/LEGO STAR WARS II: THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY

28/10/2006

 

.There is no try

Okay, so the sequel to one of the most fun cooperative games made just came out and I got a little addicted to it.

 

My game sits there with a 100% complete staring at me, and I realize there is nothing else to do but I want more!

 

A superb sequel to an excellent first outing for the Lego games and looks like they are set to remain a gaming staple for the foreseeable future if you ask me.

 

.a long time ago...

First we were treated to Lego Star Wars, and I enjoyed it thoroughly, regardless of the fact that I am not a fan of Episode I, II and III.  It gave me well over 20 hours of fun. Lego Star Wars II adds many new things using Episodes IV, V and VI, and it’s wonderful.  Sure, it’s got a few problems from camera issues to player movement during coop mode.  However, I forgive it, due to the immense amount of fun it can be.

 

I don’t really want to talk about the story too much; there really isn’t anything to say, it's Star Wars. The cutscenes are slightly slicker than the first game and can be slightly more amusing. But that isn’t what this game is about, nor is it one of its strengths in my opinion.

 

This game is fun, pure and simple. From where I am sitting, it was designed with that notion from the ground up.  Never was this supposed to be anything more than a clever way of using the Lego license alongside the Star Wars license in an enjoyable and original way, and boy, does it show.

 

.The Force is Strong with this one

The story mode lets you play through every chapter of every episode of the original Star Wars trilogy, allowing you to experience what happens in the films in Lego form.  Some are a slight stretch from the movie and some are replicated very well. Including, I might add, the introduction to Star Wars IV: A New Hope, when a Star Destroyer is chasing the rebel ship (Tantive IV) that Princess Leia is on.

 

As you play through the story mode, you can (and ultimately will) unlock characters and bonuses that can be used to buy items and extras.  All this adds to the insane replayability of the whole game.  Each character has his own skills; one might jump higher, while another might be able to use a grappling hook.  In story mode, you might not have a grappler, but may see a grappling
hook.  This is where Free Play comes in.

 

Once you’ve completed any story mission you can replay it in Free Play mode, which allows you to swap between any of the characters you have unlocked. This means that you can go back to Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back as Darth Vader and use his dark force to unlock the areas you couldn’t previously get to. The level design in this respect has been thought out very well and always hints at things to go back for later, after unlocking the necessary character you can go back in and open a new path or reach a reward previously unobtainable.  I was very impressed with the level design in this respect, and feel that it should be commended.

 

.Twisted and evil

Okay, so yes… there are issues. So many in fact that I don’t actually know whether I should just write a list or start ranting! 

 

The camera is still a major issue.  They added the ability to move around its fixed position a little while you are playing, which is a slight saving grace, but it still switches at bad times and doesn’t always show you what you want or need to be seeing. I’m not suggesting doing cameras for a game like this is a complete walk in the park, but do feel like it could have been given a little more time and effort to deal with some of the non-edge case issues.

 

With this also come the terribly bad co-operative mode bugs.  I say bugs because I can’t believe these issues were never addressed and fixed before they released the game.  Some areas are impossible to get to in co-op mode if there are 2 players.  It’ll seem like you should, but when you jump, the camera tries to move, pushing you away from your destination. This happened countless times while I was playing with someone and required one of us to drop out to get to the item or area in question before the second player could rejoin.


In the same vein, we have the addition of vehicles.  Although they can be really cool and fun, they can also be incredibly annoying in co-op.  It’s practically impossible for 2 people to pilot AT-ST’s on the screen at one time.  The camera simply doesn’t know what to do, and in the end, one of the players gets automatically dropped out of the game.  The only place it really seems to work is in the speeder sections, which, I have to say, are a lot of fun.


Another issue is the combat collision.  What did they do?  I don’t remember this issue in the first game at all.  It really is bad.  Sometimes you have to try multiple times to hit with the lightsaber at close range and sadly, generally ends up being easier to use a blaster character.  Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t a Jedi and his lightsaber be more than a match for a guy and his blaster?

 

.Worth mentioning

The sound is good and honest to the movies. The music is obviously Star Wars and you’d expect nothing less, but all the sounds are very good and authentic also.  There really isn’t much else to say because I would have expected good sound and music from a Star Wars and Lucas license. If the audio aspects of the game were lackluster, I’m sure Lucas would have had something to say about it!

 

.On the Whole

The game is absolutely worth the pennies, and if you have a friend to play with, doubly so.  This is a game truly meant to be played with someone.  It’s perfect for couples!  However, it does have a strange learning curve.  Sometimes a level will be a walk in the park, and then the next one will be a right royal pain in the force.  But, with all its little annoyances aside, I love it. 

 

It’s Lego, it’s Star Wars and you can play with a friend on the sofa… what more could you possibly want?

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