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Lego Star Wars Review

Developer: Traveller’s Tales Publisher: Eidos
Release Date: October 25, 2005 Also On: GCN, PC, PS2 and Xbox

As of Lego Star Wars’ original release in April 2005, fans of the Star Wars universe have been deprived of quality games with light-saber action on any system. The Nintendo 64 led the way for the franchise with Star Wars Rogue Squadron, a popular pilot shooter based in the Star Wars universe. Factor 5 followed the popular N64 game up with a popular GCN launch title (possibly the best launch game for the system) and a 2003 finale in Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. Soon after, Factor 5 announced they would no longer develop exclusively for the GCN. Until now, we’ve really seen no proper execution of light-sabers in a video game.

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Now it’s 2005 and all of the Star Wars prequels have been released. In six short years, Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Return of the Sith were released to huge box office revenue and mediocre ratings. Eidos released Lego Star Wars as a compilation of the three prequels shortly before the release of Return of the Sith. The game takes place in the Star Wars universe and for the first time in video game history, light-saber fighting is actually fun.

Lego Star Wars was released in spring 2005 on the PS2 and Xbox, mysteriously slipping past the GCN when its audience was best fit on Nintendo’s purple cube. It still sold well and was one of the hottest rentals in early 2005, but it missed its full potential by skipping on the GCN. In October, Eidos finally got around to porting a version to the GCN for a budget price of $20. At that price, there’s no going wrong with purchasing this game.

You may be wondering what exactly Lego Star Wars is. Basically it’s a Star Wars game literally built with Legos. Your character is a Lego, the environments are made out of Legos, everything is made out of Legos. Obviously this gives the game a very cute look to it and consequently, older gamers may be turned off by the graphical skew that tends to appeal to a younger crowd. Don’t get me wrong though, this game is meant for everyone; it’s not something an eight year old could probably beat in account for the puzzles, but it certainly is not of Ninja Gaiden difficulty either.

Lego Star Wars is basically an action-platformer with some gun bits here and there as well as some mini-games like space-shooting. To my surprise, there’s a healthy array of characters that you can play as; the game allows you to switch between characters mid-level to take advantage of their abilities. Some characters will have light-sabers, others will have guns, another can open doors, some can jump higher than other and some can reach high ledges with a grapple hook. In all, you can play as a countless number of different characters and even buy more to replay beaten levels with the new characters.

The action bits in Lego Star Wars are all quite invigorating. The light-saber action is thrilling and easy to get accustomed to. It took me a while to figure out how to kill the guys with shields (you can deflect laser bullets back at them), but you won’t find yourself angry at the game at any point. It’s just a purely fun game that really put the prequel movies to shame. I give kudos to the developers for taking sub-par material to work with and turning it into a high-quality action title. Who would have thought you could relive anything from Phantom Menace and have fun?

All said, Lego Star Wars is one of the best games in the history of the license. True, it’s geared at children, but for fans of the movies and non-fans alike, this is a truly remarkable effort at recreating the Star Wars prequels. It mixes fun light-saber action with inviting characters, interactive vibrant environments and comes packaged with some of the best Star Wars music ever made. If you come into this game with an open mind, you’ll leave with a satisfied heart. At this budget price, there’s no way you can go wrong with Lego Star Wars.

Graphics: 7.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8.5
Creativity: 8
Replay Value/Game Length: 7.5
Final: 8
Written by Kyle Review Guide