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Unleashing the Force

So – I have a confession to make. In the last four days, I spent AT LEAST 10 hours playing video games. OK, just one video game in particular. Are you ready?

The Force Unleashed.

This is highly unlike me. It’s rare that a video game out there manages to capture my interest with it’s attractiveness, easy playing style, and storytelling.

And most of those that do hook me end up being some kind of RPG style entity – a few that I’ve fallen for over the last few years:

Stubbs The Zombie

X-Men Legends

Lego Star Wars

Jade Empire

And of course – World of Warcraft. I was pretty much logging like 3-4 hours a night for a three month stretch back in 2005. Yes, bask in the nerdiness of that statement. But I haven’t touched that game since then.

So – by and large I’m not a huge gamer. I enjoy RPG style outings (though I never really got into Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess) and interactive games like Wii Sports, Guitar Hero, Rock Band and DDR. But I don’t read gaming magazines, or track release dates for games. It’s just not my thing.

So, this game is one of those rare exceptions.

Dan purchased The Force Unleashed for the Wii console exactly one week ago. He played a little last Friday night while I paged insanely through Twilight, trying to ignore the John Williams orchestrations and blaster shots.

My level of interest in Star Wars waxes and wanes, and for the most part – I could care less about spaceships and aliens. However, I happened to glance up now and then last Friday evening and thought…shit, this thing has a STORY. And the voice-acting and characterizations aren’t half bad.

Dan caught me eye-balling, and then practically insisted I duel him.

Of course, he soundly kicked my ass several times and I threw the controls down in frustration. But despite the brutal beating – I enjoyed being able to wield a light saber and use incredibly fun force powers (push, choke, repel, electricity). Since adequate dueling requires that the champions be on equal footing, Dan suggested I start up a game and figure out how to use the powers.

And then I was hooked.

Granted, there are issues (always issues) – the Wii graphics are not up to par with X-Box 360 or Playstation 3. Honestly, that’s not a huge concern. I’m not a graphics fanatic. Being able to discern emotion and fluid movement from the characters is enough.

Also boding ill for the game: the story is SHORT. The characters aren’t terribly well fleshed out, and the levels become a little monotonous after awhile, as they all follow the same scheme. Fight a gaggle of Rebels or Storm Troopers. Meet the 2nd string boss. Kick his ass. Meet the big boss. Kick his/her/it’s ass. Next level. Pretty repetitive.

But the plot is awesome. The voice acting is decent – and there’s a fun love interest. Gotta have a love interest.

STARTLING REVELATIONS:

Force Unleashed has all the elements of a good graphic novel.

Which is probably why there was a graphic novel already published.

I’ve not read the book *yet* but from the reviews I’ve scanned through and the info I’ve gathered, it’s actually a bit better than, and a good supplement to the video game.

Although, it does seem hard to trade in the exciting Wii technology that lets you wield the controls as if you were actually performing the actions of the character. The big pull of the Wii version of Force Unleashed is the level of interactivity.

I couldn’t imagine enjoying this game nearly as much without the ability to slash through opponents while wielding a controller turned lightsaber or grab and choke Storm Troopers with a flick of the wrist.

OTHER FUN TIDBITS:

– George Lucas approved so much of the video game content, that the storyline for the game has officially been ushered in as canon.

Which gives it a decent vying spot to become a movie – either live action or CGI.

Shee-it, a movie is all that’s needed to provide it with the holy trinity of entertainment. It’s already been graphic novelized and video gamed.

– For any BSG nerds out there, the Secret Apprentice Galen Marek aka “Starkiller” is actually Crashdown, and soon to be Doomsday in Smallville. I also recognized him from The Mist. His real name is Sam Witwer.

 

That’s all I’ve got. I’ve already started re-playing the game…and Dan hooked me up with a PC version of Knights of the Old Republic.

It’s not nearly as much fun without a light-saber to wield…

Much Love, Mindy C

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About tinyheroes

Mindy Crouchley is a 33 year old woman with a degree in English and Technical Writing from Portland State University. She has accumulated three+ years experience in the Marketing and Communications field - with an emphasis on creating digital media content. She has been reading comic books since she was 10 years old. She currently lives in outer southeast Portland with her spouse Dan Robertson, her baby girl, and their dog - Jabba the pug. She spends her free time devouring books, crafting cosplay, video gaming, attending comic cons, writing stories/screenplays, attending book to film adaptation club meetings, volunteering, and watching copious amounts of TV and movies.

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  1. Unleashing the Force | Console Gaming - September 27, 2008

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