Review: Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
Review the game we will.
To save time for those of you with not much of it, Lego SW Saga is an unnecessary purchase for anyone who isn’t an achievement whore, completionist or doesn’t have a buddy they’d be willing to ask to play with non-existent dolls in their bedroom. This includes me and (to my knowledge) one other person, so the review just manages to justify itself.
If only the same could be said for Kane and Lynch.
Between the release of The Force Unleashed (and the distant possibility of a new KOTOR or Jedi Outcast) and the last great Star Wars game (Battlefront II), Star Wars nerds have been treated to yet another game that exemplifies the greatest aspect of Lucas’ creation: the Expanded Universe. The unspecific future-mythology of the series that allows any developer to translate it to practically any genre, to follow any story, and often building entire series off of the flimsiest of branches extending from the basic Skywalker tragedy. This time the dogmas of the Holy and Unholy Trinities touch-down somewhere between Denmark and vaudeville; and in the process build Traveller’s Tale a nice little franchise.
Infinite lives and infinite studs.
Star Wars has always had a streak of bizarre humour running through it that it’s fans have clung to (and woven many fine parodies out of), but transforming it all into Lego has managed to turn almost every aspect of it into pantomime, where so many before have treated it with undue respect and as a result made it something it never was: boring. And bored is something you’re not going to be as you beaver you way through this piÃ±ata playground, with Easter-eggs strewn around your stubby, plastic feet. Not with 20 Gamerpoints for ripping the arms off 25 Stormtroopers.
As for the gameplay, it should remind me of classic collect-a-thons like Donkey Kong 64 and Crash Bandicoot, but weirdly it doesn’t even strike me as a platformer; the level design (especially the prequel trilogy) is remarkably shallow and on that merit alone it would struggle to compete with your blaverage tie-in more like a point-and-click adventure with blasters and light-sabers, or a 3D version of Zelda: Four Swords. The Original Trilogy is by far the better half, even though it does contain (groan) block puzzles. So many modern games lumber you with obtuse controls and headache-inducing monologues, Lego SW is similar to Skate in how much a relief it is to play when other titles, though great, often feel a chore or overly competitive. Oh sure, there’s digging to be done, but not at the expense of fun-fun-fun in the twin-twin-sun.
Messing about in Speeders.
The comedy deserves special mention, least of all because it carries the entire production throughout, but most of all because it’s a rare pleasure to find yourself laughing at a videogame being a videogame (it’s no coincidence The Simpson’s Game is so familiar).
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is a compilation of two collect-a-thons based around the Star Wars universe that lampoon it in a childlike way. But that’s no bad thing, because LSW does what it sets out to do. Entertaining you for half an hour while you run around as Luke Skywalker, lightsabering bats to death for the fiftieth time.
The strange thing is it actually works. It’s fun using the force to build things, deflecting blaster bolts back at stormtroopers or working your way through the levels and seeing how well they compare to the films.
The Complete Saga has both games, with a few revamps of old levels and loads of familiar characters. My only complaints are with the two player arcade mode, which is tacked on, pointless and laggy online, and the bounty hunter mode which has you running around different areas just so you can open a door and find the fucking idiot your looking for just standing there… no fight sequence.. just stupid games of hide and seek.
It’s mindless fun that you play when you cant be arsed with anything else.
Secondary Score: 7/10
Whether it’s the stuttering FMV offering you the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s take on Obi-Wan and Anakin’s falling out, or simply repairing the broken droids the Jawa’s offered Luke; a John Cleese inspired C3-PO operating panels with his head when he’s run out of limbs, or the Ewoks somehow being the most deadly foe in the Galaxy when in Dual Mode; the Cheerfulness Bar will never empty even if your Stud Bar does.
The audio is at least 50%. A philosophy Lucas himself applied when reimagining those early Saturday matinees, and one which the game cranks up to at least 70%. Hearing the many John Williams scores in their entirety over the course of long levels reminds a fan how integral they are to the enjoyment; especially when the only spoken dialogue is (hilariously) the “uh-oh” of droids being blown up; especially-especially when you can endure a version of Revenge of the Sith without hearing any spoken lines… (burrharlbrugh!)
All the best features of this game subtle, like how every Jedi has their own lightsabre fighting style, or how pesky Jawas will deactivate the droids you’re controlling when aboard their Landcrawler. On that line any criticism ought to be directed at the excesses that often entail extraneous sequels/compilations, such as the woeful Duel mode and many other modes that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot sail-barge pole, and the newly unimproved vehicle sections that somehow manage to make the Gunship Cavalry level go from being one of the least fun things to do on your own to THE least fun thing to do on your own.
In conclusion all I will add is that I honestly believe that this game (and not Orange Box) is the best value of the year, simply because it’s the Star Wars with wit and brevity – and therefore infinitely preferable to the bloated saga that I for one, will only watch again when they come out on HD-DVD. You hear me George Lucas and Roger Ebert, movies suck and videogames rule!!!