying the pigs and their surroundings offers you the best chance of reaching three stars on each level.
The game has scenes which always highlight the level and the layout so you can view the whole landscape before sling shooting your bird into those annoying pigs. The pigs can vary in size some are small and hard to see whilst others are huge and easy to identify.
If you are a person who has played angry birds before you will understand the format of the game and if you are new then there are many free trials around offering you a sample of some of the levels you can take part in.
== What's Different? ==
Well this is a very easy question to answer because the Angry Birds original game was very lacklustre when you got used to it. The game had little to offer and it became boring so this new idea introducing a well-known film franchise into the game play has given it a huge upbeat.
The game has got the same birds but they are different in appearance which is instant and this goes for the enemies the pigs as well. Some of the birds are designed to appear like favourite characters from the film and the hair pieces are done to highlight that.
There is a new pink bird which has the ability to destroy objects whilst in mid-flight with fire power and you do this when flicking this character into the air and then aiming for an area to blow up and this is further into the game so this is a new character with special abilities and she is named Princess Leia.
The backgrounds in each level you play are very unique because they offer glimpses of an alien planet which is brown and dusty and you are taking part in hitting pigs on this land and it looks very good and almost suites the entire idea behind star wars and angry birds combined.
I like the fact the game makers Rovio have actually done a lot to make this work because not only has the background and characters been altered but the menus on the game as you move from one level to the next they have redesigned these areas as well to appear like rocks floating in space and even the game start-up has been designed to make your mouth water with anticipation.
The game also has offered glimpses of characters you can potential witness as you continue your voyage such as Darth Vader and I say this because he is on the display pictures of this game which is why it looked so much fun to me.
I would say that although they have changed some parts of the game there is other aspects I think which are missing and the game could do with updates which unlock other people such as Darth Maul and maybe Yoda who do not appear in posters and game advertisements.
== Graphics and Game Play ==
I think the game play is very good you can tell lots of effort has gone into making this game very worthwhile to invest money into because the game is quick. The new abilities of the pink bird for some are worth the download alone.
The accuracy of the shots you can fire and how quick the game is when it comes to throwing the birds has been superb from start to finish for me. In the past I have encountered problems with this game freezing on me and it can be so annoying and frustrating it becomes silly.
This game has never frozen on me yet and seems to offer great speed and this is throughout the entire game and on every single level. The graphics are very good but some areas I believe need adjusting.
The pigs and birds look great especially with the colour they have and the background colours and scenery looks immense and very well done. My issue is in regards to the obstacles which stand in your way from when you are shooting your birds at the pigs.
These obstacles in comparison to the last game and previous editions of angry birds have not changed at all. I think they needed to add something new or alter the entire obstacles completely because then the game would be more complete in my view.
== Final Thoughts ==
I have so far enjoyed playing this game and it is fun especially the sounds you can get as well. I do have some problems and the biggest is why you can zoom out of the game scene but not in. You are given a game scene and you can zoom out to view the entire game scene but the graphics are harder to justify.
However, zooming into the objects really closely is not allowed and for me this would give the user a much better angle or even chance of completing a level especially if you wish to take out a particular block like in Jenga.
I think the game has done well to combine both the Star Wars and Angry Birds franchise and make a fun game with over 100 levels and because you have to pay for this game which is around 69p I think it is a good buy.
I think people who are not fans of star wars like me would find it fun to play as well because there is a new concept there and most people would enjoy a new idea behind a classic game such as Angry Birds.
My overall rating would be a nice 8 out of 10 I think the zooming part needs adjusting and with potential updates all the time adding new levels and maybe new characters for just 69p that is a bargain buy in my view.