Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Review
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels box art
System: Wii Review Rating Legend
Dev: Krome Studios 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Lucas Arts 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: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Defensively, players can expect to find the ability to dodge, block, and parry attacks. Dodging requires quick reflexes and the simple press of the A button. Blocking is relatively easy to perform as well by just holding down the B trigger, but this only slightly reduces the amount of damage you would normally take. Parries are a little more difficult and rely heavily on both timing and luck. When blocking, if you manage to swing your Wii-mote at the same time as your enemy, you will parry their attack and leave them open to a counter offensive.

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels screenshot

As a direct result of the game’s crummy motion controls and severely shallow combat, most of the game’s best two out of three styled fights devolve into little more than awkward and lengthy waggle fests. Why would you attempt to memorize the whole five combos per character if they don’t work ninety-five percent of the time and swinging wildly works much more effectively? Sure, you can hurl an object at your opponent, when it works, but there is very little benefit in doing so. Even the game’s random quick time events, which come in the form of lightsaber clashes that require either Wii-mote shaking or specific motions, fall flat due to the poorly detected motion controls.

The real travesty of Lightsaber Duels is just how inadequately the combat is done when the rest of the game is so well produced. Like I mentioned earlier, the graphics are quite good. The sound in the game is excellent, with characters trash talking during lightsaber clashes, narrated cinemas before every fight in the campaign mode, and all the authentic Star Wars music and sound effects one would expect. There are even a decent assortment of modes including campaign, challenges, free play, quick play, and battle. While the campaign is a tad too short and challenges such as beating an enemy within a specific amount of time can get somewhat tedious, when you compile all of them together the game feels like a fairly complete package. If only the actual fighting mechanics of the game made it a worthwhile gaming experience instead of it feeling like a well-produced but pointless test of your waggling abilities and patience.

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Lightsaber Duels is a complete missed opportunity. While it would have been nice to have one to one motion controls for the combat, they weren’t a complete necessity. The game could have still worked well and handled respectably without them. Sadly, the combat is just a mess. Since it is the entire crux of this fighting game, there’s just no real reason to play it. If you are looking for a good fighting game or a fun Star Wars game, there are already much better options available on the Wii. I know everyone, including myself, really want a Wii lightsaber dueling game, but like the immortal words of Obi-Wan “This is not the game you’re looking for.”

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
This game comes very close to being identical to its animated counterparts.
1.8
Control
Imprecise waggle controls lead to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to suffering.
4.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
While some of the character’s dialogue is a bit cheesy, there is a ton of it and it is all done by the actual cast.
2.0

Play Value
While there are some good modes and ideas in the game, the combat makes it a virtually uncontrollable and tedious waggle fest.

2.0
Overall Rating - Poor
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Fight the most memorable duels from The Clone Wars feature film and TV series.
  • Wield your Wii Remote like a lightsaber and experience first-hand the unique weapon of the Jedi Knights with intuitive controls, so no matter what your gaming experience you can become a lightsaber master.
  • Play with your friends as your favorite Clone Wars hero or villain — from familiar characters like Anakin Skywalker and General Grievous to new faces like Ahsoka Tano and Asajj Ventress — each with a unique fighting style and set of skills.
  • Exploit your interactive surroundings to defeat your opponent: slice down pillars and Force throw them against your foe.
  • Duel your way through significant Clone Wars locations, such as Tatooine and Teth.


  • Screenshots / Images
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