Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is a 3D platformer game based on the popular movie series stylized as the Lego brand of toy building blocks. As far as I’ve researched, this game is actually somewhat of a compilation package of the games Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy along with some changes and extra features. This is a review of the Wii version. I have played the Game Boy Advance version of Lego Star Wars II, but this was many years ago and will likely not affect this review. I just wanted to give you as much background as possible before I jump in. You’ll also note that this game came out when the entire saga of movies was just the first six episodes. I’m also going to assume you’re somewhat familiar with the Star Wars films and Legos as a concept before continuing. You have been warned. And now our feature presentation.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga’s plot follows that of the Star Wars movies. I suppose I’ll be avoiding some spoilers by not getting too deep into that, but if you haven’t seen the films then you can do that first or just use this game to get you excited for the real deal if you find it interesting. The Lego renditions during the opening crawls and cutscenes simplify things a lot, but you get the general idea. The gameplay mainly consists of 3D platforming through levels as characters appropriate for the current parts of the movie. The first time you play a level you’ll need to play the story mode where you’ll generally get a few cutscenes throughout and be forced to do a few key activities to follow the films more closely. During this time you will start with control of a character and typically one other character to switch between or possibly to have cooperative play… but I played the entire thing alone so I won’t be getting into that aspect of the game. There are a few different general types of characters to play as.

Characters with lightsabers can use the force on certain enemies and objects, and Sith characters can even use the force on a few objects other Jedi cannot. Most of the other characters have blasters of some sort for ranged combat. Some of them can use grappling hooks in specified areas. Trooper class characters can use special panels others cannot. Bounty hunter characters have their own exclusive panels and also have the added bonus of being able to use thermal detonators, which can blow up certain things that other attacks cannot. Some panels are only accessible by C-3PO type units or R2-D2 type units, but these droids have no real combat functionality. High jumpers have naturally higher jumps allowing them to easily access hard-to-reach or otherwise inaccessible areas. Some characters can double jump. Others can hover for short distances. Short characters are typically unarmed but can pass through special doorways too small for most. Also, most droids cannot pull levers but most other characters can. So there’s a lot of variety between these quirks and abilities for the characters.

As you go through the levels you’ll usually play as the good guys fighting off the bad guys. You can interact with many objects in the environments, complete some mild puzzles, and do some exploring along the way. Most of these activities will either net you Lego studs or minikits. The studs are used as currency to buy things in the main hub of the cantina. You can also fill up a True Jedi meter as you collect them during the stage. If you die during the level you’ll be respawned at your last safe position on solid ground, but you’ll lose some studs and consequently reduce the meter, but once you fill the meter full it’ll stay achieved. The minikits are usually found in out-of-the-way or hard-to-reach places. There are 10 to collect in each level, but usually you won’t be able to get them all on your first time around. There’s also one power brick hidden in each level, either very well hidden or just even more challenging to obtain than the minikits. Once you beat the level and are treated with an outro cutscene, you’ll go to the results screen to see how you did. Here the studs you collected for the level will be added to your total. You’ll get a gold brick for finishing it, a gold brick for filling the True Jedi meter, and a gold brick for collecting all 10 minikits. This screen will also tell you what extra the power brick you collected corresponds to. Speaking of extras, let’s talk about the cantina a bit.

So the main hub is the cantina where you start. At the bar you can use your hard earned studs to buy things like hints, characters, gold bricks, and extras. The gold bricks increase in value as you go but are not all available for purchase right away. I’m not sure if it’s progress or just time played, but eventually they will all become available to play. While you do get characters after most levels, usually the ones you play as, you can obtain many of the ones you couldn’t from those levels via the shop. They seem to be unlocked as you encounter them with only a number of exceptions. Extras are optional bonuses you can turn on and off in the extras menu when pausing the game. There are a handful up for purchase at the start but the vast majority of them must be unlocked first by finding their corresponding power brick and then purchased before they can be used. They are mostly all helpful enhancements to your gameplay. There’s also a place to create two custom characters from a variety of parts. Once you beat the first level of the first episode you’ll unlock the first level of every other episode and the second level of the first. Every episode is split into six levels called chapters. Generally they will tend to have at least one boss fight level and one vehicle level. The vehicle levels tend to have their own quirks in each, but generally you’ll be piloting a plot-specific vehicle and gunning down other vehicles and objects in the environments. Some vehicles don’t fire. Some vehicles are faster than others or have better handling. Some can use torpedoes. Some can use tow cables. Some of them are TIE class vehicles that are requires to open certain sections as well. This is also how you unlock vehicles.

Once you beat a level you’ll unlock free play and challenge mode. In free play you replay the level without the cutscenes and you now have the ability to pick any character you have unlocked. Your partner will be whatever character is currently following you. On top of that, you’ll also be given an automatically generated set of other characters to cycle through with the 1 and 2 buttons and change on the spot. The automatic generation tends to try and give you every type of character if possible. This is the only way to collect many of the minikits in the levels as the story mode does not give you the tools to access the areas where the remaining ones reside. In challenge mode you are given the same freedom of character selection but the rules are a bit different. Here you’ll need to collect the 10 blue minikits hidden throughout the level. These are usually hidden in stranger places than the normal ones. You also only have limited time to find them all. If you fail to get all of them within the time limit you’ll fail and have to start over. So you need to get them all in one run. Extras are disabled for the challenge missions as well. Completing them will count towards your total completion percentage found near the shop in the cantina. Vehicle levels will follow similar rules but with vehicles instead of characters.

But wait, there’s more! Each episode has a bonus section you can unlock after beating off of the levels in it. These all have three modes to select from. Super story is one big marathon of all of the crawls, levels, and cutscenes of the episode without any breaks between or the use of any extras. The goal is to try and break the records for best time and most studs collected. The defaults to beat are 100,000 studs in one hour for every one. Whether you beat these goals or not you’ll still get a bit of total completion percentage for playing through the super stories. Then there will be a character challenge and a minikit challenge. These are both generally the same concept but one is with characters while the other is with vehicles put together by the completed minikit sets from each level. You can pick from all of the characters or minikits you have unlocked respectively. You’ll be put into an arena style map based on existing levels and try to collect 1,000,000 studs within 5 minutes. The values for these studs are increased for these modes but some extras like score multipliers are prohibited. You can also get powerups more reliably here to help draw in studs and increase their value further for a limited time. Winning these will get you a gold brick each.

If that’s not enough bonus for you, there are also six general bonus levels to unlock just outside of the episode doors in the main hub. Still not satisfied? Well eventually you’ll unlock the bounty hunter missions. You can access these by going outside of the cantina and going through the door with Jabba the Hutt’s face on it. In these missions you’ll play strictly as bounty hunter characters. You’ll always be running around with a group of them around a section of an existing level without any extras activated. You simply need to find the bounty before the timer runs out. You can tell when they’re nearby by their icon fading in and out on the bottom of the screen. Once you find them you simply need to touch them and you win, obtain a gold brick and some bonus studs based on your time remaining. Once you collect all of the gold bricks in the game you build a structure just outside of this door and then all of your remaining extras will be unlocked. Beating all of the available modes and getting all of the collectibles will net you 100% completion and also unlock custom force powers for your custom characters. The only other thing to mention would be the multiplayer-specific area but due to my lack of a second player I’m unable to comment on that aspect.

Whew, that’s a lot of content to bring up for what’s a pretty simple game to play. You get a lot of bang for your buck. The Lego style comes off as pretty charming. Something about seeing things made out of actual Lego pieces I recognize makes it more immersive and impressive than just a style that’s Lego-esque. It also enhances some of the humor and cuteness of scenes to see them play out with Legos in mind. It’s hard to explain, but I definitely think you’ll see what I mean when you play or even just watch it. The Lego style is also pretty colorful, which I definitely like seeing. Not only that, but the style has actually helped this game age well. You might forget you’re playing a Wii game because it doesn’t look all that dated unless you’re a real stickler for graphics. The music and plot are solid, but that’s mostly due to the source material. It’s pretty obvious that I like Legos and Star Wars already, but I also really enjoy the 3D platformer collect-a-thon element to it. That’s a genre I feel is often overlooked so it’s nice to see more of it. It’s maybe a bit on the easy side, but it’s still enjoyable, charming, and a lot better than nothing if nothing else. I think it could also work well for getting people into Star Wars if they weren’t already or getting Star Wars fans into Legos… potentially getting either crowds into gaming as well. It’s practically shocking to see the potential here actually realized. Look at how many movie tie-ins suck! This is just more proof that they don’t have to.

It does have some issues, though. Some of the game is too easy once you get certain extras. You can choose to turn them off and it’s nice that they feel earned rather than like cheats, but it also can be a bit too easy sometimes unless you turn them off to handicap yourself. In stark contrast, some of these challenge missions are frustratingly difficult. There are some that I failed despite looking up a guide as I did them. You have to not only KNOW where those minikits are ahead of time, but you need to play damn near perfect on top of it… or just get really lucky. This IS challenging as the name suggests, but it seems like a pretty sharp jump in difficulty from the rest of the generally easy game.There’s also a bit of tedium involved with replaying the levels so much. Aside from maybe a few exceptions, you’ll need to play every level four times if you want full completion. You need to play once in story mode, again in free play mode to clean up the minikits you couldn’t get in story mode, again in mission mode, and a fourth time when you do the super story. It’s also a bit of a screw that extras don’t apply to super story despite this being the time when you’d have more of them anyway. I do like the way you get really familiar with the level layouts because it makes them memorable, but it also shows how much of the game is padding rather than earned familiarity. The challenge missions WOULD be fun if not for the damn time limit. I like the concept of finding collectibles in new spots so I’d be encouraged to re-explore the levels in detail again, but the time limit makes me run around like a madman trying to get them all in time rather than paying attention to the level design. Also, the vehicles control like crap. Some of them are okay, but most of them move too quickly, don’t turn sharply enough, and float around so much that control feels like a vague approximation rather than responsive decision-making. I’m also a little disappointed in some of the art direction. I would prefer more natural or realistic background when considering that these are Legos. Some of the sandy or grassy levels work well with the idea of playing with actual Legos in those environments, but some of the backgrounds could’ve used some more makeshift assets you’d find around the house to create a comparable atmosphere. This is a tall order and I realize it makes more sense to use art that evokes the feel of the movie, but I guess I just liked the idea of using your imagination with the Legos more. And then there are the bugs and glitches. Look, I understand some of these are harmless and preventable, like making my character fall off the edge repeatedly until I back up upon respawn because of the respawn marker. However, the fact that I had glitched break my levels is pretty inexcusable. Seriously, in one of the levels there was an object I needed to assemble in order to progress and it flat out didn’t spawn that time around. I even had one level break on my multiple times in the same spot for reasons I couldn’t quite pin down for sure. These big issues needed to be fixed, especially in this game aimed at young audiences that might not know any better and give up when they are impossibly stuck.

For all the bad and boring, there’s still enough good and charming to keep players going. Maybe you don’t care about full completion. Maybe you only play it a bit a day or only when you can do co-op with a friend. It’s great in moderation and best served with imagination. Put THAT on the back of your box! If you like Star Wars, Legos, or 3D platformer collect-a-thons then check this one out. I got it for just five bucks so I bet you can find it for cheap too. It might be worth up to 15 or 20 bucks to you depending on your level of interest in the concept, but rest assured you’ll get lots of content here with a nice level of polish. It might not crack your top games list, but it should definitely satisfy some of your urges for simple fun. I wonder if they’ll make another collection like this after the third trilogy is done. And if they do… would I still be interested by then? Shrouded in darkness this pondering is.

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