Tech News on G4
The Force is with 'Clone Wars Adventures'
Sept 24, 2010
By John Powell - G4 Canada
One giant lizard called the Zillo Beast. A teenage Boba Fett. Cad Bane, a merciless bounty hunter. A new season of the outstanding "Stars: Clone Wars" series is upon us and if it is anything like the last, fans are in for some galactic twists and turns.
To compliment the return of the animated series, Sony Online Entertainment and LucasArts have launched "Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures", a free-to-play online virtual world for all ages.
Yes, you read right, folks. You don't need R2-D2 to adjust your sensory units. The entire experience is completely free of charge which is music to any fan's or particularly, any parents' ears. You can purchase a monthly subscription for $5.99 and that opens up the "locked" areas or items, but to be honest, there is plenty to see and do for nada. You can participate fully without shelling out any "standard units" at all.
Registering at www.CloneWarsAdventures.com and installing the small program (a launcher) to run the game, is unbelievably simple and once you are done, it is time to design your own character. You can choose from three races: human, clone or Twi'lek.
Twi'lek, you say? You know, they are the tentacle-haired alien race that jedi knights Aayla Secura and Master Zhar Lestin belong to. Sort of the rastas of the galaxy. Definitely too cool for school, which is why I picked 'em.
Once you are done selecting your race and name, you can modify the look and dress of your character, within reason. By procuring virtual Station Cash, players can buy more items such as Darth Maul's clothes, the Emperor's robes and all manner of lightsabers, accessories and equipment. You can even purchase droids and items to outfit your outer space condo.
How do you earn this precious Station Cash, you ask? It is both simple and fun. Station Cash is the reward you receive for playing the assorted minigames and quizzes. To call the activities "minigames" is kind of a misnomer. They are all sharp and quite fun. My favourite is the lightsaber tournament battle, which kinda reminds me of 'Lightsaber Duels' for the Wii but way more simplistic. The great thing there is you can scout out the tournament brackets (or levels) before you even ignite you saber and preview your opponents ahead of time.
The 'Starfighter' is another 'Clone Wars Adventures' game that will chew up more time that you might have planned. Piloting a rebel ship with your mouse, you fly through meteor showers, space graveyards and other settings while shooting down droid spacecrafts.
An ever-growing virtual world, the producers have promised to bring the action of the animated series to 'Adventures' as well by including games or experiences that replicate or are inspired by events on the show.
When you are not playing games, you can wander around the space port and make pals with the other denizens, compare leaderboard scores or your trophies and achievements. Parents needn't worry about the online interactions either. Built-in parental controls allow for the customization of safety and communication options, including pre-canned chat and playtime settings for younger players.
In a world where consoles and the games that go with them can cost parents the equivalent of the GDP of a small country, a venture like "Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures" is a welcome venture. Not only is the price right but the value players are getting in return is exceptional. 'Clone Wars Adventures' is on par with any video game title out there and although there are safety provisions for kids, like the series itself, the experience is made for young and older fans alike.
"Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures"
Rating: 9 / 10
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.