The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Simplicity shines in ‘Lego Star Wars II’

As a wee lad I, like many of my generation, was infatuated with Legos for a time. I mean, let’s be real. What’s cooler than being able to build anything? Not that you could ever figure out, nor have the patience for, building anything too awesome, but the possibilities were there.

To accompany my infatuation with Legos was my newer infatuation with “Star Wars.” Okay, I was obsessed. For a little while, but I’m better now.

So imagine my surprise and delight when, in March of last year, they released Lego Star Wars for a myriad of systems. Now, being a total nerd, I simply had to pick up this delicious item and, suffice it to say, I rather enjoyed myself.

Unfortunately, this game was based on the new trilogy, the one with Hayden Christensen, and I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Why did they do that?” It would have made way more sense to base it on the old trilogy, since it was better than the new trilogy.

Now I know why. So they could get another 50 bucks out of me with “Lego Star Wars II.” Well, that, and make this game even better than the first. Everything that was great about the first game they’ve only made even better, and all the things that were not so good have been made a little better.

Many of you may be asking, “Why make a ‘Star Wars’ game with Legos? Why not just make a regular game and skip the gimmick?”

I can’t really answer that. But I do know that I’m glad they did. Instead of going for the super realistic or super cartoony graphics other games do, Lego Star Wars II keeps it simple. Everything is clearly made out of Legos, right down to the holes in the bottom, which is probably the nicest touch graphically.

Instead of focusing on shock-and-awe graphics they instead decided to focus on game play, something far too few games do.

The controls are easy to just pick up and start playing, but with enough intricacies for the experienced player to show off a few tricks, such as reflecting blaster bolts back at the enemy. It can be difficult getting the right action to take place though.

Sometimes you’ll be standing next to a friend and try to shoot someone only to instead turn and slap your friend upside the head. It can be frustrating when it happens, but, thankfully, it doesn’t happen too often.

Speaking of friends, you are definitely going to want to play with one in the game. This is because the artificial intelligence is as dumb, if not dumber, than a rock.

While the game is playable with only one person, there are times when it gets entirely too difficult to do by oneself, and there were more than a few times when I was playing alone and I found myself shouting, “Luke! Why are you just standing there! DO something!”

The designers recognized this, though, and make it really easy for someone to come in at any point during the game.

The only two player specific problem is the camera. It can get a bit wonky sometimes trying to follow both players, but giving the player a bit of added camera control really helped.

The problems are nothing to worry about because the game is easy. Really easy, as in “keep-playing-you-can’t-die” easy. Whenever you run out of hearts you scatter into a bunch of Lego studs, which are collected by destroying anything and everything, and are reborn anew sans 1,000 studs. So, even if you have no studs, you still just keep coming back.

The story mode isn’t that long, with six levels for each of the three movies. But while the cut scenes are pretty funny and obviously aware of their Lego existence, where the game really shines is in free play mode.

Using the studs left over after a level you can go to a shop where you can buy hints, characters you’ve defeated in story mode and extra cheats. You can use these in free play mode, and each level expands greatly here.

There are Lego “pods,” 10 to a level, that build vehicles from the level, and red bricks, which unlock the cheats for purchasing. It can often take several play-throughs to find everything in a level, and with 24 levels the time really adds up.

The sound effects and music come straight from the movies and, like their movie counterparts, are excellent.

The only thing lacking is voice acting, but it’s doubtful that Legos trying to talk would’ve worked out.

Long story short, this simply is a fun game. It definitely has its flaws, but is easily worth the purchase, especially for “Star Wars” fans, because of the easy but extensive game play. Perhaps wait a bit for it to go down in price if you’re tight on cash, but don’t miss it.

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