LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy Preview

LEGO and Star Wars. Who saw that combination coming? Sure, as a toy it was a deal made in heaven, but as a game? When LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game hit store shelves in 2005, it became an instant (and surprise) hit. Since its release, the game has sold over 3.3 million units. Naturally, LucasArts wanted more of the fame, so they recruited Traveller’s Tales to again craft a sequel, and hence LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is hitting stores on September 12th. Instead of focusing on the first three episodes, the sequel will encompass the three films most of us are familiar with: the fourth, fifth and sixth episodes (or original trilogy). Ever want to rip some Storm Troopers apart as Chewie, or head to the dark side as Darth Vader…but in LEGO form? Here is your chance.

One aspect of the first game I enjoyed was the charm and wit. Even though the game was advertised as a children’s game, I found the charm to be very appealing to someone my age. In the released demo, the opening cutscene of the level reinforced my opinion of the style. Young Luke is driving the speeder, and due to his poor skills, several unsuspected Jawas were hurled into other people, or trash cans. When a Storm Trooper barricade stops the speeder, ol’ Obi-Wan uses his Jedi mind trick on the Storm Trooper, producing hilarious results. You can use your Jedi force powers on enemy Storms Troopers to perform actions such as flipping their helmet around, which causes the trooper to not only fall on his butt in a cute manner, but makes them spend a moment readjusting the helmet, giving you the precious seconds to reduce his body to LEGO bits.

One major new bit to the game is the create-your-own LEGO character. As you progress through the game, you can unlock various characters (including droids, guards from the various planets, and for you guys, Leia in various outfits). Trust me, the list is vast, and it also includes characters from the first game, which rounds the list out to over one hundred characters. Once you beat the game using your newly acquired characters, you can mish-mash body parts to create new characters. Each custom character has nine different "parts" to change: hat, head, body, cape, arms, hands, weapon, hip and legs. (Some won’t have all nine parts though, such as droids.) Want a Darth Vader Jawa wielding a lightsaber, or want Chewie mish-mashed with Leia? According to LucasArts, the character combinations can reach well over one million possibilities. Another new addition includes an on-the-fly in-game difficulty adjuster, featured in such games like Sin Episodes: Emergence. If you’re flying through some levels, the difficulty will automatically adjust to make some more enemies appear. Of course, this option can be turned off.

As I’m sure you can guess, the game’s plot will encompass the original three Star Wars films. Levels from Episode IV include the Rebel Attack, and the escape from the Death Star; levels from Episode V include the Hoth Battle, and the Cloud City Trip; levels from Episode VI include Jabba’s Palace, and finally the Death Star level. It’s not known if there will be any secret levels, like in the first game, but I wouldn’t rule that out. The released demo takes place when Luke is trying to track down Han Solo. All the fine film moments are in the game, along with plenty of new additions. The classic bar scene with Han Solo pulling a deal with his opponent who eventually gets a blaster shot in the gut is there (I’ll let you find out who shoots first, though). For a nice change of pace with a new event, Luke gets to trot through the town in an AT-ST. Trust me, there’s nothing like blasting folks to bits with the cannon. When controlling the characters, I noticed there was a new "dodge" movement for certain characters, namely blaster users. Also, there were new actions when enemies were in melee range; Han could punch folks, Leia is supposed to slap enemies, etc.

There will be more vehicle moments in this game than in the original LEGO Star Wars. In the first title, vehicle use was limited to just one specific level in each campaign. But in the second game, there will be more levels where you can control vehicles, such as the AT-ST in the demo level. Controlling the AT-ST was easy; the standard WASD keyboard config is used. But it was pretty weird getting blown out of the AT-ST after a few blaster shots, or having Luke easily take down one down with some simple hits. Still, the game has to be balanced enough so you don’t need grappling hooks or a massive strategy (a la the films) to take one down, so it can be forgiven.

Like in the first game, there will be a general area where players can access hints, choose levels, access the free play or customization modes, or use the secret levels (assuming there will be secret levels). In the first game, it was Dexter’s Diner in – the sequel, it’ll be Mos Eisley’s Cantina. Speaking of secrets, one revealed secret involves the bounty hunters. Once all the bounty hunters have been collected, a special bounty hunter mode will be unlocked, consisting of ten levels.

Mini-kits are still in the game, which unlock vehicles to be used in free play, along with the gathering of LEGO bits that act as your health. Think of the rings in the Sonic the Hedgehog games. One slightly new/tweaked aspect in the sequel is the building of objects. In the first game, only a Jedi was able to build structures which allowed access to an area with LEGO bits. But in the sequel, all characters will be able to build these structures in a hilarious fast-forward-like motion.

On September 12th, the LEGO universe will come to systems near you. The list of systems LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is on is quite long: PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360, GameCube, GBA, PC, DS and the PSP.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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