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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Published by: LucasArts / TT Games
Developed by: Traveller's Tales
Genre: Action
Players: 1-2
Rated: E10+
Release Date: September 12, 2006
Written by: Noel Del Pilar

Star Wars has been one of those successful franchises in gaming that always offers so many different type of gameplay ideas. Whether it's shooting, strategy, RPG, or even beat em up, LucasArts always strives to be different from the rest. Things truly changed when last year's Lego Star Wars arrived, bringing the world of Star Wars in the form of Lego blocks. The idea for many sounded kiddy and boring, however it turned out to be a great title with so many unlockables and collecting to do. Including the likes of a co-op mode and the ability to see parts of the Episode I, II, and III play out within the Lego world. Now in 2006, they bring once again the Lego blocks style for Star Wars; but this time with the Original Trilogy that are episodes IV, V and VI. They promised many new additions that will improve over the original, so do the improvements bring more excitement or more of the same? Keep reading to find out.

The plot of the game plays out the same as the movies, despite a few changes here and there in details. The galaxy is now ruled by the Empire and by Darth Vader. Yet a group is formed called the Rebel Alliance that wants to wipe out the empire, save the galaxy, and restore piece once again. An old master Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi finds a young boy named Luke Skywalker and believes he has the powers of the Jedi to defeat Darth Vader. Most of you probably now the rest of the story and itís a pretty long one so is good to see the developers didnít really ruin the story even if the world is in Lego blocks.

Gameplay within LSW2 plays out similar to the first installment with things like going around levels shooting and fighting your opponents, to jumping from platform to platform using special abilities. This time around, the Jedi's aren't the only ones that can use the force. Shooters and other non-robotic characters have the ability to use the force, but there will be some areas where Jedi's will only have access to the force. The game now also features special areas that can only be access by certain characters (a la stormtroopers). Bounty Hunters now also have a special time bomb to destroy strong metallic objects that conseal secrets and various items. The A.I. has also seen a rebunking to the point where shooters can aviod enemy fire while targeting various characters and items.

Another improvement to LSW2 involves the puzzles. They have been reworked to seem a bit more challenging, and require a lot more thought to solve. Another spin on the new puzzles is that certain characters will have to be used in order to solve the puzzle, which helps keep the repetitive nature down. The puzzles are even mixed with a little action. One example of this is during a battle with Darth Vader. You will be fighting him, and as he starts to run away and you give chase, you walk right into a puzzle you must complete before the battle resumes.

The levels are even bigger within LSW2, which allow for more exploration and the possibilites of finding some hidden goodies. The Co-Op mode makes a return , which is a good thing for gamers, because it helps in solving various puzzles that rewuire a certain character to solve. Another addition to the Co-Op mode is the freedom the camera gives, allowigng the two characters to go in different directions, something which was vastly limited within the first installment.

Unlike the previous title, is free roaming throughout the levels. An example of this freedom wihtin the levels is when you in a metero chase with the Millennium Falcon. This mission requires you to destroy purple targets, which can only be destroyed by special bombs that are located throughout the level. While trying to collect the special bombs, various enemys hips will come trying to stop you, and when you think you destroyed them all, more come, which is annoying at times. Some levels even give you the ability to create you own vehicles, a feature that works, but not most of the time.

The depth of the character selection seen within LSW makes a return with LSW2. Characters from all three movies ar eplayable, even characters that only had cameo spots within the movies like IG-88 bounty hunter. But theres an interesting twist ot the character selection. Now you can import then entire roster fromt he original LSW, changing up how the story plays out completely. And not stopping there, you can now create your own character by mixing different pieces of different characters and make some crazy combinations like Yoda with Leiaís bikini body.

One of the biggest complaints many had with the first game was the difficulty factor, which was addressed with LSW2. A new feature called the adaptive difficulty was included, which adapts how weel you ar eprogressing through the game. The easier time you ar ehaving with the game, the more difficult it becomes. Vise versa. The only drawback to this feature is that if the game gets harder, it just adds more enemies onto the screen, and vise versa. And if you are using the Co-Op mode, this can prove very interesting because if the game gets harder and you are teaming up with the computer, his attacks wont kill the enemies, which is a rather annoying situation to be in.

Graphically, LSW2 is once again interesting and very exciting to watch. You can never get enough of seeing the Star Wars universe depicted with Lego blocks. But don't get your hopes up, not everything is done with Legos. There are some areas and video footage that si taken directly from the movies themselves. The gameís camera can still be a bit clunky, which has it moments. What would of helped in this area would of been the ability to control the camera. Visual effects arenít really impressive at all. Most of them are pretty simple in design, but still nothing annoying or in the way. Despite the few issues here in there with the visuals, it's still an overall great presentation and recreation of each important aspect of the movies.

In the audio department Lego Star Wars II features the great masterpieces of John Williams fromt he origial trilogy. The sound effects have improved over the original, Gun shots fit the mood and situation are sound more like their counterparts from the movies.. The game features no voice-overs, which works both ways. I'm sure there are some Star Wars nuts out there that would of loved to here the blocks talk with the voice of their movie counterpart, but I guess some would argue that being a little cheesy.

While the game is only 3 episodes, each of them with only 6 levels, for a total of 18 levels , there is so muuch more to offer. If you just play the main misssions, then the game will seem short to you. Because the game features tons of unlockables, there is a lot more to do on each level in order to obtain new weaponry, characters, etc. You can collect various coins, and blocks to access to content. Or you cna do it the old fashion way and just buy the extras like infinite health, utilizing characters from the first game, and even obtaining the powerful Darth Sidious. So there is enough to keep you busy for months or more.

Overall Lego Star Wars II is truly an amazing sequel. It takes the part of the formula that work quite well in the first installment, and just expanded on it with new content, levels, and characters to create one immersive title. Dispite a few issues here and there, the title is still a unique gaming experience and depicts Epsiode IV, V, and VI to a 'T'. If you really was/are interested in Lego Star Wars, then you should go out and buy this title, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy.


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