Friday 30 January 2015

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga Review (Xbox 360)

The last few years have shown that the combination of Lego with the Star Wars license can be both enjoyable and highly lucrative. With the first title containing episode I through to III not coming out on the Xbox 360 this package gives anyone late to the party the complete experience.

The first impressions of the title are not the best. To start with players are placed into the Mos Eisley Cantina which acts as the main hub. From here you can choose doors which lead to Episodes I-VI, Two player arcade mode and various other extra content. Unfortunately there is very little to play around with here. Both previous titles have had fun hub worlds to explore but this one feels uninspired, empty and flat.

Luckily the same cannot be said for the rest of the game. All of the levels have been given a graphical face lift which makes them look a lot slicker and smooth. Furthermore the vehicle sections in Episodes I-III have been changed and improved so that they are not so frustrating and clunky. It means all six episodes now work to the same rules and have the same look which adds coherency.

Lego Star Wars games have always been fun, but the characters have been somewhat clunky and slow to control. The Complete Saga deals with this problem admirably. It is very noticeable how fluid the game now is, especially in Episodes I-III (which were the worst offenders). Character movement is much more dynamic and smooth and they now respond instantly to commands. This makes a huge difference and everything is now much more enjoyable.

Another of the irritations that persisted through the series to this point was that though the titles are aimed at younger gamers there are sections which can be stupidly frustrating. This was always most evident when trying to collect enough Lego studs to fill the Jedi bar at the top of the screen. This has partly been solved through the more responsive controls but also by putting more studs on each level.

Players may argue that these changes have reduced the challenge of the title and though this is true it is not a bad thing. The franchise has always been about having fun and collecting things. Though the game is easier it is also undoubtedly more fun than before as much of the difficulty came from frustrating issues. We even played through some sections of the title with the ‘invincibility’ power up on and the game still stood up as satisfying and fun.

The perceived lack of difficulty may put a few people off because they do not think the game will last long enough. This is also not an issue. Believe us when we tell you that there is always something left to do. We played through all the levels at least three times collecting various things and we could still go back to do the new challenges that have been added. As well as the main levels there are also twenty bounty hunter missions to try. Then you can go into the extras room and try out the new and old levels placed there such as Episodes I-III vehicle sections as they used to be, the hidden episode IV level, new Anakin level and two Lego cities. Even that is not everything, to finish this game one hundred percent will take a very long time.

The simple an easy to use drop in co-op play only adds to the enjoyment and longevity as well. Players can join at any point, play as long as they wish then disappear. It is uncomplicated and well executed and it is hard to see how it could have been improved upon.

Even the achievements keep the good fun tone of the title going. For example being rewarded for smashing Jar Jar Binx twenty times can only raise a smile. While the ‘Did I break your concentration’ achievement for breaking the Emperor with Mace Windu (played by Samuel L Jackson) shows the development team have a sense of humour. A sense of humour that also comes to the fore in many of the excellent cut scenes.

Overall, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga achieves everything it sets out to do. Here we have a fun well constructed title that gamers of all ages will enjoy. If you already have both instalments separately you may want to hold off unless you can find it cheaply. Though the improvements are good this is still basically the same two games with shiny bits added. For anyone else looking for something that takes video games back to being fun rather than acting as a second job this should be top of your list.

Overall 8/10

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