Jan 30, 2018

Become a Jedi and Fight with Kylo Ren and Darth Vader with the Star Wars: Jedi Challenges

Look how well made the lightsaber controller is! You can definitely be a Jedi knight with this.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi was opened on December 15th, 2017 as the newest Star Wars series following the Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was released two years ago as the first Star Wars movie after ten years and became a big hit. Many goods and items are sold for this occasion, but what I want those who love gadgets to check out the most is the "Star Wars Jedi Challenges" from Lenovo. I tried it with a AR headset becoming a Jedi knight.

Gift-boxed Star Wars: Jedi Challenges from Lenovo.

The lightsaber controller is made to the details.

Jedi Challenges is an AR game, where users put AR headsets on and play with lightsaber controllers. You would see what the game is like when you watch this promotion video.

In the gift box, you find a Mirage AR headset, a Lightsaber controller, a tracking beacon and three kinds of cables to connect the headset and a smartphone. What we need to mention here is the quality of the lightsaber controller. It is just like Anakin Skywalker's lightsaber, and the size is exactly the same, too. It even has buttons, which we don't know what they are for. It is difficult to hold as it is rough on the surface, but it is a lot lighter than it looks, so it is easy to play.

These are the things that come in the box. The Mirage AR headset is about 470g; it felt heavy when I set my smartphone in. The Lightsaber controller is about 275g. This is a lot lighter than it looks. There are three types of cables to connect with a smartphone: lightning, USB Type-C and micro USB.

The lightsaber controller is exactly like that of Anakin Skywalker's. Luke Skywalker, Finn and Rey also had it, too, so Star Wars fans should be able to recognize this.

Set your smartphone's screen timeout to Never.

Let's get started. First, you need to install a free app on your smartphone. There is no instruction booklet, and you can only choose either English or German, but I had no problem in finishing the initial setting following the app.

It supports the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, the Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S7, the Google Pixel XL, Google Pixel, the Moto Z2 Force Edition and the LG G6.

It has an adjuster in the case so that you can set smartphones in different sizes. I tried with the iPhone 7 Plus, and I set the adjuster to the biggest. My phone went back to sleep while doing the set up, so it is a good idea to set the screen timeout to Never before starting.

The Jedi Challenges app which is Free.

The power button of the lightsaber controller is on its bottom.

When the tip of the lightsaber controller lights up in blueish white, it means paring and the adjustment has been finished.

Place the tracking beacon on the floor.

Pull out the tray to set a smartphone.

The tray has an adjuster (the silver part) to fit smartphones in different sizes.

When the dotted lines meet the place where it is supposed to, it is ready to go.

Feel like a Jedi!

You can play "Lightsaber battles," "Holochess," and "Strategic combat" with the Jedi Challenges. The theme of the game is to become an independent Jedi. Become good at using a lightsaber with "Lightsaber battles," become knowledgeable with "Strategic combat" and relax with "Holochess."

The first stage is at Naboo, where Senator (later Supreme Chancellor and then Emperor) Palpatine is from. Each stage has Lightsaber battle, Holochess and Strategic Combat, and when you finish them, you seem to be able to go to the next planet.

The lightsaber battle, the main of the Jedi Challenges , is a sword fight using AR. The AR makes the lightsaber realistic, and it makes you feel like you have a real lightsaber. When it touches the floor, it makes the sound just like in the movies. I just feel like a Jedi!

This is how it looks when playing. The realistic lightsaber excited me!

Fighting against the enemy is a heroic sword fight, but until you reach that stage, you fight against troopers, taking bullets with your lightsaber. When you finish Naboo, you will learn to use a skill called PUSH; you can kill several enemies in one go when you press the button on the lightsaber controller when the gage is full. Later on, you will learn a skill to heal.

When you are fighting, the angle of the lightsaber sometimes gets unstraight. When you press the blade button on the lightsaber controller, you can solve the problem. The image of the game is smooth, and the speaker of my smartphone was good enough for enjoying the game. Because it is AR, you can look around you, but it is difficult to see when the room is bright. You might want to play in dark environment.

Fighting against Stormtroopers in Lightsaber battle. You can stop their bullets (or laser?) with your lightsaber, and when they come close to you, you can attack them. When their bullets hit you, it shows red patterns shown in the photo.

This is how it looks with Strategic combat. You can place Clone troopers and Jedi to fight against enemies. You can place cannons and planes, too. As it is AR, you can see the fight from the sides and behind, too. I took this photo inside the headset, but it actually has wider viewing angle, and you can see buildings and characters more.

Holochess. Because I don't know much about rules of chess, I couldn't enjoy it much. I need to study the rules.

If you are a Star Wars fan and love gadgets, this would be a must-buy.

What is good about the Jedi Challenges is that you can keep playing after purchase; new content packs will be released in January 2018 for free. With the Lightsaber battle, you can fight with two of the Elite Praetorian Guards, and a new planet will be added for Strategic combat. Also, a new character, Porg, will appear.

The cheapest price in Japan is JPY 29,980 (about PHP 14,000), so it is rather expensive as a headset to use with a smartphone, but considering that new content keeps being added, this might be a good purchase. I am not fully happy with it; the headset is heavy and it is difficult to see in a bright environment (it would depend on the smartphone you use), but if you are a Star Wars fan who loves gadgets, you definitely will get hyped up.

In the Philippines, it is currently on pre-order. You can find details here.

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