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Oct. 10, 2006
Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy - PS2 Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
15/9/2006ActivisionTraveller's Tales1-2PGEasy
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
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Movie scenes are recreated.
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Using Force Powers...
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Han Solo ducks for cover.

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Graphics are very impressive.
Looking back a 2005 it's clear that there were some outstanding games on the PS2. But one game stands out as a complete surprise, a title which we hoped would be fun, but turned out to be one of the best games in years. That was, of course, Lego Star Wars. Despite the fact that the game only covered George Lucas' most recent trilogy it was always entertaining with some great action and fabulous humour. How could the company pass up a sequel, which is based on the sequels, which were prequels. You know what I mean. This game is based on the Original Trilogy, and that's what counts. Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Chewie, Darth Vader - they're all here.

We all know what the story is so I won't go over it here, but this game follows that pretty much to the letter. There's the odd bits that have changed, but they have been done for comical effect. For instance when Luke and Obi-Wan are driving to Mos Eisley R2-D2 falls off the back of the speeder, when they are overlooking the city you see him wheel in from the side of the screen. It's little touches like this that really makes the game a joy to play.

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Sand people look cool.
For those of you that never had the privilege of playing the first title the gameplay can be summed up quite simply. This is a third person action title which recreates classic scenes from the movies, but with Lego characters. Your characters can attack with weapons, their fists, jump, pull levers, move boxes or, if they have the capability, use force powers to have an impact on the game world (Darth Vader, for instance, can use the Force Choke). There are plenty of puzzle solving sections in this game - they rarely tax the brain too much but they keep the game interesting. Another of the very cool features is the need for characters to 'build' items within a level. Perhaps it's an AT-ST, or perhaps a switch to open a door. Interestingly the developers now give the option for any human characters to build these objects, not just Jedi's as was the case in the original.

Lego Star Wars II is split up into the three sections based on the movies (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) with each containing 6 chapters which last around 15-30 minutes each (assuming you breeze through them without exploring). That's not all through as the game contains bonus stages, and so many unlockable extras that the game life is more then doubled. As you progress through the level you will be in control of a party of between two and six characters. You simply control one of them, and the others follow, however at points you will have to switch characters to complete tasks. For instance some doors can only be opened by one of the droids, or there may be a grappling hook point to get to a higher ledge that only a human character can perform. Changing characters is done with a simple press of the triangle button.

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The Rancor is great fun.
One of the new features which has had a lot of work go into it is the vehicle based levels. Be it the battle over the Death Star before destroying it, evading the asteroids, or battling the AT-AT's on Hoth it's all here. Also new is the character creation feature which allows you to join bits from all the characters together giving you thousands of possibilities.

If you have some friends, or at least one, then you may want to give this game a shot under multi-player. The co-op mode allows players to join the game at any time to continue through the levels. With the group styled gameplay it works remarkably well. The only negative about this is that if one player moves into the next room, or screen, then the other player is automatically transported there as well. Split screen is sadly missing from the title which is probably the biggest disappointment. Oh, there's no online gameplay either which is quite disappointing.

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Flying down the trench.
Sadly the game still has a couple of issues I would have loved to see get addressed. The first is that the game is still too easy. Yes, it's a lot longer then the first one, and there are tonnes more secrets to be found, but there is never any sense of difficulty due to the unlimited respawnings, it just means your overall ranking will drop a bit.

Graphically this game is tremendous. While it may not be pushing as many polygons as some games, nor have the greatest texturing ever seen what it does have is personality. Where this game really shines is the cut scenes. Most are taken directly from the movies, but with small changes in places - often for additional humour. There is one issue though with the screen occasionally having a page tearing issue where the screen appears to tear into two screens slightly out of sync. It can be a bit distracting and it's something which Traveller's Tales should have fixed prior to release.

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Phew! That was close.
Audio in Star Wars Lego II is another big positive. While there is no speech - the characters use a unintelligible mumble not unlike the characters in The Sims the rest of the audio including music and effects are taken straight from the movies. John Williams' score, in case we haven't said it enough in other Star Wars games reviews is simply amazing. The effects including laser blasts, explosions, Tie Fighter/X-Wing engines and so on are spot on.

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is a super follow up to last years hit game. The number of characters, unlockables and areas to explore is impressive and while the game is still on the easy side it's very enjoyable. Certainly one for fans to add to their collection, and even one for non-fans to check out. Impressive, most impressive.

Review By: Dave Warner

Order your copy now from Gameswarehouse (PAL version) or Amazon (NTSC Version).
GRAPHICSIt's clean and lacks detail, but it suits the license perfectly.
SOUNDAudio is direct from the movies, still not speech disappoints slightly.
GAMEPLAYSimilar to the first, but there are some additions to the addictive gameplay.
VALUENot a long game, but tonnes of bonuses to unlock. Online would be nice.
OVERALLIf you liked the first game, buying this is a no brainer. If you didn't get the original for one reason or another, there's still no reason not to buy this. Very entertaining from start to end.

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