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Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

August 9, 2010

“Why is this classic game worth a purchase? Because of its simplicity.”

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga funnily enough is a Lego based game that chronicles the six Star Wars movies. GASP! Yes, I too was apprehensive at first, but it’s true. You start of at the first movie and play through at your own pace collecting many Lego bricks along the way, as it is the currency of the game.

The game is a third person action game with simplified controls (designed for a younger audience) and very basic gameplay. But, beyond this simplicity lies a game with a huge amount of missions and playtime. I’m not kidding, you’ll need around 50+ hours to play through everything in this game, and even then, there is still more to do and unlock.

I am not a fan of the unlocking system. You pay for a game, you shouldn’t have to devote more hours to “unlock” the full functionality of the game and it should be yours from the point of purchase. However, LSW (Lego Star Wars) has so much to unlock and so many extras that it doesn’t annoy because you end up unlocking stuff very quickly and at a fast pace.

Graphics
Characters are funny and very well detailed. The environments are rich with multiple effects like reflections on granite surfaces and blaster light changes. Though the Lego persona’s and buildings are blocky (they are Lego’s after all), it doesn’t look bad due to the rich background detail.

Level areas are also quite big. You’re not boxed into a small level arena with not much room to move. No, instead you’ll roam through large levels with plenty of space to shoot and huge open arenas for gun battles.

Sound / Music
The sound effects are funny. The Lego guys don’t talk much, usually content with grunting or sighing in frustration. This isn’t so much of a problem because if they did talk, it would end up ruining the effect of ludicrous Lego situations.

The music in the Cantina will annoy you after a while because you’ll spend a fair bit of time in there purchasing stuff and mucking around. But, luckily you can turn it off in the menu. It’s nice to see that someone actually thought ahead with this feature.

Story
We all know the story, it plays out exactly the way it does in the movies. The missions all have continuity with each other and fit in well. It was good to see the story being re-told in an almost silent manner through the Lego guys. A lot of Laugh Out Loud moments to be had here!

The game chronicles all six chapters. That’s a pretty hefty feat as none of the previous Star Wars games can make that claim. From beginning to end, its all here, with all major battles catered for and playable. There are a huge number of viewable clips included, all of them replayed in Lego format.

Controls
For once, the simplicity of the controls and responsiveness works well for the game. You swing the remote to attack with your light sabre and move around with the nunchuk. The control scheme seems to be designed for a younger audience making it simpler for them to play. This works brilliantly because it meshes nicely and allows you to become accustomed to the controllers quickly and without too much hassle. Very small learning curve also makes this a good party game.

The camera panned well and kept track of the action well for the most part. There were times when you would lose sight of yourself or the action, but these could easily be fixed by moving into camera range again. You can tell that each level and area within a level has been planned with the camera coverage because it does its job perfectly and switches perspective at the right times.

Gameplay
The gameplay is simplistic and easy to pick up. There isn’t much more depth outside of moving objects with the force or flipping switches. You have to build certain items, but it’s all done automatically for you when you press the action button. Despite this simplicity, LSW has surprising depth with levels requiring multiple plays in order to find every item.

They achieve this by giving certain characters certain abilities and strengths. For instance, Jedi can double jump, yet Jar-Jar Binks can out jump them and reach higher spots or young Anakin can go through small panels to reach secret areas. You can kill Jar-Jar too. I felt very happy sabring him to pieces in the Cantina. But once you get a new character, you have to return to previous stages to see if you can grab the stuff that you couldn’t get the first time around.

LSW is a mission-based game with each chapter holding 6 missions. There are some deviations from the third person mode, but these don’t occur that often. They are always specific to the chapter too. For example, in chapter 1, you’ll have to compete as Anakin in the pod race. The controls are easy, but the environmental physics can be really sketchy and it tends to ruin the illusion of movement. For example, you can hit a wall in the pod race directly at high speed and you’ll just take some damage rather than go splat against the rock.

The currency of the game will also have you coming back for more and replaying certain missions with high stud count yields. Yes, they are called “studs” for Lego Studs (the smallest pieces in Lego) and you’ll be collecting these like crazy for the whole game. Even when you don’t need them any more, the game has ingrained the behaviour into you so much that you blithely collect the damn things like a well-trained lab rat. Its fun to watch them cascade when you blow something up and they make nice and satisfying clicking noises when you collect them.

There is also a two-player arcade combat mode to look forward to. You can verse each other and set the level and victory conditions or you can play co-operatively with each other. With all characters on the play area, I have no idea why they haven’t included a four-player option for a few levels. There really isn’t anything holding them back from doing so.

The VERDICT
Get this game. The sheer amount of game play levels and extras that is included make the purchase well worth it. The humour, which can be subjective, is also a bonus, but a good one if you’ve seen the movies. This game is also perfect for kids because there is no blood or gore, just Lego blocks that disassemble when you destroy something. This game is made for plonking kids in front of it, as they will be quiet for hours while playing it.

I cannot recommend another game as an alternative because their isn’t any other Star Wars games out for the Wii at the moment and out of all the Lego franchise games, this one is the most polished with the largest amount of content in it. It is a niche game that fits well and at the very least is worth a rental.

Even as a gift, this game is a safe purchase because it is an action game that doesn’t require previous knowledge of the movies. The game has been designed very well and the simplistic controls and gameplay all work in its favour. There are very few flaws, none of which are huge or detract from the enjoyment of the overall. Get it now, it’s that good.

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