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Videogames-To-Flix #45

12.20.2007

VIDEOGAMES-TO-FLIX is a JoBlo.com column showcasing reviews of videogame translations of Hollywood films (or games soon-to-become Hollywood movies). With both industries getting closer and closer, and videogames, in general, getting so much more popular, you knew it was just a matter of time before we hit that stuff!

LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA

BUY THIS GAME AT AMAZON.COM NOW!!!

Developer: Traveller's Tales
Publisher: LucasArts
Systems: XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, and DS

INTRODUCTION:

If you enjoyed last year's installment of LEGO STAR WARS, you'll have fun with LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA. LEGO STAR WARS: THE COMPLETE SAGA combines LEGO STAR WARS I & II into one super LEGO package for fans of all ages. Now you can play an abridged version of the STAR WARS story from start to finish with LEGOs. Its kind of like playing with real LEGOs but without worrying about color coordination. While it is more of a compilation than a sequel, it adds to the mix new online functionality, new levels, an arcade mode, and HD graphics. This review is of the XBOX 360 version. Not all of the new features are available on the other versions.

GAMEPLAY:

Since I reviewed LEGO STAR WARS II last year, not a whole lot has changed with the gameplay of this game. A power-up orb has been added, online capabilities have been integrated, and new collectibles are there, too. While these are interesting additions, none fix the issues that pre-existed in LEGO STAR WARS I or II. In fact, I found that the new online capabilities exacerbated some problems. The load time to connect players is understandable and occurs in every co-op game; however, because the levels in this game are so small, the loading delays so frequently that it becomes a distraction. I had more fun playing co-op locally or solo play than playing online co-op.

The new arcade gametype is an interesting mini-game but becomes so repetitive that it loses charm quickly. It allows friends to square of and prove who's a better and more efficient button masher. That's just about all it does. It would have been nice for this mode to have included more than two players and perhaps a team battle.

The challenges and joy of this gameplay have not changed enough from last year to change my opinion. My score on gameplay from last year is staying consistent. This is pretty much the same game with minor additions that don't affect any of the major flaws. Thankfully, graphical upgrades bump of the rest of the experience.

Gameplay: 6.3/10

GRAPHICS:

Last year I wrote the following: "While Iím sure there are advanced elements happening behind the scenes, LEGO STAR WARS II: THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY is graphically inferior to the best of XBOX." With this new version, LEGO STAR WARS has made a graphical leap worth cheering for. Now they've made a game that fits in with the rest of the offerings on XBOX 360.

While character design hasn't changed that much, the scenery and details have made drastic advances. This game takes advantage of the next gen hardware; unlike its predecessor, the LEGO guys aren't playing in PlayStation 2 settings. The only real issues that arise are some stuttering cut scenes. I couldn't verify if this is an issue was just with my disc or with everyone. Nevertheless, my console would freeze in short spurts between action and cut scenes. This was an annoyance but not something to cry over.

Unlike gameplay, the graphics of LEGO STAR WARS are enough to garner a new score. They are worthy of your 80-inch HD flat panel and have left your PS2 in the dust, thankfully.

Graphics: 8.4/10

SOUND:

Don't break what isn't broken. That motto is perfect for gaming sequels and well used here. My opinion from last year stands: "the audio in this game is fantastic." The sound effects are lifted directly from the movies and integrate into the this game perfectly. The score does just the same and sells the experience. If game developers want to insure that a game feels like the licensed product it is based off of, getting the sound right is essential. Once again, LEGO STAR WARS is leading the way.

Sound: 9.5/10

FINAL VERDICT:

For fans of LEGO STAR WARS II, this game might seem like a grab for more cash. The gameplay upgrades aren't earth-shattering; instead, this is probably a much better value for fans that missed out on LEGO STAR WARS I or people looking to pad their achievements. The experience is much of the same as before - that goes for the good as well as the bad. If you haven't completed LEGO STAR WARS previously, give this upgrade a shot. If you want to see the upgraded graphics and test out the new online modes, then go for it. Otherwise, maybe wait a year or two for nostalgia to kick in.

Final Verdict: 8.1/10

STATUS OF THE MOVIE:

Still nothing new from the new TV series that are being worked on. Hype is is in full gear for the new INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL... too bad Connery wasn't included. I think they still might slip him in as a cameo (fingers crossed).

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