The force is strong in this one!!
Once in a while I will find a game that hooks me in like no other. It happens very rarely, but when it does I can think of nothing else.
One such game has been Lego Star Wars. From the moment the first one came out I have been obsessed. I got it as soon as it came out for the PS2, then I got it for the PC, just so I had it on there as well. Next came the excellent Lego Star Wars II. Again I got is as soon as I could for the PS2 and again I was addicted.
Finally came Lego Star Wars the Complete Saga and I hit a problem. It was next gen only, and I have no next gen consoles. I was distraught as at the time I was unable to play that sort of thing on my PC and there was no PC version available anyway!! Silently I sobbed myself to sleep every night until one day I saw that a DS version has very quietly hit the shelves. Straight away I was begging for a review copy, which thankfully I was given. Oh how I danced for joy (honestly, just ask my wife!!)
Now, a few of you may not know what Lego Star Wars is, so this is just for you… assuming the rock you have been living under has internet access and you are reading this!!
It is Fun as hell to play!!
Lego Star Wars is, as the name suggests, the great universe of Star Wars remade in Lego. The Complete Saga recreates all of the key moments from all six Star Wars files in fabulous plastic glory. Of course there is liberal use of artistic license as no characters speak, but in general the whole story is faithfully retold with nothing but actions and facial expressions! In fact, episode one is arguably better done in Lego than it was in film!!
In its transfer to the DS, Lego Star Wars has lost none of its charm. It has, however, lost part of a dimension being a kind of 2.5D rendition, but it looks beautiful and other than a few camera problems the graphical transition has been flawless. The whole thing has been recreated from scratch just for the DS, so it never feels that they have just tried to shoehorn the PS3 version into the DS.
The controls are fairly standard, the d-pad controls movement with the face buttons doing your actions. The only use of the touch screen (other than for mini games) is to use the force. This is a bit of a pain, but forgivable once you are used to it. Whether you are playing as a Jedi or as one of the many blaster wielding characters, the controls are always responsive.
Levels are based on the get from A to B idea and are very linear. But progress is not just a matter of hacking your way through wave after wave of Droids and Storm Troopers. Each level has puzzle elements that must be completed. This varies from using piles of Lego bricks to create bridges to using the force to activate groups of switches. These are never taxing, but break up the game nicely. There are also lots of little Easter eggs to be found during most levels again adding to the wish to explore each level fully.
As well as the main story missions there are several mini games and various extra missions. These are all unlocked by collecting coins, red and gold bricks during the story mode. Once a level has been completed you are able to revisit it in free play mode. Here you are able to choose who you want to play as and replay the level. This gives you a chance to collect things from the level you could not reach with the default characters and is a great addition for replay value!
Generally speaking this is a great game, but there are a couple of problems. As mentioned from time to time the camera can get a bit lost and you are not able to see everything you want. As the action is, for the most part (some vehicle based levels make use of both), restricted to just the top screen you need a full field of view at all times!! More annoying is the use of the touch pad for force powers. Mid fight it is quite difficult to slide your thumb up the touch screen, so most of the time you just don’t bother.
For me the worst issue is the length of the levels. They can at times take 20 minutes or more to complete and you are unable to save progress mid level. This makes it a total no no for my train journeys. For me this is always a problem for a handheld game.
If you don’t have The Complete Saga on any other format, or you just want to be able to have it in your pocket at all times, then I recommend this game without hesitation. It may be aimed at kids and it may not be the most difficult game ever made, but it has that one magical ingredient that so many games miss. It is Fun as hell to play!!
The Bad: Camera is a bit iffy at times, touch pad for force is annoying