LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy Reader Review
For a game that doesn't involve much more than shooting the crap out of everything, it's hard to realise how LEGO Star Wars II makes you want to play, play and play again until you finish it to death. I played the first LEGO Star Wars game and it was passable, at times enjoyable, but I don�t think I ever completed it. I love Star Wars but not so much the three recent releases - I'm old-skool, me.
And I suspect that this had a major factor in why I enjoyed LSWII so much more than the first release. It was something that I could relate to in a nostagic sort of way, and the effort that Traveller�s Tales put into it without expanding the story beyond what is familiar and stacking a load of comedy into the cut-scenes, all of it making the most enjoyable co-op experience I've had in a long time. Oh yes indeed; co-op is definately the way this game should be played.
I played LSWII with my older sister and she likes the original trilogy too, and hence nothing that was shown by the developers was missed by either of us, and being able to compare the cut-scenes to those in the film made for excellent sitcom-esque moments. It allowed flashbacks to old memories of sitting down in front of the tele watching one of the best films in my generation. It�s worth playing LSWII for that alone. And quite probably, that would be the only reason most gamers/people would play this - solely to reminisce about the times when Han Solo really did shoot first.
As said, the game is not much more than shooting Stormtroopers and Generals, attempting to have a decent lightsaber fight with the Dark-side, and Force-powering things through scripted sequences. And it�s all done in a cutesy and stubby fashion - the overbearing Darth Vader in the films is cut down to size and becomes nothing more than a hulking-looking LEGO feature, cape flowing and all. The shooting combat is simplified with an auto-lock feature that locks onto objects and enemies within a good-sized arc in front of the player, as well as shooting up and down automatically. The lightsaber aspect, however, is a bit of a let-down with the only well-implemented aspect being able to deflect laser shots back to the enemy. Swinging and slashing the lightsaber has no weight to it, no sense of contact or friction being an object, enemy or another lightsaber that it comes into contact with. Of course, that�s the whole point of a lightsaber - to be able to cut through anything - but it just feels too loose and feathery. And lightsaber-e-lightsaber is just button bashing. Kid's game, tsk.
But for all its children-friendly, easy going, simplified adventuring, Traveller�s Tales have made sure that even the adults will enjoy it. Playing co-op with the young is no doubt a good thing, but even for us adults there�s a multitude of replyable and hidden features that will get you coming back for more. Besides all three episodes, each containing six-levels, there�s also the aspect of hidden Red Bricks (opening Cheats in the shop to be purchased), LEGO parts (ten per level to build a LEGO vehicle that features in that level), Gold Bricks (eventually opens up new worlds to play in) and achieving True Jedi status (gathering LEGO stubs equivalent to cash). The thing is - and cleverly so, without making it seem like too much of a cheating way to extend reply value - is that some hidden LEGO parts can�t be collected unless you play the levels in Free Play mode. This mode is opened for play once you complete the level and it allows you to choose any characters that you have collected during your LSWII play in that level. So places that were once out of reach can be landed upon with Jedi Double-Jump. And then there�s the Bounty Hunter missions and a real-world LEGO level which allows mass destruction funness.
The main thing that you should realise is that there is massive value-for-money here. Unless you are completely souless and have never liked Star Wars, there is no reason why you shouldn�t play this game. There are a tonnes of achievements - some of which are a bit daunting for me, like completing levels without dying - and it seems like a meaty game all in all. I reckon it's pretty cheap now, so it's definitely something that should be an impulse buy.