(Wii U)

Game Review

Angry Birds Trilogy Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

An angry trio

What can possibly be said about Angry Birds that hasn’t been said a million times already? A game that started out as a humble iPhone app just four years ago has now permeated our culture in a huge way. There are multiple sequels to the original game, toys, books, an animated television series, and it’s nearly impossible to walk down the street without seeing someone donning an Angry Birds t-shirt, Baseball cap, or some other swag. Once you’ve accepted the fact that Angry Birds is here to stay, the question then becomes “why?”

Why does Angry Birds keep getting ported to different gaming platforms? Why do people wear silly shirts and hats with these cartoon critters on them? Why have we allowed this game to become so influential on our culture that we can’t go a single day without seeing some subtle reminder that it is the biggest craze since the Furby freaked us out and kept us awake all night? While there may not be one concise reason for all of these occurrences, the plainest and most direct answer is simply that Angry Birds is a great game.

Some gamers are set to dismiss the Angry Birds series as "casual" so quickly that it's likely to make your head spin, but what makes a casual game? Is it simplicity in design, ease of use, or accessibility? Is it the hardware on which the game exists? Maybe low difficulty levels? People label the series as “casual” and in turn hate it for reasons that can’t easily be defined. Whatever it is that makes us connote Angry Birds with casual gaming, it can't be far from how one would describe older classics such as Pac-Man or Super Mario Bros. All three of these games combine simple gameplay mechanics with light-hearted tasks to create experiences that millions of people around the globe enjoy, but so many of us refuse to take Angry Birds seriously as a pillar in the modern gaming lineage. If you take a closer look at what Angry Birds has done and continues to do, then it becomes apparent what an abhorrent shame this dismissal is.

For the few out there who haven't already played some iteration, the Angry Birds design is simple in both gameplay and aesthetics. The goal is to destroy towers full of piggies by flinging a variety of birds with varying abilities at them from across the map using a comically large slingshot. As told through a series of animated vignettes, the piggies have stolen the birds' eggs — which, let's face it, amounts to the future crimes of both kidnapping and consumption of the birds' family members — and the birds are none too happy about it. Destroying the piggies and towers will award you points and stars on each stage, ensuring that perfectionists will be forcing themselves to replay stages over and over again to reach the three star maximum. It's all light-hearted fun displayed in a cartoony style with a sharp soundtrack backing it up. Truly the definition of family-friendly entertainment at its finest.

The close readers out there will notice that the word “Trilogy” is featured prominently in the game’s title, and that’s because, you’ve guessed it, this single game disc combines three previously released Angry Birds games in full. The titles included here are the original Angry Birds – referred to in-game as Angry Birds Classic – Angry Birds Seasons, and the 2011 film tie-in Angry Birds Rio. All three games differ thematically, but the core gameplay remains consistent throughout. Combining all of these titles into one package results in a collection of several hundred stages, all of which are replayable and provide a surprisingly formidable challenge. There are also stages exclusive to this Wii U release, and an in-game achievement system to go along with them.

Though this trilogy has already been ported and re-ported numerous times on so many different consoles, none of the charm has been lost on the Wii U. As clear and crisp as the game looks on a mobile screen, it hasn't looked better than when displayed up on a large HD monitor. As mentioned before, the graphics are cartoony, but that doesn't stop them from looking absolutely gorgeous.

Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but Angry Birds Trilogy feels at home on the Wii U as well. Flinging your birds with a combination of the left stick and A button is great, but it is - unsurprisingly - the GamePad’s touchscreen where the magic truly happens. No longer hindered by your finger obstructing your view of the on-screen action, the GamePad allows you to pull back on your bird and set a trajectory all while viewing the stage in its entirety on the much larger television screen. As if the convenience of an improved core gameplay wasn’t enough, you are also given the option to play off television entirely on the GamePad’s screen, providing an experience that rings true to the game’s original mobile format. For all of the Wii Remote fanatics out there, you also have the option of pointing your wands at the television and controlling an on-screen hand that can pull back and release your slingshot, but with superior control schemes available through the GamePad, it’s likely that you’ll only ever exercise this option for the novelty.

Conclusion

The biggest gripe that consumers are obviously going to have here is regarding the price. Angry Birds Trilogy is available on so many platforms at such a vast range of cost that it may seem criminal to charge full retail price for this Wii U iteration, but the quality of the home console release is unmatched. For a game that was originally created and optimized for the iPhone, it’s surprising to see what could arguably be the definitive version released on a home console. If you’re looking for family-friendly fun, addictive pick-up-and-play action, or something that provides a surprising challenge, you’d be remiss to let this one fly under your radar.

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User Comments (45)

Kyloctopus

#1

Kyloctopus said:

I really like from what I've played of Angry Birds. Personally, I also find this no casual than some of our favorite video games from the past, and people don't truly understand that strategy does come into place with Angry Birds.

DualWielding

#2

DualWielding said:

angry birds is a good game, I just don't get why would anyone pay for it on consoles if you can get it for free on phones

Pod

#3

Pod said:

@ferthepoet

I personally don't have a smart phone that can play Agry Birds, and if this version really is the best looking, fastest, most versitile edition yet, then I could see the appeal.

Full retail price may be pushing it though. $30 might have been a more reasonable price, but I don't know what Nintendo's cut is on retail titles lower than $50, or if it has at all changed from what it used to be.

Phantom_R

#4

Phantom_R said:

This is $50 for a game you can get for $3 or free elsewhere. You should be taking that absurd price tag into consideration for this review...

Great_Gonzalez

#6

Great_Gonzalez said:

I actually want this I like a bit of angry birds but do not have a tablet or smartphone so this would be my only choice but for anything more than ten quid?? No way I'm not getting mugged off like that! Also I would never get this as a disc so I hope for a big eshop promotion on it (if it comes to the eshop)

Phantom_R

#7

Phantom_R said:

@rastamadeus It's a matter of getting what you pay for. There's a reason why cheap downloadable software isn't held up to the same expectations as full-price retail titles. You're not getting $50 of game out of Angry Birds Trilogy.

rastamadeus

#8

rastamadeus said:

@Great_Gonzalez I saw the PS3 version in Asda over the weekend for a tenner if that's any good to you? Sure in a few months the price will have dropped on the Wii U version.

@Phantom_R But that isn't the point of this review. It's to review the game itself. Besides, my sister has had the original in her phone and played well over 60 hours (at least) on it. I've bought £45 games and been done with them in hours (hello Luigi's Mansion) so for some people they will get their money's worth. Even if they are stupid for not getting the free version (if they can).

aaronsullivan

#9

aaronsullivan said:

Personally, I've never enjoyed Angry Birds much at all and I'm a big proponent of mobile games and tablet games. Surprising to see the rating so high. Some people really enjoy this game. :) I prefer the spin-off: Bad Piggies myself.

bezerker99

#10

bezerker99 said:

The price is a bit absurd. Cut it, at least, in half and make it available on the eShop and then I'm somewhat interested.

I paid $2.99 for Angry Birds Star Wars on my phone and I love it. I'd love to have it for a console (I hear its coming soon), but not for their asking price.

ricklongo

#11

ricklongo said:

Angry Birds is a great game. My girlfriend and my mother, both of whom aren't gamers by any stretch of the imagination, have lost countless hours to the franchise. It's also been a cool diversion for me as a Facebook app.

That all said, no way in hell it's worth retail price, and that's even shadier and more inexcusable when we have those games available for dirt cheap on smartphones. I'd pay, say a SNES game price on the e-Shop for it ($8). Any higher than that is pushing it.

mike_intv

#12

mike_intv said:

I want this. I will wait for this to drop in price. Unfortunately, sometimes that just does not happen with games for Nintendo consoles.

Sceptic

#13

Sceptic said:

Fifty bucks for just plain old Angry Birds? I am laughing my donkey off, literally. They must have consulted with Nintendo and Nintendo, being Nintendo, didn't know that it's already been out on phones. For, like, years. For 'free' (or rather, a fistful of your privacy).

But is there a 'Mario Bird'? Because if there is, I can totally see some people here buying it. Besides, selling $2 mobile games at retail is totally in line with Nintendo's own pricing policy, so maybe we shouldn't be so harsh.

TooManyToasters

#14

TooManyToasters said:

Already have this on 3DS. If or when AB Star Wars or some other AB game comes out on Wii U, I'll consider purchasing. XDD

kennyj

#15

kennyj said:

I love Angry Birds. . . And I may consider picking this up when I can get it for $5-10.

Senario

#16

Senario said:

Angry birds is one of the few tablet games that actually has some thought and good puzzle gameplay to it. That said I was never a big fan of the game myself though I acknowledge its value somewhat like how I acknowledge old games like tetris. Touch controls only arent my thing though.

bro2dragons

#17

bro2dragons said:

I've thought about this on and off a few times. And if it ever shows up used for around $20, I'll probably get it. It's a major shame (and head-scratcher) that they didn't include Star Wars, though. Maybe the pigs spin-off, too. Had they put the entire Angry Birds series onto the disc, it would already be in my collection.

citizenerased

#18

citizenerased said:

I've got all the Angry Birds games downloaded (for free) on my iTouch, yet I never play them. Why? Every single week there's better games released for free. I don't hate mobile gaming by a long stretch - Cut The Rope is fantastic - but man is Angry Birds over-rated.

It's a weird situation when clones are better than the original, but with Angry Birds this is the case.

JJtheTexan

#19

JJtheTexan said:

I like Angry Birds. I want this game. But there is absolutely no justification for the price. At an absolute maximum, it should be no more than $5 on the eShop. Surely Activision can't think even clueless-gamer parents will be unaware that Angry Birds can be had for a pittance on iPhone?

Artwark

#20

Artwark said:

So now that its out on Wii U and 3DS, kids can easily get Nintendo's attention even though that may not be true.

I still think its expensive for a simple game with nothing much though.

dumedum

#22

dumedum said:

The score is ridiculous, I would say Angry Birds is a solid 5 at most, but I do hope the game sells. I hope that for every Wii U game.

Ren

#23

Ren said:

what's interesting to me is that this game WOULD be worth full retail without our context of what it has done for mobile games and what it costs there. People here either hate it on principal (because it's on phones or something?) or love it and regard it as the standard for what great mobile games are now (simple, clean cartoon look, touch interface, good level design, cheap as hell).
If it was somehow nowhere else but here first we would be crazy for it and it would make waves the way it has for mobile even at this price.
Weirdly I'm also appalled at this price because our expectations have changed forever, even though the content actually does justify the price by, oh 1990's standards. Unfortunately Nintendo still thinks it can lead somehow with old fashioned pricing structures for us and it's 3rd party publishers.
Mobiles are big enough that Nintendo has to start to re-think how this works if they want to stay relevant.. and sony and microsoft to some extent. though Nintendo tends to design and market their games as the simpler, stripped down, affordable of the consoles and that notion is pretty absurd to anyone with a phone now.

TeeJay

#24

TeeJay said:

I tried playing Angry Birds once on someone's iPhone and thought it was incredibly boring. Doodle Jump and it's hundreds of clones are way more fun in my opinion. :3

Kirk

#25

Kirk said:

It does sound like a pretty good version of the game.

Still, this should be a £19.99 title at most on Wii U in my opinion and it should be available on the eShop too.

Not terrible though.

Mahe

#26

Mahe said:

@Kirk Having it in the eShop at that price would be worse value than the disc version. I consider physical games to be worth a higher asking price than digital downloads.

WinterWarm

#30

WinterWarm said:

@rastamadeus

Well spoken! :O

I had this on 3DS, great, great game. Got 300 hours out of it. :) I can only imagine it in HD.

Then I sold it, and bought my favorite 3DS title, not bad.

@Ron Nice review!

Ron_DelVillanoStaff

#31

Ron_DelVillano said:

@tripunktoj I couldn't honestly tell you. I haven't played the 3DS version, but I'm assuming the bulk of stages are the same.

I guess justifying the second purchase is a matter of wanting to play it on your TV at home via the Wii U. Personally, I prefer portables, especially for games like this, so I would stick to the 3DS. But, again, I haven't played both versions, so I can't really speak to major differences. Sorry!

Kirk

#32

Kirk said:

@Mahe

That's how much I think the disc version should be. I'd expect a digital version to be about half that price if not even cheaper.

Pixel-Perfect

#34

Pixel-Perfect said:

I agree that the game should be scored without factoring in the price.

It really is amazing though that they expect people to pay full price for this. I could complain that the collection doesn't even feature all the games in the series, but at this point that's a drop in the bucket. All the Angry Birds games would not even remotely be worth that.

TenEighty

#36

TenEighty said:

Not a fan. I don't understand how this game became so popular but I guess some people like it.

UrsulaWins

#37

UrsulaWins said:

The price is a joke; Almost as much of a joke as the price of the 64GB proprietary Sony Memorycard

Tasuki

#38

Tasuki said:

WHy would anyone pay for a game that they can get for free on their phone?

Pahvi

#39

Pahvi said:

@Tasuki: How about if someone had only a basic phone, as in, no touchscreen and such? (Or their smartphone is so underpowered it can't run the game smoothly - such as Samsung Galaxy Mini.)

Windy

#41

Windy said:

Wait for it to hit the Clearance Racks which it will. I got my copy on 3DS for 12.99 instead of the 29.99 suggested retail

SethADrekin

#43

SethADrekin said:

Price aside, I would never ever buy this game on Retail disk. Put it on the eShop and I'll take it in to consideration.

Platypus101

#44

Platypus101 said:

@rastamadeus does your sister play any console games? 60 hours of an app is seriously in need of a console! (Imagine all she could accomplish with a real game and that amount of time, MH3!! (Then gimme her friend code, cause you know after 60 hours of MH3, her character will be buff!) ;)

Regarding pricing on Nintendo systems: Remember, either the developer or creator was smack talking about how DS games were 30$ pieces of garbage... I don't see why Nintendo would go out of their way to "promote" them any more than they already have... To be honest, this game is worse than some of the "lazy year old third party ports" released at launch, seeing as this game is nearly 4 years old, not to mention a port from a smartphone app. We should be complaining about this.

Platypus101

#45

Platypus101 said:

@Tasuki exactly, and its actually kinda weak, seeing as people are trying to play devils advocate... "What if someone blah blah blah, and THIS is the only way they could ever play it". Truth is, that the reason this game was ever popular was its initial price point of free/cheap. That and the world has nothing better to do than hurry up and wait :) so, while waiting in line for "coffee, shopping, traffic" you can play time killer game on your phone...

For all you out there playing devils advocate, I propose a question: Is this the game you're gonna bust out to show the graphical prowess and the abilities of the Wii U gamepad?

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