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Star Wars Clone Trooper (Plug and Play)

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Star Wars Clone Trooper was made in 2013 by Supper Happy Fun Fun as Merge Interactive. It is a Plug and Play device and was published by Jakks Pacific. In it characters made popular by the two animated series Clone Wars and The Clone Wars take part, but the game has a quite different, more realistic art style.

The light gun is a DC-15S blaster carbine which the game misidentifies as DC-15A, a mistake that occurred previously in the animated series The Clone Wars and the book “Battles for the Galaxy”. The gun has a menu button for pausing the game and a button which allows throwing grenades. It is of decent quality but sadly it lacks sights. Therefore it comes to no surprise that the ingame calibration is fake and doesn't calibrate anything. Recently I was able to interview Bill LaCoste, the director of product development at Super Happy Fun Fun. Due to this I learned the shocking background story behind the missing calibration routine. But more on this subject at the end of the review.

An infra red light source is placed at the TV in order to allow the gun to measure in which direction it is pointed. The tracking works similar as the tracking at a Nintendo Wii. In fact Wii compatible sensor bars can be used too. The gun contains the gaming system itself and is plugged into the TV via RCA connectors, transmitting composite video. As such about 36 % of video quality is lost due to the shortcomings of the used transmission technology. The system is powered by four AA cells and the light source by three AAA cells.

In the game's story Count Dooku unleashed the secret Droid army of the separatists on Geonosis. The Republic saw that as an act of war and sent out troops to fight Dooku. The player is a member of the clone troops amongst these forces.

The game consists of 3 chapters which are made of 4 levels each which yields in a total of 12 levels. If a level is beaten in the story mode it can be freely selected in the so called free play mode. The last level of each chapter is a boss fight and one level per chapter plays from a vehicle.

The player uses a semi automatic weapon with infinite capacity and infinite supply of ammunition as default weapon. Four other weapons may be collected by shooting icons revealed by boxes, or dropped by saved fellow clone troopers. These weapons have a limited stock of ammunition. Three of the weapons are fully automatic. The fourth weapon is a rocket launcher. All weapons have a heat gauge and will quit working for a few seconds when a threshold is met.

Other collectibles are two kinds of grenades, an explosive projectile for the vehicle levels, a shield, health and a time dependent slow working healing item. Similar as The Walking Dead Battleground the game suffers from frequent, long loading times. In my opinion the game is hindered by its low difficulty. As for the lack of challenge I got bored over time. Nevertheless I think Star Wars Clone Trooper is the best fully self-made Super Happy Fun Fun Jakks Pacific game, not considering the two Big Buck Hunter games. The presentation of the game is nice and all the weapons feel quite distinct.

The box looks decent on first glance but contains some lazy errors upon nearer expectation such as the 2 RCA socket composite input on the TV and the inclusion of Darth Vader who of course isn't inside the game as here Ananakin is still a Jedi. Furthermore for some reason Grievous is rather blurry on the front picture.

In my interview I asked Bill why all Super Happy Fun Fun Jakks Pacific games, but the Big Buck games lack a calibration function. He explained to me that the exclusion was done by purpose, as Super Happy Fun Fun wanted to streamline their games. They thought that the Jakks Pacific Big Buck games lacked a calibration feature and so they decided to don't make such a feature in their later games. This came to somewhat of a shock to me as the Big Buck games actually do have a calibration feature and it's really easy to proof that. So what happened here is that the management forced the technicians to mess up four games by purpose just because of misunderstanding and bad communication.