LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Rated: ĎEí for Everyone
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Youíll have to bear with me on this review. Iíve never felt a desire to review a video game before, but I just finished playing one that I believe is rather deserving of a review. When I first heard about the LEGO video games coming to gaming systems everywhere, I figured that they would feature things you had to build. End of story. Boring. Then I was given a demo of the LEGO Star Wars video game for the PS2 and my thoughts about LEGO video games were changed forever. Having enjoyed that demo so much and loving the original Star Wars Trilogy as much as I do, I went out and bought LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. This game takes on A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Lego style.
We begin our adventure in space, as all of the Star Wars movies do. Princess Leia and her fellow rebels are attempting to smuggle the blueprints of the Death Star to rebel leaders, but Darth Vader is about to rain on her parade. Itís up to R2-D2 and C-3P0 to escape with the plans and get them to the rebel leaders. Thus begins your adventure through the three movies, each divided into six chapters.
As you movie through each chapter, you unlock new characters that you can use to complete the story. You can toggle from character to character to unlock different doors, gaining access to certain areas you might otherwise not have been able to get to. As you travel through the chapter, you pick up various useful items, much like when you play Tomb Raider (another favorite of mine). These items include extra health in the form of hearts, blocks, mini kits and studs which equal cash in the LEGO Star Wars world. The more items you pick up, the closer you are to completing the ďTrue Jedi StoryĒ for which you receive more items you can use throughout your play. Sometimes your characters are called upon to build items that they can use to access other parts of the playing field.
After each chapter, you can return to the Cantina, your central hub, where the studs you have earned can be used to purchase things like hints, characters, weapons, gold bricks and more. Once you have unlocked certain stories, you can go back and play some of the chapters with players you have unlocked. The brilliant creators of this game made certain that you couldnít complete every part of the playing field with just one character. Some items need someone with force power to be unlocked. Some doors need bounty hunters or tie fighter access. This is an extremely multifaceted game with excellent replay ability. You can continue playing over and over using different characters and get a whole new experience each time.
Iím one of those people who like their games to have movies, hidden stories, and hidden puzzles. This game gives me all of that and more Ė it makes me laugh. Intermixed in the chapters are mini-movies that parody certain events in the trilogy. Remember when Lukeís hand is cut off by Vader and he has a mechanical one attached. Imagine that hand having a mind of its own. The movies are cute and offer terrific humor for fans of LEGO and Star Wars alike. The game also forces you to think as you contemplate ways to get further along the playing field using everything you have at your disposal.
Something I thought was very innovative was that you could choose a difficulty level that grew as your playing ability increased. The better you play, the more difficult each level would be. Nobody wants to get their LEGO blown to bits on their first try. Itís bad for your LEGO ego. Better that things get harder as you start playing better. Itís more fun that way.
So, in short, I would like to say that I had tremendous fun with my LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. Each time I played I was like a little kid in a candy factory and I still want more. I havenít finished the game with every character yet and I canít wait to go back to certain boards with force users and bounty hunters to see what else I can unlock. This game has everything any gamer wants Ė action, adventure, puzzles to solve, things to build, mini-movies that parody the actual Star Wars scenes, fun, laughter and replay ability. Iíve heard that LEGO and LucasArts are coming out with an Indiana Jones game. After playing their Star Wars games, I canít wait to check their version of Indiana Jones out!