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Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy is a multi-platform action-adventure video game developed by Traveller's Tales and published by LucasArts and TT Games. It was released on September 11, 2006. Part of the Lego Star Wars series, it is based on the Star Wars science fiction media franchise and Lego Group's Star Wars-themed toy line. It follows the events of the Star Wars films A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. The game allows players to assume the roles of over 50 Lego versions of characters from the film series; customized characters can also be created. Camera movement was improved from its predecessor—Lego Star Wars: The Video Game; and the concept of "vehicle levels" was explored more thoroughly. The game was revealed at American International Toy Fair 2006. Promotions for the game were set up at chain stores across the United States.

Lego Star Wars II was critically and commercially successful; it has sold over 8.2 million copies worldwide as of May 2009. Critics praised the game for its comedic and "adorable" portrayal of the film series and for their preference of the original trilogy to the prequel trilogy. However, the game's low difficulty, and its Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions in general, were received more poorly. The game received awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts and Spike TV, among others. A mobile phone adaptation was later developed by Universomo, published by THQ, and released on December 19, 2006. Lego Star Wars and Lego Star Wars II were compiled in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, released on November 6, 2007. The Mac OS X version of the game was released on April 2007 by Feral Interactive.

Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy Gameplay

Lego Star Wars II's gameplay is from a third-person perspective, and takes place in a 3D game world that contains objects, environments and characters designed to resemble Lego pieces. Its gameplay—a combination of the action-adventure, platform, and sometimes puzzle genres—shares elements with that of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (2005). While Lego Star Wars followed the events of The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), Lego Star Wars II is based on A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). The game comically retells the trilogy's events using cut scenes without dialogue. The player assumes the roles of the films' characters, each of which possess specific weapons and abilities. At any time, a second player can join the game by activating a second controller. During game play, players can collect Lego studs–small, disk-shaped objects that serve as the game's currency. The player has a health meter, which is displayed on the game's heads-up display. The player's health is represented by four hearts; when these hearts are depleted the player dies and a small amount of their studs bounce away. However, they are instantly reincarnated and can often recollect the lost studs.

The game's central location is the Mos Eisley Cantina, a spaceport bar on the planet Tatooine. At the counter, the player may use their Lego studs to purchase characters, vehicles, gameplay hints and extras, or activate cheat codes. In a small area outside the cantina, players may view collected vehicles. The game is broken into levels, which are accessed from the cantina; each film is represented by six levels, representing key locations and scenes in that film. The locations include Hoth, Bespin, Dagobah, Tatooine, the Death Star, and Endor. The game also features bonus levels. During levels, the player defeats enemies, builds objects out of Lego bricks and drives vehicles, Certain levels are played entirely while piloting vehicles, including a TIE fighter, a Snowspeeder, and the Millennium Falcon. Levels must first be played in story mode. This unlocks the next level as well as a "free play" mode for the recently completed level. Gameplay is identical in the two modes. However, story mode restricts playable characters to those followed in the film scenes the levels are based on, while free play offers all those unlocked. Levels can be replayed in either mode to collect studs and secret items.

Three types of secret items are available: gold bricks, minikits and power bricks. Within each level is hidden one power brick. When a power brick is collected, its corresponding extra, such as invincibility or stud multipliers, becomes available for purchase. Each level also contains ten hidden minikits, that is, ten pieces of a Star Wars vehicle. When all ten have been collected, the player is awarded a gold brick. Collecting a certain number of gold bricks unlocks free rewards, such as a spigot that spews out studs. Gold bricks are also awarded when levels are completed and when a predefined number of studs is accumulated in a level; ninety-nine gold bricks are available. The vehicles represented by the minikits are displayed outside the cantina. As each vehicle is completed (all ten minikits collected), it becomes available for play in a bonus level.

Reception
Upon release, Lego Star Wars II was generally well received by critics, who praised its portrayal of the films' characters and events. Nintendo Power staff writer Chris Shepperd claimed that "he adorable LEGO adaptations also led to some hilarious story moments: the 'I am your father' scene from The Empire Strikes Back is priceless". Reviewers from GameSpy, 1UP.com, GameSpot, IGN, and PlayStation: The Official Magazine offered similar opinions. Shepperd and Variety's Ben Fritz called the game "adorable". In reviews of the Xbox 360 version, Official Xbox Magazine praised the game's "off-kilter humor", and Electronic Gaming Monthly stated that "ou have to give credit to the brilliant blockhead who forced this awesome yet fundamentally bizarro idea on LucasArts."

The game was praised as a result of reviewers' preference of the original trilogy over the prequel trilogy. Andrew Reiner of Game Informer said that "comparing to the films in the original trilogy is similar to comparing Jar Jar Binks to Han Solo". Shepperd praised the level design of Lego Star Wars II, and called its predecessor's environments "sterile". These views were echoed by reviewers from 1UP.com, Variety, GameSpot, GameSpy, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (for the PlayStation 2), and BusinessWeek.

Critics were divided on the game's level of difficulty. Fritz claimed that, though Lego Star Wars II provided only a "short journey", it was "loads of fun". GameSpot's Ryan Davis estimated that it could be completed in six hours, but praised its bonus content. GameSpy and 1UP.com's reviewers thought similarly. A review by USA Today's Brett Molina claimed that "he game's difficulty is balanced well enough so kids won't feel too frustrated while older gamers will still find a solid challenge" and gave the game an overall score of 8 out of 10. Official Xbox Magazine's review praised its "weird puzzles". IGN's Jeremy Dunham and Reiner were more critical of the perceived low difficulty.

Critics disliked the game's Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions. Davis believed that the Game Boy Advance version could be completed in two hours. GameSpy staff writer Phil Theobald bemoaned this version's poor controls, easy levels and vehicle-piloting sections. He concluded that "for goodness sake, buy one of the console versions". Theobald, Davis, and IGN's Craig Harris criticized the high number of glitches in the DS version.


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