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2.0 out of 5 stars Falls a bit short, classic sequel syndrome, October 27, 2010
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= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II - Playstation 3 (Video Game)
I've only played into this game for a few hours, but I already have a sense of what I bought into. SWTFU II is like the classic sequel: it's more of the same, shinier, but not necessarily conveying more.

The graphics look prettier, except that Starkiller's face model looks...off. In my opinion any way. The music is superb, the voice acting is just a continuation of the great voice acting in the first game.

The control scheme has been re-tightened, but not reworked. It is simply a fluid continuation of the first game, and while the camera has been reworked to be less "wonky" (a common complaint of the first game) and Starkiller runs...a bit slower...I was able to pick this right up and just hack stormtroopers with unparalleled gusto.

The feel of the game, truth be told, is a direct continuation more than a sequel. It feels almost like an expansion pack. Starkiller himself is as powerful as you might have left him off, re-gaining his force powers at a rather fast rate, making him somewhat unbelievably overpowered. I do not know if someone who didn't play the first SWTFU would be able to pick this game up and play this game with reasonable ease, as the game compensates this overpowered-ness with frantic gameplay and impossible odds. As a result, the gameplay feels somewhat uneven, in my opinion: one level in particular, some weird gambling citadel in Malastare, felt superbly long, and what's more, repetitive. And then, it had two boss sequences, which felt like a bit much. It could be argued that the story flow was not set up in a way that follows standard " level- boss, level-boss, level-boss" schemes, but that it sets up the action in a more natural, fluid, story-telling way...but the problem with that argument is that the story telling feels very thin-spread when compared to the original SWTFU. The premise of the protagonist being a clone starts feeling a bit contrived after a bit. In essence, to me at least, it runs out of gas, and we're left with superb gameplay set in repetitive encounters.

Sometimes a story will be so good that it will carry bad gameplay or bad level design, but that's not the case here. And the combination of great gameplay with great level design is a combination that has carried some of the more popular game franchises in the last few years. But in this case, incredible game play mechanics cannot compensate enough for a thinly spread storyline, provided for the sake of giving us an excuse to hack through endless hordes of incredibly stupid stormtroopers (given, there are other more devious enemies, and a lot of them are force resistant, but I have not gotten stumped in this game yet, save for a boss fight which was a bit uneven, in my opinion)

I still have more to see of this game, and it has been incredibly fun, so far. But, to be honest, I had just as much fun playing SWTFU, and I was served with what I considered a very well written and scripted Star Wars side story to the original trilogy. This time around, it just feels a bit lacking.

Edit- As I kept playing on last night I encountered a series of bugs that at first were kind of funny, then they kind of detracted from the experience, and finally prevented me from going forward: When killing enemies, some of these would stick to the walls after being defeated, or would float away, at first. This was...comical. Then, at one point, I would come into a crowded room, and about half the stormtroopers were running into walls, walking on air, running through walls, dying and coming back to life ad nauseum, and some of them just floated out of reach, preventing me from clearing the room, which would have triggered the storyline to go forward, so I was stuck.

I don't know what this trend is to rush a product, but I really hope Lucasarts hotfixes this soon. I kinda wish I could return this and get some other game, honestly.

edit 2- after finishing the game, I had to adjust my rating from 3 stars to 2. The game is, as everyone says, painfully short. One playthrough lasts about 4 hours. The ending, both endings, to me, are unsatisfying, to say the least. The final stages of the game are incredibly anticlimatic. I always thought that fighting Vader in the first game was an awesome way to go out, although the fight was tough as nails, but the final stages of this game fall incredibly flat. This game is just very disappointing.It fell short of every expectation I could have had for this game. And it could be argued that Lucasarts has no obligation to meet my expectations, and the reverse could be said as well, that I am under no obligation to buy this game, but hey, I did. And I also traded it in before it was too late. At least I have Castlevania LoS.
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