Monday, July 24, 2017

Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes - 20/20 hours

I wound up getting 100% completion on "Padawan" mode at around 18 hours, so I decided to try "Master" mode. It was a complete waste of time. Yes, it was technically more difficult due to increased enemy damage, but it still had the same extremely forgiving respawn system, so there was never any danger of failing a mission. There was some skill involved in getting the platinum medals, but it was the sort of skill that was, at least 25% luck, given the game's imprecise controls.

Maybe it's a bit perverse for me to judge the game on these terms, though. It was clearly meant for kids, so maybe its simplicity and low difficulty are justified. . .

Except when I was a kid, I was playing Super Mario Brothers (though, to be fair, this was in, like, 1992, and I was very behind the times). Which isn't to say that I'm saying kids today are too coddled and should be playing more difficult video games (the other game we had for that NES was Ninja Gaiden, and you won't hear me wishing that on anybody), but rather, that I enjoyed the sensation that the game was pushing back against me, that my mastery was growing to overcome obstacles. So I don't think you have to treat kid gamers as if they were made of glass. I think they are resilient enough to face setbacks from time to time.

Unless I'm overestimating the intended audience for this game. Maybe it was meant for really young children, like 4 or 5 years old, who may not have the emotional maturity to cope with being thwarted by a game, but that's unlikely. The show it's based on has too much violence and mature themes for younger kids, and even though the game's plot is gentler, it's still a little too abstract for the sort of kids who would need its hand-holding gameplay.

All told, this was the least essential of the games in my Star Wars bundle (so far). The best thing about it is that it nails the look of the show and gets all the voice actors to reprise their roles. If it were a better game, it would be like playing a cartoon, but since it is so relentlessly on rails, it comes off more like you're simply watching an extra dull episode. I won't lose any sleep about removing it from my hard drive, and I will probably never be tempted to play it again, but I will always be grateful to it for introducing me to what turned out to be a pretty badass show.

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