In a galaxy far away… and I wonder in what galaxy and exactly how far away from this planet the minds were that dreamt this concept up.

It's easy to overlook LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game because of the LEGO thing. What the hell LEGO has to do with Star Wars is beyond me, and I too would probably passed on playing this game if I weren't forced to review it. Yes, when it comes to getting lazy reviewers to do their job, CCCP executives recall the teachings of revered, CEO, Arty Hackery and use the force.

LEGO Star Wars presents the Star Wars universe in a delightfully cute, Toy Story-style of animation. It's aimed at a young audience and unlike other games this one doesn't just cut corner and hope that kids won't notice. This game is specifically designed for kids and is fully realized. With names like LEGO and Star Wars attached to it you can be pretty sure you're going to get something of some quality. What I wasn't expecting was the high level of quality. The challenges may be broad, but they're fun. Only those angst-ridden teenagers that hate everything will not appreciate the work that went into this game.

Spanning the beginning of the Star Wars saga, the game covers all three prequels: The Phantom Menace; Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith. With good humor the game pokes fun at pivotal scenes in these movies as the characters bumble their way through the levels literally bumping into things and making funny faces. The characters are endearing because they don't take themselves seriously.

As you might suspect the game is relatively easy to play but it offers different challenges with various levels of depth. There are only three main buttons to concern yourself with: Attack; jump, and special command. Each button will elicit different responses from any of the three playable characters which include Qui-Gon Jin, Obi Won and that annoying Jar Jar freak. Both Qui-Gon Jin and Obi Won specialize in combat with their lightsabres and the use of the Force while Jar Jar's only real contribution is being able to jump extremely high. Certain situations may call for access to a high area in which case Obi and Qui-Gon are virtually useless while on the other hand you won't use Jar Jar to take on the Stormtroopers. The ability to change to any character at any time really diversifies the gameplay. More experienced gamers will know immediately what character to use for what situation but younger gamers will enjoy the thrill of discovery.

Not only are there tons of characters and unlockables but the two-player co-op mode is almost more than you can ask for. Teaming up with a friend to explore the Star Wars universe is something that no kids should be deprived of. This mode is also a great way for parents to spend quality time with their children where both parties are guaranteed to have a good time.

You couldn't ask for a better looking game considering that making everything appear as though it's made out of LEGO blocks is right up the processor's alley. This is one time when appearing blocky works for a game rather than against it. Everything looks like it was made out of LEGO blocks from the spaceships to the planets. Even the doors, walls, tables, weapons and people are constructed out of LEGO blocks - and they're fully destructible. How cool is that?

The only real complaint that I have is that there are no voiceovers. The game is relatively mute. Fortunately the personality of the characters is able to transcend this limitation but the game is far from silent as it utilizes the incredibly rich, John Williams scores for theme and background music in addition to all of the sound effects from the Lucas library. When you hear the hum of that lightsabre you'll know you're in Star Wars territory.

LEGO Star Wars is the perfect gift for any youngster. It's fun for the whole family.

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System: PS2
Dev: Traveller's Tale
Pub: Giant Interactive Ent / LucasArts
Released: March 2005
Players: 1 - 2
Review by Daemia