Developer Red Fly has done a marvelous job with the Sequel to the Force Unleashed for the Wii. They know the hardware inside out and aren’t afraid to flaunt this knowledge. Let’s talk about how they can improve on this game’s strengths while fixing its flaws:
Disclaimer: I’m writing this from a viewpoint that a “Force Unleashed III” or similar game developed for the Wii or Wii U with these tips in mind, may or may not star the same character, and of course, I’m going to try to avoid making any specific plot references to Force Unleashed II, other than the things you’d know from reading the box or seeing trailers.
OTG Attack(s). Here’s a simple one to start out. OTG is a term used by fighting fans as an abbreviation for “On The Ground.” One strategy that I employed against tougher enemies, or enemies that could block, was to knock them down with a Force Push or Force Repel, and then run up to them and start comboing, hoping that some of my attacks would reach them on the ground before they could get back up and start blocking. It would be nice if there was a formal OTG attack, or a coup de grace, to hit someone on the ground, possibly finishing them off before they can get back up. The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King for the Gamecube. Star Wars Episode III for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS, and other games had attacks that specifically affected someone on the ground, whether it simply dealt damage or finished them off.
Short Company Logos, please. Nintendo gamers come from an era where, within the time it takes to press the power button on the console and pick up the controller, you can press start and begin play. It gets annoying to have to sit through the cinematic company logos, even just two of them, every time you start up the game. If you must have epic video-logos, put them into the cinematic of the “New Game” startup, so that people continuing old games, who’ve already seen the logos, don’t have to sit through them every time they launch the game software.
Multi Player Cooperative Missions, or a Multi-Player Cooperative Story.
The versus mode included was nice, but there were some balance issues that needed working out. Rogue Leader included Rogue Squadron with multi-player cooperative play as a bonus, it would make sense that later Star Wars games would include a feature that allowed multiple people to play together, even if it was as an “aside” from the main game.
On another note, however, Lego Star Wars games were all about multi-player cooperative play. What better way to attract that audience that to include it in the more ‘canonical’ Star Wars games as part of the main story, as well?
Remove the “recoil” from breaking out of carbonite. I’m guessing that carbonite is what the big robots use when you’re encased in “stone” and have to struggle-free. One thing they seem to have overlooked however, was that the last thing you need to have happen immediately when breaking out of a status in which all you can do is take damage, is have a second or two in which you’re forced to stand still and take damage. In one instance, I broke out of the carbonite just before the robot punched me to death, and I couldn’t even dash out of the way after breaking out because my character was still going through the “reeling” animation.
Different Wii remote positions for different stances. After playing through No More Heroes and getting accustomed to the “High” and “Low” combos for each type of katana, it’s hard to imagine a new-generation combat-action game without multiple stances. Force Unleashed II allows you to hold your remote sideways (not like the NES controller, but in sort of a parrying pose) as you run and fight so that when you’re not attacking, you reflect blaster-shots. What if, while fighting in this “defence stance” you reflected shots even mid-swing? The trade-off could be that you deal less damage, or enemies could block your strikes more easily. Alternatively, you could also have a “High” stance, where you forego defence entirely, but can melt through armour with more precise and deliberate cuts. According to Star Wars canon, there are at least seven different Lightsabre combat styles to choose from, with more emerging all the time. Although dual-wielding is already its own style (Jar’Kai), it would be a step forward in the franchise if the games had developed (and play-tested) styles within dual-sabre wielding.
Sabre colours affect the personality/development of the character as the story flows, effectiveness of Light/Dark Force powers. Ever since the early movies, dark-force users would often choose red light sabres, while those that err towards the light side would traditionally pick green, blue, or purple. The main character of a new Force-Unleashed-styled follow-up could conceivably have his personality development depend on how the player customizes his lightsabres (among other actions throughout the game of course). It wouldn’t even need to be something complicated (at first), Warmer colours could have the character behave in more and more “Dark Force” ways as the story goes, and dark-abilities like Force Lightning would get a buff on top of however much the player upgraded them. Whereas the cooler colours would gradually shift him closer to the Light side of the Force, and abilities like Jedi Mind Trick would prove much more effective than if a Dark or Neutral Jedi attempted them. This would hopefully not go to the end that someone would briefly change their sabre to enhance an ability enough to solve a puzzle before changing it back (it would take time to change the character, and the developers of Force Unleashed II for the Wii seem to have been avoiding making that problem in the first place, level 1 skills can happily solve any puzzle). That’s what jRPGs are for. However, it could lead to more replay value, branching paths in the story depending on how the character acted up to that point, and more of a “lead-up” to how the story ultimately resolves.
For those of you that haven’t bought it yet, I sought out a gameplay video from a middle-ish part of the game, showing off a good mix of abilities and a bit of story that doesn’t give away too much: