When this game was announced, the Internet just about lost its collective head. Okay, so it wasn't as big of a deal as when it was announced that Disney bought the Star Wars licence, but for those who cared about Angry Birds and even the Star Wars fans, it was still a big deal. I mean really, who in their wildest dreams ever imagined a cross-over mash-up of such epic proportions?
Yet it was all a reality. Angry Birds Star Wars was released, paying homage to the original Star Wars trilogy. All the beloved and well-known characters were represented as different kinds of birds, all with their own unique abilities, but not in the typical Angry Birds style, but rather abilities to fit the Star Wars universe, while still feeling Angry Birdsish. I'm talking about light sabers, guns and the force type of moves. You know, stuff you would actually see in a Star Wars movie, just being done by birds with full heads of hair being flung around.
The characters are fun, the cutscenes are actually enjoyable compared to most Angry Birds games, and there is a certain satisfaction felt by taking down the pigs, most likely due to Star Wars being the most traditional and perfect example of good versus evil. The levels themselves are also quite enjoyable, as you get to visit all the main locals of the movies, playing through the story as you already know it, just with the Angry Birds twist.
Overall, as weird and uncertain the notion was to combine Star Wars with Angry Birds, the mash-up was actually executed extremely well, enough to satisfy all Angry Birds fans, bring in new ones due to the Star Wars license, and also and probably most importantly, it managed to due the Star Wars trilogy properly, without upsetting the die-hard fans of the series who usually get pretty upset when their beloved universe is mistreated. Jar Jar Binks, I'm looking at you...
Pinball tables, my old nemesis. Don't get me wrong, I love playing pinball tables, but unfortunately, they tend to own me on a regular basis, which is basically every time I touch one. I love the feeling of being so close and personal to the game, to have actual control over what is happening rather than digital representation of a button push. Seeing the ball bounce around, the lights flashy and going crazy, the sounds of the points racking up ... and the devastation of seeing the ball slide right down the middle of the table, fitting perfectly between both paddles on its way to certain doom.
Trust me, I've seen that more often than I'd care to admit. Seems inevitable that with my quarter comes certain disappointment, quicker than I would hope.
Honestly, I think pinball tables are created to make you feel inferior as a gamer. I admire thoroughly those pinball wizards who can keep a ball going for seemingly as long as they want, because for the rest of us casual pinballers, that gap between the bottom paddles seems ridiculously impossible to overcome. None the less, I come back to pinball tables every chance I get, just because I think maybe I'll get better by trying, or that the next time the quarter gets dropped in, I'll have an incredible run.
These are what we call pipe dreams, my friends.
Thanks to PS+, I was able to satisfy my pinball craving at home, without having to lose a roll of quarter while doing so. I got Star Wars Pinball, for both my PS3 and my Vita, as did every other PS+ member. I've played some Zen Pinball tables before, and even bought the Plants vs. Zombies table, because well, it looked fun. And it was.
But the Star Wars Pinball? Yeah, now that's what I'm talking about. These tables actually feel like they could be real tables, except of course for the animation and stuff going on outside the table. Other than that, I could totally see these being real tables, and man oh man, that would be some fun. Regardless, these digital versions of pinball tables are a blast, and while I probably wouldn't have bought them because of how many other games I need to play, it was nice to be able to experience these for free, and be able to whenever I get that itch to play some pinball.
Unless of course my itch is to lose a bunch of quarters, in which case, I'll see you down at the arcade, folks.
Unfortunately, this blog post tonight was inspired by unfortunate events. This week, it was announced that LucasArts has closed its doors, effectively shutting down the long-standing game development studio and laying off over 150 employees. Also, all projects currently being developed are canceled as well, specifically referring to the highly anticipated Star Wars 1313 game that was in development.
Everyone is blaming Disney, who technically is to blame for the business decision, but from their end, it's hard to justify keeping a struggling studio open that has become more about producing games as a fan service than they are actually making money. It's a hard pill to swallow for fans, especially considering the list of fantastic games they have put out over the last thirty years. But over the last few years of existence, their games have suffered from critical media reviews and lackluster consumer sales - except for the Angry Birds Star Wars game I'm sure, since anything with "Angry Birds" on it basically prints its own money. With Disney probably going the route of licensing out the studios' franchises for other developers to make games, it will essentially emphasize the fact that this was a business decision through and through.
Disney hasn't become what they are today because of bad business decisions. I'm just saying.
I trust them that all in all, this will end up to be the best decision for everyone involved, except for the employees that lost their job. That, of course, is the worst part of it, as the hard working employees of every business that shuts down are always the ones to be impacted the most. I'm sure most, if not all, will land on their feet in this wonderful yet sometimes brutal industry. Hopefully, that is.
Anyway, when I was trying to decide what game to play tonight, i was flipping through my older games and came across Super Star Wars. To be honest, I didn't even remember I had this game until I found it. I instantly knew what I needed to play, of course, in lieu of the terrible news from the studio who created this Super Nintendo gem.
This was probably the first game from LucasArts I remember playing, and while they have made LOTS of Star Wars games, the Super Star Wars franchise on the SNES were some of my favorites, including the non-Star Wars games Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Herc's Adventures. Playing it tonight was like a memorable blast to the past for me.
I didn't quite remember how hard this game was though in my nostalgic trip down memory lane. Seriously, the difficulty of this game is very unexpected, especially for the straight-forward simplistic nature of the game. Most of it is a 2D shooting platformer game, but occasionally it mixes in vehicle driving levels (which are stubbornly hard to control). While the actual game play is pretty easy, the re-spawning and annoyingly feisty enemies takes a toll on the overall experience, especially when jumping becomes a crucial game mechanic and one missed platform means replaying an entire section of torturous battles.
This game also made me remember just how precise platforming used to be in games back in the day, where the slightest miss would send you hurtling to your death. Games now days feel a lot more lenient when it comes to that aspect.
While I enjoyed playing this game tonight, for the most part, it mostly made me realize an underlying reason for the closure of the studio. If we are all being honest here, I feel like the studio hung on to the past for far too long and was afraid to advance into the present day. They never pushed the boundaries or thought outside the box, but instead kept going back to the hand that fed them for so long. Like I said before, they enjoyed making games for the fanboys, not the mass consumer base. And while fanboys appreciated the ideas for the most part, they didn't speak with their wallets.
Again, this is all just opinion and speculation. Maybe I am seeing this whole situation in a different light. I never claimed to be an expert, just a crazy dude playing lots of games and writing about them.
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Games played for project : 365