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Angry Birds Trilogy PS3 Review

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Angry Birds Trilogy

Angry Birds Trilogy

Image © Activision
"Angry Birds" has become such a cultural phenomenon that its popularity has extended well beyond a mere video game. Kids will soon dress up as "Angry Birds" characters for Halloween. There is as much "AB" merchandise as for nearly any Disney movie in the last ten years. There's even a TV special. And, most importantly, millions of people have played the games on their smartphones. In fact, someone you know is probably playing it right now. With such market exposure, it makes perfect sense that Activision would try to strike out and find the few people who haven't already shot every bird at every pig or those willing to do so all over again on a bigger screen with the release of "Angry Birds Trilogy," now available for the PS3.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Rovio Mobile
  • Developer: Activision
  • ESRB Rating: E (Everyobe)
  • Genre: Action
  • Pros: Addictive Gameplay, Fun For All Ages
  • Cons: Most of You Have Played Them Before

The first three "Angry Birds" games -- "Angry Birds" (sometimes referred to as "Angry Birds Classic" in-game), "Angry Birds Seasons," and "Angry Birds Rio" -- are included on the release with upgraded graphics and new controls (unless you have a TV we haven't heard of, touch screen controls won't work with PS3 games). The developers also include 19 exclusive levels and tout over 100 hours of gameplay, but the fact is that a vast majority of "Angry Birds Trilogy" will be incredibly familiar to people who have already played the games. It feels like an opportunity was somewhat wasted in terms of taking what worked about the iOS versions of these stunningly addictive titles and building on them instead of essentially just importing them wholesale. Even the graphics look largely unchanged.

Gameplay

Angry Birds Trilogy

Angry Birds Trilogy

Image © Activision

For those uninitiated into the cult of "Angry Birds," a brief gameplay recap -- slingshot, bird, go! The player loads a bird into a slingshot and aims it at a structure (or series of structures) on the right side of the screen that houses enemy pigs (or monkeys in the version inspired by the movie "Rio.") Use the birds to "vanquish" the pigs, get extra points for environmental destruction, and compare your scores to your PS3 friends around the world. Players get a 1-3-star rating score after every level and unlock the next one, pushing them further into the rabbit hole of one of the most addictive gaming experiences on any platform in the last decade.

One of the brilliant elements of the design of "Angry Birds Trilogy" is in how the developers keep the title fresh by injecting subsequent levels with new birds with new abilities that require new strategies. The red birds at the start are soon joined by little blue birds that split in three, yellow birds that speed up, black birds that explode, and so on and so on. It allows the game to be constantly shifting, presenting new challenges instead of just the same old ones over and over again as so many puzzle games often do.

However, this is a strength of the original "Angry Birds" apps that you've probably played and so it's tough to say it's something that should be given to much weight when considering "Angry Birds Trilogy." I couldn't shake the feeling that the developers of this title were mostly just trying to make money again on a product that had already produced its own industry. 19 exclusive levels isn't exactly much of a bonus for players who already have these titles on their phones and only the most competitive will really care about comparing their scores to their PS3 friends list. I wanted to be able to appreciate "Angry Birds" in a new way through this title instead of just playing it again.

Graphics & Sound

The strongest sense of deja vu comes from the lackluster visual presentation of "Angry Birds Trilogy." The game looks fine on iOS but seeing it blown up on your HD TV with little visual upgrade highlights the cracks. It wouldn't have been that difficult to give the games a new look while also keeping them tied to what fans know and love. And, on an audio level, "Angry Birds Trilogy" is nothing to speak of.

Overall

Angry Birds Trilogy

Angry Birds Trilogy

Image © Activision
We truly have reached a turning point when a video game reaches popularity not on a PC, Xbox 360, or PS3 but on your phone and attains such pop culture prominence that it then tries to find an audience on the platform that used to create the audience in the first place. I wish that Activision and the team behind "Angry Birds Trilogy" had put a little more effort into making this turning point feel a little more resonant creatively instead of just commercially.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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