Living in modern society, it seems almost impossible to remember a world without Angry Birds in it. Those little guys have infiltrated so many aspects of modern tech culture that almost everyone you speak to (gamer or otherwise) has played one of these games on one platform or another. So with releases on iPad/iPhone, Andriod Phones/Tablets, browser based versions, Facebook and even Windows Phone support it is hard to believe that what is lacking here is platforms to release on.
But nevertheless here we are, and those same little guys have made their way to Xbox 360, PS3 and 3DS and in full-boxed form no less. This collection simply titled Angry Birds Trilogy contains the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio. So has developer Rovio once again created a worthwhile title for us to check out? Strangely it’s not so much a question quality here but more a question of why this has even been released.
In case by some crazy turn of events you have never heard of these games, the objective is beautifully simple. It is a 2D destruction based game in which the object is to take aim and fire birds from a catapult into various structures. The object is to destroy them and the evil pigs often hiding within. The odds are however that you will be familiar with these games from you SmartPhone or tablet and probably own one or many of them already.
In terms of quality very little can be complained about here. The visuals have been scaled up to full HD, making the areas look more vibrant than ever. Couple this with the fact that and the sound effects are also just as hilarious as they were on other versions, meaning sounds of each bird squawking and splatting are sure to amuse. The guys and gals over at Rovio have also included some exclusive levels, unlockable art and full rendered animated sequences between chapters. The control system is also great, utilising the pad to pull back and fire rather than having your finger hide parts of the screen as you try and go for that perfect angle.
Another welcome inclusion here is a quick reset button that can be used to retry areas at speed if, like me, you will only settle for 3 Stars. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the Kinect Support, which I would strongly advise against. It is clunky, poorly developed and in most instances gives you little or no control, making it a firmly better choice to stick with a Controller.
The major problems here are not with the game’s standards of quality; they are more related to the game’s structure and price tag. Firstly this type of game does not lend itself to home console gaming. The reason Angry Birds was so successful was because it is fundamentally built to be played on the go. It’s made to be chipped away at during the morning commute or on a lunch break at work. This has been proven by its success on SmartPhones and Tablets since its release. When they are at home, most people (gamers or otherwise) won’t want to load up their Xbox and play Angry Birds Trilogy for 2-4 hours on their 32 inch HD TV. It’s just not built or designed to be that kind of experience. Its not that the game plays badly at all (in fact quite the opposite) but many hardcore/casual gamers would probably prefer to play something with a little more substance and story when they are in the comfort of their own home.
Subsequently due to its success on iPhone and Andriod, Angry Birds was even able to appeal to non-gamers as just something to pass the time. This market is not really present here. People own a home console specifically to play games whereas they have an iPhone for other reasons, and the games are just a welcome extra. No one is likely to go out and buy an Xbox or PS3 just to play Angry Birds Trilogy and I’m sure this will be reflected in the comparative sales of all formats.
Another drawback for developer Rovio is most people probably already own one or more of these games in some form, or have cheaper means of buying them, making this collection terrible value for money. You are able to buy all 3 games included here on an iPhone for less than £5 or even get them all for free with Ads on Andriod devices. Angry Birds Trilogy however is retailing at £25- £30, at best putting this firmly in rip-off territory.
Perhaps a better solution would have been to release this as an XBLA/PSN title or maybe bundle in Angry Birds in Space to help justify the price. Sure there are some extra levels that are exclusives here, but that is still nowhere near enough to make up that kind of price difference.
It’s a shame as Angry Birds is a great game and in terms of high production quality and smoothness, this is possibly the definitive version. However, definitive or not, its certainly not enough of a tune up to warrant the difference in price. Couple this with the fact that most people will have already played some, or all, of the content here and unfortunately you are left with an under whelming proposition for a purchase. Angry Birds may have infiltrated every other medium successfully (including Star Wars) but home consoles are not where these little guys belong.
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|Aired: 2 Dec 2013|