Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
In a galaxy far far away, there is a brand that has been exploited to within an inch of its life. Star Wars has seen more merchandise than just about any other film in history, and why not? With a loyal, ever increasing fan base and a whole galaxy to explore for ideas it’s a match made in heaven. One of the more popular brands to use Star Wars is Lego, with a vast amount of sets available to recreate all your favourite scenes from the films. However it seems that Lego is no longer content with clogging up toy boxes, but is now setting its sights on our games collection.
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy sets out to tell the main story of the films, whilst adding its own artistic licence. This is mainly in the humour of the game, which holds no punches in making fun of both brands (Stormtroopers in a hot tub anyone?). The gameplay is best described as action adventure, with a mixture of fighting, simple puzzle solving, collecting and exploring all thrown in for good measure. You are put in control of a team of up to four characters, which are broken down into groups like Droids, Jedi, Bounty Hunters and so on. Each groups has a special characteristic that needs to be utilised to fully explore and interact with the environments. For instance Bounty Hunters are the only ones that can enter certain rooms, whilst Sith characters are the only ones that can use The Dark Side to move some objects.
You’ll also need to use all the groups to collect all the hidden objects. These objects include MiniKits Canisters and Power Bricks. Each level has ten MiniKits and one Power Brick. The MiniKits build up well-known vehicles from the films, that can be seen at Mos Eisley Cantina, which acts as the main menu in the game. The Power Bricks enable you to buy extra features and power up abilities, which can also be purchased at the main menu. As well as the MiniKits, and Power Bricks there are also Studs than can be collected. Studs are everywhere in the environment and more can be extracted from objects by blowing them up. The Studs act as the games main currency. These can be spent on various things such as unlocking more characters. The studs collected go towards your True Jedi Status, which accumulate and unlock special items. As well as collecting Studs you can also lose them. This occurs once all your life (four hearts) are lost, and you subsequently explode. Fortunately you reform and can collect some of these as they bounce around the floor Sonic Style.
As said earlier there’s a mixture of gameplay elements, although the main aspect is the fighting. Characters mainly use either blasters, or Lightsabers. Alternatively if close enough, characters use their melee attacks. The melees are great, with some characters having their own attacks, such as Princess Leia’s slapping, or my personal favourite Chewbacca, who pulls off the enemies arms. There are also puzzles in the game, which are relatively simple. One puzzle early on needs C-3P0 to open a door, however there’s a chasm in the floor, and he can’t jump. So use the crane that’s conveniently placed near by, and hoist him over the chasm to open the door. Of course there’s nothing to stop you using the crane to pick up those two pesky Stormtroopers and drop them down said chasm. There’s also a smattering of vehicles lying around for you to control, which aid in solving puzzles as well as taking down enemies.
That’s pretty much what you do on all the levels, apart from the flying levels. These put you in control in a spaceship and ask you to perform certain tasks, such as taking down At-Ats, and blowing up the Death Star. I personally found that these levels weren’t as good. This, I think was because there was less humour, as well as too much repetition. Thankfully these levels don’t appear often. Once a level is completed you unlock the Free Play mode. Free Play allows you to replay the level with your own choice of characters. You’re also awarded with a Gold Brick, which are used to unlock the last 2 chapters of the game, as well as bonus levels. Gold Bricks are also earned by completing the level in Free Play, obtaining True Jedi Status and colleting all MiniKit Canisters on a level. Alternatively you can also purchase them from Mos Eisley Cantina. Apart from Story Mode, and Free Play, there’s also the Bounty Hunter Mode. Once all Bounty Hunter characters in the game have been unlocked, a special bounty hunter mode, consisting of ten levels, becomes available. A Gold Brick is obtained for completing each level. During Bounty Hunter mode, the player is given three minutes to find the bounty in the level. Studs are earned via the time remaining once the level is completed, with more time remaining equalling more studs. One of my favourite features of the game is that it is co-op; another player can join and leave instantly during any level at any time. Whilst the gameplay remains the same, it adds so much more fun, sharing the experience.
Lego Stars War’s graphics match the games mood perfectly. Everything looks like it’s made out of Lego, and this adds to the character of the game. Unfortunately the graphics do suffer from pixelation, especially when characters and objects are shown close up. The audio in the game is equally brilliant. The music sounds like it comes straight from the films, and is instantly recognisable. In fact you’ll probably hum along to the iconic title music. It is also worth noting that the game features no dialogue. Whilst some may think this sounds like a bad decision, in reality it works brilliantly. Using facial expressions and actions to tell the story, in a humorous manner that fits the game superbly.
Overall the game is fantastic. Too often fun is left out of titles, and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy does a brilliant job of bringing it back. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who won’t enjoy it, you don’t even need to know about Star Wars to enjoy the game. Whilst the actual game is short (it won’t take more than ten hours to play though the main story mode) there’s so much replay value. Unlocking all levels, playing as all the numerous characters (over 100), and collect all objects will take weeks, if not months. What’s even better is that all age groups can enjoy it making it a truly family friendly experience. It would have been nice to see an online feature, but in all honesty it’s only a minor flaw. My only major moan, is that it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see another Lego Star Wars title. With all films covered there’s no need for the two to join forces again. Thankfully however, with both Lego Batman & Lego Indiana Jones both in production, it’s only a matter of time til the void in my heart is filled.