Itís not often that a video game gets me so frustrated that I want to throw the Wii Remote across the room and toss the game out the window. Step forward, Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes. Even your impressively long name canít hide the fact that you are a big disappointment. You have made me feel anger towards my beloved Wii, even if only for a short time (weíve now smoothed things over after a brief Super Paper Mario interlude), and that is very, very wrong.
Just because a game is based on a cartoon series primarily aimed at young children doesnít mean it should neglect all the basic rules of gameplay. Yes, fans of TV shows will put up with a lot, but they wonít put up with just anything. Star Wars: The Clone Wars has a lot of older fans who might have appreciated a good game based on their favourite TV show, but sadly theyíre going to be largely disappointed when it comes to large chunks of the actual gameplay.
Itís not all bad, however. The one major positive about the game is the way in which the Clone Wars: Republic Heroes universe is so faithfully represented. I really liked the way in which so many of the much-loved characters are depicted in cutscenes and in their interaction with other characters, with the clueless-as-ever B1 Battle Droids being my favourites along with Yoda who frequently pops up to give you gameplay advice. The storyline seems to be pretty faithful to the spirit of the show, being based on events that lead up to the second series, with you fighting on the side of the Galactic Republic against the Separatists. Fans will also probably really enjoy getting the chance to play as many of their favourite characters from the show, including Obi-wan, Ahsoka and Anakin. What they might not enjoy so much, however, is just how bad the camera and controls are, and how the fact that you can never really die has removed all sense of challenge from the game.
The removal of death from the game is a major failing. Even if you do get killed, you simply re-spawn at a nearby checkpoint. Thereís no sense of danger or trepidation because you know that you canít ever really die for long, and that thereís no penalty for reckless behaviour in the game. Thereís no point whatsoever in using stealth or strategy, you can just dive in with all guns blazing or waving your light -sabre with careless glee because you know it doesnít matter if you perish. The camera is so bad that it means that you often canít see where youíre supposed to jump to so you end up falling over edges and Ďdyingí a lot, but then you just respawn anyway, so who cares. The characters move with all the grace of ice-skating elephants, thereís no weight about them at all and no sense of control over their actions, so you never get that satisfying feeling of guiding your character around. Wielding a lightsaber is usually fun, but it just feels empty here. Granted, shooting blasters and throwing grenades and using rocket launchers when playing as a clone trooper can be fun at times, but not for long. Overall, one to avoid unless youíre a Clone Wars: The Republic completist.