Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Updated Hands-On

We take a look at the latest effort to tie lightsabers with the Wii's motion controls.

As the Star Wars universe continues to expand, fans of the franchise have been introduced to a rapidly escalating number of names--often those with the borderline unpronounceable extravagance only George Lucas can craft. So perhaps it's a little bit ironic that the latest Star Wars game for the Wii, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels, cuts right to the chase by putting the word "lightsaber" front and center in the title. But it's hardly a misnomer; Lightsaber Duels is a fighting game that's very much focused on the action, with only a light amount of story to help unravel new levels and characters. We've seen the game a few times before, but we recently spent some time with a near-final build to take one last look at it before the game is released in a couple of weeks.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: not a fan of the dual lightsabers.

Lightsaber Duels relies very heavily on the Wii's motion controls to give you the feeling of swinging a lightsaber. Using the Wii Remote to slash up, down, left, or right will produce a similar movement on the screen, and you can also do a forward-stabbing gesture. The characters have a sizable list of combos available to them, and these are generally a series of directional swings. Pulling the Z button and swinging the remote will allow you to do a Force-charge slash of the lightsaber, but you can also use the Nunchuk to perform a couple of other moves that eschew your Jedi sword altogether. Pulling the Z button and swinging the Nunchuk will do a Force push, while doing the same with C instead of Z will let you pick up a nearby object to fling at your enemy. The battles, which are best-of-three affairs, tend to be very fast and frantic with the occasional opportunity to take a break when a lightsaber clash occurs, pausing the action for a bit of brief trash-talking.

The fighting roster includes 10 Jedi taken from the recently released Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated movie. Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi are the obvious inclusions, but you'll also see a few other less iconic faces, such as Asajj Ventress and Kit Fisto. To help make the list of selectable characters feel a bit different from each other, there are a number of attributes assigned to each Jedi that includes their adeptness in Force attacks, combos, Force energy, and speed. You'll also see certain characters buck lightsaber tradition by wielding two and even four lightsabers at once.

In order to flesh out the entire roster, you'll need to progress through the game's Campaign mode. This is where the game's story unfolds, which follows a similar story to The Clone Wars, right down to cutscenes that appear to have been taken directly from the film. You progress through a series of enemy bosses and locations from the movie, adding both to your game when you defeat that particular stage in typical fighting-game style. These levels tend to feature all the glitz and glamour of Star Wars sets. They are complete with laser beams flying all around, battles going on behind you, and collapsing ground, on which you might even be standing.

Grievous, however, won't settle for anything less than four.

Besides jumping into a quick match once you've got everything unlocked, you can refine your skills in Challenge mode. This setting offers you a sequence of distinct challenges that you can play to nab various extra rewards. You'll do this is by completing standard fights with a few devious twists thrown into the mix. For example, there's one where you need to defeat Obi-Wan without the use of any of your Force powers, as well as others that require a specific number of combos, parries, and clashes during the match.

Altogether, it looks like developer Krome Studios has made quite an effort to add some replayability to a fighting game with relatively simple, accessible controls. How well will the whole package come together? Stick around for our review of Lightsaber Duels, which should coincide with the game's November 11 release.

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Discussion

35 comments
Untainted
Untainted

first of all XiaouBreeze, there was something invented recently. The full stop. (or period point). The test of a good brawler is what it's like in multiplayer. I'll be waiting to see a review before making a judgement.

XiaouBreeze
XiaouBreeze

I would love to play star wars games, with the ability of lighting my path away with my powerful Lightsaber, fighting for the justice or evil of the Universe, interacting and killing millions of creatures, claiming my position among the universal kingdom - the list goes on and on... But I rather not disappoint my imagination by the flippy laggy motion of the lightsaber trying to match up to the wii motion sensor so I hope they are working up the efforts endlessly to not disappoint people and allow people to rent/preview the game left shockingly wanting to claim their power of the force and force themselves to buy the game.

Kuunda
Kuunda

hmmm...we'll see. Im somewhat enthused, hope it doesnt suck.

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

Aside from The Crone Wars movies (totally meant to call it crone wars because it's old and boring)totally being horrible, this game sounds good on paper. But I'll reserve my judgement until I actually rent it. Like most Wii games, this one will probably be less then fun.

Lisandro_v22
Lisandro_v22

The wiimote isn't enough to pull a swordfight I tried in some games and it feels unresponsive, it takes it's time to reproduce the movement that is limited to a set of slashs (as they said) and the game tends to do whatever movement it wants when you swing the wiimote, it's a pity this game won't have motion plus anyway no more heroes worked because you only had to swing the wiimote for finishings

ctbuggy
ctbuggy

mmmm my pic is weird

evilkarim2000
evilkarim2000

Seems nlike an interesting game..... tho im not sure i may be buying it.... for great game reviews, and previews visit my website at: www.gamerfreaks.wordpress.com

iandaemon
iandaemon

Wow, another ho-hum Nintendo preview/review from Gamespot. I'm not surprised. Gamespot is pretty biased. They tend to prefer advertising dollars to games.

someguy503
someguy503

Lucasarts knows their audience. When we see the Wii first thing we think of is Sword play. Though I wish they would've waited for Motion Plus to come out.

Hugomanen
Hugomanen

I think this looks promising :) But yeah, im rather tired of seing gamespot being mean to nintendo over and over because of the motion control...

samstherealhero
samstherealhero

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jogunther
jogunther

Most Star Wars games are a dissapointment. I'd recommend renting it first to gamers and fans of star wars period.

MCarlozzi
MCarlozzi

probably not going to worth it

LastPRmarine
LastPRmarine

It might be good and Krome studios did a pretty good job on Force Unleashed considering they had to replicate DMM and euphoria for Wii,PS2,and PSP

mattcake
mattcake

Hmm it's viewed side on even tho we are effectively standing holding the remote in first person? That's gonna feel... weird. I don't think the current remote is good enough to pull this off tbh, and having to have the nunchuk attached is gonna limit how much you can swing your arm too :(

Sablicious
Sablicious

What a crap preview! All the n00b did was blab on about the ho-hum modes. It's a FIGHTING GAME godammit! As such, people want to know about the GAMEPLAY... not about how many useless ancillary modes the thing has. >_>

GabrielN
GabrielN

Eh, Gamespot apparently doesn't believe there's such a thing as a good Wii control scheme. I'll see what other sources think and rent it first if it looks promising. I'm also holding out hope that Darth Vader will be unlockable.

tetrischamp
tetrischamp

I could see the controls getting really boring by the end of the game. Seems like you would just be flicking the remote around the whole time.

EvilLlama600
EvilLlama600

Because Gamespot makes money from advertising, and if they give games that sponsor them a bad score, the developer will go somewhere else to advertise

AAwiidog
AAwiidog

ok, so r the missions gonna have u fighting droids or is the game entirely just deuling

jmartin1016
jmartin1016

Several months ago I remember the developer of this game stating how unsatisfied it was with nintendo because of the lack of support to develop for Wii Motion Plus. This game definatly would have bennifitted from it.

Eloy
Eloy

So sad if your chose is only based in Gamespot reviews, I always check about 3 differente sorces of previews/reviews like NIntendo Power, Club Nintendo and Gamspot...but I´ve always been thinking that gamespot it´s a pretty hard reviewing with Nintendo games, but It´s just my opinion.

TheSuperPrince
TheSuperPrince

Yeah I agree, while I would like to ply it, the game will get a medicore score

king_bobo
king_bobo

I can see this getting a 6.5 or lower, judging from the lack on enthusiasm from the preview,

Unholy_Terror
Unholy_Terror

Yeah, the lack of saying how the controls are seems like Gamespot's polite way of saying "not good"

mddg_mmcc
mddg_mmcc

Hmm... They tell how the controls work, but say nothing indicating how well they work, other than they're "accessible". That's not filling me with hope.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Great for me, I don't care if anyone disagrees with me. They can't argue with my opinion.