Soon I’m Gonna be a Jedi!
When you look at the vast catalog of games based on the Star Wars franchise, it’s not surprising to come away with a bit of confusion. You’ve got the Battlefront series, the KOTOR series, and a veritable slew of PC-exclusive games that all seem to focus on kicking major butt. But then you’ve got the Lego Star Wars series, which has a mass appeal and somewhat less of a butt-kicking focus. But everyone seems to love it, and it’s no real wonder as to why. Put together Lego Star Wars’ combination of puzzling, fighting, and a signature sense of humor that’s only possible through over-the top Lego-stylized characters, and you’ve got yourself a mass-appealing masterpiece.
The premise of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is simple: you play through all the different levels as Lego-stylized characters. The gameplay combines a mixture of battling, exploring, and puzzle solving. It’s a pretty typical platformer, and all of the different facets of the game are executed very well. The battle system is essentially a one-button mash-fest with the lightsaber, but the real meat of the game is solving different rooms to unlock new stages. The challenge is to use your character’s distinctive traits, along with your keen understanding of the force to unlock different areas and characters to progress through the game. The learning curve is pretty steady, but don’t be surprised if you breeze through the first couple stages of an episode, and then find yourself completely stuck a few stages later. Another great thing about the Lego Star Wars series is that it forces you to think outside the box and find creative solutions to get out of a room or clear a stage. And there’s always more than one way to solve the puzzle. So if you get stuck somewhere, the best advice is to abandon your current strategy and to go with something completely different.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, as you might expect, contains all six episodes of the Lego Star Wars Saga. Each episode is available to play via a lobby area, and can be started at anytime. So, for instance, if you’re playing Episode II and really want to get your vintage on in the middle with some Episode IV, you can totally do that. In addition to playing through each level on story mode, you can also play in free-play mode. This mode is very much like story mode, but you’re allowed greater freedom to explore your surroundings and find super secret hidden content.
Free play mode is also great for unlocking secret characters. One of the main draws of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is its 150 unlockable characters. But don’t think these characters come easy. While a good proportion of these will be given to you automatically or pretty obviously, there are some that you’ll have to work for. Find all 150 characters and you just may be a Jedi master. Once you unlock a character, they’ll be playable in virtually any level, as long as you select them from your lobby area before heading into combat. This can definitely make for some pretty interesting combinations, to say the least. Imagine beating Episode I with Princess Leia… yeah, it’s weird.
Visually this game is definitely above par as far as most Wii titles are concerned. The Wii’s graphics do give justice to the little Lego characters, but the environments could have used a little bit of a graphical upgrade. Unfortunately, some of the detailing found on the other versions of the game (which support HD) has been lost in the Wii version. But the game does look good, and despite its lack of HD support, it’s one of the best looking Wii games published to date.
Control for this game is pretty standard, and uses the Nunchuk to roam around and the z button to use the force. You attack via the A button or you can swing the Wii-mote. However, in practice, swinging the Wii-mote is not a very effective control for intense multi-party combat because both the act of swinging and the attack time react very slowly. You can also swing your Wii-mote for other miscellaneous actions, such as using your hookshot, but again swinging the Wii-mote here is completely optional, and there is usually button support for any action where motion controls are offered. While I appreciate this, I think if the Wii-specific controls were incorporated a little better, the button option wouldn’t be necessary. I really wanted the Wii version of this title to offer a unique experience when compared with the other console versions. But I’m sorry to say that this title comes up short in the Wii-specific department.
However, this title is extremely pleasing in the audio department. Granted, there’s not much dialogue (well they are Legos), but what you don’t get in voice acting, you receive tenfold in score. The game’s music is absolutely excellent and features both original music and some very creative arrangements of some of the classic movie scores. The game’s soundtrack is also extremely varied, and it’s honestly remarkable how much music there is in this game. It’s a real pleasure listening to this game, and the good news here is that there’s such a wide selection that you’ll be listening to new and exciting tunes in every level. You’ll definitely enjoy listening to this one!
One thing that did disappoint me about this game is the lack of new content. For the most part, all the levels are the same as they were on the preceding Lego Star Wars games. While I realize that there is some new content, I feel like it is not enough to merit a re-purchase. The only real differences with this version are the forgettable Wii controls, a new stage in Episode II, some new hidden content, and a couple new playable characters. So it’s a really great game for those just getting into the series. But if you already have the Lego Star Wars series, you should know that this game basically treads the same ground.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is a great game for those who enjoy well-executed platforming. And if you’ve had no prior experience with the Lego Star Wars games, then it’s perfect, and you’ll probably enjoy every minute. Lego Star Wars is undoubtedly a great franchise. However, if you’re looking for new Lego Star Wars content or a unique Wii experience, then Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga probably isn’t the game for you. But in any case, may the force be with you!
racing action is captured in cinematic style and players are rewarded for showing off their skills a
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.3 Graphics
Above-standard Wii graphics do the job for this title, Lego characters look awesome, but some of the environments look a little generic. 3.0 Control
Controls aren’t overly complex, but the specialized Wii controls are pretty much useless and were not incorporated well. 4.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Beautiful music from the Star Wars series, and a few original tunes blended in make this game a delight to listen to. 3.5
The only real replay value lies in the 150 unlockable characters. But once you’ve got them all, you’re basically done with the game.
4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.