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Star Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance review

Anakin, Obi-wan and that orange teen who needs a slap are back. Now, can we get the camera guy a zoom lens?

For

  • Looks nice
  • and lots of voiceover
  • Interesting story
  • R2
  • Threepio
  • and Kit Fisto!

Against

  • Too-far camera makes battle tough
  • Interactive cut scenes can annoy
  • Ahsoka's still annoying

We%26rsquo;ll admit that the Clone Wars franchise hasn%26rsquo;t quite lived up to our sky-high expectations (damn you Cartoon Network and Genndy Tartakovsky for your incredible animated shorts,you%26rsquo;ve ruined it for us all). However, that doesn%26rsquo;t mean this adventure, which finds the character guiding a squad of jedi and two very familiar droids through an all new storyline, isn%26rsquo;t worth a playthrough.

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance %26ndash; apparently random italics are the new colon %26ndash; devotes itself entirely to the touch screen. You can play the whole game without pressing a button. You drag the stylus around the screen to show your character where to go, and your CPU-controlled partner (you always control a team of two characters) will follow. If you want to smack an enemy or suspicious looking crate with your lightsaber, you tap it with the stylus. If there%26rsquo;s a button that needs pushed or a lever to pull, you double-tap it. You can only jump at certain times, but guess how you do that? If your answer had %26ldquo;button%26rdquo; in it, stop reading now and go slam your head in the oven door a few times. You%26rsquo;ve earned it.

This touch-only approach works fairly well, and would be even better if it weren%26rsquo;t for the camera. These graphics aren%26rsquo;t half bad and the designers know it, so they constantly place the camera so that gives a panoramic view the action. That would be fine on a 40-inch plasma screen, but here it often makes it tough to tap where you want to.

You%26rsquo;ll constantly find yourself standing in place looking at a group of battle droids you%26rsquo;d really rather leap across the screen and attack. Why? Because the glorified can openers are less than a quarter-inch tall, only a few pixels wide, and are often moving. Thus, you%26rsquo;re instead hitting the area around them - which means %26ldquo;jog over here if I hold the stylus in place but do nothing if it%26rsquo;s just a tap%26rdquo; - instead of tapping the actual enemy, which would mean %26ldquo;force jump here and chop these metal bastards into kitchenware%26rdquo;. Even outside of battle, many of the activation areas for various actions are smaller than the nub of the stylus. That can be a real buzzkill.

More Info

GenreAction
Description<p>A cute enough experiment in creating a stylus-only action game. But like most of the Clone Wars franchise, it&#8217;s best left to fans too young to know what they&#8217;re missing.</p>
Franchise nameStar Wars
UK franchise nameStar Wars
PlatformDS
US censor ratingEveryone 10+
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date:11 November 2008 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:DS
Genre:Action
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