game review

Lego Star Wars: The Video Game

Yup, you heard right: Lego. Star Wars. Video Game. It is almost an overdoses of geek nostalgia. And the game itself is not half bad, either. It plays almost like a 3D Mario game, but with more combat thrown into the mix. You get to play a large host of characters, both the good guys and the bad guys. Each with a different combination of skills and powers. Beware of black Lego blocks: the dark force is strong in those!

The game contains seventeen levels that span episodes one through three, and that focus on one core action scene. Usually this is a platform level in which you have to fight numerous opponents and solve puzzles in order to advance. Then there are some race and space-shooter levels that test your skills as a pilot. Completion of a level unlocks the next and in this way you can make your way through the game. All the action is performed by animated Lego characters. I have to hand it to the animators of Traveller's Tales to animate all those characters fluidly and believable, even though most of them do not have knees.

But it does not end there. Once each level is played through in 'story mode' you can revisit it in 'free play' mode. The latter mode allows you to change your character during play and choosing the correct character is crucial in solving and unlocking all the levels secrets. For in every level there are ten secret containers, and collecting a certain amount of studs unlocks a piece of the 'super kit'. All characters have unique abilities. Jedi characters can apply telekinesis on Lego blocks in order to rearrange and build new structures, droids can open certain doors or activate certain machines, while other characters can fly, shoot or jump really high. Some puzzles can only be solved once you have unlocked certain characters during the later stages of the game.

Unfortunately the game could have been polished a little better. The fixed camera positions and movements makes control of your characters clumsy. Although you cannot really die (their is no game over screen) it can be frustrating when trying to collect the target number of studs as you pay a price in studs for losing all your life and re-spawning. The sound is minimal, making the whole experience a little bit eerie at times. But do not let that dissuade you, Lego Star Wars: The Video Game makes up with style and flair in abundance.