Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Jedi Alliance Review
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Jedi Alliance box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: LucasArts Singapore 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: LucasArts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 11, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Other issues we had with the game have to do with input recognition. Often we’d find ourselves tapping on jump pads multiple times, yet our character wouldn’t respond fast enough. Additionally, one technique that allows you to deflect laser blasts by tapping on your character at the point of contact never seemed to work with any level of consistency. However, these weren’t huge issues, as the game is more about immersing you with its cinematic pacing than fast action.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Jedi Alliance screenshot

Also worth mentioning is the handful of mini-games that play into the story. When playing as R2D2, for instance, you’ll have to activate various mechanisms by stopping gears in timed sequences. Another mini-game requires you to break through blast doors by tracing your lightsaber (stylus) accurately along an outline on the touch screen. There are a few other touch-centric mini-games as well, and though they make repeated appearances throughout the game, they increase in difficulty and work well within the context of the story.

The crown jewel of Jedi Alliance, however, is its presentation. In the graphics department, Clone Wars on DS has few rivals. There are things this game does with the system that simply do not fail to impress. Real-time lighting and shadows, fluid and expressive character models, and an incredible level of detail put Jedi Alliance in a league all its own. The framerate is solid, and there is a healthy variety of environments, in spite of the game being extremely short. The cinematic camera works surprisingly well, lending an epic quality to the overall experience, but characters sometimes move a bit too far from view.

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The game’s aural elements are also quite impressive, offering a host of themes new to the Star Wars repertoire. The voice work is top-notch, sounds are used to great effect, and musical cadences lend power and emotion to key events in the game’s story. We do have a couple of minor criticisms, however. One, the music occasionally sounds a bit distorted, and though you’ll likely only notice it during more climatic, action-packed portions of the game, it still manages to add a few rough edges to what is otherwise a pristine production. The other issue has to do with musical themes occasionally fading in and out somewhat abruptly. No matter, the game’s presentation still comes together with surprising power, and the story is very well-paced.

The Clone Wars: Jedi Alliance is an impressive feat on DS, and it’s also an entertaining, often thrilling adventure. Though the gameplay has a few minor issues and it doesn’t tread any new ground, the presentation ties everything together to make for an experience that shouldn’t be missed by fans of this seminal, science-fiction franchise. There’s no denying it’s an incredibly short adventure, but the ability to mix and match Jedi, as well as the myriad challenges contained within each mission, offer real replay value. Additionally, there are a ton of unlockables, including cheats, costumes, pictures, and 3D character models.

By Tony Capri
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.8
Graphics
Some truly impressive visuals on DS. Clone Wars defines the term: “pushing the hardware to its limits.”
3.8
Control
Though we’d prefer a bit more freedom and agility with the playable characters, LucasArts Singapore has mostly nailed the adventure feel they seem to have been going for. Some issues with input recognition hamper the experience.
4.1
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Some wonderful, new additions to the hallmark Star Wars musical library. Sound effects work great. Some discernable distortion and abrupt musical fades at various points throughout the adventure leave a slight blemish on the presentation. The lack of aural feedback during context-sensitive events is regrettable.
3.7

Play Value
Yes, it’s short; no, the gameplay isn’t mind-blowing. But Jedi Alliance manages, through its presentation and production values, to put you right there in the Star Wars universe, if only for a very brief time.

3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play through an original story — exclusive to the Nintendo DS — that expands The Clone Wars series set between Episode II and Episode III in exciting new directions.
  • Create your own Jedi dream teams by pairing Jedi in any combination. For example, team up Anakin Skywalker with Obi-Wan Kenobi, or Ahsoka Tano with Mace Windu.
  • Develop the relationship between two Jedi and generate more powerful attacks and special abilities. Replay missions with different character combinations to unlock new areas, collectibles, and other secrets.


  • Screenshots / Images
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