The star of the visual parade is the robust physics engine powering your most impressive moves. Using force grip, you can grab and fling any number of objects, including your enemies--and with force push (activated by thrusting the Nunchuk forward), you can shove items and foes out of your path. These skills and their variants deliver the game's best moments. Whether you're flinging Felucians into each other or offing swarming rebels with a burst of energy, there are a number of "Did you see that?" moments that will have you grabbing your friends to show them your saber-slinging prowess. It's disappointing that these moves can't be strung together more easily though. The controls--both buttons and waggles--can be unresponsive and sometimes lack the fluidity of the other versions. Nevertheless, you've got a number of other tricks up your sleeve, such as a whirlwind of force energy that sucks in nearby enemies and then flings them outward. This is also your most wrist-wrenching move because it involves holding down four buttons and thrusting both the remote and the Nunchuk forward.
While the environments aren't totally cluttered with useful objects, this actually works to the game's advantage because the targeting issues prevalent in the other console versions are diminished as a result. There are still some moments when you'll grab a different object than you intended, but given that there are fewer objects to grab, these moments will only provide the occasional frustration. Of greater concern is the camera, which the game tries desperately to get under control, but often leaves you stretching for the D pad to maneuver it into a better position. Oddly, you can only move the camera horizontally because pressing down on the pad activates a useless first-person view. Regardless, Force Unleashed requires a lot of camera fiddling, which is an annoyance that's compounded by the unintuitive nature of using the D pad to do it.
Nevertheless, the game moves along at a relatively quick pace, so between droid encounters and boss battles, you'll always be in the thick of the action. You won't find much challenge here; there are plenty of health drops scattered about, and should you die, you'll restart at the most recent checkpoint with all the damage you've already done to your enemies still intact. This is probably for the best because it keeps the pace moving. Some variety comes by way of Force Unleashed's God of War-style quick-time events, which result in some terrific, violent-looking moves, whether you're smashing on an opposing Jedi or defeating a rancor in a series of thrilling acrobatics. As cool as they look, these sequences don't work that well. You usually need to tilt the remote or the Nunchuk to match the onscreen diagram and then thrust it forward. It requires surprising precision, and not only does it take your eyes and your mind off of the action, but it is more annoying than fun.
Explore the dark side with unlockable costumes like this one.
Unlockable costumes and other extras won't give you much reason to return, but you may get a bit of enjoyment out of the simple but amusing Dueling mode that lets you and a local buddy choose from a number of Star Wars characters (unlocked during the single-player campaign) and go toe to toe. While each playable avatar is better at certain moves than others, each character plays pretty much the same, so you'll zoom around levels on Hoth, Bespin, and other locales, flinging your opponent around and slicing him up with the lightsaber. Most of the elements of the single-player game are here, for better or for worse, including graspable objects and quick-time events. But it's kind of neat to bash on each other as Darth Vader or Luke Skywalker, and while it's not quite the real Star Wars fighting game you've always yearned for, it's a decent diversion that will amuse fans.
So if you're hankering to wave around your remote and slash up Jawas, this is your chance, though The Force Unleashed may not be as raucously entertaining as you may have expected. Nevertheless, if you've got five or six hours to kill, this is a decent way to spend them, particularly if you're a Star Wars devotee looking to fill in the gaps between Episodes III and IV. It's too bad that so many annoyances and all that random arm waving get in the way because they detract from a game that had the potential to be a lot more.