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Review: Lego Star Wars 2
Bar Harbor
What an insanely fun game. This is one of those "so crazy it just might work" ideas that actually paid off. You get to replay the basic plots of the Star Wars movies, only all the characters and vehicles (and much miscellaneous scenery) is constructed from lego bricks. When things get shot, they fly apart into their component pieces.

The game has a delightful sense of humor, as one would hope. It finds expression not just in the cutscenes, but also in the level design, the unlockable extras, and even aspects of the gameplay itself. For instance, when invading Jabba the Hutt's palace, you can slow down his guards by constructing lego jukeboxes; these emit a rock version of The Imperial March, which causes the guards to dance uncontrollably (with air guitar moves). Later in the same sequence, you actually end up constructing a working discoteque.

The characters never actually speak, but just sort of mime their parts -- but it's Star Wars, and we all know the story by heart, so that's no barrier. The cutscenes are often even sillier than the gameplay (at the Christmas party, damascene kept wanting us to replay the bit where R2 falls off the back of the landspeeder). The John Williams score and Ben Burtt sound effects are used to good effect throughout.

Gameplay is approximately in the Platformer genre, but with lots of unique twists. Different characters have different abilities. (There are about 50 characters in the game, and they are all playable after being unlocked in various ways.) Certain characters can manipulate objects using the Force. Sometimes you will come upon piles of lego bricks that can be assembled to build useful items. Building your own AT-ST walker out of lego bricks is one of the early high points of the game. Some characters have special 'abilities' that are just fun -- if you're controlling 'Princess Leia in the Slave Outfit' and push the 'Interact' button when she's not near a gameplay object, she will break into a sexy dance (for very blocky and approximate definitions of sexy).

There were only a few situations where I got frustratingly stuck and had to go on-line for hints. And as it turned out, almost all of them were due to the same basic problem: I don't think of R2D2 as being able to hover. He never hovers in any of the movies *I've* seen...

The game can be played co-op, and works very well that way. The second player can join or drop out at any time. Having a partner makes most situations easier, though a few become more challenging.

There are 18 "main" levels to the game, 6 each for each movie. But that only scratches the surface. You'll want to play through each level at least twice -- if not many more. The first time through, you're in "Story Mode", where you only have the characters from that part of the original movie to play with. Completing Story Mode unlocks Free Play Mode, which lets you play *any* character(s) that you have unlocked. Since some places require specific (non-story) characters to access, you get to see all sorts of new content in Free Play -- much of it extremely silly. Each level also has numerous well-hidden bonus objectives that take considerable searching out. And there are bonus levels and modes beyond even these.

By the time I got to the end of the "main story" (at a leisurely pace, and taking some time out for side trips along the way) the Game Completion Meter was only at about 60%, and I had only acquired 38 out of a possible 99 Gold Bricks. There's a *lot* of game to be had here. I've spent many hours on it since that point, and am by no means "done". But I think I have seen enough to make it worth posting this review, so here it is.

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Lego SW2

Hi Alexx, it's Blaine again.

I've been playing Lego SW2 with my wife. We are methodically plugging through each and every Episode making sure to unlock everything before proceeding to the next part. What an incredibly well crafted game.

I use your methods of "treasure placement" when searching for treasure in games now. It's always a let down when they don't put an item in the far corners...

I'm absolutely loving this game. I'm not much of a console gamer, but I find this game to be absolutely captivating and thoroughly entertaining. I've only tried co-op play in a couple places, and we *really* got in each other's way. And shot each other. A lot.

Have you gotten to Cloud City yet? Try having Lando do a melee attack against Leia :)

Yep! The first time it confused the heck out of me. Tres amusing.

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