Lego Star Wars (2005)
for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and PC
Developed by Traveler's Tales
Published by LucasArts

The fusion of Star Wars and Legos gained my approval the moment I heard about it, and after several years of unrealistically priced Star Wars Lego sets, they've finally seen fit to make a video game out of it.

The game certainly doesn't lack charm; you can't help but smile when you are controlling a Lego figure on screen, with that same familiar Lego face and body, except shooting a blaster or wielding a lightsaber. All the character models in the game are based on their real-life Lego counterparts, and there are 56 in all to unlock, which adds a certain collecting element that many Star Wars fans will surely embrace. Each level gives you a pair of characters to play with, each with their own special ability to help you get by the obstacles in your path. Jedi characters have Force powers to move Lego objects; some characters are good at jumping; others shoot blasters and grappling hooks.

Eventually you get the ability to switch between characters at will, so in a split second, you can change from Darth Maul to Princess Leia to Jango Fett. Since you control two characters (if not in two-player mode, then you basically tag-team the way through), you can make them both the same person, so you can get entertaining yet confusing matchups, such as having two Count Dookus battle against Count Dooku.

Being aimed at children, the game doesn't present much of a challenge; it is essentially a low-calorie version of Ratchet & Clank. It is still a lot of fun, though, even if it is slow-paced at times. I would have preferred more extensive levels and a bit more speed to the characters, but that is a minor quibble. There are also a few cutscenes that reinterpret various moments from the prequels with lame humor that might be appreciated only by fans of Jar Jar Binks.

Unfortunately, not everything in the game is made of Legos, mainly the characters, ships, and objects you interact with. Floors, walls, and ceilings are all typical of what you'd expect in any 3D game. However, the levels are authentic to the scenes they are based on, all deriving from the prequels, so although it may not all look entirely Lego, it is clearly all Star Wars. And of course John Williams's grand orchestral soundtrack is there to accompany you every step of the way.

The Lego aspect is further diminished by the inability to actually build anything yourself. You can find secret canisters that build ships for you as a bonus feature, but that's pretty much it. Enemies burst into their component Lego pieces, but those disappear after a few seconds. You also collect little Lego pips as a form of currency, used to unlock characters and silly bonuses; in fact, most of your time will be spent using the Force to pull levers and move objects to make the pips fall out, and then you have to run around the room to chase them down before they disappear. It's quite maddening, especially when pieces fly over a ledge where you cannot even get them.

The terrible truth, as Anakin would say, is that this is one of the better Star Wars games to ever come out.

Review by Bock Lee Temjin