Angry Birds are everywhere, phones, consoles, merchandise, you name it, there is something with an Angry Birds label of some description, so to have another iteration of the series hit consoles is no big surprise.
Before getting into the game, we have to talk about the price point. For a game that is mere pennies on iOS and Android, it can feel a bit off paying nigh on full price for the same game on the consoles. Whether you pay that or not, is totally up to you, for this review we are focusing entirely on the game, rather than the business model.
You already know if you like Angry Birds, you haven’t been able to avoid it, the are an obscene number of games, from the original, to Seasons, Space and now Star Wars. The gameplay hasn’t really changed all that much, just a few tweaks here and there and a new skin each time.
As with the earlier versions, you fling your bird of choice into structures across the screen, trying to destroy the pigs that are dotted around them. The game uses a physics based system and in all honesty is nothing but a simple time waster. It isn’t a deep game when you first start playing, but try to get three stars on every level and you will sink a lot of hours into the game.
Being a quick pick up and play game, makes it ideal for Android and iOS devices, something to do on journeys, or during work breaks. Which makes a console version initially feel a little needless, especially when it is disk based. Yet there are a few things that work better on the larger screen.
First the graphics are crisp. It is so much easier to see what is needed in a level, as even zooming out, you get a better understanding of where to aim, simply because it isn’t being squeezed onto a minute screen. The other thing that works is the physical controls. Whilst touch screen is good for many things, when it comes to this sort of game, using the analog stick to aim and a button press to fire, just feels so much better, to the point it feels wrong going back to a touch screen.
As mentioned, the overall play is the same as it ever was, however the Star Wars theme allows for a few niceties compared to the standard editions. Hearing the various bits of music from the Star Wars universe never fails to raise a smile and the character models are well implemented too.
There are some very clever uses of abilities based on the characters from Star Wars, Yoda for example can use the force and fling objects across the screen, Hans Solo can shoot lasers, Luke can use a light sabre to break blocks and destroy pigs. In truth these are simple variations of what has come before, but it does work well. Levels too show a decent understanding of the Star Wars universe.
Each environment is recognisable to any fans of the series, with levels grouped across various planets, progressing through Tattoine to the Death Star. Between levels there are various scenes set around the Star Wars films and will be instantly recongnisable to fans of the films. They are a little amusing, but do lack the charm of something like the LEGO Star Wars games, which also use the licence.
Angry Birds Star Wars isn’t the greatest of games, it is a tried and tested formula that offers little new and is cashing in on both its own success and the success of one of the biggest movie franchises in the world. It does however do what it does as well as it does. If you enjoy the franchise as a whole, then you’ll get plenty of mileage out of this version, but it is one for fans of the series only.