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Lego Star Wars (PC)

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3 Reviews

Manufacturer: Eidos / Genre: Adventures & Role-playing

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    3 Reviews
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      26.08.2008 14:43
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      Good game.

      Lego Star Wars is an action game for the consoles that has been brought over to the PC.

      In this game the story follows the three new films, that is The Phantom Menace, Attack Of The Clones, and Revenge Of The Sith. The story is told in cute and humourous cut scenes.

      If you try and play with the keyboard you will probably find this game to be quite frustrating. However once you plug in a game pad like the official Xbox360 controller it will become a much more pleasant experience.

      The gameplay is very simple and people of all ages should be able to get the hang of the easy combat and fun challenging but not overly so puzzles. If you have multiple controllers you will be able to play with more than one player.

      The graphics in this game have received a noticeable upgrade over the PlayStation 2 version so even if you have seen it there you might want to try this version.

      You can buy this for about £10.00 and this is a fun game for the whole family.

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      05.02.2007 18:19
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      The force is strong in this game!

      A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, someone had the genius idea of marrying Star Wars Episodes I-III (the prequels) with Lego and making a game out of it!

      I guess that probably gives my opinion away a bit, but I think this game is brilliant!

      I had high hopes for it when it came out, as it was produced by Travellers Tales – the people responsible for the excellent later instalments of the Crash Bandicoot series. Sure enough, that faith was not misplaced and Star Wars Lego is just fun, fun, fun…

      First of all, the graphics and sound are both excellent. This is an official Star Wars (and Lego) licensed product, so all the sounds are exactly as you would expect. From John Williams’ rousing score, through to various pieces of music from the films, this is the sound of the Star Wars universe. Interestingly (presumably for cost reasons), the game features no speech from the key characters. Instead, they just make speech type noises – yet this proves so effective that, if you’re familiar with the film, you can hear the dialogue in your head!

      Similarly, the graphics are good. The Star Wars universe is faithfully, yet amusingly reconstructed using Lego. Fans of the series will instantly recognise characters and locations and it’s good to see that such care has gone into the graphics.

      Similar care and consideration has also gone into which keys are used to play the game. Keyboard controls are nice and straightforward and logical. I’m usually hopeless with keyboard controls, having been brought up on joysticks and control pads, yet I found no problem quickly adapting to Lego Star Wars. In two player mode, players are based on opposite ends of the keyboard, so there’s no squabbles about invading the other player’s space! However, if you don’t like the keys assigned, you can always change them to ones which suit you.

      The game is instantly addictive with lots to do and plenty of places to explore. Levels are nicely laid out and, whilst they do lead you round a certain way and you have to do certain things to complete the level, there’s still a pleasing feeling of having the freedom to explore. As such, you never really feel you’re being forced to play the game in a certain way, nor at you at any risk of getting lost.

      Gameplay is also nice and straightforward. You fight your way through various levels interacting with scenery, collecting coins, revealing secrets or freeing new characters. The coins collected on each level can be used to buy or unlock new features and characters. You need to switch between various characters to access certain areas, which introduces an element of variety. For example, some doors can only be opened using R2-D2, so until you have him available, you can’t explore certain areas; other bits can only be unlocked by a character who can use the Force and so on. However, it’s usually pretty clear what you have to do, so it’s unlikely that any of the problems will detain you for too long.

      What’s nice about this feature is that the characters really do have different abilities and feel different to control. Some characters, for example, can jump higher; others can fit through small gaps; some move slowly, others are lightning fast!. You’ll probably find you have your favourite character to control – but this will differ from person to person!

      Equally fun is that there are several different ways of completing the game. In story mode, for example, you run through the level as certain characters. However, once you have completed a level, you can do it again using Free Play mode. In this, you can choose to be any character you have unlocked, giving you access to previously inaccessible area. Similarly, you can aim to achieve Jedi Status (which means you collect a certain number of coins), or collect a number of canisters hidden throughout the level. This variety of challenges is fun and adds to the longer term appeal of the game.

      Having said that, some levels are a little dull. In particular, those set in the Theed Palace tend to drag, so having to go back and repeat them to complete all the challenges can become a little boring. Another slight criticism is that some of the levels are quite long (to do properly, they can take 45 minutes to an hour). The only way to save a level is to complete it – there are no save points scattered through the level. So, if you start a level and don’t get chance to finish it in that sitting, you will lose your progress to date, which is a little frustrating.

      Equally, the game is pretty easy to complete. In some respects, this is a positive thing, as it makes the game accessible to younger players or casual gamers. However, it doesn’t offer a huge challenge (you have unlimited lives) and hard core gamers will complete it very quickly and are unlikely to ever pick it up again. Although there are lots of different ways to complete the levels, once you have done them all, the replay value of the game is likely to be very limited.

      Character Artificial Intelligence is generally OK. If you are playing in one player mode, the characters will follow you around, so you can switch your control to them, as you need to. However, just occasionally, a character will get themselves stuck, which can be very frustrating. This is particularly true on some of the later levels, where the precision jumping across platforms is required, and the computer controlled character sometimes gets stuck. The only way I have found to solve this is to go back on yourself, switch control to the other character, get them free, then go back and carry on with what you are doing. Unfortunately, sometimes, they immediately go and get themselves stuck again - very annoying!

      As an added bonus, one of the characters you can unlock is Jar Jar Binks (shudder), which means you can deliberately send him plummeting to his death and listen to him scream! The downside is that since since characters can’t die, he just re-appears again. Shame!

      At the end of each level, you are given a progress report, telling you how many of the tasks for that level have been completed. For example, each level has a number of minikit pieces to collect, which can be built up in to vehicles from the Star Wars universe. The end of level progress tells you how many of these you have collected and you can view the current state of the vehicles you have built! Again, it’s a nice little touch and leaves you feeling that you really have accomplished something.

      Conclusion
      ---------------
      Overall, this is a hugely enjoyable and highly addictive game. It’s one of those where you start playing, then glance up at the clock and realise three hours has gone by! It’s great fun and the various ways to complete the game and the number of things you need to collect or build add to the fun add to the playability and appeal of the game. Having said that, it’s not going to offer any real challenge, even to relatively inexperienced gamers, and once you have completed all the tasks, you’re unlikely to ever load up the game again.

      Availability
      ---------------
      As Lego Star Wars has been out for a while now, you can pick up a copy pretty cheap. It can be bought second hand from places like eBay for just a few quid, whilst a new copy can easily be found in most computer shops for around a tenner.

      Copyright SWSt 2007

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      • More +
        26.06.2006 16:02
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        Grab that light-saber and do some good!! (After whacking Jar Jar Binks...)

        LEGO Star Wars is a term that will mean nothing to you if you don’t know what LEGO is, or what Star Wars is. (If not, what planet have you been on for the past few decades?) Ah well I suppose there must be some people about who don’t know, so here’s the explanation:

        LEGO is a set of children’s building toys, ranging from simple click-together blocks to bits that make up complex models, and characters complete with accessories.

        Star Wars is a series of films (and books, and toys, and animated series, and other things comprising one of the largest merchandising operations in the world). Basically Star Wars is a retelling of the classic “good versus evil” story we’ve seen a million times before in a futuristic galactic setting. It features Jedi Knights, who use a power called “The Force” to do all sorts of neat tricks and help attain order in the galaxy, etc etc, evil baddies, and annoying characters.

        Put the two together and you get miniaturised and satirised versions of the films where the actors are replaced by LEGO characters. Put that into a computer game and you have… a lot of fun!

        LEGO Star Wars features the basic plot of the first three films chronologically speaking (“The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones”, and “Revenge of the Sith”). Each part is split into 6 chapters, featuring a major sequence relating to that in the film (though not in every detail). As you progress through the game, you take control of different characters. All in all there are 30 different characters within the game that you can control, though it has to be admitted that some of them are very similar to others, while a few (like the Gonk droid) don’t actually seem to be able to do anything much!

        Anyway, you control your Jedi Knight with flashy light saber and ability to use force powers, Queen Padme with grappling hook (I’m serious), or even Yoda (little green wrinkly thing who walks very slowly until you press jump, at which point he zooms around almost uncontrollably!) Various enemies and obstacles need to be overcome of course, using your movement commands, weapons, jump, or special ability. (This various from character to character – the Jedi can use the Force on some objects, droids can override security panels, characters with blasters can use grapples to access different areas, child characters can crawl through small gaps). Or, of course, any combination of the above. Some things require co-operative action by the two players. (You can play one player, with the computer controlling your buddy, but 2-player is much more interesting!) The gameplay is a 3D action, run, jump, shoot, collect, and try not to die game. (Though you never actually die as such, you get resurrected almost straight away, though you lose all the “studs” you’ve collected. Studs are like currency, once you’re out of a level and back in “Dexter’s Diner” – presumably a between-world portal! – you can spend those studs on hints, characters you haven’t already unlocked in the game, or extras – including moustaches!)

        Overall the game is pretty easy, there were only one or two points might have you pulling your hair out, and you will probably have completed all 3 episodes in about 4-5 hours. One or two of the mini-games are quite challenging too. However, the game doesn’t end when you complete it. In fact, the end is just the beginning…

        … because when you’ve completed one of the 18 levels, you can play it again in “Free” mode. This means that you can play as any character, and swap characters with a key press. While this might not sound much good it is in fact the whole point of the game. You see, completing the levels in story mode is one thing, but actually accessing the whole level is quite another. There are several parts in each level that require a certain character (or at least, character type) to be used in order for you to access them. For instance, a particular type of droid might be required to open a door, or an area might only be accessible by a child character. The levels are in fact much bigger than you first realise when going through them with the story mode characters.

        But why would you want to go through levels you’ve already completed anyway, even if you can get to new places? Well in each level there is a mini-kit to collect – once you’ve managed to get all 10 parts, the vehicle (or whatever) will be available to view at Dexter’s Diner, and if you can collect all the parts of a “super-kit”, you’ll be able to access a secret level. Some of the puzzles involving different characters being swapped between are very clever and working them out is a satisfying experience.

        The graphics are pretty good, though to be honest I can’t give a complete idea of them. The game requires a GeForce 3 equivalent or higher with support for PixelShader 1.1. Unfortunately, my GeForce 4MX is the only GeForce 4 card that is not supported! However using a neat little freeware programme called 3Danalyzer (http://www.3dfxzone.it/dir/tools/3d_analyze/) we got it to work with the pixel shader element being done via software emulation. This understandably causes a bit of slowdown though so the highest I was able to run the game at was 800 x 600 with plastic reflections and floor reflections on, with bump mapping and bloom filtering off. The extra video options available will depend on your card. The highest resolution available is 1280 x 1024. The graphics still looked pretty good though even in the mode we were able to play it, and the movie cut scenes were amusing. The music is naturally enough pure Star Wars music throughout, though the music didn’t seem to fit with the episode you were playing. This wasn’t a problem for me though and I doubt that it would be for anyone else.

        The game manual strongly recommends a gamepad, but the keyboard works fine most of the time. If you play with two players both on the keyboard though, re-map player one#s fire / jump / special commands to the keypad, you’ll find it much easier. (Otherwise there can be a terrible colliding of fingers mid-game!)

        There are a few other secrets and collectibles in the game but it would be pointless trying to tell them all to you, besides which half the fun is in the discovery! Players can drop in / out of the game at any time in 2-player mode, which is a nice option.

        There are very few real problems with this game. Even if you manage to find a point you can't get past in 2-playermode one player can drop out and let the computer take over, or the viewpoint gets confused it only lasts a few seconds and sorts itself out. (It can be a problem if you manage to get yourselves on opposite sides of the screen and fall off as soon as your character is put back, but even then it resolves quite quickly.) The game did crash once in many plays, but that's probably due to the extra pressure created by the graphics card being forward-emulated.

        LEGO Star Wars is a very fun game for people of any age, which doesn’t take itself seriously and has a high replayability factor. Not a breathtaking game but still highly recommended. I’m definitely going to get LEGO Star Wars 2 (which covers the original trilogy) at some stage…


        This game brings you the opportunity you've been looking for since seeing "The Phantom Menace...

        Because bashing Jar-Jar Binks NEVER gets old!!


        Other System Specs

        Memory: 256Mb RAM (played with 768Mb)
        CPU: 1GHz+ P4 or equivalent (played with 2.3GHz P4)
        Sound: DirectX 9 compatible sound card
        HDD space: 2Gb

        Age rating: 3+

        The game is available on Amazon for just under a tenner, but I suspect that if you wait a couple of months for LEGO Star Wars 2 to be released, that price might go down further. Needless to say, I'll be getting LSW2 - when it's not it's current £34.99 price, of course!!

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      • Product Details

        Play the most memorable and exhilarating scenes from The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith including pod racing on Mos Espa, the repelling of the droid onslaught in the Genosian arena and Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon's fatal fight with Darth Maul. Besides controlling the likes of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, Anakin Skywalker and R2-D2, notorious dark side enemies such as Jango Fett, Darth Maul and Count Dooku appear in thrilling boss showdowns. As you progress through the game you unlock many new characters including the defeated bosses, and you must switch between them to solve puzzles using their special abilities.