One year ago, on platforms far, far away, the much enjoyed crossover between Star Wars and our favourite overly disgruntled birds was hatched. Finally, Angry Birds: Star Wars has found its way to Xbox 360 and other home consoles. Being the fifth game in the series, boasting Imperial Pigs aboard a PIG STAR, and having amassed more than one hundred million downloads, it is clearly a move by George Lucas to bring order to the console galaxy.
What You Need to Know
For those not yet amongst the one hundred million downloaders, Angry Birds: Star Wars is a strategy puzzle game where players must use a carefully balanced mix of angle and power to launch their specially trained birds against various enemy fortresses in an attempt to destroy the snorty adversaries. Each bird has unique powers that suit them for certain roles within the level and the game takes you through levels based in Tatooine, the Death Star (AKA the PIG STAR), Hoth, Dagobah and Cloud City. Unlike the preceding Angry Birds games, almost all the Birds in the Star Wars universe have new powers.
Angry Birds crossing over with Star Wars means that all the birds and pigs resemble characters from the Star Wars universe. All the main characters make an appearance, such as Luke Skywalker (Red Bird), Princess Leia (Pink Bird), Han Solo (Yellow Bird), Chewbacca (Big Brother Bird), Obi-Wan Kenobi (Black Bird), Rebel Pilots (Blue Birds) and even C-3PO and R2-D2.
Almost all the birds now possess new powers, including Red Bird’s lightsaber which allows him to deflect laser blasts from Imperial Pigs and inflict more damage in a wider radius by swinging his Saber. Some of the more entertaining powers include Princess Leia’s tractor beam which can be used to dislodge objects and structures, and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Force power, which can be used to launch blocks and objects at enemies.
Levels take place on Tatooine (battles on this level include Tusken Raider Pigs), the Death Star, and Hoth. There is also a Path of the Jedi level that takes place on Dagobah, featuring Luke Skywalker learning the ways of the Force and becoming a Jedi, which once completed has a cosmetic effect on the Red Birds in the other three levels.
Angry Birds Star Wars also features multiplayer modes: a two-player co-operative mode and a four-player competitive mode.
What’s the Same?
The basic mechanic of aiming your birds and then launching them with a selected amount of force remains the staple formula in Angry Birds: Star Wars. You launch your birds against the Imperial Pigs (or Mynoks, Jawas, Imperial Probe Droids, and so on) and with a skilful mix of angle, applied force and timely execution of the launched bird’s powers, you hope to obliterate the enemy’s structures.
Every facet of standard Angry Birds has been repeated in Angry Birds: Star Wars, only with a Star Wars cosmetic do-over and some Star Wars-centric power-ups.
You’ll Enjoy Angry Birds: Star Wars If You Liked…
… Any of the Angry Birds series – apart from the cosmetic changes, this is exactly the same as the other Angry Birds games and is just as much fun.
… Anything Star Wars – if you’re a Star Wars fanatic then you will probably want to play this over any other Angry Birds game out there purely because this has all of your favourite Star Wars moments in it. It’s worth mentioning that as a Star Wars fanboy, as far as I am concerned this is the best Angry Birds release out there.
What I Liked
- 5.) There is only one legend worthy of replacing the Mighty Eagle in Star Wars – the Millennium Falcon – the fastest and most graceful bird in the galaxy.
- 4.) The levels take you from Tatooine to outer space and the change in gameplay strategies necessary to adjust to the different forces at play on a planet’s surface versus outside of its atmosphere gives the game a deeper degree of variety.
- 3.) The Star Wars theme is undeniably awesome. Every character is faithfully (and playfully) reproduced in this Angry Birds title and reflects the whimsical Angry Birds slant on all things sacred in Star Wars in a manner that will not offend Star Wars stalwarts.
- 2.) The missions presented to you are diverse and highly challenging. To always strive for a slightly higher score requires a delicate balance of trigonometric nous and Jedi-like reflexes.
- 1.) The learning curve for anyone not familiar with Angry Birds is minimal. It really is a universal gameplay mechanic and anyone, both kid or adult alike, can pick this game up and play. The control mechanism is so simple it transcends the language barrier and makes this game fun-focused and action-driven without the frills of lengthy dialogues or training sessions.
Always taking a chance shot and then timing the activation of the bird’s power-up to unleash mammoth devastation, for example, when you use Princess Leia’s tractor beam ability to pull a supporting strut out from underneath the Imperial Pigs’ fortress and watch everything come tumbling down in a beautiful display of destructive retribution.
What I Didn’t Like
- 2.) The Co-Op experience. It’s turn-taking, which just doesn’t seem like a feature since you can share a controller and take turns with someone else anyway without touting this as a brand new feature.
- 1.) The price – it retails for $40 on the Xbox Games Store. That’s just far too much, even for a Star Wars or an Angry Birds fan.
Least Favourite Realisation
When I first learned that Angry Birds Star Wars was coming to Xbox I was understandably excited. The news of a co-op experience made me even more so. The tremendous disappointment once I realised that the co-op was nothing more than turn-taking with separate controllers cannot be unlived. There is really no reason to promote the co-op experience unless it is going to be well implemented.
There are a ton of levels available in Angry Birds: Star Wars, as well as a competitive online leaderboard and – thanks to the Xbox 360 version – Achievements and bonus content to unlock. The two to four player multiplayer mode is a score competition which can be mildly entertaining, too.
The Bottom Line
Angry Birds: Star Wars is an unlikely but incredibly sensible, fun crossover between the biggest sci-fi universe and the biggest ‘Overly Disgruntled Bird’ universe. The hefty price tag for the game on the Xbox Games Store can’t be ignored, though, and makes this a very expensive purchase when it is available on other platforms for a much lower price.
Angry Birds: Star Wars was review on Xbox 360