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LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game Review

Microsoft Xbox
Reviewed by Joshua Griffin

OVERVIEW

While this isn't a title I would normally be caught dead owning - pretend you have a small child and home and pick this one up tomorrow morning. Great graphics, addictive gameplay and an innovative Free Play mode will keep you coming back for more long after the kids are in bed. LEGO Star Wars is for the child in all of us.

FREE PLAY

To call this a children's game would be an insult. Oh, it looks like one, sure, but it sure isn't one. Yes, my 3-year old son loves it - but I think his dad loves it even more. This is one of the best execution combining two distinct worlds - LEGOs and Star Wars - that we've ever seen. Obvisouly there are some toys out there already doing that, but a video game based on them sounds challenging. These are probably two of my favorite memories from my childhood, and Lucas' machine churns it out when I'm 30. The timing couldn't have been better, and I'm not sure the game could be, either.

The sound and graphics are superb, the number of playable characters is nearly infinite (OK, close to 60) and the gameplay is spot on. Sure, it is a Lego game, so it doesn't move at the speed of light, but the reflections on the floor and special effects when you move behind glass look sweet. The character choices are diverse, and each has special abilities that make them fun to control. From young Anakin being able to squeeze into tight places to the Jedi's use of the Force, battle droids being able to sneak behind enemy lines and droids being able to reach unreachable places.

The game isn't long at first glance, I easily "beat the game" in less than 10 hours. I blazed through the scenarios from Episode I and II - your characters don't really die, they just get blasted to pieces and then come back to life. I savored the Revenge of the Sith moments, but it still went by quickly. A serious gamer isn't going to find much to do in just beating the game - but there's plenty to be said for the unique Free Play mode. While it sounds dicey on paper, the game is even more addicitng after I beat it! Free Play lets you reply the levels using all of the unlocked characters in the game, finding secrets and collecting goodies. This type of gameplay in the past hasn't upped the replayability factor one bit for me, but there's enough here that I want to quit writing this and find that last canister on the Darth Vader level to finally have enough studs to unlock Grevious. See, I told you I was sick.

The game is fun for kids and addictive for adults. I did miss a few things - namely new music from Episode III. While the music was fantastic and did dynamically change to the situation, new music accompanying Grevious and the gigantic space battle would have pushed it over the top. Since there were only six levels from each movie - it made me wish for some Classic Trilogy thrown in as well. All in all though, the selection is acceptable and the title is absolutely rock solid, even if they didn't send me a review copy this time (wink).

The Force is strong with this one.

BOTTOM LINE

When you see the Episode III Battle Over Coruscant level or take part in The Duel, you'll know this game is definitely for real. Borrow a kid and head to your local video game store to pick this up immediately. Claim you have a nephew that loves Star Wars - whatever it takes, just don't miss this game.

SCORE

95 out of 100
A TFN Must Buy

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