Me: This game isn't very hard
Girlfriend: Isn't it a kid's game?
Me: Well.... yeah....
I'm going to be honest with you, when I first heard about Lego Star Wars I thought it was a joke. I've known about Lego's very large and popular Star Wars line for years but for some reason a game based on it seemed just too far fetched. But as the screens and descriptions of the game started rolling in, I was drawn in to this tiny, brick based world based on a galaxy far, far away.
If you've seen a Star Wars Lego set in the store, then you know what to expect out of Lego Star Wars. Everything has been broken down into it's Lego equivalent. And I do mean everything. Characters are little Lego men. Starships are built out of Lego blocks. Droids are built out of Lego blocks that break into individual Lego blocks after you Lightsaber them. The characters move like Lego men are supposed to with their two stubby legs. The Star Wars universe has been perfectly recreated in Lego.
Of course, that universe is limited to the prequel trilogy of Episodes I, II and III. Lego Star Wars takes you from the beginning of Episode I on Naboo all the way to the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan on Mustafar and everything in between. When all is said and done you'll take part in almost every great Star Wars moment. You'll also pod race, take part in the Battle of Geonosis and infiltrate General Grievous' ship in a Jedi Starfighter in three vehicle levels. For those that haven't seen Episode III yet, you'll be happy to know that Lego Star Wars keeps the plot twists to a minimum, so it's safe to play.
All of this is done with simple platforming by throwing a party of two to six characters in a situation and throwing simple puzzles or combat at them. The best part is that any character in your party is playable simply by pressing the triangle button. Need to reach that high ledge? Use your Force powers to build stairs out of those scattered Lego blocks. Not a Jedi? Use the grappling hook attached to your blaster. But the best part? A second player can jump in or drop out at any time.
All told, there are 40 playable characters in Lego Star Wars including Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin Skywalker (Episode I, II and III versions), Obi-Wan Kenobi (ditto), Padme, C-3PO, R2-D2, Mace Windu and later Darth Maul, Darth Sidious, General Grievous and Darth Vader. Maybe I'm just a bad boy, but getting to play as the Dark Side characters is a lot of fun.
When you're not solving platforming puzzles, the game revolves around fighting droids. Jedi characters can use their Lightsabers to block blaster bolts or hit them back at the droids that fired them for a quick kill. "Blaster characters" are limited to only using their blasters. The combat is very easy to pick up, but this is not God of War by any means. Nor is it even Maximo. You swing and you block, no combos, no special moves, that's it. Lego Star Wars is a simple hack and slash (or blaster blast). One that is really meant for the kiddies anyway.
In addition to the simplicity of the controls, the game is extremely easy, which is what happens when you're given infinite lives. Even though it covers all three Episodes, the game should take no more than an afternoon to finish. To expand it a little, your Lego characters can collect Lego pieces called studs to buy cheats and characters like the aforementioned Maul, Sidious and Vader or they can collect minikit pieces to unlock Lego vehicle kits.
Something must be said about the camera. Lego Star Wars shoots for the "cinematic camera" and doesn't give players the option to control it. So sometimes it feels like the camera isn't following you like it should, but for most of the game the cinematic angles work. The camera takes a hit in two player, but the game gets it right most of the time.
Graphically, the Lego effect is put to perfect use. Seeing droids explode in a shower of broken Lego bricks is great and Travellers Tales has somehow managed to recreate the Jedi Battle on Geonosis and the final battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan perfectly. You are even given the option to play as either character, even though the fight will always end with Darth Vader being separated from his Lego legs. And while the characters don't talk, familiar music and sound effects fill the Lego hallways for a perfect Star Wars audio experience.