Friday, July 19, 2013

Every Angry Bird has a Beginning

(Originally Written for Jedi News)

I made this the other day when Rovio Entertainment made their teaser announcement. For those readers who may have problems viewing the comic, let me translate the story: When Angry Birds Star Wars was released, I was excited at first, until I realized that it only seemed to feature Episodes IV-VI with no hints at I-III. Frustrated and outraged at the exclusion once again, I swore I would not download the game until I knew that I-III would be represented. As a show of good faith, I also swore that if that day did come, not only would I download the game but I would actually pay for the full version.

So when Rovio teased that a brand new game was going to be announced on July 15th, and followed it with an image of the Angry Birds recreating the classic teaser poster for The Phantom Menace, well let’s just say the comic image of vomiting rainbows of happiness is not that far off from what actually happened.

Now the game has been announced: Angry Birds Star Wars II. And as the champion of everything I-III on this site, I really wanted to give my first impressions based on the official announcement. Now, I need to put a disclaimer that I am writing this on Monday the 15th, mere hours after the announcement. By the time this gets published on Thursday, we could have a lot more information. Still, we have quite a bit to go on.

First of all, this:

This is just beautiful. Look at that. Really, I’m not kidding, just look at it. It is unapologetically epic, the way it should be. We all knew that Maul and Grievous pigs would look killer, but I’m quite pleasantly surprised at just how awesome the Anakin and Qui-Gon birds look, and how distinguished and worthy of the great Christopher Lee the Dooku pig looks (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write).

More than that, the gameplay looks awesome. Choosing your own side seems like a fun feature, especially since of the original Birds games I was a lot fonder of Bad Piggies. Although I wonder if the choice is permanent or if we can switch back and forth? I personally hope for the latter, since I’d love to try out all the characters.

Speaking of characters, there’s apparently a new feature called “Telepod” tying in with the Angry Birds Star Wars toy line, where you can bolster your ranks with whoever’s plastic likeness you happen to have on hand, similar to the video game Skylanders. Longtime readers of my blog will know I am a Skylanders fanatic, so this optional feature is a welcome one from me.

What this means is that aside from my vow to pay for the full version of the game, I will also be rewarding Rovio by putting down my hard-earned cash for extra ammo figures and the inevitable Sebulba Pig plushie. Well-played, guys. Well-played.

Any downsides? Well, not that I can see with the game so far. I mean, it’ll still be Angry Birds so it’s up to you whether you like that or not. It’s still Star Wars, so the same goes there too. I’m certain I’ll enjoy the game so long as it remains respectful of the source material (doesn’t mean it can’t poke a little fun, but as respectfully as it did IV-VI).

I do have a little problem with the announcement, though. This is supposed to be I-III centric, and who does the trailer spend the first half on? Chewie and Vader. But more insidious is the following statement:

“At this point we will not comment on rumors or speculation that Jar Jar Binks will be in the game”

Now, that’s enough to press my beserk button all at once. How could you not include Jar Jar in a game about destroying structures by bouncing off of them?! Fortunately, we know for a fact that Jar Jar is properly represented in this game. How? Why, by the silhouette character sheet teaser image they included.

He’s also seen clearly in the trailer for a second.

Now, you’d think this would calm my reaction, and indeed Jar Jar Bird will be one of the first Telepod figures I will grab if I can. But instead, I’m still a little peeved. You guys put all this time and effort into a game based on these films: own it! Don’t make it seem like a contractual obligation, be proud of everything in there!

That aside, I can honestly say that this is the first mobile phone game to get me as excited as traditional game release, and I haven’t been this excited for a video game since the announcement of Pokémon X and Y. Come September 19th, you’ll all get my thoughts on the game proper. Until then, may the Force with YAHHH!


  1. I do not play the Angry Birds Game (simply because I do not *get* it, but when first saw the Star Wars version I was interested. Now that we have the Prequel Trilogy in all their glory coming to Angry Birds...I'm in. Sign Me Up!

    1. You throw birds at pigs and watch things fall down. What's not to get?

      Jar Jar needs to be a gamebreaker that everyone will want to use.

    2. I should rephrase that. I don't get the popularity behind a simple concept throwing birds at pigs and watch things fall down. What other games revolve around simple concepts?

      (flashback to Pac-Man)

      Never Mind.

      Point is I am definitely more interested in Angry Birds Star Wars more than before.

    3. Maybe Angry Bird Jar Jar could use his long tongue as a weapon. I'd play him more often if he could do that.

    4. Totally. I'll be playing him more often anyway, since that's one of the figures I plan on getting.