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Old 10-16-2010, 07:19 AM   #1
jea
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Please rate this review: Lego Star Wars II

Yes, I know this is an old game. It's what I was playing at the time. I don't have a PS3 or 360.


Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (2005)


HIGH Tearing across the surface of the Death Star in your X-wing, plowing the road with blaster fire while ships are being blown to pieces around you. Also, no Lucas dialogue.

LOW Feeling of “living the movies” sometimes killed by sudden jump to pre-rendered cinematic. I want to feel those trash compactor walls actually closing in around me, not watch it happen to someone else.

WTF Those stormtroopers really seem to like their hot tubs…and their blue Imperial-issue thongs.


I have to admit I might be a little biased going into this one. I grew up on Legos, so they have a very special place in my heart. If you aren’t a fan, then Lego Star Wars will likely hold little appeal for you, but anyone with an old fondness for those little blocks will probably be grinning ear to ear as soon as the opening firefight began. Besides the obvious geek-out thrill of seeing the most iconic shots of the Star Wars trilogy rendered in Lego blocks, the game offers plenty of actual interactivity in the form of environmental puzzles, shootouts with Imperials, and opportunities to pilot your favorite vehicles. Players collect Lego studs throughout the game which can be used to purchase hints, bonus characters for the “free play” mode, special abilities, and more. Running around after all those studs can be a pain at times, since they’re not magnetized to your character, and you can get through the main story just fine without the extras they net you, but for compulsive collectors they provide the necessary sense of accomplishment.

Even if you’re not much of a completionist, you might well appreciate these extra diversions. The Lego games are not known for their challenging gameplay (keep in mind they were targeted primarily at kids). If you’re killed, your character simply breaks up into pieces and is resurrected. If you miss something, you can always return later and play through the level again. In fact, many of the studs and collectible items in each chapter cannot be acquired on the first play-through, and this is where the game shows surprising depth of design for a kiddie venture. There are many areas that can only be accessed by certain characters, so you’ll have to unlock them if you want all the goodies on each level. This character specialization also helps add interest to the regular gameplay. Every member of the party has some ability to contribute: Obi-Wan (and later Luke) can manipulate objects using the Force, blaster-equipped characters such as Han and Chewie can attack from a distance and grapple to other areas, droids can tap into computer panels to open up new areas. You’ll probably find yourself using the Jedi characters most frequently due to their lightsabers, Force powers, and jumping ability, but you’ll still need to switch back and forth between other characters on a regular basis if you want to finish the game, especially if you’re shooting for 100% completion.

For those not interested in exploring every last cave on Hoth, there’s plenty of fun to be had (if not much challenge) just playing through the main storyline. You can finally be a part of the movies, whether skimming over the surface of the Death Star or wading through the swamps of Dagobah. Granted, most of the major plot points and famous moments (Obi-Wan being cut down by Vader, the I-am-your-father reveal at the end of Episode V) are relayed via cutscenes, modeled virtually shot for shot from the original films, but these sequences are kept brief and to the point, and sometimes even manage to be genuinely funny (not something I can say about too many games). When Leia tries to load the disc with the Death Star blueprints into R2-D2, he stubbornly clams up, and after several unsuccessful attempts to make him cooperate, she finally opens up the top of his torso like a garbage can and tosses the disc in. This playful sense of humor, which has since become one of the hallmarks of the Lego gaming franchise, works to set the game apart from the actual Star Wars movies and dispel the pressure to live up to their achievements. Lego Star Wars knows it can’t compete with the films visually, and wisely doesn’t try. It’s just a lighthearted homage delivering up plenty of simple fun, which sometimes is all you really need.

8/10

Disclosures: This game was obtained via retail store and reviewed on the Playstation 2. Approximately 20 hours of play was devoted to single-player modes (completed 1 time, with several replays of individual levels in free play mode) and 0 hours of play to multiplayer modes.

Parents: Very kid-friendly. The most gratuitous acts of physical violence involve Chewbacca pulling the arms off of enemies, upon which the victim simply disintegrates into Lego pieces.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing: Music cues will sometimes indicate enemies are nearby, but almost all important information is delivered visually. There is no spoken dialogue.

Last edited by jea; 10-27-2010 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: Please rate this review: Lego Star Wars II

To the fifty-eight people who have viewed this page without giving any feedback: if you read a review, at least rate it. And if you give it a strongly positive or negative rating, please comment why. I'd do the same for you.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:35 AM   #3
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Re: Please rate this review: Lego Star Wars II

Hi Jea, I'm a little late to the party for this review, but I thought that it was very good. It seems to hit all the highlights and doesn't get bogged down at all.

My only slight criticism would be that the paragraphs are a little large and could possibly be broken down. It looks like they are flirting with "wall of text", though I don't really think they have crossed the boundary.
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Old 11-27-2010, 11:49 AM   #4
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Re: Please rate this review: Lego Star Wars II

Quote:
Originally Posted by jea View Post
To the fifty-eight people who have viewed this page without giving any feedback: if you read a review, at least rate it. And if you give it a strongly positive or negative rating, please comment why. I'd do the same for you.
I gave it an average rating, AND I'll comment: you spend the bulk of this review in the third person, telling what you think people will like or not based on your perception of the title, but without being assertive in owning your opinion.

When you write something like "I like ____, I'm biased, and if you don't like _____, you may not like this", it's like you're coming out of the gate by apologizing.

You get out of that mode in the last paragraph, when you point up some in game humor.

I would jettison the generalizations about broad appeal and focus more narrowly about what you enjoyed about the title, and what you didn't. Don't tell me what you think I'll like, tell me what YOU liked.

Last edited by RandomRob; 11-27-2010 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 12-20-2010, 08:23 PM   #5
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Re: Please rate this review: Lego Star Wars II

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Originally Posted by Odofakyodo View Post
My only slight criticism would be that the paragraphs are a little large and could possibly be broken down.
Yeah, sorry, I'm not used to formatting my stuff for viewing online. I'll definitely preview my post next time before submitting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomRob View Post
I would jettison the generalizations about broad appeal and focus more narrowly about what you enjoyed about the title, and what you didn't. Don't tell me what you think I'll like, tell me what YOU liked.
Point taken. I've never done any reviewing before; most of my experience is with academic writing. It's been a bigger challenge than I expected shifting styles. Thanks to both of you for the feedback. This is the first piece I've ever posted on the forum and I think I'm getting a better idea of what to shoot for.
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