Thursday, June 16, 2011

Video Game Review: LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars

LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars is based on the first two seasons of the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which airs on the Cartoon Network.[1][2] It is, for the most part, about the adventures of Jedi Knight, Anakin Skywalker, and his Padawan learner, Asohka Tano [3], during the Clone Wars (22 BBY–19 BBY [4]). However, there are also episodes about Anakin's secret wife, Senator Padmé Amidala; R2-D2 and C-3PO; clone troopers; Anakin's former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi; other Jedi; and even a few about the villainess, Asajj Ventress.[5] To choose the different levels, you are presented with a map of the Star Wars galaxy with the appropriate planets or moons highlighted.[6]

This game had a lot of battleground levels, where you move over a field taking over enemy positions and destroying the hardware they have built there. This makes sense since the focus of the cartoon series is a war, but these levels were less fun than the story levels. Also, I found that I could engage in a little war profiteering by turning on my score multipliers, buying an expensive piece of war machinery, and then destroying it. The coins that popped out were equal to or lesser than the purchase price, but the score multiplier made this profitable. Thus I quickly racked up a lot of money and didn't have any trouble purchasing the more expensive score multipliers (which, obviously, paid for themselves, via the same method).

My verdict: This one scored pretty well with me in comparison with other LEGO video games: I'd put it below the other entries to LEGO: Star Wars and LEGO: Harry Potter [7], but above the rest. (I've loved them all, though.) I only had a few complaints: unlike previous LEGO games, you're not able to turn off adaptive difficulty. You're also not allowed to switch characters unless you're looking at the character you want.[8] Coupled with the fact that is very easy to fall off edges in some levels [9], this means you're going to lose a lot of studs. There were also a few points in the game where I simply had no idea what to do next and had to resort to looking up an online walkthrough. Your studs disappear during the animations, which is a step backwards in terms of user-friendliness. On the other hand, none of the powerups (red bricks) that you buy are worthless (e.g. ice rink or santa hats).


[1] Five trailing episodes can also be viewed at You can also play a side-scrolling shooter flash game here.

[2] For my review of the second half of Season 3 of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, see here.

[3] Whom he nicknames "Snips".

[4] BBY stands for "Before the Battle of Yavin", which is the battle that takes place between the Empire and the Rebellion at the end of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

[5] I'll admit right now that you probably won't appreciate the humorous cut-scene animations unless you've seen the cartoon television series (which I recommend that you do).

[6] I was actually impressed with how close their depiction of the Star Wars galaxy was to the maps I've seen online (e.g. this one).

[7] Read my review of LEGO: Harry Potter here and my review of LEGO: Indiana Jones 2 here.

[8] Some LEGO games merely let you cycle through the characters in a particular order, whether the current character is looking at them or not. I prefer that system.

[9] i.e. they're at the bottom of the screen, so you don't see them until you've already fallen off.


  1. PROS: They finally gave us the split-screen for multi-player play, and they returned to the necessity of facing another character in order to swap control (I hated having to cycle through all the characters to get the one I wanted in story mode of LEGO Harry Potter).

    CONS: They took away the rhythm of swining a lightsaber that was found in the other two LEGO Star Wars games. Now it appears that you perform best if you just pound repeatedly on the button, without watching and timing the movements of your character.

  2. Ah, good point about the split screen. In previous iterations you were limited by how far away the other player is.