Reviewed: June 7 , 2005
Released: May 4, 2005
One would be hard pressed to find someone who has been alive in the last 25 years who has not seen a Star Wars movie, or at least heard of Star Wars. The vast majority of the population could probably tell you what Ewoks are or who Darth Maul is, while, at the same time, not knowing the name of the current vice president. The Star Wars franchise is that big and has been for a quarter of a century now. With every new movie release comes a slew of merchandise, such as action figures, toothbrushes, sleeping bags, books, cereal, candy, and video games. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is no exception.
Ubisoft brings The Force to the Nintendo DS in the form Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, the video game. The Republic is under attack by the callous count Dooku, and General Grievous has kidnapped the leader of the Galactic Senate, Chancellor Palpatine. Jedi Knights, Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, must fight their way through an army of droids in order to save the Chancellor. “Both Jedi are marked by fate…and the Dark side is more prevalent than ever, leaving only pain and suffering in its path. Hearts are destined to be broken and lives destroyed. Which path will you choose?” Let us find out.
Revenge of the Sith is a side-scrolling, hack n’ slash adventure. Players choose either Anakin or Obi-Wan and battle their way through a whole lotta droids, while wielding their lightsabers. What makes this game different than your typical hack n’ slasher is that each character has the ability to upgrade their moves(by finding hidden Customization points) and to power-up. Additionally, each character has a distinct fighting style.
Both characters have a health bar and a Force bar. Separately, Obi-Wan has a Focus bar and Anakin has a Fury bar. Basically, when the Focus or Fury bar is full the player can do a single move, by holding down the B button or using the touch screen, that will wipe out all enemies on the screen. Obi-Wan gains Focus by using the Force and deflecting lasers, while Anakin gains Fury by fighting.
Gameplay, overall, is very smooth. The button reaction time is excellent and using the Force(the R button) takes no getting used to at all. It just flows. Any Star Wars fan will become giddy after just one Force choke. Also, Anakin’s ability to fight backwards is a nice touch.
One drawback is the repetitive nature of the game. The enemies come in the form of droid after droid after droid after droid. This becomes tedious very quickly. One of the strong points of the Star Wars franchise is the vast amount of distinctive characters that they have to offer. Instead, the player gets a tan droid, a brown droid, a dark brown droid, and to change it up, the occasional blue droid. Obviously, this is not the whole game, but a player will tire of the same enemies right away.
The DS version shakes things up a bit by adding spacecraft dogfight type of levels into each character’s story. These levels look astonishing and run very smoothly. This is the major difference between this version and the GBA offering.
The multiplayer mode is very different from the Game Boy Advance version. The spacecraft dogfight type of levels also make up the multiplayer mode. A major plus is that you do not have to have another person connected and you can add bots in order to play these levels. There are also numerous spacecrafts that can be unlocked. It just feels awesome to fly a Tie Fighter through Tatooine in an effort to take out your opponent. This alone makes the DS version far superior to the Game Boy Advance version.
The graphics in Episode III are nothing spectacular, but at the same time they do the job quite nicely. Ubisoft does not try anything too fancy, which is a plus, since sometimes annoying, or overly ambitious, graphics can distract from the gameplay, which is the major strong point in Revenge of the Sith.
This game is rife with blues and browns, which go along well with the entire theme of the game. The characters are smooth and the lightsabers are very vibrant. The character text and the menus are very easy to read, too. Though, it is slightly disappointing that there are no souped up graphics for the DS, considering what the system offers.
Star Wars is known for its themes, and a player gets plenty of them in this game. The weak MIDI files that plagued the GBA version are gone. The DS offers stereo samples and it makes a big difference. The soundtrack sounds huge with headphones on and outshines the Game Boy Advance version ten fold.
The sound effects in the game are superb. From the “ping-ping-ping” of the enemies’ lasers to the “woosh” of the lightsaber, a player will truly be impressed by the fluidity of the sounds. Nothing was overlooked as every last droid crashing to the ground can be heard crisply.
Revenge of the Sith is not a walk in the park and the multiple difficulty levels will make it easy for a player, who likes a challenge, to revisit. Start off slowly, then turn up the heat and see how well you do.
With the multiple difficulty setting, upgradable characters, power-ups, and a percentage complete chart, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith definitely has some replay value. Though, that value is severely hindered by the fact that the game can become tedious and boring rather quickly. Despite the repetitive nature of the game, Ubisoft has delivered an above average side-scroller that any fan of Star Wars will enjoy.
Revenge of the Sith for the Nintendo DS has more overall value than its GBA counterpart. Extra levels, superior multiplayer mode, and an awesome stereo soundtrack make this one the clear winner of the two.
Revenge of the Sith may not go down as an all-time classic, but the innovative gameplay, excellent sound effects, and smooth graphics make it an enjoyable video game foray into the world of Star Wars.
If you are a Star Wars fanatic, pick this game up, but do not expect to be blown out of the galaxy. Do expect, however, to have much more fun than sleeping in your Jar Jar Binks sleeping bag.