I had to play this one thoroughly to give it a fair score as the majority of people in the world know about Angry Birds, but I had to see if it was really “Better with Kinect.” But for those that have never heard of it or played the mobile version, here’s a short synopsis:

Experience Angry Birds on the big screen as the worldwide hit mobile game comes to Xbox 360! The Angry Birds Trilogy combines Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio, and the original that started it all, and gives them new cinematics, visuals, and bonus content made for HDTVs. Battle the pesky pigs with smooth Kinect motion controls that have you swiping through the air to launch your birds and smash the pigs who stole your eggs. Take the battle to the colorful surroundings of Rio, and celebrate festive occasions around the world in Seasons. In all, the games include more than 290 levels of pig-pummeling action.

Overview

I will admit, I am a big Angry Birds fan so I was very pleased it finally made its way to the console. However, it’s a very casual game which is why I think it was so successful in the mobile world. On the console, it does become quite tedious and very repetitive, but overall I still enjoyed it and there’s a ton of replay value.

The Menu

In the beginning you have the option of either choosing to use Kinect or a controller. The menu’s are setup a little different with each control but still easy to navigate. You have your three main versions to choose from, Classic, Seasons and Rio, I am not quite sure why Space wasn’t included but oh well, I guess we can’t have it all. Anyhow, the other items include a Continue from where you left off, Leaderboards, Options, Credits and Extras. As always, I’ll break each one down.

Classic/Seasons/Rio

The modes themselves are pretty self-explanatory so I am just combining all of them. Classic is the very first version that was introduced to the world, it has all of the same levels as the mobile version as well as the new exclusive bonus levels which are different, tons of pigs and lots of stuff to destroy. Here’s a screenshot of a bonus level, and yes they get quite insane:

The golden eggs are also in here as well as animated cut scenes although, the majority of them are the same ones that get replayed. Classic mode contains 285 episode levels, the 6 additional bonus levels and 23 golden egg levels. It keeps you quite busy if you couldn’t tell.

Seasons I actually never played on mobile, so I was eager to play it. I didn’t care for the winter levels but it’s same game play, just a little more difficult in my opinion. Seasons consist of 187 episode levels, 7 bonus levels and 24 golden egg levels. There is also food I think that you can collect in this one, I only found a few in the same episode so I’m not sure if it’s the same for all the episodes. Unfortunately there are no cut scenes for this one, but it is another one that will keep you busy.

Rio is based on the movie and has the characters from the movie in it. I actually enjoyed this one the most, being that there are boss levels in it which isn’t typical Angry Birds style as well as additional birds to use from the movie. There are no cut scenes though, only at the end. Again, I was thinking cut scenes were added to all of them but unfortunately that’s not the case. Anyhow, Rio consists of 180 episode levels, 6 bonus levels and 15 golden apple levels which are just like the golden egg levels. So much time to consume!

The game play itself is typical Angry Birds where aiming from a slingshot and trying to eliminate pigs, monkeys, freeing birds, etc. by hitting objects with the birds. The birds type vary from a normal red bird that can pretty much hit anything, a yellow bird that’s great for destroying wood, a blue bird that handles glass nicely and many more. It’s basically a puzzle game but fun because of the destruction option. I did notice in the bonus levels, there were a couple of them that had frame rate issues which I didn’t think was possible, but it is, I think there is just too much data being displayed and yes it will annoy you but you can still beat the level.

Lastly, I don’t remember this mode in the mobile version but there is a “Mighty Eagle” option now. What this does is transform your birds into a thing that looks like a piece of soap to me, with an ! on it. I suppose you could say it’s a laser targeting object but it is a different kind of mode. Instead of eliminating all of the pigs, monkeys or freeing birds, you want to destroy 100% of the objects in the level. It’s actually kind of challenging because you only get one shot at it, otherwise you have to restart. You can just put it anywhere and this big giant eagle acts like a bomb and eliminates the objectives as well as all of the baddies for you so you can move on, but getting 100% earns you the achievements which seem to be a pain. So if you are done with the regular version of the game, then you can play it all over again using this mode. To give you an idea, I made a quick video of the first level in Classic using the Mighty Eagle mode, check it out:

Leaderboards

One note about the leaderboards which I thought was pretty cool is that you get to compete with the world on scoring. You are also ranked and I can see the really competitive people fighting for the #1 spot over and over. There isn’t any online play, but it’s nice to know there’s competition out there. I found it also helped me to figure out an idea of a score I needed to kind of get 3 stars, so it’s pretty cool. The section itself does break it down even further. First, you are ranked on the complete trilogy itself, at the time of this review, I’m #10 but probably not for long. For the trilogy rankings, there’s also Mighty Eagle rankings as well as Golden Egg rankings. These rankings are from all 3 games in the trilogy. It then breaks it down by each game, then by each episode and then even each level so you can get some real competition out of this.

Options

The options consist of the normal items. Settings has your volume for music and sound effects, the brightness and enable/disable menu voice commands. The voice commands work fine and are listed in the help section, but you can only do so much in the game itself, thankfully it has them though as saying “Restart” when using Kinect is much easier than the hover and lock method. Help gives you a quick illustrated basic overview on how to play if you haven’t played before (Hint: You can find a golden by reading this section :)). Controls just give you an illustration of the buttons and their labels. Statistics keeps track of your progress of the whole game, as well as some fun facts like longest bird flight distance.

Extras

Extras has some cool stuff in it. Bird Biographies contains some more detail about some of the birds, but not all of them, but its nice to get some background on them to figure out why they are so angry and yes they have names! Art just has some artwork for you to browse…kind of a comic book look to it. Sketches has the mock ups of how the characters came together. Cutscenes lets you replay any cutscenes you have unlocked by playing the game.

Better With Kinect

So unfortunately, playing this game with Kinect does not make it better. I actually played this game for 5 days in a row, and there was no way I was able to sit in a chair or stand the entire time so I ended up using the controller. The Kinect controls work fine, but it’s just more ideal to use a controller. Kids seem to love it on the other hand though so it’s a personal preference in my opinion. To use Kinect, you either use your left or right hand using the hover and lock method and grab the bird, then adjust the angle with your primary hand. With your alternate hand, you use a up or down motion and it lets the bird fly. The zoom function is a little flaky as you have to expand/retract your hands in an inward/outward motion that doesn’t seem to always work but for the most part, it works, but it’s not ideal in my opinion. Here’s a video of it if you want to get an idea:

Conclusion

I feel I rated this game quite fairly as if you understand what you are getting, it’s a lot, but you also need to understand that this game is very repetitive and it’s more for casual/competitive people. First off, the price is fantastic, in the US it’s $29.99 and has 733 levels total which is astonishing in my opinion, also not counting the Mighty Eagle mode which doubles that – I don’t recall any game running this deep in the number of levels. Second of all, it’s fun for all ages which most games aren’t successful in hitting every single age group. Lastly, its Angry Birds and it’s addicting and to complete the game 100% would take a long time, I’m just not certain if it’s as addicting on a console, as to me, it seems like there’s too much, so I’ll let you be the judge.


This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Angry Birds Trilogy
Scoring policy: What do these game review scores actually mean?