star wars: the force unleashed

Warning!  Spoiler alerts!  Oh noes!  Teh Internets!  Runs!

Mondays are always hard for me.  Mostly because I spend the entire weekend doing, you know, fun stuff the whole time, coming back to work and starting a new week is hard.  My attitude is always, “wait … what?” for almost the entire day.  It’s a bit jarring.

Today is no different, because I spent most of yesterday, shamefully, playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed on my PS3.  My gosh, what an incredibly fun game.  I’m actually surprised to hear me say that after what my initial thoughts were of it for a while.

When I first heard about the game coming out, my initial reaction was.  “Sweet, another game from LucasArts, the only gaming company that can do no wrong.  This is going to rawk.”  I’d never really played any LucasArts games on a console before, but every one I got for Windows worked great and was the awesome.  I’m thinking Escape from Monkey Island here.  It’s been a while.

Of course, not *all* LucasArts games are the candy corn of life.  I’ve only realized that recently after trying some of their other games for the PS2.  Most of them are pretty meh.  But, this game sounded cool, even though the title was a little weird.

Finally the demo came out and I downloaded it on the PS3 and tried it out.  My first reaction was, “what, this is it?”  It pretty much sucked.  For one thing, there was a ton of controls to get used to (one of the major issues I have with gaming in general — the whole concept of real-time fun is based around your skill with hand-eye coordination, and I can barely open a bag of chips without stabbing myself in the eye).  The second thing was it just seemed a bit … I dunno, boring.  They just picked a weird level to do the demo, I guess.  Something.  I dunno.  It just didn’t jive.

I was pretty disappointed, and decided I wasn’t gonna get the game.  And that decision actually stuck with me for about three weeks after it came out.  I am the master of self-control.  It’s amazing I’m actually thin, now that I think about it (in fact, all I ate yesterday for lunch and dinner was brownies).  I picked the game up on a whim along with Lego Batman (another awesome game, since it doesn’t require much skill) because I figured I might like it.  Or something.  I have no idea what I was thinking, actually.  Maybe I was bored and lonely and thought that if I bought it, suddenly friends would flock to my house like weeds on my windowsill.

Well, nobody flocked, but I did get to like the game, but it took a lot of time.  In fact, it wasn’t until yesterday that I really, really got into it.

I started a new game about a month ago where I decided with this character I wanted to collect all the holocrons.  I had already made it a little farther than halfway through in the game, but I skipped pretty much everything and as a result I could barely survive in a battle with more than two stormtroopers.  My dude was pretty much the suck.

So, with my new guy, I took advantage of some of the game’s great features.  Notably, that your progress is cumulative throughout the entire game.  That is, if you don’t complete all the objectives on one mission (like, say, collecting all 15 holocrons, or freezing 10 stormtroopers in carbonite), if you start over the mission from scratch, it keeps your old progress and lets you pick up from there.  So, you can die as much as you want and restart all you want since even making a little progress is a final accomplishment.  I like that part.  Because I do die a lot.  Some of the jumps are hard to do.

Anyway, I fired up my saved game yesterday and I was really zoning, I got farther than I’d ever gotten before.  I started on Felucia (third or fourth mission, I think) and I got all the way to Imperial Felucia (about three missions later) which is when you have to fight that nasty albino Rancor who is a total pain to beat.  I barely got by, and was just trucking after that.  In fact, the only part I got stuck at was where you bring the Imperial Destroyer down out of the sky.  I was on that part for almost an hour, it took me forever to figure out how to position the thing.  The stupid on-screen guide kept saying that I had him in the right place …. but nothing would happen.  Turns out I needed to nudge the ship a bit more to the top and left and *then* he would come down.  Stupid thing.  I did get really, really, really good at knocking down TIE Fighters in mid-flight, though, so I guess something good came out of all of that.

I’ve almost solved the game, though, and I didn’t realize that til I finally stopped.  I’m on the last mission on the Death Star, fighting my way through the tubes.  Please don’t tell me what happens after that.  I’m a bit afraid.

Good stuff, though.  Surprisingly, this game is going to have a lot of replay value, I think.  I kinda wish there were a few more levels.  In some ways it still feels like the game is missing something, but I’m not sure what.  It is fun, though, probably because I’m actually getting good at it, and I can use some of the combos — which is actually a real first for me.  I tell you what.

2 comments on “star wars: the force unleashed

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