Tuesday, December 5, 2006

The Force is Strong With This One...

My friend CrayolaSmoker lent me this for PC a few weeks ago and after playing it for roughly 30 seconds, My Fair Lady demanded to join in. CS lent me his USB controller which I handed to her, then I quickly found out that controlling the characters via keyboard sucks.

The next week I swung by CompUSA and picked it up for Xbox and we've been playing it ever since.

As maligned as the prequel trilogy was it did have its moments (about 95 percent of which were in the final movie) but the original trilogy is considered sacred ground by my generation. Watching it for the first time was like being shot in the head by a movie, and Star Wars remains in my bloodstream like nothing else. It's as much a part of me as breathing, and despite the vast amounts of attempts to recreate that magic over the past 30 years very few things have come close.

LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy nails the original trilogy in the best possible way - by capturing its spirit. Granted, running around and playing as LEGO recreations of your favorite Star Wars characters may seem a little weird, even childish, at first but once you walk around the Mos Eisley bar you may as well be back in the movies.
"Hey lady, I'm the Jedi here. Would you stop trying to shoot me and aim for the stormtroopers?"
Everything in this game is a work of absolute love and whatever work Traveler Games did on the first one, which I still haven't played, it must have been a warm-up act for this one. I get the feeling they had to impress LucasArts with their concepts before they were given the greenlight to work on this one, and they must have succeeded wildly. The energy and enthusiasm present in even the smallest of details in this game can't be faked. Everyone working behind the scenes brought their A-game to practically every level and the result is a game I've played incessently for the last month.
"Would you please stop Force-throwing the droids off cliffs?"
A lot of my personal joy comes from My Fair Lady demanding to play through it with me, and that I not be allowed to progress further in the story than we had made it as a team. While that may seem stifling for a gamer, I found it oddly refreshing if only because she never plays games and certainly not with me. Sure, she's messed around with Halo with me and a friend, which lead to both of us mocking her while shooting each other, but she's never gone out of her way to play a video game with me. Such is the power of LEGO Star Wars II.
"When 900 years old I reach, spry as a Jedi I plan to be."
The sheer number of unlockable characters, secrets, collectibles, and hidden levels borders on mind-blowing. I unlocked one thing last night I never would have guessed was in the game, and now I can't wait to unlock everything and see what the final puzzle is. Also, despite the way the characters look, each and every one of them has personality to spare. I love that the "Slave Girl Leia" has a special dance just as much as any of the Han Solo variations smirk while opening up a big can of whoop-ass. The cut-scenes in particular are brilliantly funny in that they capture the feeling of the movies while simulanteously paying tribute to and mocking them.

Overall, I'm absolutely in love with this. It's some of the most fun I've had with a game in the last year and certainly gets my nod for game of the year despite a few quirks while playing co-op. If all of the Star Wars games were this much fun I'd be set for life. I'll leave you with the following which was a conversation between Yours Truly and My Fair Lady when we finished the New Hope section:
"What's this?" My Fair Lady asked.

"The awards ceremony at the end of the movie. We get medals and everything it seems," I replied.

"But I don't get to kill anything!"
I've succeeded beyond my wildest dreams in luring her to the Dark Side.

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