Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels Review for Wii

On: Wii

Promises to deliver exciting lightsaber battles using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck.

Review Verdict Read Review
5Out of 10
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The animated film gets its own game
The animated film gets its own game

The animated film gets its own game

It's games like this that make the wait for the Wii Motion Plus add on, scheduled for release in the UK in the spring, even more excruciating than it already is. Lightsabers and Wii Remotes should be a match made in heaven, but instead it's so far proven to be a match made in the bowels of hell. Lightsaber Duels, a bare bones 3D beat-em-up released to coincide with the Clone Wars animated film and TV series that continues LucasArts' soul-destroying milking of the now irreparably tarnished Star Wars franchise, is yet another example of a Wii game that doesn't actually work properly because the controls are asking too much of the technology.

Performing even a rudimentary combo is a complete frustration because the Wii's motion sensing technology isn't responsive enough. Take, for example, Ahsoka Tano's Shii-Cho Slash four hit combo, which requires a swing of the Wii Remote left, right, left, then down. Even with very deliberate, considered slashes the combo won't come out every time. So you try again, getting even more frustrated with each stab. By the time you make it work your wrist is in tatters. And your eyes are bleeding.

The Lightsaber Showdown mini-game exemplifies Lightsaber Duels' broken fighting system. Every now and again both fighters will find themselves in a stand-off, with one attacking and the other defending. If defending you're supposed to use the Force to predict what attacks are coming via a small box that prompts the correct direction to swing the Wii Remote. Because the Wii doesn't pick up your swings accurately, and therefore not quickly enough, you fail this mini-game more often than not because the window of opportunity isn't massive. Joy.

But it's the parry system that's worst. Here you need to hold B and swing the Wii Remote in the opposite direction of your opponent's swing. Timing this correctly in an actual fight is virtually impossible because the Wii wasn't designed for this kind of precision gaming. It's a shame, because a solid parry system might have given Lightsaber Duels some much needed depth to its shallow combat.

While frustration will rank high on your feelings list after half an hour or so, it won't top actual physical pain. If basic fighting doesn't leave your Wii Remote arm flopping about like a jelly tentacle, then the sporadic Lightsaber Lock stand-offs, where the camera zooms in and lightsabers clash as both duellists vie for advantage, will crush your wrist and forearm bones into dust. Here you need to wait for a three second countdown then shake the Wii Remote from left to right as quickly as you can. Because the whole game is made up of a series of one on one fights that can last up to 10 minutes each, Lightsaber Duels is one of the most knackering games on the Wii.

The rest of the controls aren't too taxing. Character movement is controlled with the control stick on the Nunchuck, dodging is a case of pushing a direction and pressing A, blocking is with B and Force powers are triggered by holding the Z button and swinging the Wii Remote. Overall though, we reckon Lightsaber Duels, as with many Wii games, would be a much better experience if every move was doable with button presses only.

The combat is frustrating at best

The combat is frustrating at best

Lightsaber Duels also suffers from being pretty bare bones. The single-player campaign is essentially a series of one on one fights with frantically cut together snippets from the movie that act as story filler. This will please younger gamers but won't do much for anyone else. On the plus side it'll take you a decent amount of time to work through, depending on what difficulty you play it on, and switches things up by forcing you to play as the good guys (Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Mace Windu and others) from the limited roster. The in-game banter ties in well with the Clone Wars tone, and every fight has its own lines of Nickelodeon-friendly trash talking, but it's very repetitive because you'll be facing the same bad guys over and over again - Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku, General Grievous, and so on. When you've got a 12+ rating it's hard to kill anyone off once and for all.

On the multiplayer side of things, you can play one on one duels with a friend on the same console with characters and in arenas you've unlocked from the campaign, but there's no online play. On top of this you've got a Challenge mode, where you can unlock new costumes, characters and extras, pits you in one off battles with pre-determined conditions, and a Battle mode, where you take a character on a whistle-stop tour of the galaxy in an effort to prove yourself top duelling dog, but overall the multiplayer is an extremely conservative and uninspired effort.

The graphics are the high point. The character models are impressive, with nice animations and lightsaber effects - from the normal fight view General Grievous looks great (up close he looks a bit worse for wear). Even better are the arenas, some of which really show off what the Wii is actually capable of when developers take the time to try. One arena in particular, Separatist Listening Post, is a collapsing sky platform set against a blood red background that starts tilting during the second round. It does a great job of making the fight feel epic, with electrical sparks flying when you whiff a Force charged attack and everything, and, ergo, the game more fun.

You might say that we're being overly picky, that Lightsaber Duels is clearly aimed at younger Star Wars fans, perhaps those who have been "treated" to popcorn and a visit to the cinema to see the film, and therefore we shouldn't review it with Street Fighter-tinted goggles, but the combat system is going to be unresponsive and frustrating for gamers of all ages. Lightsaber Duels will please younger fans of The Clone Wars movie who don't know any better, but for anyone else the combat system will be too frustrating to forgive. The wait goes on for that perfect Wii lightsaber game. Roll on spring 2009.

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User Comments

cheetosguy's Avatar


I definatly agree with darkus159...dont get me rong, the game is amazing...who could of thought ten years ago that there would ever be a game that you could actually swing a brings back out childhood fantasies, and is, as id put it, quite a work out...through these good things...there are bad things too, like the fact that none of the combos will work unless by accidant, or maybe the fact due to the combos dissability, that u are unable to acheive many of the challenges....there are many flaws in this game, im sure that once you get all the characters it will be fun, but it is mere imposible to do that when you cant beat the challenges because your combos wont son loves the game
Posted 23:02 on 14 April 2011
Bullet1201's Avatar
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For some reason I can not attach a 2nd control on the multi player Clone wars duel for the Wii on the multi player screen it says attach control, but I can't get it to attach,(the control works on all other games) Also I can't find where to enter the cheat codes such as LORDOFSITH as the cheat screen does not give an option to enter letters can anyone help me


Posted 11:03 on 17 January 2009
NYGfan020308's Avatar
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I think its a fun game but the campaign is so short... A little disappointed with that but its a great game to mess around on with your buddies during halftime
Posted 19:52 on 04 January 2009
shinydragon33's Avatar
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I neeed all cheats
Posted 15:53 on 30 December 2008
maybeidntwant2's Avatar
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im waiting 4 this game ive just ordered it ive gt the star wars clone wars game for the ds and its one of the best games ive played forr a while i think you make your own mind up on games so have fun gamin people
Posted 20:40 on 29 December 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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The person who made this review probably played the game for a few hours and stopped because he sucked. It's fun and requires a large amount of skill to play.
Posted 15:14 on 28 December 2008
darkus159's Avatar


the game is really fun, but the people r right its kinda frustrating, i could barely get any combos almost all of the combos i have done were by accident, i really dont think it deserves a rating of 5
Posted 07:09 on 28 December 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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to eric: u have to complete 9 challenges(after you complete campaign) to unlock Kit Fisto. 18 challenges for Mace Windu and 27 challenges for Plo Koon.
Posted 03:10 on 27 December 2008
I Don't Know's Avatar
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I Don't Know

Awesome game. But there is a glitch in the controls sometimes it just randomly starts stabbing. and it could use a few more characters

Posted 03:06 on 27 December 2008
Gamesrme's Avatar


I haven't got this game but my friend called oliver has. I played it and it was ok at first but to those that haven't got it yet it isn't the best game but it is a nice present to buy for your kids, anybody here with kids the age of 10-15 will understand me.My daughter had a go at it she is 10 and she didn't really enjoy it to the max.
Posted 09:47 on 21 December 2008
Bill's Avatar
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This game may not be for the hardcore gamer, but for those who love star wars this game brings to life our childhood desire to wield a lightsaber.

Ever since Wii was put out onto the market I have been waiting for Lucas arts to put out a lightsaber game. And as I said this game might not be for the hardcore gamer, but it is a great game for star wars fans from any age. For instance my 4 year old son has mastered many moves in this game and has never played Wii before.

I believe that is the point of Wii’s existence, to bring together friends and family members of all ages and allow them to play a video game and not go crazy and grow impatient trying to learn the controls.

I know one day Lucas Arts will come out with a lightsaber duel game which will be acceptable for those hardcore gamers, but for now I feel that this is a great first step.

If you want a gamer gaming system, then PS3 or 360 is more your route, I happen to have all three of these systems and I do enjoy the more complicated games so you might call me a hardcore gamer. But I do appreciate what the Nintendo Wii System does by bring families closer through gaming.
Posted 16:31 on 09 December 2008
Matt's Avatar
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I got this game not to log ago, yes it will get you physically tired, the controls don't always respond just right but no matter how physically tired i was, i never got frustrated, and no matter how sore my arm was the next day, i hooked up the game and killed some jedi scum. I have seen all the movies and some of the show, this game rocks, don't knock it because you have a mental disability that prevents you from playing it right.
Posted 19:44 on 06 December 2008
dirt's Avatar
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a i agree with eric you suck man this is the best game i had evered playd
Posted 02:34 on 04 December 2008
eric's Avatar
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you suck aaronon it an awsom game by the way how do you unlock characters
Posted 22:01 on 03 December 2008
Aaronon's Avatar
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Jolleycat if you think this is a good game, you must be a newbie to games. Their isn't anything to this game, just swing your arms as fast as you can, plus no missions? just duels really? Its mortal combat with lightsabers. Plus what is up with the 3rd person view. This is just another cash grab as far as I'm concerned. I give this game 1 star on the idea alone but the game is awful. I want my money back.
Posted 03:32 on 03 December 2008

Game Stats

Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
Out of 10
Star Wars The Clone Wars: Lightsaber Duels
  • Great graphics in parts
  • Classic Star Wars sounds
  • Horrible controls
  • Bare-bones features
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 14/11/2008
Platform: Wii
Developer: Krome Studios
Publisher: LucasArts
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 1,677 22
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