Still slightly better than the Star Wars prequel trilogy.
I feel like I’m in an Alfred Hitchcock film. Everywhere I look, everywhere I turn, I seem them, glaring at me with their stares and frowns. These ‘Angry Birds’, if you will, I believe are taking over our world. Everywhere I look they are there. They have their own books, play sets, calendars, dog toys, soft drinks and, now, a full retail release on the Nintendo 3DS. So, like the classic Hitchcock flick, should we barricade ourselves from the never ending swarm of aggravated fowl or is it time we embrace our new feathered overlords?
By now I’m sure you are well aware of exactly ‘what’ Angry Birds is. The franchise has become synonymous with gaming on mobile devices and has now started to nest outside of its home on the AppStore and the Droid Marketplace and landed on more traditional gaming platforms like the Nintendo 3DS. Angry Birds Trilogy brings together the first three games in the series - Angry Birds, Angry Birds: Seasons and Angry Birds: Rio - in one convenient package.
In bringing the game over to the 3DS a few changes have been made to the gameplay. Instead of dragging your finger across the screen you have a choice of either using the stylus or the Circle Pad and buttons. I recommend sticking with the touch controls of the stylus, not only because it more closely resembles the original control scheme but because trying to play the game with the Circle Pad is an absolute nightmare. It's unplayable with the pad, but to have any degree of success in any Angry Birds title you need a fair bit of accuracy, something that the Circle Pad completely removes from the game. Not to mention that pulling back on the pad and pressing ‘A’ to launch your bird never does feel quite right.
There are also some serious issues with the camera. You’re probably asking "how does a 2D puzzle game, let alone Angry Birds, have camera issues?", Well the problem lies in the dual-screen approach that was taken. Your bird and slingshot are on the bottom screen while the level is displayed on the top screen. While this isn’t much of an issue with the really small, early levels, once they start to spread out you will find it hard to accurately gauge the right angle at which you should launch your bird. The game does give you the option of zooming in and out, however these options go from the one extreme of being too far out to the other extreme of being too zoomed in.
Being recent releases, the Angry Birds games do still look good, and it’s clear that some decent work went into making these games run well and look pretty on the 3DS. The 3D effect is also pretty good, though it never ‘pops’ the way you would expect it to. The backgrounds now have some added depth to them and the new menus are pretty vibrant as well. Stop-motion style cutscenes also detail why these birds are so angry at the green pigs (all this over a few potential omelettes?)
Angry Birds is always a game that I always play on my mobile with the sound turned off. Not only because I don’t want to bother the people around me (or maybe I just don’t want them to know what I’m playing), but also because the soundtrack is freaking terrible. From the annoying song that repeats over and over and over, to the birds’ gibberish squawks, this is one game that I always make sure the volume's off for. Angry Birds on the 3DS is no exception.
Thirty dollars. That’s how much you will be charged for Angry Birds Trilogy in a store, which, while a discount price over the standard Nintendo 3DS game is still pretty extortionate for this package. There are some extras, like achievements, unlockables, and a terrible mini-game where you record your bird's gibberish and send it to another player via StreetPass. Also, while the original, Seasons and Rio are fine on their own, it’s a crying shame that the amazing Angry Birds: Space was left out of this collection. These three games should be available for a couple of bucks (max!) on the e-Shop, not for $29.99, even with a few lacklustre additions thrown in.
The more I played Angry Birds Trilogy on my Nintendo 3DS the more I realised that these games are better for free and on my mobile device. Using your finger for a quick swipe is much better than the 3DS’ separate touch screen or, god forbid, the Circle Pad. When these games were free they demanded the smallest amount of your time; just a few minutes at most. That’s now how long it takes to just go through the menu with the 3DS version. So do yourself and your wallet a favour, keep playing Angry Birds all you want on your mobile device but keep them out of your 3DS.