The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
In the original Star Wars, Obi-Wan blindfolds Luke and makes him block incoming blaster fire from a training droid. I never knew how Luke felt until I played Star Wars: The Clone Wars and found myself wildly swinging my Wii remote trying to tap into a mysterious unseen force that would let me execute one of the game's evasive combos.
Clone Wars' biggest failure is its broken combo system, which is composed of a string of directional Wii remote swipes. Using motion controls in a fighting game requires thinking outside the box. Instead, Clone Wars attempts a quick and dirty swap of traditional button combos with inaccurate motions. You'd have to be a Jedi Master to play this game flawlessly.
It wouldn't be much of a Star Wars game if you couldn't tap into Force powers. I love the idea of grabbing objects out of the environment and throwing them at my opponent, or knocking them out of the ring with a powerful Force push, but the Force is a difficult beast to tame. This feature should have provided plenty of excellent moments, but it's bogged down by poor targeting and lengthy animations.
The broken core mechanics are especially shameful since the game is so skeletal. The story follows the plot of the recent movie, which means there aren't many characters for Krome to tap for the game, so you end up repeatedly facing off against the same opponents over and over again. While a few character-specific challenges flesh out the single-player experience, they aren't creative enough to be entertaining.
The graphical style of the show works well on the Wii, and the fighters' mid-battle banter adds some flavor to the action. I was even amused by the Lightsaber Clash minigames that occasionally interrupted the bouts, even though these sometimes falter due to poor motion control recognition. While these few gameplay elements help make the experience more digestible, it hardly matters because the basic mechanics are a mess.
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LucasArts and Krome's latest effort game takes the dream of authentic lightsaber combat and impales it like so many Jedi Masters. Without a one-to-one correlation between your gestures and the position of your saber, the Wii remote is just a poor substitute for button presses in less-than-epic duels. Even simple ''left, right, left'' combos are difficult to reliably execute. While sluggish mechanics are the main problem, Lightsaber Duels is also thin on content; a repetitive campaign (Do I really need to fight Asajj Ventress three times?) and uninspired challenges are the main attractions outside of versus battles. Unless you need something to make your Sith apprentice give in to anger and hate, don't go anywhere near this game.