In the three years since Finnish developers Rovio Entertainment unleashed Angry Birds on the world the franchise has become a cultural phenomenon. With toys, board games, clothing more than a dozen outings across multiple different formats and even a motion-picture production under its belt, it’s a wonder why it’s taken so long for an Angry Birds title to hit home consoles. With the help of Activision however, gamers need wonder no more, as Angry Birds Trilogy makes its way to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Angry Birds Trilogy is so called as it offers a collection of three of the most popular Angry Birds titles on a single disc. Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio are all included, and have been spruced-up with high-definition (HD) visuals and compatibility with stereoscopic 3D displays. With the port handled by acclaimed studio Housemarque, the team responsible for the critically acclaimed Super Stardust series, the time has been taken to offer each HD version of Angry Birds Trilogy the optional use of motion-control devices: PlayStation Move for PlayStation 3, and Kinect on Xbox 360.
As Angry Birds Trilogy is a port of the original three Angry Birds videogames the formula will come as little surprise to anybody. With a set number of birds players must attack distant constructs to eliminate the pigs hiding within. A range of birds each have different unique attributes, such as the yellow bird’s dash manoeuvre or the black bird’s explosive tendencies, which can be executed mid-flight as you catapult them towards the enemy. It’s a simple formula which quickly builds in complexity, and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea its addictive nature is unquestionable, hence the success of the franchise.
Here on HD systems Angry Birds Trilogy does feel somewhat out of place amongst the big budget blockbusters arriving this time of year. The likes of Dishonored and XCOM: Enemy Unknown may be grabbing headlines worldwide, but Angry Birds has easily outsold both titles combined, and as such Angry Birds Trilogy is only likely to perform well amongst family audiences and first-time console buyers this coming holiday season. And rightfully so, as it delivers a welcoming Angry Birds experience that demonstrates the franchise on top form. The Kinect implementation in the Xbox 360 edition of the videogame is simply one of the finest excuses for the ‘Better with Kinect’ tagline that Electronic Theatre has yet witnessed, aiming with one hand and given the signal to fire with another, and the HD visuals are certainly of a noticeably high standard when animated on a larger screen.
Angry Birds Trilogy features all of the levels of Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio – divided by title on the main menu – as well as nineteen additional levels exclusive to this package. It’s a comfortable home console adaptations which, despite the naysayer negativity about the pricing, is arguably one of the finest renditions of Angry Birds yet seen. It’s not exactly about to redefine HD gaming, nor even the Angry Birds franchise itself, but Angry Birds Trilogy does provide the critically acclaimed, hugely successful franchise to a new audience, and also the existing audience with a new way to experience the videogame. And with that, Angry Birds Trilogy achieves exactly what it set out to do.