LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (3DS) - First Impressions

posted 19 Mar 2011, 12:42 by Knuckles Sonic8   [ updated 19 Mar 2011, 14:50 ]
Right after trying out Asphalt 3D at the 3DS Demo Station, I moved to another unit which had a build of LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars on it. I only spent a few minutes with this one before deciding to move on to something else but I did get a good idea of what to expect.

Starting up the demo put me in the shoes of a LEGO replication of Obi-Wan who was inside a space station of some kind. I got used to the button controls fairly quickly, and I also had no problem using the Circle Pad to control the on-screen character. In fact, the feedback was above satisfactory level. It was fun to whip out my lightsaber and start destroying nearby enemies with the press of a button. As one would expect, you have a series of melee attacks including a simple swipe of the weapon. Another move has you grounding the saber into the floor which causes a barrier to appear around you. As you defeat enemies or destroy parts of the environment, collectable LEGO pieces will fall to the ground and remain there for a short amount of time.

The Touch Screen has a series of slots for different characters you have on your team. You can switch between characters on the fly by tapping one of these icons. I didn't play around too much with the team members, partly because there were only three available at the time and because I was still trying to understand the basics. But I did observe that they do have some subtle differences between them. There were times when I had to make use of the Touch Screen to advance further into the level, by swiping in the direction of an arrow. This would then cause new platforms to appear that suddenly made distant areas accessible. There wasn't a whole lot of platforming during my session but I suppose it was decent.

As a whole, I thought gameplay was quite smooth. There weren't any hiccups from what I observed and although the game didn't manage to impress me that much, I can see why fans of the LEGO titles would appreciate the 2D graphics. It felt like I was playing the console experience in a non-gimped handheld form. It's also important to note that the screens I've seen for the game don't present gameplay in the most accurate sense. Trust me when I say the game looks better in person. 

Now about the 3D feature, I honestly didn't feel the depth slider added anything to the experience regardless of what setting I had it on. I was constantly moving the slider to see if it added any noticeable sense of depth, and I simply couldn't observe anything. The level seemed to stretch at one point and in another area altogether, an entrance in a hallway appeared to have more depth. But that's the most I could observe. To be fair, I didn't put a lot of time into the demo so it's quite possible it looks more impressive later on.

The 3DS version of Lego Star Wars III: Clone Wars didn't really hold my attention for very long. Yes, it was an above-average effort in terms of its crisp graphics and smooth character animations, but I was really bothered by the fact that the 3D seemed more or less useless in the areas I visited. If you're looking to get this at launch, I'd recommend waiting to hear more feedback from others before jumping in. Although it looks appealing from a technical standpoint, I can't shake the feeling that the 3DS' capabilities aren't being used to their fullest potential here.