Lego Star Wars II

Xbox 360

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 7

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 8

Overall: 8


A surprise multi-platform hit, LucasArts must be kicking themselves for making the first Lego Star Wars game in trilogy form instead of releasing one game for each film. With the financial hit may be severe, the games haven't lost any of their witty, funny style. The source material alone is enough to elevate this sequel above its predecessor.

legostarwars21360.jpg (68147 bytes)Following the three films in the series which were released first but are in sequel form here after the prequels were given the Lego treatment in the initial release (if you're a Star Wars devotee, that made sense), George Lucas's space opera has rarely been parodied better. As the title states, this blatant promotional tie in follows the films entirely in Lego form. Everything from the cinematics to the characters has been rendered in connecting block form. Shy of taking hours out of your life to build these pieces, this will be the best way to see classic machines made from simple plastic forms.

Gameplay is presented in a third person view, generally with interchangeable squad members following behind. In the story mode, the key players are chosen to fit the advancing plot. Once beaten, Free Play unlocks, and you're then able to pick any character to complete any stage.

In about the same time it will take you to watch these same films on DVD, you'll be done with the first run through of the game. Lego Star Wars is built on replay value, and it manages to both hamper and help the overall experience. With a meager length, the extra characters (now customizable), levels, challenges, hidden objects, and hundreds of destructible environments, it's natural to explore stages multiple times. Certain areas can only be accessed by specific characters not available during the first run.

This causes some confusion for those not interested in seeing everything the game has to offer. Sections leading to extras fall right in the line of the level design with few characteristics indicating that it's a dead end until the replay. You can easily become sidetracked for an extended period until the solution becomes obvious elsewhere. The obscuring camera doesn't help.

legostarwars22360.jpg (87632 bytes)Lego Star Wars II makes a few other frustrating errors as well. Enemies regenerate far too often, making it unnecessarily difficult to solve simple puzzles. Your squad mates are useless in defending, taking and giving excessive amounts of damage with no results for either side of the intergalactic struggle. The camera comes into play again when trying to make some tricky jumps, obscuring pitfalls and ledges.

This is especially apparent in multi-player. Nicely set up to allow another player to jump into action at any given moment (though sadly this isn't playable over Xbox Live), it's an excellent addition to this one. Sadly, the camera takes away a lot of the playability, though the simplistic and fast paced flight stages do a nearly perfect job of keeping things together.

Even without the Lego presentation, LucasArts has still crafted a finely tuned engine for action fans. Playing through the more familiar trilogy only adds to that. For both kids and adults, this is definitely a worthy follow up.


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Last updated: Monday, October 09, 2006 09:06 PM