Review: Star Wars Lightsaber Duel
Lightsaber Duel, by THQ, Inc.
• Interactive lightsaber fighting between iPhones!
• Some obvious features are lacking
• No “life meters” or anything
Star Wars fans unite! Way back in the early days of apps, an app came called PhoneSaber, that allowed you to make cool lightsaber sounds with your iPhone by swinging it around. It was bought out and later returned as Lightsaber Unleashed, complete with new features and still free! Well, the new version, Lightsaber Duel, is out now. It allows for interactive battles using the peer-to-peer Bluetooth connections, so you can fight with another iPhone!
Lightsaber Duel has some advances over the previous Lightsaber Unleashed (which is still available I believe). There are now 15 characters available to choose from, from all the movies. In addition, you can still make your own character, but you have a much greater ability to customize your lightsaber. You can use the built in music with the app, or you can create your own playlist with songs from your iTunes library. Lastly, a few of the bad guys are now capable of using the force lightning in addition to their lightsaber.
But the best of all, you can engage in combat with another iPhone. Simply turn on the Bluetooth, hook up with another phone, and then start swinging away. There are specific motions to parry, thrust, block, and attack. When the lightsabers “touch”, you hear the crackling sounds that we all have come to know. It’s a great way to have fun with someone, as my daughter (who recently has become enamored with Star Wars) has found out when we have been engaging in battles in our living room. Of course, since you are now swinging the iPhones around with little restraint, you need to be much more careful about accidentally letting them go flying!
Unfortunately, there are two big issues I have with the app. First, when fighting an opponent, there isn’t any way to determine who wins? There is no life meter, no ability to determine if someone is actually hit or not. It would be great to turn this into an actual game, where you try to kill someone else before they kill you, but instead you just swing the iPhone back and forth until you get tired of it – basically the same thing as the first one, except now two people are doing it.
Secondly, the feature where you can touch the glowing stars for a quote from the movie hasn’t changed at all. Regardless of the character you choose, the dialogue is the same. It would have been great to see character specific dialogue included – so if you choose Yoda, you get a Yoda quote. If you choose Ben Kenobi, you get a Ben Kenobi quote. Instead, we are still stuck with Darth Vader.
All in all, it’s a fun little app that expands a little bit beyond the Lightsaber Unleashed app. However, it only delivers a taste of what might be possible, merely whetting our appetite for a real, two player interactive lightsaber fight. At $0.99, it no longer is free, but the additional features and characters included make it a must for any Star Wars fan. However, due to the lacking features, I can only give it four out of five stars.
* = No redeeming qualities or features, probably not worth it even if it is free
** = Few redeeming qualities, or is simply isn't worth the price
*** = Some good features but also some clear flaws.
**** = A solid app, worth the money if interested, a few flaws or problems or slightly overpriced
***** = Top of the line app, no problems or drawbacks.
Price is factored into the ratings. Ratings are lowered if I feel the price of the app outweighs the benefits/enjoyment/features it provides. Likewise, an app that is a good value for the money will have a higher rating.