For over a decade now, these two juggernauts have combined like an interstellar Reese’s Cup to the delight of fans of both properties. Easily, the best product of this combination is the “LEGO Star Wars” video game franchise. Developer Traveller’s Tales has already adapted both “Star Wars” trilogies, adding plenty of charm and humor. With “LEGO Star Wars III,” they’ve adapted the first two seasons of the “Clone Wars” television show.
Right off the bat, I can say with full confidence that fans of “Clone Wars”––yes, we exist–– will love “LEGO Star Wars III.” One of the most notable aspects of the television series is its well-developed gallery of rogues, many of which are playable characters in the game. However, while it’s awesome that characters like Cad Bane and Aurra Sing are included, the exclusion of other fan favorites like Embo and Pre Vizsla are disappointing.
The game is a similar mixed bag when it comes to the episodes that have been made into levels. There are some great standouts with “Lair of Grevious” and “Rookies,” but there are plenty more fan-favorite episodes that didn’t get covered.
The gameplay is far from revolutionary, but it still manages to be incredibly entertaining. It’s almost entirely limited to four commands: jump, attack, switch characters, and a special ability that varies from character to character. Each level finds different ways to utilize this simple compilation of gameplay mechanics in ways that range from “kid-friendly” to “there is absolutely no way in hell that any kid has the mental capacity to grasp what is being asked of them here.”
There are also a number of new features that “LEGO Star Wars III” incorporates that flesh the game out a little more than its predecessors. Some levels take on the feel of a real-time strategy game with players conquering enemy posts and acquiring various barracks and vehicles until they control the entire field. The strategy elements don’t equate to a new “Starcraft,” but they do offer a new way to play with your favorite block-built heroes.
Traveller’s Tales also seems to have taken a page from “The Force Unleashed,” as Jedi are also given some cool new powers. Some are as typical as cutting through doors, but others are much more exciting, such as being able to Force lift a super battle droid and make it shoot its own peers. Of course, one has to keep in mind that being shot in “LEGO Star Wars” means exploding into a family-friendly pile of bricks, but the powers are still cool and fun to use.
All in all, “LEGO Star Wars III” isn’t the game of the year, but it’s really fun.
The quality of the game could have been increased exponentially by including more obscure characters and episodes for subject material but at the end of the day, it’s just fun to hit stuff with a lightsaber. If you’re ever stuck babysitting on a Saturday night and the kids have a game console, “LEGO Star Wars III” will be your saving grace.
[Photo courtesy of gamefaqs.com]