Finally, an MMO that Isn’t Addicting and Is Actually Fun – Clone Wars Adventures Preview

Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures is the newest MMO-ish game from Sony Online Entertainment (SOE). The reason why I say MMO-ish, is because it’s not your typical MMO. What sets this apart from traditional MMO’s is that the game follows the children’s Clone Wars TV series; so its obvious that you won’t be chopping people’s limbs off with a lightsaber ala Jedi Outcast II. Here’s an interesting tidbit: SOE will update the game as events happen in the show. Basically, if a large scale battle happens on the TV show, it will appear in the game as well.

Starting off, you get to choose between being a Jedi or a Clone Trooper. I opted for the Jedi. From there, you can customize your character using a vast Star Wars wardrobe database. The costumes not only come from the Clone Wars series, but from all six movies. Some of the standouts I noticed were Boba Fett’s helmet and Tusken Raider garbs. So far, Leia’s slave costume has yet to be confirmed as a usable outfit. Besides customizing your clothes, you also have the ability to customize your own place. This is where being a premium member comes into play, as those members get access to more exclusive items for characters and living quarters. Sony hasn’t yet stated the exact price of being a premium member or what the exclusive items will be.

As I mentioned earlier, I came across Boba Fett’s helmet as a clothing option for my character. I was then disappointed to find out I couldn’t use it. There reason being that  I didn’t have enough credits. Earning credits is fairly easy as you play one of at least 20 minigames to earn your pay. With enough money, you then have the ability to unlock new clothes, lightsaber hilts, items for your character and many other things. Premium members get better items, but you definitely don’t need to spend actual money to enjoy the game. After spending a great deal of time on customizations, I moved on to my next task.

Because I was a Jedi, I started off in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. I walked around in search of something to do. As with any MMO, being in a major city, you can sit back and watch literally hundreds of people roaming around, each with their unique look. SOE went for a different approach on creating their environments. Standard MMO’s allows players to travel the land on a large scale, i.e. wide open areas. Instead of that, you are restricted to “hub areas”, such as the Jedi Temple, a hangar, etc. In these areas, you can chat with other players and access all the different mini games.

My first stop took me into a droid shop, which I then found out that in true MMO fashion, you can have a pet. And I’m not talking just any pet, you can have a vehicle (i.e. mini AT-AT, etc.), protocol droid or astromech a pet. A really cool feature is that you can make it do a light show which results with anyone in the near vicinity dancing uncontrollably. It was interesting watching Jedi’s and Clone Troopers doing the running man and disco dances. SOE says they have plans in the near future to incorporate dance moves from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” music videos.

By this time, I realized that I had spent almost 2 hours on the game and had accomplished all of nothing but mindless antics. I then decided to try my hand at a few of the minigames Clone Wars had to offer. This is where you’ll either love or hate the game. The majority of the games that I played just seemed to easy. For example, The Star Fighter game has 12 stages in total, but your ship is on-rails per say and you can’t control most of the movement. What you can do though, is fire its weapons to destroy targets, boost and do barrel rolls. There was another mini game I came across called Star Typer. For the most part, the game looks to improve your typing skills; as letters travel down the screen, you have to press the correct keys which in turn blows up enemy ships.

With me being a Jedi and running around with a lightsaber, I thought that there would be some sort of great game utilizing it against opponents. Sadly though, I was greatly disappointed. The minigame ended up being a one-on-one duel, either between two players or a player against the computer. You start off with both lightsabers locked and no control of your character. You then have to pay attention to the bottom of the screen as a series of arrow keys appears. You must then hit the corresponding arrows on the keyboard, in a DDR or Tap Tap Revolution manner, before your opponent does. If you are successful, your character then goes into an animation that slashes, kicks and Force pushes your opponent.

Other notable games are Stunt Gungan, R2D2’s Rocket Rescue and my favorite, Tower Defense. Stunt Gungan tasks you with having to keep Jar Jar Binks in the air by maneuvering him onto jump pads or placing bombs on his potential landing spot. R2D2’s Rocket Rescue is a side scrolling flying game in which R2 has to fly around collecting objects and make it to the end of the stage. Tower Defense is the same as any other game that’s similar where you have to battle waves of Battle Droids and other enemies by placing turrets, upgrading them, throwing thermal detonators (grenades) and calling in orbital strikes. Obviously, as the levels progress, the difficulty increases and different strategies are needed.

All in all, the game was entertaining to say the least, especially being a huge Star Wars fan. I found a lot of the games too easy or too mundane for my taste. Then again, I’m the guy that starts every new game that I get on the highest difficulty. What you also need to remember is that the game is geared more towards kids than any other demographic. With that being said, any kid who is a fan of the Clone Wars series would surely have a lot of fun with this game. So if you have kids that are Star Wars fans, I would definitely suggest this game, although I do so with a warning. As this is an MMO, I can foresee that it will be a gateway for other addicting, soul-eating, time consuming MMO’s……like World of Warcrack…….I mean Warcraft. The game hits retailers today.

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