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All This Built Up For Nothing!

Reviewing: Lucas Arts Lego Star Wars Ii: The Original Trilogy  |  Rating:
Kevin Roman By Kevin Roman on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Gaming Expertise:
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Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is another terribly overrated game whose licenses can fool you into thinking it has potential. The graphics have a great style to it if you liked to build with toy Lego bricks since it's a world of Legos. This in combination with the Star Wars license makes it look like fun at face value but they really dropped the ball. The sound has the nice, familiar themes of Star Wars but since Legos can't talk, neither can the characters although they might make an occasional sound, such as a grunt. However, the cutscenes can still have an aesthetic charm of their own due to the Legos approach; it feels like a silent movie with how you can understand them via their facial expressions. Their bodies will also break apart just like the Lego bricks they're based upon when they get destroyed and the bullets even ricochet off walls.

The gameplay is horrible. The Jedis have bad hit detection with their ground slashes, making you possibly miss enemies that you should have hit. Your computer allies cannot hurt enemies; this is the worst AI ever made because they can shoot bullets yet you'll have to be the only one who takes out the swarm of enemies; it really degrades the playing experience when you have characters who are useless until you control them.

This game lacks depth for a few reasons. You don't have any targeting cursors nor lock-on buttonss for those who use guns and the only benefit of the Jedis is their ability to double jump more safely to the next platform. There aren't many attacks but the Jedis' downward stab can hit multiple enemies but it also guarantees that you'll probably get hit or killed when surrounded from long range. This will make you stick with those who use guns, if possible, in order to fight safely because at least your gun characters can automatically adjust their shots for the enemies' height. If you have to use light sabers, the jumping slash is a better choice since it won't miss as often as the ground slash nor have the delay of the downward stab. You can deflect bullets with your light sabers but this isn't too helpful when you're benig bombarded.

Lastly, you will get lost on many of the levels because of how the levels are designed; you'll have to break every possible item in the environment in order to find something by which you can build or use the force with to get to the next area in the level. The camera even impeded me on the level to rescue Princess Leia because I could not even see the openings in the sides of the hallway I was in for me to finish the level. You'll need a guide just to tolerate these chores in the game.

There was even a point in the game in which I used R2D2 and went in a marsh in the Dagobah level and got stuck to the point in which I could not move at all because I went into the marsh with R2D2 instead of using the force on the submerged X-Wing that I barely saw the blue aura that tells you that you can use the force on it. You also had to use the force with Yoda to drag it out instead of Luke Skywalker in order to end the level. This is completely inexcusable, especially for its time since it is on the Gamecube. I have to rate this game even lower because it should not be possible for me to be stuck in a game due to some glitch that makes me replay the whole level all over again only to get lost especially since I got lost on my first playthrough until I realized I had to destroy every little thing to uncover something I can use to build my bridge to get across.

On a positive note, the game is score-based rather than life-based because you have infinite lives that start you off right where you died. When you die, you lose points that you could use for its high replay value by buying things such as different characters to redo missions and go to new areas. At least you can ride vehicles as well and the whole concept of building had a charm to it because of the Legos feel; it looked great to even build something as simple as a Lego version of a switch.

I feel ashamed that the developers for this game took advantage of me more than EBGames' overpricing. At the time I bought this game, I did not know there was a Nintendo Wii version which they also priced at $20, which is basically a combination of episodes 1-6 whereas Lego Star Wars II for the Gamecube is $20 but is only episodes 4-6. The name, the hype, and the licenses will sucker anyone into buying this mess of a game whose appeal is only in its graphics. The lack of fighting depth combined with the broken gameplay cannot be salvaged by its replay value.