In video game terms, the Star Wars name hasn’t peeked its head up from the gutter that often. The PC X-Wing and Tie Fighter games were absolute classics, but there’s been little else to get our geeky juices flowing.
Last year’s Lego Star Wars – based on the oft criticised new trilogy – was a surprise hit, pleasing both young gamers as well as old hands with its subtle humour and well rounded gameplay.
So it’s no surprise to see a sequel featuring the original trilogy on the launch pad. As if George Lucas would pass up on yet another way to take a few more quid out of our wallets eh?
The original Lego Star Wars arrived as something of a surprise. Though the game was trailed to death before its release, most dismissed it one of those kiddy games, probably featuring some simple jigsaw puzzles and a "design your own Stormtrooper" section.
But we all know exactly what to expect with this sequel. The hectic fighting and the simple puzzles make their return, but this time with a far more intriguing backdrop.
Your task is to simply take on and complete every single mission available. So far, so simple. Yet there’s a multitude of other treasures hidden away.
Starting off at the Mos Eisley Cantina – the main hub of the game – you can use your collected currency to purchase cheats, extra playable characters (which can make their own routes through certain levels) and even a character creation option. Meaning you can swap their hairdos – Leia’s bunches on Han anyone?
Throughout each mission you’re joined by up to six other characters, each with their own attributes. Some are experts with grappling hooks, others have a handy double jump and so on. With your ability to flick between all the characters on screen at will, you’ll be controlling each for a fairly equal amount of time per level.
Sadly when they’re not under your control, they’re not the sharpest tools in the box. Many a time you’ll witness C3PO doing bugger all while you get bogged down under enemy fire.
If you’ve got a pal handy, a quick tap of the second pad’s start button is all that’s required for them to jump in on any level to give you a hand. It’s a very swish addition indeed, but a shame you can’t do the same online.
Using the same engine as the last version means that it fails to truly look like a next generation title, although the characters and levels are all delightfully solid.
The puzzles are odd considering the age of the target audience too. The majority are obscenely simple, but take an age to figure out. But then you’ll get a tough one from time to time and these can be a real barrier to progress.
As a nostalgia hit, this is one of the best. But as a game, it somehow fails to work quite as well as it should thanks to the few aforementioned niggles. Still, Star Wars fans are bound to fall in love all over again.