game review

Lego Starwars II
The Original Trilogy

The dramatic impact of Lego Darth Vader telling Luke Skywalker that he is his father in pantomime is considerably less than in the film, but that should not spoil the fun. In fact, the absurdness of this premise is typical for the humor and originality of Lego Starwars franchise. The second installment of this series features the original trilogy and picks up where the first game ended and expands the gameplay of the previous title.

Lego Starwars is a 3D platformer with ample opportunities for blaster and light saber fights, either in single or two player cooperative mode. Collecting and manipulating the environment are the main elements of its many puzzles and there are many different challenges for the player. The strong points of the earlier are further explored, after finishing a level in story mode, you will find yourself replaying to find all the hidden packages, the secret 'red brick', or to collect the coins needed to reach 'Jedi' status for that level. Lego Starwars II includes mores stuff to collect, sports bigger levels, allows you to mix characters in different ways, and allows you to take command of vehicles and ride a variety of animals in the platform levels.

Although much fun to play, the game can sometimes be difficult to control, most notably in the flying levels. Especially when played with a normal keyboard on the PC some levels can be quite frustrating. Although dying is not a big penalty in this game, it means that finding, unlocking an using a number of cheats is a prerequisite to finish the game with a 100% score. The fact that these cheats are incorporated into the gameplay (every level hides on cheat for the player the player to uncover) is testimony to the game design skills of the developers.

All in all, Lego Star Wars II is one of the most fun and original games I have played in recent years.