Wii

North America

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II

by Neal Ronaghan - November 16, 2010, 5:40 pm PST
Total comments: 6

5.5

Did you have fun slicing that Stormtrooper in half? Well, that's kind of the entire game.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II for Wii, from Mushroom Men developer Red Fly Studio, is a game that tries hard to make good use of the Wii's technology, but falls short in the end. No matter what pointer and motion controls are added to make the game more interesting, Force Unleashed II never amounts to anything more than a run-of-the-mill beat-'em-up with some rough, dated graphics.

The game is arguably story-driven, but the sequel's tale is poorly told and uninteresting. You control the original game's hero, Starkiller…or maybe you're just controlling his clone. I'm not really sure. The fact that the story is so flat makes certain parts of the game, namely the pointless action-free level on Dagobah, terrible.

The controls are smartly designed and work. Basic combat does not involve shaking the controller around, as you jump and attack and with B and A buttons respectively. Motions and pointing are generally used for your force powers, which are fun and easy to use. You've got a whole array of powers to use, with lightning, repulse, and rage being three of my personal favorites. You build up experience as you defeat enemies, and that experience is used to upgrade your force powers. It offers a decent amount of customization, allowing you to tailor your hero's powers to your play style.

Outside of rare puzzles and platforming segments, the entire game is made up of fights with nameless enemies of limited variety that can withstand multiple lightsaber hits to the face. The combat is fun at first, but once you find your preferred style of Stormtrooper execution, it all becomes routine. Some of the enemy varieties change it up, but usually these over-powered foes just highlight some of the game's other lowlights, namely the camera. You can center it with a tap of the C button, and alter it with the + and – buttons, but the lack of a lock-on feature makes bosses and bigger enemies a complete and total chore to fight.

Force Unleashed II also fails by relegating the game's coolest segments to quick-time events. I don't want to move the Wii Remote to the left, then the right, and finally shake the Wii Remote and Nunchuk with vigor. I want to figure out how to use that giant pillar to take down those two AT-STs! The game takes you out of the landmark moments of the game, making the inevitable return to mediocre brawling even more disappointing.

The game does have one giant bright spot, though. The Super Smash Bros.-esque multiplayer is tons of fun despite its limitations. It's unfortunate that you can't play with computer opponents, but if you can manage to get three or four friends together to play, it's a blast. The eight characters are balanced well enough, and the six stages are filled with creative layouts and fun hazards. A full-fledged version of this multiplayer would be a great counterpart to Nintendo's iconic series.

Outside of the excellent multiplayer, there is still some fun to be had in Force Unleashed II. For all the issues I have with it, I enjoyed the basic force-fueled gameplay. It just doesn't have enough longevity to hold up over an entire five-hour game. If you're a Star Wars fan who can overlook the game's lengthy list of problems, this might be worth checking out. Outside of that, it's only worth getting for the stellar multiplayer.

Summary

Pros
  • Good use of Wii motion and pointer controls
  • Smash Bros.-esque multiplayer is awesome
Cons
  • Boring story
  • Camera hard to control
  • Quick-time events take you out of the game
  • Repetitive combat
  • Ugly graphics

Talkback

coffeewithgamesNovember 17, 2010

Did you play the original on the Wii by any chance?
I haven't seen many Wii reviews for SW:TFU II, that talk about the differences from the first and second.


I really enjoyed the first, and was a little concerned when I learned KROME wasn't developing the sequel...because I thought they did such a good job on the first.
I enjoyed Red Fly's Ghostbuster Wii game though, so I was somewhat hopeful this would turn out well.

I never played the original, though I always kind of wanted to. From what I hear, this goes forward in some ways, and backwards in others.

I've been a huge fan of Red Fly since I played Mushroom Men, and this is the first game by them I've been really let down by. I don't think Ghostbusters Wii and Food Network were amazing games, but they looked nice and were, in my opinion, well designed. This isn't.

ShyGuyNovember 17, 2010

I haven't played SWTFU II on the Wii, but I played the first one on PS3 and Wii and the second one on PS3. There is not a whole lot new in the attacks or enemies department, and the levels aren't as good as the first game.

MagicCow64November 17, 2010

I've played through both on the Wii. Part 2 is definitely worse. The core combat is fine, but damaged by the absurd lack of enemy variety and interesting boss battles that livened up the first game. The art design is also leagues behind the first game. The first levels in Kamino and that upside down city are alright, but from there on out you spend almost the entire rest of the game running around pointlessly in the inside of a ship of indeterminate size and function. It's super ugly and repetitive. And then at the end you get to . . . go back to Kamino.

It's actually kind of a shame this game wasn't better, as the clones are a persistent major problem in the Star Wars universe. It would make total sense and really elevate the Force Unleashed property if they used it to wipe out all of the clones/cloning ability of the empire and had it count for the canon. Then it would make sense that there aren't any more clones in the original trilogy. I think that was implied in FU II, but the story is so lousy that could just be supposition.

FZeroBoyoNovember 17, 2010

I might still give this a rental, as I quite enjoyed the first game. I liked the narrative in the first game and everyone seems to be saying that the story in this game feels shoe-horned in for the purpose of making another game.

TJ SpykeNovember 17, 2010

I don't mind hack and slashers, but based on the reviews I have read (including this one) I can't imagine paying $50 or $60 for the game. Maybe when it gets down to $20 I will pick it up.

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Genre Action
Developer Red Fly Studio
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Release Oct 26, 2010
PublisherLucasArts
RatingTeen
eu: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Release Oct 29, 2010
PublisherLucasArts
aus: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II
Release Oct 27, 2010
PublisherLucasArts
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