Angry Birds is a phenomenon, there is no better way to put it. Everyone knows what it is, “core” gamers tend to hate it, yet nearly everyone who has ever played a game has experienced it. When Activision packaged the original trilogy on consoles last year for $39.99 everyone thought they were insane. Then it sold over a million copies, which means this year we get Angry Birds Star Wars for consoles. Having never played this version and being a huge Star Wars fan meant I was in for a treat, but is it worth the hefty price tag?
Angry Birds Star Wars is exactly what the title suggests. This is the same formula of hurling birds at structures in order to knock down pigs, but with a Star Wars twist. Birds with lightsabers and force powers tangle with pigs in Stormtrooper outfits while they fire blasters at me. Yes, it is as nerdy as it sounds. Offering Star Wars-inspired powers really tugs at my fanboy strings. I also have to mention that the level design is fantastic here. Rovio has chosen some of the most interesting locales and mixed the two franchises together seamlessly.
It goes without saying that Angry Birds Star Wars is packed with content. There are so many levels it can feel overwhelming at times. All of the levels from the mobile versions are here, as well as a host of exclusive new content that features some new locales and items. The sticker system in place checks off the collection aspect, while the scoring system kept me retrying levels. This is the same formula, but once it got its hooks back in me, I couldn’t stop playing. Rovio has really perfected what makes Angry Birds so addictive.
The problems with Angry Birds Star Wars are not with its content or its game play. The reason these console versions are so despised in the gaming community, is because these games exist on mobile devices, for a lot less money. I can easily snag 90% of the content found on this $40 360 disc on my phone for less than $5, and that stings. Paying such a high premium to play the game on my HDTV feels a bit unsettling. I had a blast playing this game on my 360, but knowing that I could have gotten most of the content for a fraction of the price makes it hard to justify the entry fee.
If none of that matters to you, and you don’t mind paying the premium, this is still a fantastic experience. I sunk multiple hours trying to three-star every level, and being a fan of Star Wars only makes it that much sweeter. Angry Birds is fun, and there is a reason so many people love the franchise. I am sure my son will someday be obsessed with flinging birds at pigs and I am OK with that.
Review copy of game provided by publisher. Primary play on Xbox 360.