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One Of The Greatest Of All Time
on April 13, 2008
Lego Star Wars was introduced a few years ago as a kid's game (12 and under). I discovered it through my friend's son, who was a 5 year-old Star Wars fan. At one point, he needed help with an area and asked me to guide him. So I took the controller and tried my best. After about a half hour, he asked if he could play again, but I told him that I was still "trying to figure out how to play this game." (In actuality, it was an instant addiction.)
What I learned about Lego Star Wars is that the two-player function is awesome, but only if you are already friends with your counterpart and/or they are a skilled gamer. If not, you will find yourself directing their every action (to help move the game along), and they might take exception to that.
Anyway, if I may now review this particular rendition, Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga...
The game is awesome. I put it on par with the classics (Legend of Zelda, the Super Mario games, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc.). That may sound like hyperbole, but let me assure you that Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga is the real deal. The fact that the current generation game consoles enable new features (like Wii's remote control of the light sabers, guns, and Force) only bring this game from cult classic (kid's and diehard Star Wars fan's game) to popular classic (that everyone loves).
Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga will take you approximately 40-50 hours to complete. (That is, to get 100% completion of the game.) And it won't be 40-50 hours that you regret; even if you take a break from the game and come back to it in, say, 6 months, you will gladly find yourself playing the next 40 to 50 hours that you allot. (And I recommend coming back to it after a while - that way you don't always remember where everything is in the game, thus maintaining some challenge. Also, like that cool song on your new CD - don't play it out too fast, even if it is the best song ever!)
Star Wars fans probably found this game first, but it was the Lego concept that makes this a classic game. I grew up with Legos, and Star Wars was pretty scary to me when it first came out. Combining the two did what one expected: offered a fantastic venue for humor.
As you play along to the Star Wars theme and plots, the Lego style adds some of the funniest things you will have seen in a video game. I laughed out loud at some of the mini-movies in between the chapter stories. Also, the way that characters die... their Lego bodies fall apart! This really keeps the game tame for the younger set, but for us adults, it just adds that wonderful, simple, comic humor that we can appreciate.
The Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga version is an addition to the Lego Star Wars series. In the beginning, they released Chapters 1-3 to coincide with the Chapter 3 movie release (marketing). LucasArts was already releasing their "grown-up" versions of a Star Wars game at the same time, so Lego Star Wars was decidedly their kid's version.
A strong market was found, however, among a wide range of ages, so the developers released Chapters 4-6 with more featuers so as to close out their video game series, and thus the Star Wars saga. Or did they...?
The Complete Saga obviously combines the two previous versions, but also adds content. For example, new characters become available, as well as new levels, quests, and features. On the topic of the latter, the first version of Lego Star Wars (Chapters 1-3) had a relatively limited stud-collection/quest system. In the Complete Saga, these chapters are fleshed out (as in the later version - Chapters 4-6), and many more sequences are provided.
In all, if you want a game for yourself and/or a game for your kids, Lego Star Wars: Complete Saga is where it's at! It is easy enough to simply pick up and play, with really only 4 or 5 buttons to use (4 buttons if you only play the Story Mode). But if you are interested in taking the game beyond the Story Mode, you will find yourself having to manage your characters to know which situations call for which abilities (in the Free Play Mode). This means that the game reaches out to the kids and to the kids within us!
In my experience, the younger kids (ages 12 and under) will likely only appreciate the Star Wars concepts and gameplay. Also, that sense of accomplishment as they complete the Story Mode (where they kind of know what to expect, thus keeping them thinking along). If your kid does not like Star Wars, the Legos concept will probably not redeem the value for them.
For the older kids (ages 13 to 70), the Story Mode is way cool, but the Free Play is where we get to use our management skills! What awed me the most were the great and true renditions of the environments that were present in the movies. I always wanted to go to Endor, for example (not Northern California, by the way, but the make-believe location). Now, in this video game, I can guide characters in a wider use of the Endor location - not just the parts that were featured in the movie.
And that is just one example... The Complete Saga has more levels in it, such as the sequence where Anakin and Obi Wan are onboard General Grievous' ship. (And the deleted scene from the movie where Shak Ti is killed by General Grievous.) And there are still others...
If you even WANT this experience to last only 40-50 hours, then I think you have rushed it, my friend! I highly recommend taking your time (when you are not up against the clock) to really explore all that is in this game, the Complete Saga. It goes so far above and beyond what we saw in the original two releases, and the game itself, as I stated at the beginning, is a true classic video game. The Complete Saga is the seminal classic incorporating the two prior versions and expanding upon them. (You may want to get one copy and console for yourself and one of each for the kids!) I recommend buying this for any console that you own.