Monday, December 21, 2015

Lego Star Wars Saga - 5/20 hours

Memory is a funny thing. I'm pretty sure that I've played this exact game before, but when I looked it up online, I found that it was never released on the Gamecube. Did I play the Wii version? The xbox 360 version? I don't know. I definitely remember the cantina, though. I just can't say from when or where.

I guess that means I should treat Lego Star Wars Saga as its own game, and a new experience. Strangely, the biggest barrier to this is not my previous time with the game, but the fact that I played LEGO Marvel Superheroes so recently. This game is four years older than that other one and it shows. The character movements are stiffer, there's less detail in the levels, and less diversity in the cast (it looks to have just about every conceivable Star Wars character as a playable figure, but they can be divided more or less into "jedi" and "non-jedi." I often find myself yearning for the more polished gameplay of the newer game.

That said, Lego Star Wars Saga is still goofy and adorable, and an absolute blast to play. I'm only up through Episode 2 thus far, but the story is like a G-rated, silent-film version of the Star Wars movies. The little Lego figures pantomime things like the celebration of Naboo's liberation or the assassination attempt on Amadala, and it's completely bloodless and the figures themselves are inexpressive plastic blocks, but when you add those to the context of a beloved movie (or, you know, the Star Wars prequels), it's super cute. I can't wait to get to the classic trilogy.

The gameplay itself is serviceable, but nothing special. Some of the action and platforming is made needlessly difficult by the game's stiff controls, but since there's no significant penalty for dying, it doesn't matter

Overall, I'd say this game is a delightful and relaxing way to kill some time, but it definitely feels like they're still working out the "LEGO {$Pop Culture}" formula (yes, technically, this is the third game in the series, but it's mostly a remix of the first two), and thus it feels, at times, like playing a prototype for better games.

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