LEGO: Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy
Early last year we were already treated on LEGO Star Wars, a game that despite its kiddy appearance managed to reach to the tops of the sales charts. To everyone’s surprise of course. Can its successor do the same, or will it this time be a falling back clone?
For those few people who have never heard about Star Wars, let me give a short introduction. The young Luke Skywalker comes in the possession of two andriods who are being chased by the emperial troops under the lead of Darth Vader. With help of the Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke leaves on a trip to deliver stolen plans to the rebels. Obi-Wan also wants to guide Luke into the ways of The Force, some sort of magical life power that enhances people’s senses and possibilities. The original trilogy, which dates from 1977, was added from 2001 with a new “prequel trilogy”. In this game we get the storyline of the original – and according to fans better – movies.
The princiipe of LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is pretty simple: the six most important surroundings from all three movies were recreated in digital blocks. For this certain parts of the story were changed a bit or added to increase playability. Some examples of this are a much more extensive fight on speeder bikes on the moon of Endor. Also very good are the winks or some funny parts like the stormtroopers who are taking a bubble bath with only their helmet on.
While playing, mostly two or more main characters are on the screen. By pushing a button you can change who you control and these avatars can be divided into a couple of categories: one with a rifle, with light sword, robots, and space ships. In these classes there are also divisions like bounty hunters and emperial troops, which are sometimes necessary to enter secret compartments. Once you’ve finished a level, new characters are unlocked for when you play the game again.
The final goal of the game (next to finishing it of course) is to gain as many coins possible per level. These aren’t just laying around since most of the time you need to completely destroy the surroundings to get them to appear. When the coin meter is full you receive at the end of the level an extra block. In each world there are five of those to earn with which you can unlock secrets outside the actual game world. Furthermore each level contains 10 cans that have parts of a space ship, and yet another extra red block that sells cheat codes. The entire game, in other words, turns around collecting thousand and one things, something that will familiar to the ears of console gamers.
But what makes this game different from its predecessor? One word: “More”! The worlds are bigger, you’ve got more freedom, there’s more variation, a wider selection of characters, more extras to collect, more secret locations, but most of all a lot more difficult. Whether this decreases the replayability is something I doubt, but I do wonder how suitable the game is for (young) kids.
The used multiplayer function is still drop-in/drop-out, which means that at any time a second player can start playing. This one will take over the AI-controlled characters and by being creative with keybinds, both players can have fun with the same keyboard, although a gamepad is a good suggestion.
There’s nothing wrong with this title on the graphics part. Thanks to the simple graphical syle the game runs swift, even on high resolutions. In between playing you get the storyline offered in short comical films and the comedy isn’t in the conversations – there aren’t any – but in the actions and facial expressions of the lead characters. The images are also perfectly supported by the known music by John Williams, something that gives the whole an even higher finishing touch.
LEGO Star Wars II has improved a lot over its predecessor and this isn’t only because of the better storyline. The developers have successfully added new features to the game to avoid the feeling of repetition. “More” was their mottot, so they deserve this score.
Old Trilogy vs. New Trilogy: 2-0!