Reviewed: February 27, 2008
Released: December 6, 2007
How many times have you bought a game and after completion felt as if you were cheated out of your money, not due to the game being terrible but just short or lacking any kind of extras? Maybe the game didnít live up to your expectations. Maybe 4-5 hours just isnít a long enough game to justify spending the kinds of prices that video games cost now-a-days. This happens way too often.
Back in 2005 developer Traveller's Tales brought us one of the better Star Wars action games to land on a home console in the original LEGO Star Wars. With a new twist on a previously somewhat misused license, Lego Star Wars brought together solid mechanics, totally accessible game-play, and a ton of unlockables. A year later LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy delivered on the same elements as the previous title. Both of these games left gamers feeling content. After completing each game you felt as if you got your moneyís worth and in no way cheated.
Itís been a year since The Original Trilogy hit consoles, and with no more story to tell how could this franchise live on? Well the answer to that question has come in the form of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga for the Playstation 3. They have taken the previous two entries and combined them to make one game. If individually these two games left you feeling like you had got your moneyís worth then congratulations! You just hit the jackpot.
LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga offers all six episodes on one disc. Travellerís Tales could have simply gave you an option of which game to play at the start-up the disc like some other previous compilations have but they didnít. Instead you start the game in the lobby/bar area like the previous games and are given six separate doorways, representing episodes, to go through each of which containing a separate lobby for particular levels. This system is perfect and offers a fluid way to play through the game.
The control mechanics are the same as in the previous two entries and their as accessible as ever. An array of light-saber and Force attacks are at your fingertips, so players with all levels of experience can jump in and play through the game. As a matter of fact, you canít really die in the game so you can just keep playing until you beat it. If you drop down to zero health then you simply explode (remember itís LEGOs) and respawn. The only real penalty for dying is that you lose ďboltsĒ which are used for unlockables. Some may dislike this feature but it allows for a broader audience. Simply put anyone can play through the game and defeat the Dark Side but only the very best can unlock all of the extras that the game offers.
Some of these extras include power-ups and unlockable characters that the first two games didnít have. To unlock everything not only must you be very good at the game but you also must go back and play levels multiple times with different characters. There are areas of each level that only a specific character can reach so you may have to play the same level over and over again to get a certain unlockable.
Each of the levels can also be played through with online two-player co-op allowing you and another player to bring down the Empire together. Add this together with a ton of unlockables, and youíre looking at a game that may take you a while to complete.
Travellerís Tales bumped up the visuals to HD but really how good can plastic toys possibly look? For once I can actually say the characters look like plastic and itís a good thing. Sure this game doesnít push the PS3 to its limits but the characters do look like real Star Wars Legos and the environments look sharper than they have in previous entries as well. Donít expect the best texturing around, though, because simply put Legos donít have a lot of texture in the first place.
After a few minutes of listening to the hums of light sabers and screams of laser blasters you may forget that this is a LEGOs game. The sound effects are done perfectly. The soundtrack was done by John Williams and is ripped right from original movies. The only thing missing is the voice work. Unfortunately, Legos donít talk either.
If you already own both of the previous games then you may want to think twice before dropping the 50 bucks that this game retails for. If you are new to the LEGO franchise or own just one of the two then this would be a great deal. Look at it this way: two complete games plus extra characters and levels plus HD visuals equals a must buy. Donít think about it just go out and buy it.
Very few Star Wars games are this good. Two years ago I had my doubts about the idea of combining Legos and Star Wars. I had played the LEGO Island PC game that came out in 1997 and had thought that it was simply a way to take advantage of kids that liked playing with Legos by tricking them into buying a lame PC game. The LEGO Star Wars series is just the opposite. If anything it is bringing more credibility back to a license that has seen its fair share of stinkers over the years.