"A practical guide to surviving Jedi, Clone Troopers, Sith Lords and other wickedly dangerous bastards while trekking across a galaxy far, far away." By someone who wishes he'd stayed in bed this morning.
If it's living you love, avoid your own destruction by listening to these simple bits of wisdom.
1) When dealing with rampaging Jedi (especially after you've recently been stupidly coerced into slaughtering a few of their closest friends), stand behind tables! The longer the better.
These ancient artifacts and their accompanying chairs of mystical power act as impassable barriers. Even savvy Jedi will be hard-pressed to navigate around their invisible and quite impenetrable force fields, so keep one between you and them at all times.
If a table is unavailable for whatever reason, make for the nearest computer console or similarly boxy obstruction. It's all the same.
2) The universe is filled with an inordinate amount of ray shields. Every building, starship and state park is littered with a variety of inexplicably placed ray shields. So put your "Boy, I sure do love me some ray shields" face on and make the best of it.
Most of these annoyances can be overcome rather simply by severing a few giant power cords in adjacent rooms, but some require an arbitrary amount of people to be killed before they dissipate. It's a sort of universal law, apparently.
3) Ray shields hate you, but love everyone else. Of particular frustration to most galactic adventurers is the way in which the average ray shield seems perfectly capable of preventing you from passing through it, but perfectly incapable of stopping a droid from standing half in it's tingling wall and continually firing at you through its revolutionary one-way energy field.
The best way of dealing with such situations is to stand around screaming and violently waving your arms in the air until someone nice takes care of the problem for you.
4) Most the time your galactic trip will be depicted from the vantage point of a certifiable idiot. That is, you will clearly be the focus of attention and yet the actual action will always be just out of focus. It'll hover there on the periphery, poised to leap into the fray just as soon as it becomes impossible for you to defend against it.
To better illustrate this point, imagine the universe you know as being a sphere roughly 10 meters in diameter. Beyond this sphere is the absolute black of nothingness, and yet laser beams and blasts still come flying through uninvited. Surprise!
5) When fighting, don't ever alternate your swings or chain more than four hits together, ever. This rule is similar to the Triangle, Triangle, Triangle or Y, Y, Y rule. It basically states that if you come into possession of a lightsaber (which you instantly will), don't bother alternating attack patterns, just do the same mind-bleeding thing over and over until the sweet release of death sets in. Only, be sure not to accidentally extend the Triangle, Triangle, Triangle "combo" by even one Triangle, for that will leave you vulnerable to counterattack.
6) Contrary to popular belief, Jedi Knights are not warriors, they're dancers in training who are quick to demonstrate their flamboyant talent by performing complex choreographed feats with one another. The great galactic book of examples and tips to better understand and survive the universe of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith unfortunately continues for some eight million illegible pages, but those quick points illustrate a few simple facts about the game. Namely, it sucks a whole lot.
On the surface, Episode III is like any other half-hearted hack 'n slash title, be it Two Towers, Demon Stone, King Arthur or Return of the King. Beneath that overtly simplistic chopping idea and the thickly smeared Star Wars lore it attempts so desperately to build off, the game is fundamentally broken.
While expending so much time on delivering the basic visual concepts behind lightsaber combat, I guess no one remembered to work out how "the ultimate Jedi action experience" should feel. The result is a series of carefully animated and motion captured maneuvers that look great individually, but play together with slightly more finesse than the average hobbit being violently kicked out of a jet fighter by a shrieking yeti.
Even if the animation transitions, collision detection and buoyant physics were obliterated and built from scratch with a billion dollars funding, the basic idea behind fighting would still be worth exactly four cents. One for the sabers. Two for The Force. Three for Darth Vader. And four for the imminent downfall of young Anakin and his sadistically bad delivery.
In a nutshell, if you want to block or dodge or do anything even remotely resembling important, the character you're in control of had better not already be doing something else. There is no way to quickly and easily cancel out of anything.
Tell us, what happens when developers completely give up the ability to rapidly switch from an attack to a block in a game that focuses on drawn-out dance maneuvers? Anakin and Obi-Wan prettily fiddle with their sabers like no finely tuned teenage band twirler ever could. That's what happens. The problem is that they don't stop fiddling!
Helplessly watching your hero segue into a four second routine because you inadvertently pressed a button one time too many is incredibly frustrating. Crying as the computer or another player instantly capitalizes off that insanity to launch you into a twelve hit juggle from which there is no escape is incredibly saddening.
I want to scream. Little Ani, I want to scream at you. Stop with the lightsaber as art bull and make with the chopping and blocking when I bloody tell you to.
True, there are plenty of attack combinations offered and the game even provides a handy and completely unnecessary upgrade system, but since Episode III penalizes players who do combos by literally hitting them in the face, what does it matter?
Occasionally -- in one of the game's more intense duel scenes -- the odd flow of battle will work out nicely and suddenly the many random parries, dodges, force pushes and clashes will result in a slick series of action. But those few moments of stylized combat do not ever make up for the unresponsive mess that leads up to them. Nor do they justify the asinine series of death boxes that supposedly pass for levels.
Each of the game's film inspired environments basically amount to a few linear corridors that connect one completely uninteresting room to another totally uninteresting room. Within each of these, enemies valiantly leap into inaction! They show up in waves. Some waves never end, but finite or not, they all come in a staggered succession. The play: Kill a couple guys, stand around like a tool, kill a couple more guys, proceed to patiently wait for the next wave of jerks to jump the rail and start dying.
Of course, the game's artificial intelligence boasts as much smarts as a dead man with a cinderblock sticking out of his forehead. It's not that villains in beat 'em ups need to be as schooled as rocket scientists or guppies. It's that they should actually do stuff...any kind of stuff. Even though there are four to eight characters on-screen at any time, most of them just kind of sit around staring blankly at one another. In one scene aboard General Grievous' flagship, a super battle droid stands toe-to-toe with the supreme chancellor and just happily shoots him in the face. Get it? The droid is standing two feet away from the same Palpatine Obi-Wan and Ani have been sent to rescue and he's blasting him in the nose a hundred million times over. While players controlling Anakin are busy fighting other miscellaneous droids, there in the middle of it all is Obi-wan, just sitting there approving of his political leader's present situation. Obi didn't even move! Of course, if he had taken it upon himself to not be comatose, he'd probably just twitch and sing the theme song to Bananas in Pajamas, so what does it matter anyway?
So yeah then!
The only reason to play through the campaign is probably to spoil the movie. And yet it doesn't even do that particularly well. The game intentionally omits a great deal of the fiction's critical scenes -- as they were told by the official book I've read, at least -- and instead fills space with a bunch of flashy action sequences. Fine. Great. Terrific. But why must we also be subjected to the repetitious in-game whining of Anakin and the dry jabs of his stoic master? Balance that force, fellas.
Go right ahead and not play the singleplayer campaign. Not participating in the occasional turret shooting scene between stumbling into invisible bounding boxes and area restrictions isn't really a big deal. You're not missing much. The only thing a player might actually regret not seeing is the alternate Anakin wins ending, which is amusing for roughly six seconds.
Aside from it being Star Wars, the Episode III videogame features precisely one redeeming quality: it has a multiplayer component. The competitive multiplayer mode can be passably enjoyable in a mind numbing sort of "I huff keyboard cleaner to blow away millions of brain cells at a time" way provided the two combatants involved refrain from corner cheating each other to death. Unfortunately, swinging a lightsaber feels about as empowering as using a foam bat to beat a steel girder. Once you come to the conclusion that the latter activity would be more enjoyable, it won't be long before you realize haphazardly force-tossing exploding crates around isn't the best use of precious life, even considering we have about a 100 years of it to burn.
Cheer up, at least there's a poorly developed cooperative mode that lets players explode waves of lame enemies in succession while trapped in a variety of completely uninteresting ray shielded rooms! That's got to count for something slightly more than nothing, right...? Right?
Where'd all the tumbleweed come from?
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