GregoPeck gives this a solid "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
GregoPeck gives this a "Rad" on the Ghost Scale
This is fun, with very few issues, and is well worth your time.
I recently finished Star Wars: The Force Unleashed I and II and thought it was time to give them a proper Cheerful Ghost review. The second game is a sequel to the first However, the first game isn’t very great, especially compared to the second. I wouldn’t say it’s horrible, but one thing I absolutely hated was that it uses quick time events. These were often buttons you had to press at a certain time to do a certain finishing move. The second game has these, too, but does a much better job by having fewer of them and making them not as seemingly random. They weren’t as annoying in the second game as the first, though I still don’t like this game mechanic.

I was able to play both games via Steam on Windows 10 and with an Xbox One controller. I didn’t have to do any special configuration, though the second game included some graphical detail options, which weren’t automatically set to the highest, so I set them that way. It didn’t seem to have a 1920x1200 resolution, but 1600xsomething instead, which I don’t think was really noticeable anyway. In the second game, subtitles were automatically turned on and I turned them off.

You’ll start out in the first game as Darth Vader death marching your way through a Wookie village. One could say that Vader (and Anakin Skywalker) is the most iconic character in all of Star Wars, so it’s fun getting to play as him. It was also great to see him in the game, hear him, and watch him act. He was presented very well in both games. Eventually, you’ll change to controlling a character who is Vader’s apprentice. I didn’t know he had one. He said he wanted you to help him overthrow the Emperor. He’s helping you complete your training by sending you on some missions, which will have you fighting some Jedi. There aren’t a lot of characters here, there’s a droid which is used as a communication device to speak to Vader. He’s also funny in that his goal is to try to kill you and he keeps apologizing for failing. You also have a female pilot, which you needed after Vader killed your previous pilots.

This is an action game, you’ll be attacking enemies using Force powers such as Force Lighting, Force Grip, and more. When you get to the tutorial part in the beginning, I recommend getting comfortable and familiar with the controls before moving on, it can feel a little difficult to get used to. The second game doesn’t have a tutorial in the same way, but it will tell you things you can do, while you play, when they become available or relevant. As you progress in the game, more abilities will unlock. You’ll also earn points, which are used to increase your rank of each ability. Higher ranked abilities are more powerful than lower ones, so you’ll want to manage those points. There are Jedi and Sith Holocrons hidden throughout the first game. The Jedi Holocrons unlock special things like a Lightsaber Crystal, costume, or some other special extra. Sith Holocrons give you a temporary ability such as invincibility or health restoration, for example. This is different in the second game as there are four different kinds of Holocrons each with a different color and each will give different things, such as permanent health increase.

Lightsaber Crystals can be changed, in game in a menu. You may find these hidden throughout the games. They not only change the color of your lightsaber(s), but also have their own abilities, such as stronger lightsaber attacks.

There are “extras” in each game you can unlock, though I’m not sure exactly how to unlock everything as I didn’t look for a guide for that. I do know that you unlock cinematics when you see them as you progress in the games. However, I noticed that the second game still had some that I hadn’t unlocked. You can also unlock costumes and databank entries, which will tell you about something in the Star Wars universe. These entries are rather lengthy, at least in the first game, I didn’t look at them in the second game.

Over the course of the game, you’ll run into familiar Star Wars characters and locations. You’ll notice that almost none of the characters sound the way you’re used to, though Vader’s voice was done very well. I was pleasantly surprised to hear the voice of one character other than Vader. His is the voice of the clones in The Clone Wars, the same voice actor. It's fitting, in my opinion, that this is that character's voice. The one problem I had with the locations in the first game is that you go back to them a second time. There are a few different difficulty levels and I played on easy. I noticed the “unleashed” difficulty unlocked in the second game after I completed it. The first game had some instances of confusion, where it was difficult to know what to do or how exactly to do it. There’s one in particular that seems like it will take forever and does seem difficult to get right. The second game wasn’t like that.

So, if you’re interested in playing a Star Wars game and seeing a story about Vader with an apprentice, check out The Force Unleashed and it’s sequel. The second is definitely an improvement over the first.

I'd also like to point out that both games are short. Steam says I've spent 8 hours on the first, even though I restarted at least once, and 4 on the second. Higher difficulty would probably change these numbers. Also, really hunting down those Holocrons and such would certainly add some time, though I didn't do that.

This is funny, you should check it out, Honest Game Trailers for The Force Awakens: https://youtu.be/0ATGmaVwrIw

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/22/2020 at 01:41pm

> However, the first game isn’t very great, especially compared to the second.

O_O

Hottest take about these games I've ever seen lol

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 06/22/2020 at 06:48pm

LOL I gave up playing the first one at least once, because of the stupid quick time events. I even uninstalled both games, but then reinstalled them almost immediately. The first wasn't really bad, but the second was really awesome compared to the second. I was so pleased with the improvements they made.

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/22/2020 at 09:06pm

See I didn't even see any improvements. It just seemed like a few levels they didn't have time to put in the first game, strung together with a thin and weird plot. And if I'd been unlucky enough to pay $60 for it I would have really hated it, but since I got it for like $10 on a Steam sale it was fun, but it should have just been DLC, calling it a full game was a joke.

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/22/2020 at 09:07pm

For what it's worth I ADORED the first game, I feel like it achieved making the player feel like a badass in ways that no other game had before it. The second game did the same but it felt very samey.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 06/22/2020 at 09:42pm

Yeah, I see your point of view, though I feel differently. LOL I'm sure I picked them up in a Star Wars bundle from Humble Bundle, so I didn't pay too much for them either. I did enjoy being a badass with Force powers, but I really hated those quick time events, especially in the first. As I think I said, they seemed to be more random in the first. In the second game, taking out a particular enemy would require you to usually press the same buttons initially, but then possibly change the last one. This made it easier to input them as I could predict more easily what to expect. Although, the first game put those in the center of the screen, while the second put them on the edges. I feel a couple of ways about that. It's easier to see if it's in the center, but it's kind of easier to interpret if they're on the edges. So, you see one on the right-hand side, you'll know you'll have to press the right-most button on the controller (B in the case of the XBox One).

Additionally, I was impressed when I saw the credits for the voice actors. The guy who plays Darth Maul in The Clone Wars does very many of the voices in the games. He did a good job, I think, at least I think his performance was done well.

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/23/2020 at 04:02am

I do get the QTE thing. I don’t have any issue with completing them but I don’t enjoy them, they just kinda pull you out of the game. It’s kinda... lazy isn’t the right word. Just not what I’m into. But yeah the changes they made there didn’t really affect me but I could imagine if they frustrated you enough that might be a major point for you.

The only thing kinda like that when I played it was one big set piece moment in the first game where you had to turn the sticks a certain way, and the on-screen prompts had them backwards. I had to look it up and found a lot of people with the same issue. This was at launch, though, and I think they’ve fixed it since.

And yeah, Sam Witwer is amazing. TFU was the first time I saw him, but I recognized him from his likeness/mo-cap when I saw him in Battlestar Galactica a bit later. And I was thrilled to have him back to play Maul in the Clone Wars, Rebels, and Solo. And the emperor in the Clone Wars too!

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/23/2020 at 04:02am

Er... in Rebels. He played the emperor in Rebels.

GregoPeck   Super Member   Post Author wrote on 06/23/2020 at 05:13am

Looking him up on IMDB shows who he was and yeah, I think I remember that episode he was in, but I didn't know about him then. It wasn't until maybe a few years later that I watched Clone Wars (for the first time). Looking at the credits of Phantom Menace and Solo, it seems that Ray Park was physically Maul, but Sam was the voice of Maul. I wonder why that is. Sam is a muscular guy. Anyway, this is still relevant to the conversation, because (you may remember) Maul does make an appearance in one of the games. Again, I think he did a great job as Starkiller, but I wasn't as impressed w/ his Emperor voice. I also see he's done other Star Wars voices in other games, which I have not yet played.

BTW, did you notice the voice of Boba? It's Dee Bradley Baker. I was surprised and delighted.

And...HOLY CRAP!!!! In all these years of being here on Cheerful Ghost I just now learned that you can resize the comment window!!!!!!! That makes things so much easier, especially copying, cutting, and pasting. Wow, mind blown, I feel stupid, LOL.

Travis   Admin wrote on 06/23/2020 at 02:49pm

Yeah Witwer was the voice in Solo, Peter Serafinowicz (I may have butchered his name) was the voice in Phantom Menace. Apparently he recorded lines for Solo as well but they decided to go with Witwer since he had more screen time with the character.

And on modern browsers, unless you put forth the effort to limit resizability, you can do that anywhere with text boxes (not one-line input controls, but text areas)

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