So I know it’s a bit on the late side, but The Force Unleashed finally made it into the family repitoire. We have a passel of gamers in the family, granted not everyone prefers the same games, but we all watch, and kibitz. Oh * man* do we kibitz. We made the decision early on that all media had to be a public event, and so have kept all the computers and videos in the living room, where everyone can access it and everyone is allowed to offer advice and help one another out.
Stay with me, the backstory makes sense eventually.
My youngest son, known to teh Interwebs as Thing03, just touched 4 1/2 and has spent his time recently trying to finish Lego Star Wars #1. So I know he groks the gaming environment and the kind of puzzle solving process commonly used in games.
Nevertheless, I was surprised when he picked up the controller for Force Unleashed and polished off the first mission like he’d been working on it for weeks.
YES! My child is a game playing GENIUS! Somebody call MENSA!
Then he turns to me and says “Mom this is just like Lego: StarWars”
Good Lord, he was right.
Don’t get me wrong, overall, Force Unleashed is a much more complex game, you have the ability to modify your characters, you have the ability to add bonuses or change gear to give you an advantage in different types of terrain or for different mission set, and, of course, Force Unleashed has a custom storyline (and some kissing) but the coreelements are remarkably similar.
Both games have the standardcamera and movement sets (walk, jump, attack, use (the Force). Both games are action puzzlers, granted is a side-scroller and Force Unleashed is in the round, but getting through any level requires you to attack enemies, solve physical puzzles in both the platformer-y sense of “how do I get way way up there” as well as the, “what do i need to open this door” sense.
The levels are short, clearly defined, and even some of the boss battles follow the same paradigm of “you have to kill this thing more than once to beat it”. In fact the games are so similar in logic that a 4 year old is able to parse the similarities and use them to his advantage to kick the a** (for at least one level anyway) of a game he’s never seen before.
God help his P.E. Teacher :)