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July 1 2006
Lego Star Wars II - PSP Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
28/11/2006ActivisionLucasArtsTraveller's Tales1-2$69.95

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Cruising around...
April 2005 saw the release of one of the most exciting games of the current generation - Lego Star Wars. It was a game aimed at the younger market, crossing over one of the most loved movie franchises of all time, with one of the most popular toys was a match made in heaven, and there were moderate expectations. The game ended up as one of the biggest sellers of the year - perhaps helped by the final movie - but the game was loved just as much by adults, as it was youngsters. Indeed the game ranked as the 10th biggest selling game of 2005 and a sequel was assured.

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is, as the title suggests, a game based on the original trilogy - something which we all wish was included in the original game. With characters and locations seen in Episode IV A New Hope, Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and Episode VI Return of the Jedi this follows the Rebel Alliance’s crusade to dismantle the Galactic Empire and rebuild a galaxy in pieces.

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Another classic Star Wars moment.
For the first time ever, characters can get in and out of vehicles, as well as ride creatures. You can also mix and match the body parts of more than 50 playable characters to create one of millions of possible Lego Star Wars heroes. In fact all your favourite characters are available in this game including Luke, Leia and Darth Vader to fan favorites such as Greedo, Jawas and Gamorrean guards. The game includes character-specific attacks include Chewbacca pulling enemies’ arms out of their sockets, Vader’s Force choke, Leia’s “slap” melee attack and many more.

As well as the main game a Free Play mode allows you to experience the Original Trilogy in a new way by importing any character into land levels, or switch between vehicles at will in space levels. Make Darth Maul a hero of the Rebellion, or destroy the Death Star with a TIE fighter! The game will also include a greater variety of puzzles that encourage creative thinking through the use of teamwork and unique building situations.

One of our complaints about the original game was that the levels in vehicles were on rails - they were still fun mind you - however this second game will allow you to experience free-roaming vehicle levels. These vehicles include landspeeders, AT-STs, speeder bikes and more as well as creatures such as the banthas of desert Tatooine to the tauntauns of frigid Hoth.

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Now this I can't wait for.
It is possible to mix parts from different characters to create all new ones such as Yoda Kenobi, Lando Fortuna and millions more. How these can be used in the actual game - and what powers they will be able to mix remains to be seen. To add a bit more fun into the mix Traveller's Tales are including cooperative gameplay with a totally revamped camera for 'optimal gameplay experience'.

There will be some exclusives for the PSP version of the game. As well as ad-hoc Wi-Fi mode to play the game and share unlocked characters the developers are including a Challenge mode. Challenge mode adds hours of play for Star Wars fans as they unlock 18 of their favorite characters found in the original LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (which was never released on PSP). By playing through timed versions of each of Lego Star Wars II’s levels, collect pieces of characters such as Darth Maul and General Grievous hidden throughout each level (just as mini-kit pieces are scattered about levels in Story mode). Once all five pieces of a character have been assembled, you can play as that prequel character in Free Play mode.

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One of the cut-scenes.
Finally, “The Story So Far” allows fans to relive the story of Episodes I, II and III in classic Lego Star Wars fashion. As an even bigger bonus, they can play the last level of each Episode found in the original hit game, including Obi-Wan versus Darth Maul, Anakin versus Count Dooku, and Obi-Wan versus a newly turned Anakin on Mustafar.

Graphically this game looks a little more polished the the first, however it really didn't need to be improved greatly. The angular lego look was perfect, and this game looks set to continue that appearance. Audio should also make heavy use of John Williams classic score and the effects provided by the same libraries used in the movies.

Lego Star Wars II is one of our most wanted games this year. With all the classic characters, the ability to mix and match hundreds of Lego parts, classic scenarios and entertaining gameplay this is almost certain to be a winner. Expect a (slightly delayed) release this November at the lower price of only $AU69.95.