|System: X360, PS3, Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: TT Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: LucasArts||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 6, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda Kondolojy
When you look at the vast catalog of games based on the Star Wars franchise, it's not surprising to come away with a bit of confusion. You've got the Battlefront series, the KOTOR series, and a veritable slew of PC-exclusive games that all seem to focus on kicking major butt. But then you've got the Lego Star Wars series, which has a mass appeal and somewhat less of a butt-kicking focus. But everyone seems to love it, and it's no real wonder as to why. Put together Lego Star Wars' combination of puzzling, fighting, and a signature sense of humor that's only possible through over-the top Lego-stylized characters, and you've got yourself a mass-appealing masterpiece.
The premise of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is simple: you play through all the different levels as Lego-stylized characters. The gameplay combines a mixture of battling, exploring, and puzzle solving. It's a pretty typical platformer, and all of the different facets of the game are executed very well. The battle system is essentially a one-button mash-fest with the lightsaber, but the real meat of the game is solving different rooms to unlock new stages. The challenge is to use your character's distinctive traits, along with your keen understanding of the force to unlock different areas and characters to progress through the game. The learning curve is pretty steady, but don't be surprised if you breeze through the first couple stages of an episode, and then find yourself completely stuck a few stages later. Another great thing about the Lego Star Wars series is that it forces you to think outside the box and find creative solutions to get out of a room or clear a stage. And there's always more than one way to solve the puzzle. So if you get stuck somewhere, the best advice is to abandon your current strategy and to go with something completely different.
Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, as you might expect, contains all six episodes of the Lego Star Wars Saga. Each episode is available to play via a lobby area, and can be started at anytime. So, for instance, if you're playing Episode II and really want to get your vintage on in the middle with some Episode IV, you can totally do that. In addition to playing through each level on story mode, you can also play in free-play mode. This mode is very much like story mode, but you're allowed greater freedom to explore your surroundings and find super secret hidden content.
Free play mode is also great for unlocking secret characters. One of the main draws of Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is its 150 unlockable characters. But don't think these characters come easy. While a good proportion of these will be given to you automatically or pretty obviously, there are some that you'll have to work for. Find all 150 characters and you just may be a Jedi master. Once you unlock a character, they'll be playable in virtually any level, as long as you select them from your lobby area before heading into combat. This can definitely make for some pretty interesting combinations, to say the least. Imagine beating Episode I with Princess Leia yeah, it's weird.
Visually this game is definitely above par as far as most Wii titles are concerned. The Wii's graphics do give justice to the little Lego characters, but the environments could have used a little bit of a graphical upgrade. Unfortunately, some of the detailing found on the other versions of the game (which support HD) has been lost in the Wii version. But the game does look good, and despite its lack of HD support, it's one of the best looking Wii games published to date.