Hello internet! Today on Ability Points I get to combine three things I am passionate about. Games, movies, and Star Wars! I got to see The Force Awakens before Christmas and I have been dying to share my thoughts on it, but this is a game blog. So I needed something game related to accompany it. Low and behold, Battlefront and Disney Infinity 3.0 were sitting under my Christmas tree.
So let’s get right into the meat of this post and talk about:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I’ve been seeing a lot of posts (on Facebook in particular) hating on the movie. I don’t know why its so popular to hate on everything or to share your god-awful opinion unsolicited, but that’s apparently what people do. You’re entitled to your opinion, but if you say “TFA sucks. JJ is stupid,” you’re just a hater and no one takes you seriously.
I’ve always considered myself a fan of Star Wars, but for different reasons than most people. I always laughed at the bad acting, the boring scenes, the dated graphics, and the odd way technology gets more advanced as you go from original trilogy to prequel trilogy. I found Star Wars funny. (I’m a sucker for B-movies and MST3K.)
I actually remember the first time I saw the original trilogy. I was a teenager and it was sometime after Lucas put CGI into them and rereleased the trilogy. I didn’t know much about Star Wars, but I had some friends who sat me down and made me watch all three. I remember saying “They were good.” Nowadays, I contend that the original trilogy was okay. Take off your nostalgia blinders for a moment and you’ll see where I’m coming from. They aren’t bad, they aren’t great. They are okay and fun to watch.
The prequel trilogy was, well, bad. A lot of people try to defend these movies, and Liam Neeson tried so hard, but the only redeemable aspect involved watching Yoda fight. The CGI is a bit dated now, but seeing that in theatres when they first released was nothing short of epic.
So when I heard Disney had bought the IP and put J. J. Abrams at the helm, I had a minor nerdgasm. Abrams made me fall in love with Star Trek. I have a hard time watching Shatner’s version (despite my love for bad movies), but I get into some Picard now and again. As a Disney fan and an Abrams fan, I had hopes that this Star Wars would be good. I wasn’t hoping for the moon (space station?) here, but I wanted to see something good come from a franchise I’d come to know so well over the years.
And, man, did he deliver! I’ve only got to see it one time, but I am dying to get back in there again. That is rare for me. Once in the theatre is usually enough, but The Force Awakens has sucked me right in. It’s no wonder its hit the billion dollar mark already.
I find it hard to say anything negative about the movie. The acting was on par and I really cared about every character (Poe was my favorite). Seeing the Falcon on screen again was nothing short of breathtaking. And Kylo was a devastating enemy.
We have to take a moment here because a lot of people are complaining that he wasn’t as badass as Darth Maul and people found him to be whiny. I did not. He had depth to him (unlike Maul) and a great source of anger yet to be revealed. A single line from the beginning of the movie still chills me when I think of it. “Kill them all.” We’ve barely scratched the surface of who Kylo is and who he will become.
Back on point, the visuals were stunning. The music was beautiful. The story was moving. The Force has awakened for sure! I went from being a moderate fan of the franchise to absolutely adoring it over the course of a two hour sequel.
The arguments to the contrary are loosely based in nostalgia. I’m not sure what people were hoping for here, but there are tons of references to the original trilogy that seems to be so beloved by fans, yet people still complain. “Too much like the original” and “not enough like the original” are the general basis of arguments against this movie. How can it be both? Kind of contradictory, no?
The Force Awakens is a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned and stands as my favorite in the franchise thus far. There are still so many things to see and learn about these new characters. I can hardly wait for Episode VIII.
Star Wars: Battlefront
I was not expecting this for Christmas at all. I had played the demo before and was impressed with the graphics. The same can be said after playing the original, btw. I have actually been having a lot of fun with this game. I wasn’t planning on buying it myself as a lot of reviewers will caution you that there isn’t enough content to justify the price. This is absolutely true. A $60 price tag on this game is absurd. It handles like it should have been a free-to-play title.
Its redeeming feature, in my opinion, is the ability to fly the ships we all have grown to love. Taking an X-Wing out over Hoth and shooting down other players is immensely satisfying and I find I don’t get bored with it. The detail is nothing short of amazing and its obvious they took a great deal of time and effort to construct the world.
All your favorite sounds are there, including the satisfying laser fire squirt noise. It all sounds fantastic through a headset. Even slamming a speeder into a tree on Endor will leave you smiling. The game is downright fun.
That’s about all that can be said, its fun. Your level of fun may vary depending on how much you like shooting and flying as there is no campaign. I’ve seen it compared to Call of Duty when playing ground missions and I think this is a fair assessment.
My final verdict: I wouldn’t pay more than $40 for it, which should be easy to find on Craigslist or a similar site since the fun is waning and people are going to start looking for other games to play. I’d say definitely rent it if you are on the fence.
Star Wars: Disney Infinity 3.0
What’s not to love about infinity? I mean besides the hefty price tag that comes with buying every single character because I have an addictive personality and the desire to collect things to fill a void left by faulty parenting in my early childhood, thanks mom… I blacked out for a second there.
I got this game for my kids for Christmas complete with the Rise Against the Empire play set. This is the one that you play with the cast of the original trilogy. You can unlock the newer characters for the play set as well by collecting special hero coins.
We’ve been having a blast! Infinity is a kid’s game. Dying has no real consequence. The missions are easy to understand, but sometimes take a couple tries, particularly race missions. Still, I’ve found myself looking up guides because it isn’t always clear what to do next, despite the mission log being easily accessible.
The controls feel a bit more clunky that the first two iterations of Infinity. The characters don’t seem to move as quickly and it feels like you have a delay between performing attacks that wasn’t there before. its unfortunate because I’ve always felt like Disney had perfected the game with 2.0.
The sound is wonky. Sometimes voices don’t sync with movements. Other times, the sound cuts out. This has been an ongoing issue with Infinity games. Coupled with the occasional loading glitches and screen that freezes up and it feels unpolished and thrown together.
It is a very fun and immersive game, but those faults really detract from the experience. Even though its a kid’s title, I still really enjoy playing it. My son and I have a blast running around, finding new missions, and unlocking new abilities. Plus, its a lot of fun to see Vader fight Anakin.
As I’ve said in past discussions about Infinity, be prepared to spend money if you get into this game. And have a nice shelf for all your newly collected characters, play sets, and power discs.