Reviewed: January 16, 2007
Released: December 12, 2006
I was born in 1987, ten years after the first Star Wars movie was released. I havenít followed the series as some have. I have seen every movie, but to me they arenít the greatest. Iím not saying that they arenít good movies, because they are. What I am saying is that they donít interest me like some. I just grew up in a different generation.
The first Star Wars game that I ever played was Star Wars: Shadows of The Empire for Nintendo 64. Despite the obvious problems that this game had, I completely enjoyed it. I loved playing as Han shooting everything in sight with my laser blaster. To me this was a great game.
Iíve played a few Star Wars games since then. I canít say that Iíve played a whole lot. When I first started playing Star Wars: Lethal Alliance I was a little skeptical to say the least. Star Wars games are usually hit or miss. They are either amazing or horrible. I wasnít sure which side this one would fall into. Would it be amazing, or would it be another bad Star Wars game?
Star Wars: Lethal Alliance takes place between Episodes III and IV but does not give any important details about the main story of Star Wars so donít expect any surprises. Lethal Alliance puts you into the character of Rianna Saren, a skilled twiílek mercenary. The true key to Lethal Allianceís success is the partnership between Rianna and a security droid named Zeeo. Together they must steal the plans for what will become the Death Star.
Lethal Alliance gives the initial reaction of being a repetitive shooter, and in some ways it is, but at the same time it is so much more. It blends action and puzzles together seamlessly. Lethal Alliance uses the touch screen very well in its many puzzles. These puzzles are found throughout the game and mix the action up enough to make it more than just a shooter.
This game is very easy to control. Controlling Rianna is done with the D-pad and the other face buttons. You use the touch screen to control Zeeo the droid and occasionally, security drones. Overall the character controls feel pretty smooth. The camera can sometimes miss-position itself automatically, which is somewhat irritating in a gun fight, but the camera controls are easy enough to use that you can reposition it without much hassle.
The real gameplay perk is the cooperative actions that Rianna and the droid can do. Many of the boss battles require the two of them to work together. Much of the other action in the game is much easier if the two of them do these cooperative attacks as well. At the same time, if you use these co-op attacks throughout the whole game, it may feel too easy as these attacks really decrease the difficulty of the game.
Some of the puzzles may be confusing but none of them are very hard. Each puzzle in the game matches the obstacle. At points you may have to defuse a bomb and the puzzle makes you feel like you are actually defusing a bomb. There are around five different types of puzzles found throughout the game. The level of difficulty of the puzzles increases as the game progresses. The puzzles are mixed up enough so that you donít feel like you keep doing the same type over and over again.
Lethal Alliance offers three modes of multiplayer as well. All three are played using the Zeeo so the touch screen is used for most of the controls. Survival mode is your typical deathmatch. Power Converter mode involves solving puzzles. Outbreak mode has you try to get rid of a virus by infecting other players with it.
The graphics are quite good for the DS, and there is actually a lot of detail in the environments. As you travel through the different areas you get the sense of the Star Wars Universe. You can see machines running and hover crafts flying by. At one point you can even see the Death Star out of a series of windows.
Lethal Alliance does a great job of putting you into the Star Wars Universe. I felt that the character models could have been improved visually, though. Rianna isnít very detailed, and the enemies in the game arenít either. Beyond this minor complaint, the game looks good.
The sound is exactly what you would expect from a Star Wars game. The epic music from the Star Wars series is heard throughout the game. At times youíll just completely forget about the music because it just fits so well with the environments. It does a great job immersing you into the gameplay. On top of that, your guns sound just like the laser blasters from the movies.
The one problem here is that there are no voice-overs. The entire story is text-driven. Which isnít to terribly bad, but it would have been nice to get some kind of spoken dialogue. The only sounds that come out of the characters are grunts after being shot. Zeeo makes typical robot sounds, which are expected out of a droid, but for the rest there are no excuses.
Star Wars Lethal Alliance just happens to be one of the most expensive DS games on the market at forty dollars. So is it worth it? I think so. The game will immerse you into the Star Wars universe. Even at forty dollars it is worth playing. If you donít feel like dishing out the money for it, rent it. The mix of action and puzzles will keep you busy for about six hours. The multiplayer modes also had some extra value. Overall you shouldnít be disappointed by this game.
Lethal Alliance took me back to the days of the Nintendo 64. The third person perspective reminded me of my glory days with Shadows of The Empire. The sound of that laser blaster brought back many fond memories. After completing this game I felt like pulling out that old 64-bit box and popping in the first Star Wars game that I had ever played. Maybe later.