Review by willythelum
Lego Star Wars, wow, where do I begin? Lego games have always been good for me (Racers, Island, Rock Raider), but Star Wars games have been below par for me for years. When in Gamestop, I saw this and immediately knew that I was having a clash of past experiences. I went with my gut and bought i t to find a cutesy, easy, extremely fun game.
John Williams famous music comes again to give us some extremely nice music. I thought that the music went well with what was going on. There was a repetitive battle music going on during battle, and a mysterious music for times like the Jedi Temple. All in all, the music in here is above average.
But, the voices. What voices? There are no voiceovers in Lego Star Wars, just a lot of grunts and groans and beeps (in R2-D2's case). As someone of the message board pointed out, the only spoken words of the entire game are "Roger, Roger" and "Uh-oh." Disappointment there. Getting the original actors to do some voices would have been great (especially Natalie Portman...but not Frank Lloyd). That was an extreme let-down for me. Although on the other hand, it would of spoiled much more of Episode III then I was willing to have spoiled.
Sound effects wise, the sound of clashing lightsabers and blasters firing, was more than enough to keep me satisfied while I played this game. At some points, you can hear the platfroms move out as you "force" them out. Or when you put Lego's together, they do the clicking of two legos together. There are some missing sound effects like when guys fall apart, there is no clatter. There is also no footstep sound. And there is no Wookie cry! Also, the sound effects sometimes would get ahead of the opening/closing movie in story mode.
The graphics on this game are good for a children's game. The developers obviously spent a good amount of time trying to master the Lego touch on the characters and environments. While not all of your surroundings are made of the famous Danish bricks, there are more than enough to keep one happy. At some points, you may recognize Lego Sets you may have right at your house!
The frame rate for Lego Star Wars was high when run on my Xbox, with no problems lagging up (though I doubted there would be).
However, the biggest graphical problem for me was certain glitches that kept me from enjoying the game to it's fullest. In one of the earlier levels, I found myself dying and the game would repeat the death video in a loop until I button-mashed like I was playing my brother in Soul Calibur II. Also, as mentioned above, the movies tended to lag behind the sound, which made me lose some understandment for what was going on in the movies.
I have never played a game as addicting or fun as this (except Halo1/2). I found myself playing it from the time I bought it to 12 o'clock when I finished the game. Which brings up a point: length. This game's length in terms of level length and game length is short (to a degree). You can beat the game in three hour and a half sittings (probably less for others). But scroll down to the section "Replayability" for the reason this does not detract to the overall score.
Playing through the games story mode takes you through 17 levels through the three prequel movies including the (at this time) unreleased "Revenge of the Sith". You play an extremely diverse amount of characters (more than 56) each sharing a different amount of abilities including force, high jump, grappling, dark side and two droid variations. Using these in the games free play allows you to take two unrelated characters like Jango Fett and Darth Maul and have them Defend Kashyyyk!
The combat in the game is very straightforward. You either have a lightsaber, blaster or and droid-disabler. Most footsoldiers (clones and battle droids) take one hit from either the lightsaber or blaster. Their generals take two. All boss battles except for one (Count Dooku #2) have 10 health.
Puzzles in the game usually consist of using the force to move blocks, jumping or cooperative behavior. This may include characters all standing on different switches to open a door or having one fight enemies while the other stops the enemies from their source. The jumping puzzles are a little annoying due to no free camera, but luckily, there are few. The most common puzzle, involves one or more different types of characters using their special abilities in unison or seperately.
Cooperative play is used by having another player press start at any time in the game and they will join right in the game, taking control of one of the onscreen characters, or having a vehicle appear. There are always more than one playable character on-screen at one time. When you or your friend are done playing, you can drop out from the pause screen, meaning endless fun. The game has many cooperative puzzles, so you don't forget that you are on a team.
Dying in this game is not a setback at all for me. When you lose all four hearts from blaster or lightsaber, you explode into your lego pieces and lose 2k or 1k of your money depending on how you die (Hearts or falling respectively). There are more than enough hearts to sustain you and the only time you really have to worry about health is the dreaded Beach Battle in Defense of Kashyyyk.
Overall in the gameplay department, there are different types of characters which add up to the overall factor with minor detracts due to length and dying.
This game was meant to be played multiple times. There are two reasons to go back into a level, one is mini-kits, the other is True Jedi Status. Both will keep you going into the levels day after day.
Mini-Kits are 10 capsule like lego pieces that are spread out though the level. Collecting all 10 in a level will render you a 50k bonus and build a model of a ship related to the level outside Dexters Diner (i.e. the level "Darth Maul" has the "Sith Infiltrator"). Mini-Kits usually require the talents of a character not found in story mode such as a jumper in the first level or a small boy in the second. Collecting every mini-kit however, does not give you anything except viewing the ships.
True Jedi Status involves the amount of money you make in a level. In all 17 levels, there is enough studs (barely in Kashyyyk) to make the black/gold bar at the top of your screen flash. When this happens, you earn a piece of the Superkit, which is like 17 Mini-Kits with 1 per level. Getting the Superkit means a secret level which I will not disclose due to spoilers.
There are also many things to buy at Dexter's Diner. After certain levels, you will find the ability to buy the characters you would not normally see, such as Jango Fett or Darth Sidious. Although they come with a price tag, all but one (General Grievous) comes relatively cheap. There are around 50 in all, but many are duplicates (Clone Trooper Swamp, Clone Trooper Walker, etc.). There are also extras to buy, all but two are of any use. Invincibility keeps you from dying, and Mini-Kit detector allows you to see...the mini-kits. The other ones are purely fun, like one that gives everyone a trader moustache or makes all lightsabers brooms.
This game is one I will be going back to in 10 years and beat again and again. I say that it is a buy at a $39.99 pricetag. Enjoy it as much as I have!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/18/05
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