Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Is the Force with Traveller's Tales' sophomore effort?
Xbox 360, Multiformat
I sometimes watch my brother play through games and wonder how he does it. He plays, and enjoys, the kind of games where mission after mission you're asked to do the same sort of thing. Stuff that would bore me. But he just keeps plugging away. Perhaps it's an age thing. And that's probably why Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy will sell well to younger players, even with the source material aging away in the corner with its fans.
If you've ever played a licensed game and wondered why the developers didn't stick to the plot more closely, I recommend you give Traveller's Tales' game a go, just to see how soulless the experience can be when you know everything that's going to happen. Yes, it's exciting for a while, seeing movies you grew up with Legoized, but it feels like something is missing.
I realize that complaining about this is essentially pointless, seeing as the game is based on Lego, but the lack of any voice acting adds to empty feel of the game. You play through all the crucial scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy, following the script to a T. I've seen the movies enough that I know what the characters are saying in each scene, but a lot of the fun of the movies came from the delivery of these lines, so absence of voice acting is missed.
So, it's just the action bits then. That's fine, because the mechanics of Lego Star War II are good. There's a fair amount of button mashing on offer, but the characters are different enough that there is some variation at hand. One of the more interesting gameplay features is the character swapping, where you simply walk up to another character and take over his body. Unfortunately it's overused - in a bad way.
The game is essentially a puzzle game, asking you to figure out how to get through doors. Only certain characters can open certain doors, so you're constantly figuring out ways to get to that character or how to masquerade as someone else. Take Stormtroopers as an example. There are devices on the walls that put a Stormtrooper helmet on your head, and that lets you get through a Stormtrooper-only door. So you spend a lot of time looking for these devices and trying to make sure you don't get shot - because, of course, that knocks your helmet off. It makes for a very samey experience.
If that's your sort of thing, you'll find enough to keep you playing for a while. There are all sorts of things to collect, and getting everything means you'll need to play through levels more than once. Your first time through you're there for the story, but in the free mode you can wander about trying to find all the goodies strewn throughout the stages.
I don't want to get too down on the game, because it is fun. I love the Lego charm and watching characters assemble things from blocks lying on the floor, and the action, while monotonous, is still enjoyable. But the whole experience seems to drag a bit, which isn't high praise considering that it's not a very long game. I'm sure my brother will love it, though.
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Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy
Direct feed trailer (Multi - LucasArts)
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