The Nuts and Bolts…and Blocks of Gaming!
Lego Star Wars I and II are back, and this time they are together in one compilation for all next generation consoles. That means all the old fun has not only been visually revamped, but there is a smattering of additional content and a seamless online multiplayer component that takes the famed cooperative gameplay to the next level. If you have never played these games, you’re in for a real treat. There is an unreal amount of content for you to explore and enjoy. If you think you’ll be fully satisfied by picking up the original titles used, know that Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is the definitive edition with a great online component that is well worth the extra money.
If you have played both games through on the last generation consoles don’t expect to be surprised, but know that there is a lot of upgraded content, including online play, for you to romp through. Additionally, the first title in the series has been reworked to function as smoothly as the second. Finally, having all of that beloved content on one HD disc is the perfect upgrade to your overflowing game library.
For those of you who have not experienced the LSW series, gameplay is defined by an expansive platformer that is true to both the Star Wars universe and the world of Lego. The combination of the two genres along with amazing authenticity makes the game very fun for all ages. The game is riddled with co-op puzzles and hidden passageways that will challenge youngsters and adults alike. This compilation truly has something for everyone. It’s an excellent choice for gaming parents that want to share laughs and adventure with their little ones. For everyone else, it is a great way to enjoy your favorite space odyssey.
Cooperative play defines the games. As such, the games really should be enjoyed with someone else. Furthermore, the drop in and drop out function makes the game feel like your favorite multiplayer standup arcade. If you aren’t so fortunate to be able to share the title, then know that the ability to switch from one player character to another is extremely easy and won’t bog you down. Some games that have you constantly switching between characters with different abilities can become quite tedious. This is not the case with the Lego Star Wars games. Additionally, if you truly are a recluse you can get all of the joy out of co-op play by heading online and hosting a game, playing with a friend or getting matched to someone else. The online features work flawlessly with both titles and will have you dropping in and out of games in order to help others best the Sith menace.
There is one frustrating and completely tedious feature to gameplay, however. The monetary system in LSW has you collect silver, gold, or blue studs in order to earn spendable credits in the Mos Eisley cantina. The thing that is so annoying is that they scatter everywhere after destroying chairs or bashing battle droids, and you have to run around in circles trying to collect them all. You would think that they would make studs easy to collect for a greedy Jedi by creating a skill called “force collection.” All joking aside, stud collection is a pacing nightmare and they should magically accumulate for you. Fortunately, studs are by no means essential to finishing the stories. However, they are necessary to anyone who wants to play as some of the more interesting unlockable characters.
Speaking of unlockables, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is absolutely loaded with them. There are over 160 characters to unlock as well as inaccessible passageways that can only be reached by specific unlockable characters. There are also a ton of tips that can be purchased, in addition to the many codes that can be entered. Check out our cheat code entries for the best ones! If you are able to complete 100% of The Complete Saga, then you are a true pack rat gamer. However, you will be rewarded with a special secret for your time and effort. The sheer amount of content that is included in the disk is impressive, making 100% completion a herculean feat. Simply beating both games is not nearly enough! In addition to the standard platforming aspects, unlockables, and online play, you can take on bounty hunter missions from Jabba the Hut. In fact, ten new missions have been added this time around.
A lot of effort went in to upgrading the series’ graphics for The Complete Saga. The only caveat to that being that the Xbox 360 version of Lego Star Wars II looks the same, but there is a substantial upgrade over the GameCube and PS2 versions. Everything looks shiny and new. The Lego blocks look as if you could reach out and grab them. The environments are incredibly well contrived and look like they could have been pulled directly from a Lego Star Wars play set. There is no shuttering or lag. Generally, this game looks about as good as it possibly could.
The sound effects and music are perfect, but that shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, the game is published by LucasArts. Accordingly, the light saber sounds, the beeps and blips from droids, and the music themes are authentic and powerful. Running The Complete Saga through a seven speaker surround system will give you great results. In addition to the great sound, the game controls really well too. Keep in mind though that the titles were made for a fan base of varying abilities. Subsequently, the controls are rather simplistic. This will make the games too easy for hardcore gamers, but breezing through a puzzle-laden platformer in 10 to 15 hours is always fun anyway.
Simplicity and ease of use will be a godsend for the rest of you, however. You’ll have to do a lot of jumping throughout the titles, and thankfully you won’t have to repeat any section too many times. My only real gripe with the simplistic control scheme is the lack of force powers. I would like to have had a lot more control over their use, and also have many more weapon combinations at my disposal. In their defense, TT Games has expanded the amount of force powers that you can use, but there still aren’t nearly enough useful ones for my taste. It would be great if there were an advanced control option that could be selected for more experienced gamers. Unfortunately, you’ll typically use force powers to complete puzzles and you’ll resort to button mashing the action button to do away with the weak minions of the Republic. The controls may be too simple for many gamers, so beware. However, the games are generally fun regardless of the difficulty.
These titles are true classics from the last generation. They have been skillfully upgraded by the folks at TT Games to give us the definitive edition. The graphics are crisp, the sounds and music are authentic, the unlockable content is broad and deep, and the cuteness factor is off the charts. This game is not for everyone, but it is quite good. Fans of either Star Wars or Lego will love these games. The puzzles that you will encounter are not particularly challenging, but they are fun. This really is the perfect set of games that the whole family can enjoy. Besides, who couldn’t use another Star Wars title?
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 4.0 Graphics
Shiny and adorable. 3.3 Control
Easy to manage for both youngsters and adults. 4.4 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sounds and music of the Star Wars saga have been masterfully captured. 3.5 Play Value
Loads of content, co-op gameplay, and online play make for a nice gaming experience for the whole family. 4.0 Overall Rating – Great
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.