Lego Star Wars II is a funny and entertaining game, albeit it's recurring flaws.
In 2005, this became a reality. Publisher LucasArts and developer Traveller's Tales introduced Lego Star Wars, a videogame that incorporated the wonderful world of Lego with the Prequel Trilogy movies. The game was such a success that they decided to do it again, this time with the Original Trilogy.
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (clever name, huh?) is the name of the game. In this sequel, you play through A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back & Return of the Jedi as the characters of the movies. The premise is exactly the same as the first game: you navigate through the levels, shooting or striking down enemies while doing some platform jumping and puzzle solving.
Although the premise is the same, the gameplay has been tweaked up a little bit since the first installment. You now have the ability to ride the vehicles you build with your Legos (X-Wings, TIE Fighters, the Millennium Falcon) or, in some cases, the beasts that lurk around. This is a neat addition, but the vehicle riding can get really clunky at times. The camera angle is very bad in some instances and hinders the gameplay a lot.
The camera angles are the biggest problem with this game... again. Sadly, it has not been fixed since the first game and can get very frustrating and annoying at times. For example, in the first level, the camera is on the outside looking into the Star Destroyer as Leia fights her way through a couple of Stormtroopers. When she gets close to a wall, you can't see her anymore, even if you try rotating the camera.
Playing through the Original Trilogy is a blast and will quite possibly attract more people to the game, since these movies are usually well received and quite endearing. You'll get to play through and witness every memorable moment from the movies, with a comical twist added. The comedy has to be the best part of this game as it will have you laughing very often.
You start the game off in the Mos Eisley Cantina. This is where you'll get to select your missions, buy your characters and vehicles and build your Lego City with the golden blocks you'll have picked up in your missions or bought at the store. Also located in the Cantina is a machine where you can build your own custom-made character. Example: You can put Chewie's head on Vader's body, and so on and so forth. This is a pretty cool feature and you'll have fun just seeing what the game comes up with when it automatically mixes up the pieces.
This game plays almost the same way the first one did. Pretty much everything in the environment is destructible and will offer you some studs when they are destroyed. Studs are the currency you use in the game to buy stuff from the Cantina store. Your party can vary from 2 to 6 characters at times, and you can take control of them whenever you like. There are 3 character classes in the game: the ones who wield guns (Han Solo, Lando, Leia, Chewbacca), the Jedi (Luke, Yoda, Obi-Wan) & the droids (Artoo, Threepio). Each character has a special move, as Jedi will move objects with the Force and gun slingers will have grapple hooks. But the best one in the entire game is Chewie's. He rips off Stormtroopers' arms when they get a little too close, bringing to mind the coined phrase "Yeah but droids don't rip people's arms out of their sockets when they lose".
The game is once again incredibly easy. You can't adjust the difficulty in the game, but there is an option you can select in the title screen that adjusts it while you play. Still, the game remains easy. Aiming is as easy as pie. You can shoot in any general direction of an enemy with a gun at you'll hit the target. The Lightsaber wielding is still a little bit iffy though, as you'll often find your Jedi slashing through thin air while the enemy is attacking him. The artificial intelligence of your computer controlled companions is very dumb, as they will just stand there shooting at nothing while you do all the work.
The story is a little longer than in the first game, but you can still finish it under 10-12 hours. Of course, if you want to complete 100% of the game, you can go back and do the Bounty Hunter missions and use other characters to reach certain places you couldn't go during your first play through. There is still co-op gameplay here... but not online, which is a damn shame, especially for the XBox 360 version. Online co-op would've been a very welcome and exciting feature here, but sadly, it's absent.
The graphics are pretty stunning for this type of game. You'll see light reflect off of the characters, just like it would for a Lego figurine. The colors are sharp and the explosions are very well done. There are a couple of framerate issues here, especially when there are a lot of things happening onscreen, but nothing too major.
The sound is pretty awesome and is what you'd expect from any Star Wars game. The orchestral soundtrack is taken from John Williams' repertoire and sounds great... and you'll be happy to know that they kept the original "Yub Yub" Ewok song at the end of Return of the Jedi.
Lego Star Wars II is a pretty good game, albeit it's camera angle issues. If you're a Star Wars fan of any kind, you'll love what they did with this game, as it ties in incredibly well with the movies. Every kid from 8 to 88 years old will enjoy it and laugh most of the way through.