Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy Xbox 360 Review
Way back in April of 2005 we got our hands on the original Lego Star Wars and as you can see by our review we really loved the game. Also at the very end of that review we threw out the line “hopefully we will see the original trilogy in Lego form in the future.” Well near the beginning of 2006 Lego Star Wars II was announced and instead of us yelling at everyone telling them of our Nostradamus-like prediction we made almost a whole year early we rejoiced that we would finally get to experience the game with characters and environments for the better half of the Star Wars franchise.
As you would expect considering the name at the top of this review Lego Star Wars II takes please during Episodes IV, V and VI of the Star Wars saga. The game offers a few changes from the original game in 2005 but more or less adopts an if it ain’t broke we sure as hell ain’t going to fix it approach. As stated above the game plays much like the original, you once again start out in a central hub (Mos Eisley Cantina). From there you have access to the three chapters from the original saga, each of these offers six levels to fight through.
The controls still remain a simple as ever with each character in the game having their own strengths to help work your way through the adventure. Jedi can use the force, characters that use blasters (Leia, Han and others) can grapple up to high ledges while small characters can crawl through small spaces. Switching between characters is done by simply pressing “Y” while standing nearby the character you want to change to. The game also contains the same drop-in/drop-out two-player co-op mode from the original so that a second player can join/leave the game at any point without disrupting the flow of the game.
Traveller’s Tales have also added a few extras to keep people entertained. Fully controllable vehicles are the game’s biggest new feature with Snowspeeders, The Millennium Falcon, X-Wings and others all get an outing once or twice throughout the adventure. I label them as ‘Fully controllable’ as they don’t feel as tacked on as the vehicles in the first game and now feel like they actually belong and are much more enjoyable to play than before. As a great deal of the game seems to carbon copy the original in terms of features, you would be forgiven for having a feeling of déjà vu while playing the game. Thankfully, Lego Star Wars is not the kind of game that needs a brand new feature added in every edition and the game easily gets by with the small number of extras it brings to the table.
Playing through the game is a very entertaining experience. Over the 18 levels on show there are loads of standout moments which will be remember long after you have finished the game. Many of these moments result from the Lego based characters being unable to talk. making Vader’s “Luke, I am your father” revelation a little bit more complicated than it needs to be. Of course the memorable moments are not just restricted to cut scenes as the characters themselves have some interesting moves that can be used throughout the game – Chewie pulling arms off enemies and Leia’s ‘bitch slap’ were favourites of mine. The games’ new create-a-character option just adds more to the entertainment letting you mix and match Lego pieces to make whatever kind of character you want.
As you would expect for a game that bears the Star Wars name all audio included is of an exceedingly high quality. Although the game has no voice work in it (other than a few mumbles here and there) both the music and sound effect are well done. The John Williams score is expertly used and adds great prominence to all the scenes it is included in. The compositions also seem to kick in at just the right time and are thankfully are not overused over the course of the three chapters.
The only complaint I could lay upon the game is that Traveller’s Tales did nothing to take advantage of the 360’s next-gen hardware. Other than a few achievements, a higher resolution and what, to my ears, sound like superior sound there is not a whole lot that justifies the higher price for making the next gen jump with the game. Nevertheless, Lego Star Wars II is a fantastically entertaining game that everyone should try to get their hands on.
Perhaps the best way to describe Lego Star Wars II is saying that it is a simple game done right; it does not include any button combos nor does it include any kind of levelling up system – even if you are new to the whole gaming scene or a 30+ year veteran there is something in this game for you to love regardless of your age or which console you choose to play it on, of course if handheld gaming is your thing, well that’s a whole different matter.
YAHOOOOO! You’re all clear, kid! Now let’s buy this thing and go home.
8.4 out of 10