Review by Toomai
"Today on Versus: Qui-Gon Jinn and R4-P17 against General Greivous! Let the studs fly!"
Basically, opinion of this game has three stages. First, you look at the presentation and say "Hmm, looks a little kiddy." Next, you check the back of the box, and you realize the gameplay is pretty good. You get more into it. Finally, you actually play it and are instantly hooked. How Lego Star Wars pulls this off is quite surprising.
First: Use the storyline, padawan. Yeah, it's the same story we all know, but without most of the spoilers and gritty parts. All the cut-scenes in the game are pretty short and funny, including such cartoonish humour as whacking something to make it work. The problem is there's no speech in the game, so people who somehow don't know the plot won't learn much about it.
Story: 9/10 (5% of True Total)
Second: Visuals are not essential. The graphics in this game are average. Essentially, they're PS2 graffics running on a Gamecube, so the model quality is not as high as even some Mario games. Plus, some of the textures are flat-out capital B-A-D. That being said, the game doesn't have to look incredibly good. The Legos don't have jagged edges, and although all round shapes on models are eight-sided, it doesn't detract from game quality. There are also some cool light effects, such as sparks trailing from lightsabers and some explosions.
Graphics: 8/10 (10% of True Total)
Third: What you hear is nothing to fear. It's the same hums, pings, bwams, bangs, and R2-D2 beepboopbops that make the franchise so recognisable. Bricks tink as they hit the floor, you hear the wind as you Force an object out of the way, and John Williams' masterpiece score batters your ears. With the exception of Episode III, all parts of the game take music from the same part in the movie, so everything fits very well.
Sound: 10/10 (10% of True Total)
Fourth: Simple controls with many facets. It's easy to do things onscreen: A is jump, B is attack, X is special ability, and Y is change character. However, as every character is different, they each do things differently. Pressing B at the right time of a saber attack will yield a stronger, harder-to-block swipe. Astrodroids can hover in the air, while other characters jump twice as high. Jedis can use the Force on almost anything to make studs appear or events happen and protocol droids can open restricted-access doors. Unfortunately, the vehicle levels kill the control perfection with clumsy turning and such.
Controls: 9/10 (20% of True Total)
Fifth: Gameplay is the big time. At any time, a second player can join in or quit, although the teamwork AI is quite competent itself. Puzzles in the game require good knowledge of character abilities, and even then you have to accomplish the task. For better or for worse, you have infinite lives, but are penalized with stud (money) loss when your hearts drain to 0. Plus, in the menu-world, you can go play with unlocked characters and watch them fight each other, or join in yourself. Except for the occasional "big-annoyance", the gameplay is solid.
Gameplay: 9/10 (20% of True Total)
Now for the supplementary marks:
Fun: 10/10 (7% of True Total): The game is so funny it's impossible to not be fun.
Difficulty: 2/10 (7% of True Total): It's either flat-line easy or frustratingly hard, and there's very little middle ground.
Length: 4/10 (7% of True Total): The game is short. Seriously. A hard-working gamer can wipe the game in less than a week. But the game is aimed at kids, who don't really care for length.
Replayability: 7/10 (7% of True Total): It's tough to get all the collectibles, extras, and 30+ characters, plus there's a secret level to be found. However, once you're done, you can't erase only the unlockables: you have to start all over.
Multiplayer: 5/10 (7% of True Total): It's fun, and you can fight your buddy whenever you want, but there's very little distance you can walk away from him.
Rent/Buy? If you're a Star Wars geek, buy it. If you're a Lego freak, buy it. Otherwise, think a little and have a rent. You may be bored with it before the rent is over, and if so, it's not for you.
Subtotal: 9+8+10+9+9+10+2+4+7+5 = 73%
True Total: 78.1% (This accounts for the fact that some things, like gameplay, are more important than others, like story)
True Total Rounded: 8/10
I hope you liked this review!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/06/06
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