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'LEGO Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy' Preview (Xbox)


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…someone got the idea to combine LEGOs with Star Wars, and though it was based on the lackluster prequel trilogy, it was still a cute and fun filled adventure with little LEGO Star Wars characters running about in LEGO made worlds ripped straight from the movies. With the first game being such a success, it was only inevitable that a sequel would be created, this time tackling the original Star Wars trilogy.

If anything, the original LEGO Star Wars succeeded because it managed to merge these two properties (LEGOs and Star Wars) so well, into a world that wasn't only inventive in its creativity, but was also highly hilarious thanks to the cute, mute characters partaking in scenes straight from the movie, told with a brilliant sense of comedy, like their bodies falling apart when they got hurt or fake Xs replacing their eyes to show death. As the preview for LEGO Star Wars 2 starts off, that same humor seems to still be in place and in full effect, starting off with Luke, Obi-Wan, R2-D2, and C3PO heading to Mos Eisley to catch a ship. Though R2-D2 falling out of the landspeeder was funny, the real joy came from the famous "these are not the droids you are looking for" scene, where Obi-Wan waves a hand and does a "uh uh uh" (the characters don't speak mind you) on the stormtrooper and he mimics it to show he has been influenced.

Characters available included the previously ones mentioned from the beginning, and they all controlled just like they did in the original game. Luke (not yet affluent in the ways of the Force) is relegated to using his blaster to pop enemies from a distance, Obi-Wan using his lightsaber to cut down enemies, C3PO to just…well…walk around, and R2-D2 being able to shock people and fly around. Sure, some characters are pretty useless when it comes to combat, but they are all useful in one way or another. The blaster fighters like Luke and Han Solo (who you get later on in the preview) can grapple whenever you run across these specified points, the Jedi like Obi-Wan can force push and levitate objects, and some of the droids are the only ones who can open specified doors (indicated based on the character portraits placed near the doors).

The controls are very easy to use and kid friendly, with the four face buttons being the only ones used. The X-button is used to fire blasters and swing lightsabers, the A-button is used to jump and double jump (combine with X for two different jumping attacks), the B-button is used to build objects/grapple/force push/levitate/etc, and the Y-button is used to switch between your characters or jump into vehicles.

Yes, you heard that correctly – vehicles. Unlike the first game where vehicles were only used in on-rail missions, now vehicles are placed throughout the environment, such as the landspeeder you can jump in and use to cruise through Mos Eisley, running over characters that get in your way. The real fun comes from the animals you can ride, which do lunging bite attacks, and the walkers you can ride in to step on enemies or blast them; the walker in particular is interesting, because instead of simply stumbling across it, you actually have to build it first, by finding the block parts scattered about, and then using Obi-Wan's force powers to levitate the blocks into the right place and assemble them together. The animals are a tad hard to control since their turn radius is rather limited, but the landspeeder and walkers controlled pretty well.

The levels play just like in the original game, with enemies you must combat, practically everything being destructible (you'll have to destroy as much as you can if you want to unlock all the characters since destroying objects get you bolts that act as a point system/currency), and manipulate the environment to help you advance (like using Obi-Wan's force abilities to move a set of stairs from one place to the next). Combat is easy, cause all you really need to do is hammer on the X-button to kill any enemy, as you can also deflect blaster bolts back at the shooter as long as you hit the X-button close to when the blaster is about to hit you. Though combat is simple, there is hilarity and a bit of strategy as well, such as using Obi-Wan's force powers to turn the helmets of the stormstroopers backwards so they can't see, temporarily slowing them down as they have to turn them back around to see anything, or using Chewie's melee attack to rip the LEGO arms off the characters.

Eventually you run across the Mos Eisley bar where Han and Chewie are waiting, as well as a new cutscene, involving Obi-Wan attacking the walrus looking butt face creature and chopping off his arm and the Greedo/Han scene where Han actually shoots first like in the original film (hooray!). In the case of both moments of the cutscenes, each character attacked falls apart to show they were hurt or killed…very funny. From the bar you move on to chase a spy, where a final boss battles happens after some chasing, though it isn't too hard since all you have to do is defend against some stormtroopers until the spy lets his guard down and you can get some hits in.

Since you can't really lose at the game (getting killed just means you lose some of your bolts) and the characters practically handle the exact same (every Jedi has the same moves though maybe a few different animations and every blaster fighter controls the exact same with maybe an exception towards the weapon they wield), there isn't too much challenge at all, but this is a more kid-centric game. So why play it then?

The fun of LEGO Star Wars has always been and is the sheer joy of seeing the Star Wars films told with LEGOs. Period. It is simply fun to come across a scene you remember so well and get a good laugh out of it when it finally pops up or seeing a little Easter egg placed about the world that ties directly into the movies. The co-op is also really fun, enabling two players to go through the game together, sharing the same screen, as you'll laugh at the same jokes, get a kick out of the same sight gags, and playfully bicker back and forth as you accidentally force push each other (or intentionally depending on how evil you are) or chop each other up with lightsabers.

The wait isn't much longer for LEGO Star Wars 2, and fans of the original game can't wait to get their hands on it. Besides, who doesn't want to see how they pull of the famous "I'm your father scene" with absolutely no dialog; however they pull it off, I'm sure I'll be laughing the whole way there.