XBOX REVIEW: LEGO STAR WARS

In a galaxy far away… and I wonder in what galaxy and exactly how far away from this planet the minds were that dreamt this concept up.

It's easy to overlook LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game because of the LEGO thing. What the hell LEGO has to do with Star Wars is beyond me, and I too would probably passed on playing this game if I weren't forced to review it. Yes, when it comes to getting lazy reviewers to do their job, CCCP executives recall the teachings of revered, CEO, Arty Hackery and use the force.

LEGO Star Wars presents the Star Wars universe in a delightfully cute, Toy Story-style of animation. It's aimed at a young audience and unlike other games this one doesn't just cut corner and hope that kids won't notice. This game is specifically designed for kids and is fully realized. With names like LEGO and Star Wars attached to it you can be pretty sure you're going to get something of some quality. What I wasn't expecting was the high level of quality. The challenges may be broad, but they're fun. Only those angst-ridden teenagers that hate everything will not appreciate the work that went into this game.

Spanning the beginning of the Star Wars saga, the game covers all three prequels: The Phantom Menace; Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. With good humor the game pokes fun at pivotal scenes in these movies as the characters bumble their way through the levels literally bumping into things and making funny faces. The characters are endearing because they don't take themselves seriously.

As you might suspect the game is relatively easy to play but it offers different challenges with various levels of depth. There are only three main buttons to concern yourself with: Attack; jump, and special command. Each button will elicit different responses from any of the three playable characters which include Qui-Gon Jin, Obi Won and that annoying Jar Jar freak. Both Qui-Gon Jin and Obi Won specialize in combat with their lightsabres and the use of the Force while Jar Jar's only real contribution is being able to jump extremely high. Certain situations may call for access to a high area in which case Obi and Qui-Gon are virtually useless while on the other hand you won't use Jar Jar to take on the Stormtroopers. The ability to change to any character at any time really diversifies the gameplay. More experienced gamers will know immediately what character to use for what situation but younger gamers will enjoy the thrill of discovery.

Not only are there tons of characters and unlockables but the two-player co-op mode is almost more than you can ask for. Teaming up with a friend to explore the Star Wars universe is something that no kids should be deprived of. This mode is also a great way for parents to spend quality time with their children where both parties are guaranteed to have a good time.

You couldn't ask for a better looking game considering that making everything appear as though it's made out of LEGO blocks is right up the processor's alley. This is one time when appearing blocky works for a game rather than against it. Everything looks like it was made out of LEGO blocks from the spaceships to the planets. Even the doors, walls, tables, weapons and people are constructed out of LEGO blocks - and they're fully destructible. How cool is that?

The only real complaint that I have is that there are no voiceovers. The game is relatively mute. Fortunately the personality of the characters is able to transcend this limitation but the game is far from silent as it utilizes the incredibly rich, John Williams scores for theme and background music in addition to all of the sound effects from the Lucas library. When you hear the hum of that lightsabre you'll know you're in Star Wars territory.

LEGO Star Wars is the perfect gift for any youngster. It's fun for the whole family.

Preview by Devin

A long time ago in a toy box far, far away… No one could ever have imagined that Darth Vader would have come from a blonde haired whiny brat. George Lucas has robbed children of the 21st century of any respectable science fiction fantasy. And the most recent slap to the face, a Star Wars game based on toys, which are based on the movies. How many licenses do we have to go through in order to have an enjoyable game? There may be some people who enjoyed Star Wars Jedi Power Battles, and a small percentage may love spending six months of their life developing a character that will eventually be forgotten in Star Wars Galaxies. Well fret not, because we're finally being given a gem from the Prequel Trilogy that we all can enjoy!

On 3/29/2005, Eidos Interactive will be releasing Lego Star Wars, an action adventure game based on the ever-popular Star Wars Lego toys. When I first caught wind of the concept, I was appalled at the idea, but after researching numerous screen shots and watching what little footage of game play that is available, this game looks incredibly FUN! The environments look a bit bland and lifeless, but it's fitting, as Lego's are just colored blocks. In true Lego fashion, the models for the characters, weapons and vehicles are all exact replicas of their plastic counterparts save the fact that in game their movement is not as rigid as the toys themselves.

Audio for the game I hear is supposed to be top notch as none other than the Star Wars super sound machine, Skywalker Sound, supplies it. Not much has been released in the way of game modes or game play, except that other than single player mode a second player can join in the game at anytime. Single player mode looks like it could become a bit annoying, as you will constantly have an AI companion following your every step. With the huge selection of playable characters, a multiplayer or online mode would be just another cherry to add to the top.

Lego Star Wars takes place over the span of Episodes I, II and III. Yes, you're going to get the Revenge of the Sith before most of us will in May. This may hurt some sales of the game; as I know there are some hardcore fan boys out there who are completely against spoilers and won't want to know what happens before it happens. Here's a secret; Anakin is Darth Vader. Want to know what would happen if Darth Maul was present during the Geonosian Battle? Well now you can. Throughout the game, you will play as the respective characters at their respective point of the story. However, unlockables will allow you to play as other characters in the game. This may probably be the biggest draw for many people as the game includes a free-play mode where you can go back and play any level from any prequel movie as any character. Yes, any of the 30 unlockable characters, ranging from good to bad.

Lego Star Wars is shaping up to become not only one of the most fun Prequel experiences as far as Star Wars goes but also one of the better games of the series, period. Two-player action, a true Star Wars soundtrack, and a giant list of playable characters, this may be one of the games to get for any fan of a galaxy far, far away. So you can nab this for your PC, PS2, Xbox or GBA, pick up your real Star Wars Legos and start practicing. Remember, the blocks will be with you, always.

Features:

  • Play the most memorable and exciting scenes from Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II Attack of the Clones and the forthcoming Episode III Revenge of the Sith.
  • Choose from over 30 of your favorite Star Wars characters, ranging from the legendary Jedi Knight, Obi-wan Kenobi, to everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca, to the evil villains of Revenge of the Sith. Every character has unique weapons and abilities--which provides for a different gameplay experience every time
  • Use 'The Force' to manipulate environments and objects in order to solve puzzles
  • Massive array of vehicles including Naboo fighters, pod racers, speeder bikes, and yet-to-be-unveiled vehicles from Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  • Two-player 'drop in, drop out' mode
  • Free-play mode where unlocked characters can be played in different scenarios to the films
  • Goodies that can be used to unlock a world full of secrets, cheats and bonuses
  • Authentic sounds from the films provided by Skywalker Studio
  • Created by highly successful young gamers developer Travellers Tales
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System: Xbox, PS2
Dev: Traveller's Tale
Pub: Giant Interactive Ent / LucasArts
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Daemia
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
4.5
GRAPHICS
4.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
4.0
VALUE
3.5