Lego. Star Wars. Individually, these are great brands. Together? A phenomenal experience. And when you blend them together into a video game, you get the introduction of Lego as a game series and a revitalization of the company.
As such, the series hits this month’s Three Things… It’s one of the first games I bought when I finally purchased an Xbox console, and I’ve enjoyed all three iterations. The game is so fun and enjoyable, I’ve purchased and played Lego’s Batman and Marvel Super Heroes series as well. It was also the catalyst for starting my renewed love for Legos in general.
So. Three things I like about the Lego Star Wars video game series:
Let’s face it: part of the charm of Lego Star Wars is that it involves Lego. These colorful bricks have a charm all their own, and when used to build Lego versions of iconic and classic Star Wars vehicles and vistas, that charm skyrockets. Wandering through the L:SW universe is not just about diving into the known setpieces from the venerable sci-fi universe, it’s seeing how Lego re-interprets them. Many of the vehicles and sets that came out later as kits saw their initial creation as part of the game.
Indeed, one of the many things you can do in-game is acquire the hard-to-find components to build mini-kits that you can then use to tool around with on the main staging level or even in some free play areas.
It’s Star Wars
Because yeah, it’s Star Wars. This iconic science fiction phenomena remains an indelible part of modern geek culture. The L:SW series gives you the opportunity to play through each movie storyline – with the classic Lego humorous takes – and even the first two seasons of Cartoon Network’s Clone Wars show.
The games have minifigure interpretations for a few hundred characters, even the bit-part background ones. They are all useable in-game – usually in the free play zones after you unlock a chapter – and each has a special ability of a sort to make them useful.
The light-hearted take on the universe through the minifigs and the humor also makes the game less dependant on Star Wars lore, so even those only casually aware of the universe (like my wife) can play and understand the references in passing. Unlike some hardcore fans, the game never takes itself seriously but still honors the vast universe and its lore.
One of the great things about the Lego video games in all their forms is the playability factor. Yes, it’s aimed at kids, but there’s enough puzzles and critical thinking elements that brings appeal to adult gamers as well. By making each chapter available first as a storyline and then as a free play zone, it encourages replayability.
The first playthrough uses a small selection of characters, with enough skillsets to accomplish the basic puzzles and situations to solve the level. Once completed, the level can then be re-entered as a free play zone, which has additional puzzles to solve through the use of additional character skills not previously available.
There are enough achievement goals for each game that can occupy a player for months. One of the more difficult is the one requiring a complete playthrough of either Episodes 1-3 or 4-6 within a strict time frame. It’s not a goal I ever came close to attaining, but it’s one of the more interesting among the usual fare.
The Lego Star Wars series really captured my attention because it was so different than other video games I typically play. The whimsy of the setting through using the Lego blocks intrigued me to the point that it factored into my eventual dive back into the brand. Other Lego games have found their way onto my console, but the L:SW games remain high on my all-time favorite games list.