The One That Got Away

User Rating: 7.5 | Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes DS
In addition to this version, I also played the Wii version of this game, which was a complete dog with fleas. Fortunately, the DS version takes most of its elements from the first DS game and expands upon them.

First of all, this isn't a platformer, though some have labeled it as such. It's more of a hybrid point-and-click, action adventure. The first game was really impressive, not just because of its stunning visuals, but it also allowed the player to feel like a Jedi, something oddly rare in most Star Wars games. This time around, the story and gameplay are split between playing as both Jedi and clones, and for my personal taste, I think it's a more satisfying package.

Most of the basic mechanics remain largely unchanged, and to be fair, not everything about the game is stellar. The micro-games that take place here and there are still an inspired addition, though the mechanics are a bit clumsy. Touch recognition is still hit-and-miss enough to cause frustration during certain segments of the game, and some elements are just downright boring.

With all that being said, the cover system when playing as the clones is fun and mostly works as it should. The shooting is simple, but it's also really satisfying. Best of all, the writing and dialogue are enjoyable. It's ironic that the cartoon take on the Star Wars universe ends up being the most interesting and well-polished, and folks who grew up with this franchise should have fun with the story.

Lastly, the game is gorgeous. Sure, the camera is pulled back pretty far, and sometimes the camera doesn't always offer the best view of the battlefield. However, considering the stylus-controlled approach to most of the gameplay, the visuals work well. In terms of sheer beauty, however, I just don't think you're going to find a more technically elegant game on DS. The system sure isn't known for great graphics, but the Singapore team seemed adamant about changing people's opinions on the matter. The texture work is phenomenal, and you won't see visual effects and trickery like this anywhere else. The voice work and music are surprisingly good as well, and the entire presentation comes together to make for a fun, authentic-feeling Star Wars experience.

Gameplay-wise, Republic Heroes plays it kind of safe. Certain elements are bland, but for the most part, the conservative approach pays off. A polished presentation, matched with solid, satisfying gameplay make for a DS version fans should definitely not pass over. Though other versions of the game might have been fodder, this one's worth a look-see.