Gifts for Star Wars Gamers

by JoHarrington

So many Star Wars games, not enough time! But I've written a guide to the biggest and the best for you to choose between this year.

Fancy driving your own pod through Beggar's Canyon? Or facing down the Sith? How about meeting other Jedi in the forests of old Alderaan?

All are possible with the 'Star Wars' video games already out there, taking in a range of consoles from PC to PSP too. Unfortunately the sheer amount of them can be utterly overwhelming, so I've narrowed it down to just four.

Oh! And, of course, a very special XBox 360 on which to play them all. Just think very carefully about this first.

Xbox 360 Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars Bundle

There are times, in every gamer's life, when you have to sit down and think long and hard about what you're doing here.

It's an Xbox 360.  It's just like every other Xbox 360, no different, no better, no worse. The model will be old hat by the time 720 is released next year.  Yet it's twice the price of the bog standard Xbox console.

And it looks like R2D2.

It's difficult to get past that last bit, isn't it?  Parents the world over are likely to get very shrill, with eyebrows raised into their hairlines, at the very thought of it.  Geeks with disposable incomes are going to have frozen glances at their bank balances.

Is it worth it?  You get the Kinect Star Wars and Star Wars Adventures games free with the bundle; and an unlockable C3P0 too.  There's a Wired Headset in the box.

The console makes noises like R2D2.  It beeps and makes other custom sounds. 

The controller is modelled after C3P0.  Well, it's gold at least.  (Though not solid gold, just to pre-empt parental questions.)

But is it worth it?  Let's open that question up to the floor. 

An Xbox 360 That Looks and Sounds Like R2D2. Worth it or not?

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Star Wars Gaming Mouse

Just as there is no real need for an Xbox which looks like R2D2, there is absolutely no reason why you'd want a Star Wars mouse.

Ok!  So it has seventeen buttons on the side for ease of twitch control. It also saves your macro settings, and stores them in a cloud for instant download on any machine.

Granted, it is shaped like a Color Crystal, with back-lighting, and it changes the colors of light-sabers on your screen.

But who on Earth would want anything like that?  (Except maybe me.)

Razer Star Wars: The Old Republic Gaming Mouse

Kinect Star Wars Game

This is THE game for jumping around pretending that you're a Jedi knight. (Unless you actually are one.) But only if you have a big gaming space.

Kinect Star Wars is undoubtedly genius.  It's absolutely huge in its scope and there is no controller involved.

Instead you get to actually do the movements.  A lightsaber rises and falls with the movement of your arm.  You are at the controls of a podracer, avoiding obstacles and putting your foot down where appropriate.  You are on that Speeder Bike.

At least, so it seems from the screen before you; and we all know the power of vision to trick the brain. 

It might be easier for you to see this.  I know that I certainly want and covet it with all of my being. It's the ultimate in geek gaming.

So what could possibly go wrong with it?  Unfortunately everything, if you only have a small and poorly lit gaming space.  As no gamer ever has been known for their Feng Shui, minimalist decor, then that's a big downside.

The trouble comes with the built in sensor.  It relies upon picking you out from the background. If you are wearing colors similar to anything in the clutter behind, then it won't notice your motion.

Also swinging your arms around mid-fight is fatal for the tray of drinks being carried behind you, not to mention everything on your bedroom shelves.  Be warned.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

The biggest and best game in the genre, available for Playstation, Wii, Xbox, DS and PSP.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed has been the classic movie tie-in game, since it first appeared on the original Xbox.

Its legions of fans have been steadily increasing each year, especially whenever a new version or add-on enhances the gaming experience.  It has gone platinum. 

I've displayed the first incarnation (which is still very decent and played by many), but The Force Unleashed II is out there, with number three keenly anticipated.  It's also possible to buy the first as the Ultimate Sith Edition

There is a reason that The Force Unleashed has stood the test of time.  It's beautifully rendered with stunning graphics.  The game-play is immense and challenging enough to keep the average gamer rapt. It's fun and there actually is a story-line.

In short, everything that you want from a Star Wars game; and the YouTube trailer didn't do it justice.

Plus the only time that passers by are in danger of injury is if you're playing the Nintendo Wii version.  Everyone else is sedately clicking away at their controllers like normal.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II Collector's Edition

While there's certainly longevity in The Force Unleashed being a favorite Star Wars game, it doesn't follow that it can't be beaten quickly.  Three days is about the average. There are some frustrations if you're not a twitch player, but frankly that's all part of the challenge.

I'd place it as one of the best Star Wars video games available at the moment, as successors have yet to fully dislodge it.  Though we do all have high hopes for The Force Unleashed III.  Does that count?

Star Wars Battlefront I and II

A solid old favorite, which is available for PC, Playstation, Xbox and PSP.

Just about everyone speaks lovingly and nostalgically about the Star Wars Battlefront games. They are the highest contenders for greatness behind The Force Unleashed and the Kinect offerings.

Unfortunately they have been out too long, which means that everyone's played them.  As there's an on-line element, this can lead to disappointment.  The hundreds of thousands of fellow gamers ready to share your adventures after the launch have now faded away.  The worlds are pretty dead.

Of course, this won't matter if you can coerce an old gaming buddy into joining you; and it's likely to be rectified when Battlefront III comes out.  But there's still nothing in the news streams about that.

Where is Star Wars: Battlefront III?

Possibly on its way, now that Disney has bought out LucasArts.

Everyone and their droid has been long anticipating the wonders of Battlefront III.  But no news has so far been forthcoming.

Naturally the recent announcement that Disney have the rights to the game has prompted renewed speculation; and more than a few sinking hearts.  Disney is great at what it does.  It's unrivaled in animations, musicals, exploiting small children in Asian sweat shops etc, but gaming?  Not much to write home about there.

Nevertheless, if the same production company and designers are retained, to continue what was begun on 1 and 2, then there is a new hope indeed.  Especially since it's one of the most eagerly anticipated games ever!

Star Wars: The Old Republic MMORPG

The new kid on the block, this role-playing action game is available on PC, Mac and Xbox.

Be careful and do your homework before purchasing anything to do with Star Wars: The Old Republic. Though you're safe enough with the package that I've selected above.

The reason is that the game is going free-to-play on November 15th 2012, just in time for Christmas. That won't unlock everything, but it will be enough to get a very good taste for what's going on.

Nearly a million Star Wars fans play this MMORPG, mingling together on various worlds to save the Republic thousands of times over.  But that's down from the 1.7m who were playing when it first launched in July 2011. 

Personally, I think that says more about the fickle nature of gamers than the game itself, but that F2P element will give you the opportunity to judge for yourself free of charge.

More Star Wars: The Old Republic Goodies

Star Wars Christmas Presents and Decorations

Nutcrackers, hats and gift wrap, oh my! Consider yourself a cool nerd? This page has Christmas gifts that NO Star Wars fan should be without this festive season.
Forget angels! Forget a star! We want Star Wars! What, in the whole vast universe, could be finer than sticking Yoda on top of your tree? Be honest now!
For the geek Christmas dinner table, there is something very special to place in the center. Yule logs are sooo 19th century. How about Boba Fett instead?
Most people make do with a classy line of white lights; others with the glorious festive burst of flashing, colored lights. But you're a geek and you know what you want.
Updated: 11/01/2013, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 11/10/2012

I have the same trepidation about Battlefront III as I do about the announcement about the new films. On the one hand, yay! New films! On the other, oh no... Disney.

Paul on 11/10/2012

It really is a shame about the battlefront series, in some ways I want the third instalment but I'm still concerned it'll be a massive flop...

JoHarrington on 11/10/2012

Mostly off my friends. :D I'm in a Skype call with three gamers reading as I speak, and quibbling the time it takes to beat The Force Unleashed.

Mira on 11/10/2012

Wow, I bet this article will get a lot of hits!!:)

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