LEGO Star Wars – PS2 – Review

Always two, there are no
more, no less: a movie and a video game.  Several in this case, with six 3D
remakes coming for the 30th anniversary of the original trilogy.

For over a decade LEGO has
captivated us with their brilliant building block adaptations of George
Lucas’s saga.  The company launched a games division many moons ago, yet for
some reason or other, it never occurred that a Star Wars video game using LEGO
blocks would be a good idea.  Finally it had, and before the release of
Revenge of the Sith, LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game was born.

Starring Anakin
Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul, General Grievous, R2-D2, C-3PO and many
other LEGO variations of your favorite characters, LEGO Star Wars is the
perfect way to get prepared for the darkest and most serious movie in the
saga…without taking things too seriously.

LEGO Star Wars is based
around the gameplay of lightsaber action (slashing droids and other
adversaries), flight combat (control LEGO-made Star Wars ships in outer
space!), and using the Force (draw blocks and other objects close and move
them to different locations).  Several characters are available, over 30 of
which can be controlled.  This doesn’t make such an enormous difference that
it’s like playing a different game each time (they all use lightsabers,
therefore some of their combat moves were bound to be similar, if not exactly
the same).  But it does put the kind of smile on your face that only a Star
Wars game can. 

Too cool for words. 

Since this is the end of
the trilogy for Lucas (and for the fans who do not follow the expanded
universe), the developers didn’t have time to release three separate LEGO
games that covered each movie in the prequel trilogy.  Does that mean we
should have to miss out on the fun of seeing Darth Maul on the game screen and
in LEGO form?  They didn’t think so, cramming all three films into one fun
game package.

Upon entering the third
episode, it was hard not to hesitate.  It was hard not to stop playing and
wait for May 19th to arrive before finishing the game.  I avoid spoilers and
rarely read interviews.  The only things I know about Episode III are the
presumed facts and everything that’s been revealed in the trailers (like
Palpatine using his lightsaber – unbelievable!).  But a video game that covers
the final film…should I really proceed? 

The Dark Side I sense in you. 

"This is LEGO," I thought
to myself.  "They couldn’t spoil too much…right?"  Luckily I was.  The game
reveals tiny tidbits and goes deeper into the story, covering a little more
than what has been revealed in the Revenge of the Sith TV spots.  But they’re
not huge spoilers.  As always I recommend that, if you want to be truly
surprised and no nothing about the movie, stay away from LEGO Star Wars and
any other new Star Wars game until after the movie is released.  (To be honest
I find that Star Wars games, even the lower-quality ones, are always two to
three times as fun when I play them after seeing a new Star Wars Movie.)

Graphically, LEGO Star
Wars is destined to earn smirks and smiles from beginning to end.  Just look
at their lightsabers – true polygon versions of the plastic pieces that come
with the real LEGO sets!  Their attire is exact; simple drawings that indicate
fabric folds where they don’t really exist.  The ships are out of this world,
taking me back to a childhood not so far, far away.  Childhood?  I still play
with my LEGO sets!  (And buy the new ones.) 

Obi-Wan’s starfighter in classic LEGO form. 

The coolest things about
the graphics is the one thing this game could not live without: realistic LEGO
block destruction.  Take out a battle droid and watch him crumble.  Not in a
fake, broken down motion.  Not in a way that emulates the way a real robot
might fall apart (you know, if a lightsaber just happen to slice through it). 
LEGO Star Wars showcases destruction with the abolishment of LEGO blocks in
the same way your little brother would as a kid.  Using the Force pulls block
walls apart in a way that kids could only fantasize about.  It’s such a cool
game to watch that you almost forget how repetitive it is.

Repetition is, as with
most Star Wars games, the number-one flaw.  It’s not a catastrophic problem,
but there is a limit to how much a person can slash through an environment,
regardless of how cool everything looks.  The character movement isn’t
ultra-fast (they control more like a slow action/adventure), which makes the
act of slashing droids a little less exciting than it could have been.  Note
that I said a little less exciting.  In spite of its flaws, LEGO Star
Wars is an exciting and at times hilarious game. 

Scoring Details

for LEGO Star Wars

Gameplay: 8.5
Who knew what
kind of a game this would turn out to be?  You could assume, but never predict
that LEGO Star Wars would become one of the most talked about Star Wars games
around.  The graphics give it hype; a unique flare that’ll raise eyebrows. 
The gameplay gives gamers something more substantial.  Something to call their
friends up and say, with more excitement than a Wookiee who won a game of
chess, "I just got the new LEGO Star Wars game!" 

Graphics: 8.5
One of the
coolest-looking games I have ever played.  Screw realistic physics and all the
stuff we normally talk about.  LEGO Star Wars is beautiful in a way that no
other game is.  I suppose if they had developed a game based on the Harry
Potter LEGO sets it would have received just as much praise.  But this is the
first of its kind.  We’ve seen other LEGO games before, but never did we have
something real to compare it to.  Not only do we have the real LEGO sets, but
we also have the Star Wars movies themselves, as well as the plethora of Star
Wars video games.  LEGO Star Wars lives up to the saga.  Aside from its short
length, there’s no reason to be disappointed.

Sound: 8
The classic
sounds of…LEGO?  LEGO doesn’t really have a "sound," unless you count the
clashing of plastic when your dog runs loose to be a soundtrack.  Nonetheless,
LEGO Star Wars sounds like a Star Wars game + block sound effects that don’t
sound very realistic, but complete the experience.

Difficulty: Easy/Medium
Not the toughest
game in the galaxy.

Concept: 8.9
The idea alone is
simple but brilliant.  Cramming so many different characters and LEGO sets
into one game, not to mention the different types of gameplay – each of those
elements helped boost the concept to an unusually high level.

Multiplayer: 8
Two-player co-op
means never having to finish the game alone (or never having to hog one
controller, depending on whether you view the glass as half full or half
empty).  Like a community college, your friend can drop in and out of the game
at any time.

Overall: 8.5
There’s no better
way to celebrate the fun and anticipation of the trilogy than to play through
a great game that covers each episode.  Brick for brick, LEGO Star Wars is a
fun action/adventure with lots to love, regardless of your age.  Traveller’s
Tales, the awesome studio behind some of the video game adaptations of Pixar’s
classic films, is also responsible for bringing the Star Wars saga to life in
full 3D.  This is one game, perhaps the only game, where it’s a compliment to
say that the graphics are blocky.