"Lego Star Wars brings two great franchises together in an easy-going platformer based on the first three episodes in the Star Wars universe. Despite there being no dialogue, the movies are summarized effectively and you easily learn what happens in each tale. In the escapade you’ll get to play as virtually every Star Wars character, and because it targets kids it’s pretty easy to beat. It uses colorful environments and enjoyable gameplay, so that fans of either license will find a great game. "
Lego Star Wars brings two great franchises together in an easy-going platformer based on the first three episodes in the Star Wars universe. Despite there being no dialogue, the movies are summarized effectively and you easily learn what happens in each tale. In the escapade you’ll get to play as virtually every Star Wars character, and because it targets kids it’s pretty easy to beat. It uses colorful environments and enjoyable gameplay, so that fans of either license will find a great game.
Lego Star Wars has terrific environment design, which is complemented by simplistic controls and easy combat. Certain walls and partitions can be broken into Lego pieces and gems by hitting them. You’ll also jump or double jump for certain characters. Additionally, all Jedi and Sith can wield the force, which allows you to hold objects in mid-air and rebuild bridges. These Force powers and attacks allow you to interact with plants, walls, floors, and other objects, changing their Lego structure.
Another thing you’ll notice about Lego Star Wars is that you never see a game over screen, because of its forgiving nature. It has a small learning curve, which makes it accessible for everyone. After a quick tutorial, you’re thrown into the first of seventeen missions, which take about twenty minutes to complete. The missions throw you into a variety of film re-enactments, like piloting the Podracer as Anakin, Brawling in the Geonosian Arena, and escaping the Palace on Naboo. Though it only takes around six hours to complete the game, there are a host of unlockables that extend its value.
Every level is packed with an assortment of bonus content. For example, on top of your screen is a screw, which slowly turns yellow as you collect gems. When it turns entirely yellow, you obtain one of seventeen Lego pieces. If you collect all of them, you unlock a bonus level which takes place in Episode IV. These gems also help you to add to your character library, which gives you more people to choose from. In addition, Lego canisters are scattered throughout each level, and acquiring all of these in a level builds a model that can be seen in Dax’s diner. These models include AT-AT, fighter pilots, and bombers.
Dax’s Diner was first shown in Attack of the Clones, but in Lego Star Wars it’s where you buy characters and codes, as well as select missions. You can view all the vehicles, interact with characters you’ve unlocked, or play a mission. Before the mission starts you have the option of freeplay or story mode for it. The story mode has pre-selected characters that you’ll play as to finish each mission, and upon completion unlock the next level. Freeplay allows you to choose which two characters you want, letting you choose characters with higher jumps, stronger Force, or better attacks. Each character has pre-selected stats that you can’t alter; thankfully you have two characters to gain every possible advantage.
But no matter which mode you choose, you’ll always be working with at least another character. One of the reasons behind this is for two player co-op. At anytime during freeplay or story, a friend can jump in and join you. A few missions like the Podracer mission become slightly harder with a friend, because you’ll both have to pass the target pod. Yet, the majority of the missions are much easier. When you smash up mindless droids into bits of Lego it’s satisfying, even more so when you can chuckle about it with a friend. The co-op is inviting due to its simple controls, which allow anyone to be able to take down Darth Maul.
Another welcoming aspect of Lego Star Wars is its use of Lego. Because Lego pieces aren’t circle though, the geometry for some ships is askew. But everything is made of Lego, except for the walls and backgrounds, and no matter how many enemies you’re swamped with the frame-rate stays stable. Lego Star Wars features vibrant and colorful levels that emanate the Star Wars feel, which add a ton of variation to each level, like the halls of the palace to the fiery lava of Mustafar. The visuals are limited by the scope of Lego, and Lego Star Wars lacks shadow effects and “wow” moments. Overall the graphics are fantastic, and are complimented by the audio work.
If Knights of the Old Republic is any example, then a good Star Wars game needs quality sound, which Lego Star Wars has. It features a great array of sound effects, like the blasters, lightsabers, and Lego being clicked together. No voice acting eliminates bad impressionists, and the sound effects coupled with facial expressions, portray the story without a hitch. The music is classic Star Wars, so it’s orchestral and has a slow upbeat tone setting the fun mood. All of these aspects make for a solid sound experience.
Lego Star Wars is a fun and light-hearted adventure. It successfully blends the two worlds together, which makes for an enjoyable experience from beginning to end. The use of Lego for characters, ships, and scenery make it look fabulous. When coupled with superb sound and easy-going gameplay, it becomes a marvelous experience. Despite its short length, any kid or child at heart should give Lego Star Wars a chance.
Community review by ghostyghost (August 24, 2006)
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