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Review: Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy

When the first Lego Star Wars title was released it was easy to dismiss and as completely juvenile, a game that could only appeal to the most childish of people. Despite plenty of promising reviews, I myself fell victim to this initial and mildly idiotic opinion, but a chance encounter was to mean that the pure blissful brilliance of Lego Star Wars was about to hit me as hard as a swift knee to the happy-sacks. During a routine visit to my brother’s house, my eldest nephew was happily caning the game in the living room. After ten minutes of watching him hack, slash and blast his way through a horde of robots, he eventually decided to nip to the toilet, his PS2’s Dual Shock sat tempting me to have a go. Checking the coast was clear, slightly embarrassed by the prospect of picking up a kid’s game, I swallowed my pride and started a level. What happened next was something that hadn’t happened for a while during a gaming session; I smiled and laughed to myself, captivated ironically in a similar fashion as to when I saw the original Star Wars trilogy as a child myself all those years ago. The game was fun, with great simple play and had a very dry and sophisticated humour; I was sold, and bought it that same week. Now finally, developers Travellers Tales have given us Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, has it lived up to or even bettered upon its predecessor? Hit the next link to find out…

A long, long time ago…
The story of the original and far superior Star Wars Trilogy is something that everyone should know and experience at some point in their lives. If you haven’t then I seriously suggest that you get yourself to you local DVD rental store as soon as humanly possible. For those who have been living under a rock for their entire lives, the story goes something like this: A young farm boy by the name of Luke Skywalker embarks on a fantastical journey with the help of his Jedi mentor, Obi Wan Kenobi, on a bid to take down the evil Empire who are at rule over the universe. As the name suggests, Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy covers all of the original Star Wars films, and each is wonderfully interpreted in its Lego incarnation. As with the previous game, Travellers Tales have managed take the key moments from all three films and have reinvigorated them adding a deft touch of humour to proceedings, making each one that little bit more memorable. The developers have perfectly nailed the humour, and it’s certainly not something that’s simply there to help make it even more accessible to children, there are times in the story that I genuinely laughed out loud, and include moments that will stay with me forever, there’s certainly no cheap laughs involved here.

Use the controller Luke…
Lego Star Wars 2’s core gameplay has changed very little from the previous title, however this isn’t a bad thing at all. Playing out as a basic platformer, but also successfully fusing hack ‘n’ slash, shooter, and puzzle elements, there is never a dull moment due to the amount of variety that is on offer. Just to add a little more to that variety, we have more flying sections than the previous game, which really aren’t that dissimilar to the old top down shooters of yesteryear. The controls themselves are very simple to get to grips with, but do have enough depth to stop the game becoming brain numbingly boring. When you venture out into any level for the first time, you are forced to follow the set storyline structure. Once any level is complete you are then able to go through again in freeplay mode as often as you like to get the rest of the collectables. In this mode you choose from any two of the unlocked characters, and are given a further set including all the unit classes that are required to complete the core objectives.

I’ve mentioned the word ‘collectables’ above; make a note of that, as it is a key word as far as Lego Star Wars is concerned. Hoarding is something you’ll be busying yourself with if you want to 100% this game, whether it be collecting as many coins as possible to break the ‘True Jedi’ rating in each level, and to purchase more characters and extras from the Cantina base level, or it’s gold bricks to open up yet more levels and modes. Making their return from the previous game are the legendary hidden Mini-kits, which are littered around all the levels. Once again as previously, the more kits that are unlocked from each level, the more they build up an instantly recognizable Star Wars vehicle outside the Cantina. Once some of the models are completed, certain ones become unlocked for use in particular levels. With all this to keep you coming back to each level, coupled with plenty of achievements to win, it becomes apparent that this game isn’t the easy romp you may have thought early on.

Sound and Light (sabers)…
The weakest area of Lego Star Wars 2 comes in its very slight visual superiority over other versions. Aside from adding high-definition to the equation, plus a tiny bit of polish, it would appear that there was very little work put in to make a huge graphical step-up from the last-gen versions. Otherwise, the games design is perfect, presenting an odd balance where the game does feel like an authentic Lego game, but also like fully-fledged Star Wars title. As usual with Star Wars games, the sound effects are absolutely spot-on; with every gun blast, with every saber swipe, and with every vehicle screech, you find yourself sporting an enormous nostalgic Joker-esque grin spanning from ear-to-ear. The characters themselves don’t use full speech; instead utilize mumbling sound-a-like sound bites. This approach serves a thoughtful purpose, offering the developers a far greater variety in the way of visual humour. It’s this area where the game comes into its own.

The Force is strong with this one…
The million-dollar question that faces those pondering the purchase of Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy is: ‘Is it worth the extra twenty pounds over the last-gen version?’ This is a question that is made even harder to answer when you consider that the Original Xbox version is actually listed as a backwards-compatible title, it just seems like a particularly odd move. Whichever way you feel about the possible answer to that question, if you buy either version you are still in for a treat as it is worth every penny. Admittedly if you are solely concentrating on the story mode, then you may not be kept occupied for an age, but if you want to complete the game properly you will have to be prepared to put the hours in, because it does take skill. Combining timeless events, great humour, simple yet effective gameplay, and just an astonishing amount of variety all in one little package, it’s hard not to find something about this game that makes you smile. An absolute must for all Star Wars fans, kids and just big kids alike.

Final Score: 8 out of 10 (How do we rate games?)

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9 comments on 'Review: Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy'

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Comment by mtbjunkie on 2006-11-06 00:12:26 | Reply

Agree completly with the review, and would add that this game in 1080i is rad. I am still working on finishing the story, but I am happy with it.

Comment by StGermain on 2006-11-06 00:18:24 | Reply

This one is really fun to play in coop with two controllers on one 360 as well, I had a lot of fun playing the demo with my kids. I’ll probably pick up the full game when I’m done with PGR3…

Comment by coojo on 2006-11-06 02:48:42 | Reply

i wish this would have xbox live coop cause i dont have anybody at home to play with :(

Comment by hurricanepilot on 2006-11-06 10:33:11 | Reply

it’s not such a bad thing…mostly you just end up force-killing each other for the kicks anyhow ;)

Looks fun, I’ll try it out.

Comment by mu on 2006-11-06 16:56:22 | Reply

i gotta say, i wanted to love this game, but the complete lack of voice over support left it feeling like an empty void. the gameplay is fun, and for a psp game, it is certainly playable (same graphics as 360 pretty much). but without voice-overs, on the 360, the game just feels empty. maybe it is just me.

- mu

Comment by Visionep on 2006-11-06 20:48:18 | Reply

It’s just you.

This game is even better in 1080p. And I guarantee the graphics are better than a psp.

If it had voice overs, it would lose 90% of the top notch humour it has.

Comment by Machara on 2007-05-27 02:59:25 | Reply

I have wanted to write a comment on this game for some time. I have been playing this game with friends/family for about 4 months now and its still my top played game. I am about 90% complete and will not stop until 100%.

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