LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars Review

By Leah Jackson - Posted Mar 25, 2011

LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars for the Nintendo 3DS is the latest installment of the now very hefty saga of LEGO games. The game manages to charm and entertain both longtime Star Wars fans, as well as brand new ones, for hours on end. With new planets to explore, over 80 characters to collect, and tons of replayability, this little gem will keep all generations of nerds whacking their micro lightsaber at LEGO bricks for a long long time.

The Pros
  • Tons of memorable characters to unlock
  • 3D looks fantastic
  • Controls are flawless
The Cons
  • Minigames aren't very fun
  • No enemy variation
  • Puzzles are too simple

LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars Review:

Right from the very start, LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars is filled with hilarious brick breaking action and looks galaxies beyond its predecessor LEGO Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy

Each level looks completely different from the last, features new characters, and truly transports you to the planet on which your mission is set. One mission, Blue Shadow Virus, featured the lush, vibrant planet of Naboo with puzzles that had me opening water spigots to drench flowers so they'd bloom and I could then bounce on them from one area to the next.

Lego Star Wars 3ds

Cute Now Comes in 3 Dimensions

But blooming flowers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how far the game's graphics go. The 3D in LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars is, quite frankly, phenomenal. I was able to play the entire game from start to finish with the 3D slider up all the way and had no eye strain (this will vary from person to person).

Of course, the game is just as enjoyable in 2D, but in 3D things like blaster shots or the afterburners from space ships really create the sensation that they're about to come out of the screen. The effect is incredible, and I replayed the space flight missions several times over just to see the 3D in action again and again. It's unlike anything I've ever seen on a game system before.

The 3DS version of LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars follows seasons one and two of the animated version (unlike its console version of the game that spans the Clone Wars movie as well). Newcomers to the game include series favorites like the feisty Ahsoka Tano and Aayla Secura, as well as the menacing Asajj Ventress, to name a few.

This version of the game is also one of the first Nintendo 3DS titles to have Nintendo Play Coin support. This feature allows you to gain "Play Coins" the more you carry your Nintendo 3DS around in the real world with you. With Play Coins you can purchase extra characters like Battle Damaged Darth Vader (who comes with his helmet off) and Admiral Ackbar.

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Gotta Collect 'Em All

As is true with each LEGO game, different character types have unique abilities and you have to utilize all of them to progress through levels and ultimately unlock everything the game has to offer. These abilities include the force that various Jedi characters like Obi-Wan or Anakin can use on objects to move them, the Clone Troopers' grapple hook which swings them to and from platforms, and small characters like Ewoks or Twi'leks hopping through small openings to get to secret areas.

To unlock familiar special extras such as brick stud multipliers and funny jump mode or faster build times, you have to go back through the levels in free play mode after you’ve completed the story mission using all these different characters' ability types. I really loved Aayla's LEGO character model so whenever I knew there was a level I had to go back to with a secret opening I'd always bring her along in my party over Yoda or an Ewok (who was also cute) who could do the same thing.

Lego Star Wars 3ds

Droids For Breakfast Again?

While LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars did have me giggling the whole way through with its funny cut scenes and adorable LEGO characters, there were a few things left to be desired. Mainly, there were only two types of enemies in the whole games: Droids and more droids. They offered no challenge or variation from one another which left the combat feeling a bit stale. Clone Wars is absolutely a button masher when you aren't building or platforming, and there isn't much room to explore.

Lego Star Wars 3ds

May The Studs Be With You

LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars exceeded my expectations in many ways. I loved the eye-popping 3D effects, the flawless controls all the way through, and the familiar humor of LEGO games that left me smiling from start to finish. While the game could have incorporated a more diverse array of enemies, the large amount of other things to do and collect in the game more than made up for it.

It's the perfect launch title to show off the power of the Nintendo 3DS, and with its very small learning curve, even the most novice of gamers can pick up and play LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars.