Review: Angry Birds Trilogy on consoles is the HD version of a game you never knew you wanted
It was inevitable. One of the biggest franchises in the world combining with one of the biggest publishers in the world…only a matter of time. But Activision has finally gotten a hold of Rovio's Angry Birds, and have brought them to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 with the release of Angry Birds Trilogy. Though it seems like nothing more than a tremendous cash-in, at least the companies put in enough content to make it worthwhile.
This Trilogy consists of three games – the original Angry Birds, the Rio movie tie-in game, and Seasons, which changes depending on what time of year you're playing the game. And that's really about it, as there's no sign of Angry Birds Space (which is a sorely missed opportunity) nor any hint of Bad Piggies, the spin-off that's launching this week on the App Store. That makes the $40 price tag a little hard to take, especially considering the older games are like $2 a pop now on the App Store.
But hold up – there's more worth here than you might recognize. Activision didn't just slap together a half-assed port of the game to make a quick buck. They worked closely with Rovio on the in-game graphics so that they're the best that Angry Birds has seen. The graphics really do pop out across the entire screen here, and everything from the slow-moving details in the background to the crumbling chaos you create with your birds is really a sight to see. And better still, with the way the controls are set up, your finger won't get in the way to draw the birds back. So you can actually see what's happening. (You can also zoom the screen in and out however you please – and it's hardly distracting at all.)
Not much has improved on the sound, but it's typical Angry Birds set-up, with squawking birds and snorting pigs, along with a soothing background tune to get you geared up for some destruction. (That doesn't sound like it makes sense, but upon playing the game, we assure you it does.)
Then we get to the controls, and this is probably the best part of the game – as long as you're using a regular controller. The analog stick handling of your launcher and push-button execution are perfect, giving you the opportunity to align your shots with the same precision that you did on mobile devices. And you can restart at any time by holding the X button for like a second, and you're back to square one. No more having to hold down an optional button. This thing works like clockwork.
If only I could say the same for the Kinect. The controls using this device are absolutely miserable, as you're basically using body movements to line up and execute your shot. They're useless and, worst of all, not as effective as using a controller. Just skip this.
Angry Birds Trilogy not only includes all three games, but also some new levels exclusive to this version, as well as online leaderboards and, of course, a bevy of Achievements (or Trophies for the PS3 version) to unlock. So there is some money's worth here, even without the inclusion of the new games.
Really, it just depends how avid a fan of Angry Birds you are. If you demand a definitive version for your TV set and don't mind working with a different way to control (again, NOT the Kinect), then Angry Birds Trilogy may be right for you. But if you're content on playing your cheaper $2 versions on iPad, you really aren't missing much.