November 12, 2007

Old Toys are Made New

Posted in Critique, Entertainment tagged , , at 5:59 am by Cruthers

Lego Star Wars II believe weekend day’s break down into easily categorized themes (wouldn’t Aristotle be proud). Friday is the end of the work week and is typified by evening activities and socializing with friends. Saturday is spent recovering from the previous night’s “socializing”, but more importantly it’s usually spent doing activities that make us happy, whether it’s with family, friend’s or just some personal time. Sunday looms with work and preparation for the following week but Saturday truly is a free day.

Lego Star Wars is great way to spend a lazy Saturday, basking in it’s colorful block figures as they jump and blast Clone Troopers across the television. The game’s tone and playful mechanics brings back the simple days of youth. Days in which it was too cold or too rainy to go outside for any length of time. So instead one would got some hot coco, a blanket and plopped oneself near a heater while playing some 8/16 bit pixelated goodness. Lego Star Wars may be a kids game, but adults can find their inner child and enjoy it just as much.

One of the key points of appeal to the game is the ability of drop-in co-op. What I mean by this is say your blasting through a level and a friend drops by. Instead of having to start a whole new co-op game, your buddy can just pick up a second controller, hit start and bam, they’re in fighting along side you. Oh what’s that? Your buddy got a call and has to head out, no problem, they can hit start and drop out. Your single player game is never interrupted with the exception of the pause screen. It’s a simple but effective game element that’s adds to the experience instead of interrupting the flow.

Another element that’ll have you playing long after the game’s story mode has ended is the collectibles. Normally collectibles are a cheap way to extend a games life (ala GTA III and Spiderman 2) but really aren’t worth getting. But in Lego Star Wars, the currency will buy you additional characters to play as with unique moves (General Grievous, four arms of light saber wielding sweetness). Also if you obtain enough currency you can unlock secret pieces of Legos that later build together to make a ship and unlock an secret special stage. Another thing that’s cool is that you can physically view the unlocked Lego ship outside the game’s waiting/loading center (a diner of all things) among other Lego ships that you unlock by collecting special canisters.

The game is a simple platformer with puzzle and action elements, but when broken down further we find that the game is just fun and in the end leaves us wanting more.

Lego Star Wars IIThankfully that can be accommodated with Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, which improves on the original with new and additionally enjoyable content. And if you have a next generation gaming system (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii) you can get both games together in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

A copy of the original Lego Star Wars game runs around 15 bucks new. For the amount of fun I got out of it and continue to with co-op with friends, I’d say it was 15 bucks well spent.

For a look at the game play in action and another review, check out IGN.com’s staff review and video review.

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