Review by KeyBlade999
Reviewed: 10/01/12 | Updated: 10/02/12
You'd be a bird-brain to not want this!
~ Review in Short~
Gameplay: Standard Angry Birds - use physics to smash pigs. There are around 700 levels in this three-game compilation. Entertaining and innovative.
Story: There isn't much of one; just generally birds getting revenge on pigs for stealing their eggs.
Graphics: Pretty similar to the previous versions, so pretty good. The 3D has a nice amount of depth, but not much "popping out".
Sound and Music: Both are disappointingly minimal in number, but what's there is good.
Play Time: I haven't finished all of it, but I estimate well around 80 to 100 hours for a basic playthrough, and over 200 for comprehensive ones.
Replayability: High; this game has a huge amount of variety in it. I can play the same level twice and never use the same strategy!
The Verdict: This game is by far well worth buying; it provides a large amount of varied, innovative, non-repetitive, entertaining gameplay. 700 levels is a number of levels few games are able to attain. The big problem I have with this is that this is a compilation of three iPhone/iOS games. You can buy the three games in the compilation - the original Angry Birds, Seasons, and Rio - for about one-third of the price as you would on the 3DS, and one-fourth the amount you'd spend on the PS3 and 360. In the end, though, if you lack the original versions, by all means go ahead and buy it!
~ Review in Long~
The Angry Birds Trilogy is the newest entry into a series of Angry Birds games. This one, however, is not on cell phones and tablets like the other entries into the series. In fact, this game made an astounding leap, not just to handhelds, but even to the home consoles. This specific review talks about the one with the most uniquity in it - the Nintendo 3DS version.
In the end, we can already admit that this game is possibly worth skipping if you have the original versions of this game, for that is all this really is - a compilation of three Angry Birds games with some extra content.
And for those who don't have it? Read on.
I haven't done much research on the series, but I believe it goes something like this, as far as I can garner from the in-game credits and such. The original Angry Birds came out in 2009 for the iPhone/iOS/etc., starting off the long chain of events that made it into the massively popular game that it is today. Seasons and Rio assumably came later, for the same operating systems, in 2010 and 2011.
In the time since the series began, it has over 1,000,000,000 (one billion) downloads. Are you starting to comprehend just how insanely popular this game is? The original Angry Birds, Seasons, and Rio were compiled for the 3DS, PS3, and 360, and released for the U.S. on September 25, 2012. They were developed by Rovio and Housemarque, and published by Activision.
What Is This?
The Angry Birds Trilogy is a compilation of three Angry Birds games - the original, Seasons, and Rio. Each of them has the same general concept. In each of around 700 levels, your main goal is to crush all of the pigs in the level. There are various structures in the level, often in the arrangement of buildings or other things based on the theme of a level. For example, in the city, I once noticed a bus, and, in a medieval-looking area, I found a castle. In fact, castles are pretty common themes here.
Lots of these buildings are pretty flimsy, with only one wooden block stopping you from taking the pig inside. Thusly, buildings are often made stronger. In other cases, you have to cause chain reactions. The latter is almost always the case - since you get a limited number of birds with special abilities, it is only natural you'd be limited in some way. You need to figure out how, often by trial and error, just how to work these birds around to defeat all of the pigs. Luckily, you don't have to directly hit pigs - generally, collapsing a building onto them is a nice way of getting rid of them.
The birds have a fairly diverse set of abilities. For example, Blue Birds split into three, White Birds lay explosive eggs, Bomb Birds are just explosive, Green Birds can U-turn, and so on. Combined with the immense variety of playing fields and use the physics, you end up with many different ways to play just one level.
The Controls and How They Feel:
The Angry Birds games were originally made for the touch-screen phones and tablets - iPhone, iOS, iPad, etc. Their entry onto handhelds and home consoles does warrant a bit of skepticism in their controls. The Nintendo 3DS, however, feels completely natural for a game such as this.
Luckily, like the originals, you can use the 3DS's Touch Screen to control the slingshot and the birds' flight, much like you would on the other devices - you touch, pull back, and let go. During the flight, you can also tap the Touch Screen to activate the special abilities of the birds. The whole game can be operated through the Touch Screen, in fact.
Of course, there are some that do not prefer to use the Touch Screen - I, in fact, tend to use a mix of the two styles. This second style relies on buttons. There aren't many buttons used during the game. You can substitute the Circle Pad for your slingshot aim, and the A Button for both launching and activating the special abilities of the birds.
How Hard Is It?
I haven't actually played Angry Birds before, and I started finding it hard at times around thirty levels in. Often, the things that screw you up are the most minor - moving the slingshot ever-so-slightly too far back, or too low, or not hitting just the right brick. The game is entertaining and thought-provoking indeed. On a scale of one to ten, one being mind-numbingly easy, I'd probably put this around a seven - a little harder than is normal for games, but not controller-breaking hard.
So, crap, you get stuck on a level. What are you to do? If you were to, say, fail several times in a row, you'd get access to the Eagle block. It is normally used as part of a completely extra side-thing; in the previous versions, it was available through a microtransaction. Here, it will crash through the level and defeat all of the pigs in the level for you, at least as far getting past a level is concerned.
In the end, the game does challenge you, but, if you end up finding it too hard, you are more than welcome to bypass a level. And for free, this time!
Anything on the Side?
Why, yes, there is more than enough. Firstly, you recall that Eagle I was mentioning in the previous section on difficulty? While normally used as a quick win to levels, you can also use it to gather feathers. There is a separate score allowed when you use an Eagle - depending on how much you score, if you meet a minimum requirement, you'll end up getting a feather.
Then there is the obvious one. While you normally will want to just scoot through the levels, you are still rated on a three-star scale for however many points you get. One of your main goals is to hit three stars on every level, which would be quite an achievement. In fact, you get an achievement for that.
In fact, there are achievements in this game, kind of like the Xbox 360 Achievements. There are sixty achievements you can achieve - fifteen for the compilation as a whole, and fifteen each for each individual game. Some of these are obvious (i.e. get all of the stars in a game), and some are quite odd (i.e. shooting a bunch of birds the wrong way). Some of these will take the whole game to achieve, so you have plenty of time.
There also is some bonus content exclusively for the Trilogy versions, supposedly. There are around nineteen extra levels added in. I'm not too sure if these are based on the Golden Egg levels or what, but they are there. Speaking of the Golden Eggs, across the game, you can find some Golden Eggs, which, if hit by a bird, will unlock an optional, often cool or intensely difficult, level for you to play at your own leisure.
Angry Birds Rio also presents an additional, final sidequest worth mentioning. In each level, you can grab a fruit of some type, as you would somewhat expect in a game based in Rio de Janeiro. Some of these, like the Golden Eggs, are easy to grab without even noticing, while there are others you have to go excruciatingly far out of your way for. Completely optional, but it's pretty nice.
As you can quite well see, Angry Birds is a lot like some modern RPGs. You have a pretty narrow set path in front of you, with an immense land of extraneous wonders you can also look around in at your own leisure. In fact, you'll probably spend more time in the extra stuff than the main game!
In this game, you do have a bit of a StreetPass function. It has absolutely no effect on the main game, nor does it really add extra content. It is mostly used as part of a tedious act to break the barriers covering levels (only a visual thing, don't worry) in the main menu. It basically consists of you teaching a bird a musical tune before sending it out on a "migration". Once you StreetPass someone with the game, you'll get your bird back, with some sort of gift. The main use of this is to meet the conditions for a few of the Achievements.
Angry Birds is, and always has been, a single-player game in the entirety. The most multiplayer you get is, in fact, with the whole StreetPass thing. However, there is an element that almost does substitute for multiplayer. You can keep track of your highest scores between your friends and the world. That's pretty much the basic description, but it really can provoke a lot of competitive tendencies you have lurking within.
The 2D Graphics:
The 2D graphics are pretty much like the original Angry Birds games. Of course, that's not a bad thing. The worlds are vibrant, colorful, crisp, bright, and extremely varied. You will see deserts, valleys, forests, cities, beaches, and more. The animations are very smooth and subject to almost no lag whatsoever. The physics are realistic, to a point, and seem completely natural. The environments are not sparse of background details - you don't get a whole bunch aside from clouds and such, but you also get things that interact with the playing environment. It was kind of interesting to watch my birds hit dandelion fluffs on the breeze and the fluffs just breeze around them, not affecting them. Things such as this are great for keeping the visual environments interesting beyond what you actually affect that matters.
The 3D Graphics:
I usually don't play with 3D because of my unsteady hands, but the 3D isn't too shabby. Whenever I do use 3D, I'm used to having it turned all of the way up. But, here, that is a bit disorienting - the 3D here is heavier than in most other 3DS games. You'll get a lot of varying amounts of depth in this game - a lot of stuff is just shoved into the far background, mostly. Sometimes, though, you'll get different "levels" of depth. It is an interesting effect I haven't really seen in 3DS games, at least what I've played. I personally would have preferred a "pop-out book" effect like you typically associate with 3D, but this is good enough.
A Change from the Originals?
The original Angry Birds games didn't really use much in the way of the story cutscenes. Basically, they were pretty static - imagine Kingdom Hearts (Re:)Coded, or just comics and manga in general. That was what you normally would have gotten. However, the scenes here are fully animated. A little thing, but it is by far worth noting it.
SOUND EFFECTS AND MUSIC: 8/10.
This game is a little disappointing as far as the number of sound effects goes. You don't get a whole lot more than crashes, bird tweets, explosions, and the like - the fundamentals for such a game, but little beyond such. The sound effects are of a decent quality, and you'll often hear them. There isn't a delay of any noticeable sort, nor is there a staticky sound effect except if you bad headphones.
The music is pretty good. You don't really get too much of a dynamic soundtrack. You'll mostly receive musical tracks with more natural themes, like the wind blowing through the trees and such. This is probably more of an attempt at helping you concentrate by eliminating true distractions - it is quite hard to play while headbanging to metal, after all! - or perhaps it is a way of trying to fit the mood. In the end, all I am really left wanting is a larger number of sound effects and music tracks, as well as some variety.
PLAY TIME: 10/10.
This game is absolutely expansive, more expansive than some of the more modern RPGs in fact. A basic playthrough of all the main levels, and doing so in an honest manner (i.e. not failing a lot just to use the Eagle block), will possibly give you eighty to one hundred hours of entertainment. There are 640 main levels, after all!
And the side stuff will really bump your playing time, and not in a needless manner by trying to make it somewhat necessary like you'd see in other games. In the end, the massive amount of side-stuff should easily more than double your play time, assuming you want to do it all. In the end, you will glean a large amount of entertainment from this game, and an even larger amount from extra content.
Physics-based games, such as Angry Birds, tend to be the ones that are prime for replays. The big reason for this would perhaps be how you never have one solution to a level. There have been times where I'd play a level one way, then come back several hours later for whatever reason, and then play it a completely different way without even knowing it. There are virtually infinite ways to play a level, all depending on where you aim, how powerful your shot is, what you hit, and whether you use the birds' special abilities.
There is also non-linearity in this game. You never need to play one of the Angry Birds games in one continuous set, or at all. You can play so many levels in the original one, then so many in the next, and so on. You never really have a set path to follow. You can also do side stuff on the side. I'm sure you get the idea.
The final factor here consists of both enjoyment and length of play. You will likely enjoy the innovative gameplay, so that much is done with. There is a reason as to why it is so popular, and that reason is mostly because many people enjoy it. This game is also not like those games you can finish in one sitting. In fact, you'll be hard pressed in trying to finish this game in under fifty hours, and that is excluding the extra stuff.
In the end, this game is a great one if you want to be able to play it over and over again. Non-linearity and a lack of repetivity are the main reasons for this, as well as enjoyable, lengthy gameplay.
THE END. Overall score: 9.2/10.
So, in the end, the Angry Birds Trilogy is a great game for a Nintendo 3DS owner. It provides a large amount of varied, innovative, fun, and non-linear gameplay, all crammed into three of the first Angry Birds games ever released. The graphics are amazing, and possibly even better than the originals. The only thing that makes me yearn for more in the slightest manner would have to be the audio stuff, but that is more than tolerable in comparison to all of the greatness in the other categories.
The only to beware of when buying this game is whether you have a smartphone, tablet, or whatever that can download the original games. The originals can be downloaded for under $10.00 in the U.S., whereas this game had a launch price of $29.99 for the Nintendo 3DS, and $39.99 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360; basically, the originals cost one-third to one-fourth the price of the Trilogy compilation. The extra content - which mostly is just a few levels - is far from worth the extra $20.00 ~ $30.00 you'd spend on this.
But, in the end, if you can't get the originals, or just very strongly would prefer playing on the Nintendo 3DS, I would strongly recommend that you buy this. All that leaves you feeling unsatisfied in the most miniscule way is the sound and music, but that is very tolerable compared to all else in this game. This is a very, very good buy.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Angry Birds Trilogy (US, 09/25/12)
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