Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
Lego Star Wars: The Video Game is a video game based on the Star Wars themed toy line by the Lego Group and the first game in TT Games' Lego videogame franchise. It is a video game adaptation of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), with a bonus segment from A New Hope (1977). Lego Star Wars was first released on April 5, 2005, a full month before Revenge of the Sith premiered. It is the only Lego game from TT Games to be rated E by the ESRB for consoles (handheld version of TT's Lego Games may have an E rating) while other Lego games 2015-onward are E-10.
It was developed by Traveller's Tales for the Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 video game consoles and Microsoft Windows personal computers, with Griptonite Games developing the Nintendo Game Boy Advance version. These initial versions were published in April 2005. A Mac version, developed by Aspyr, was released in August 2005. A Nintendo GameCube version of the game was released on October 26, 2005. All versions were published by Eidos Interactive and LucasArts.
Lego Star Wars was billed as a kids' game and received the "Game of the Year" award from Kidzworld.com It received generally positive reviews (PC version Metacritic score was 77) and peaked at the top of the UK charts during early May 2005. It later lost the spot to the official game of Episode III but maintained a consistently high chart position throughout the month.
Its sequel, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, was released in September 2006, while a compilation, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga was released in November 2007 and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars was released in March 2011.
Gameplay in Lego Star Wars is geared towards family play, and as such does not feature a game over scenario. Given a specific set of characters in each scenario, based on a scene from each of the movies, up to two players can control them, using their different abilities. By walking up to another friendly character, the player can switch control over to that character, which is necessary for using some of their abilities to complete puzzles. Studs can be found by finding them, smashing or using the force on certain objects, or defeating enemies. Players will lose studs however if their character is destroyed (as opposed to losing lives). These studs can be spent on unlocking new characters for Free Play mode. Certain segments of the game feature players controlling spaceships flying on a flat plane. There are also several minikit canisters hidden throughout each level that, when collected, come together to form a vehicle. Completing certain requirements, such as collecting enough studs in a level, earns Golden Bricks that can be traded for cheats.
When the player first starts the game, the player must first complete Chapter I of The Phantom Menace ("Negotiations"). However, once that chapter is completed, the player may choose to play levels from the other two movies, able to play any unlocked levels in their desired order. The levels available are:
- Episode 1: Negotiations - Trade Federation; Ivasion of Naboo - Naboo jungle; Escape from Naboo - Theed Palace; Mos Espa Podrace - Mos Espa Raceway; Retake Theed Palce - Theed Palace; Darth Maul - Theed Palace.
- Episode 2: Discovery on Kamino - Kamio; Droid Factory - Geonsis Droid Factory; Jedi battle - Geonosis battle arena; Gunship calvalry - Geonosis arena outskirts; Count Dooku - outskirts.
- Episode 3: Battle over Coruscant – Hyperspace over Coruscant; Chancellor in peril – Invisible Hand, General Grievous – Utapau, Defence of Kashyyyk – Kashyyyk, Ruin of the Jedi – Coruscant, Darth Vader – Mustafar.
Completing all the game's levels with full stud bars will unlock an additional chapter based on the opening scene of A New Hope, which features a 'prototype' Darth Vader (who uses Anakin's fighting style) and a Stormtrooper (who skips when he runs. The 'skip', featured on all clones, is removed in the next game).
The gameplay music is the same music from the Star Wars movies, but since the game was released before Episode 3, music from the original trilogy (1977, 1980 and 1983) was used. For example, the alternate soundtrack for the "Binary Sunset" was used in the second chapter of episode 3, and "The Battle of Yavin" was used in chapters 1 and 3. In the complete saga, they would become the soundtrack from episode 3 itself.
Lego Star Wars contains a total of 59 playable characters for LEGO Star Wars, 56 in the GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and PC versions. The three missing are Gungan, Tusken Raider, and STAP, playable in the GBA version though The Gungan and STAP are only available through cheat codes. The playable characters are modelled like actual Lego parts and on death, they fall to pieces and also lose studs. There are a wide variety of characters included in the game, all of which are unlocked by completing levels or by purchasing them at Dexter's Diner. Characters are divided into groups according to certain skills. For instance, Jedi and Sith can double-jump, use lightsabers, and have control of the force, which they can use to activate or lift Lego objects or defeat certain enemies. Darth Maul has a double-ended lightsaber which improves his defence from laser fire. Jar Jar Binks, General Grievous and his bodyguard have the super jump, which allows them to reach obstacles that the Jedi and Sith can't jump to. Characters like Padmé Amidala and clone troopers who carry blasters have the ability to grapple to reach higher places. Droids, while not being armed, can travel through the game without being intentionally attacked by enemy characters also, protocol droids and astromech droids can open special doors, then there are players like Boba Fett and Young Anakin that can fit in tight places. Every character, other than the PK Droid and Gonk Droid (whose only ability is that they are never attacked by enemies) have a special ability. However, an almost unknown Chancellor Palpatine can use the dark force.
Unlocked characters can be imported into the game's sequel, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, as an extra called "use old save", which costs 250,000 Lego Studs, and be used in its character creator function.
Because the game is based on the Prequel trilogy (1999, 2002, 2005), Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and other characters from the original Star Wars trilogy (1977,1980 and 1983) are not shown, appearing in Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. However, if you unlock the last level (an episode 4 preview), Darth Vader, a stormtrooper, a rebel trooper and Princess Leia become available.
Once a level has been cleared in Story Mode, the player may play through that level again in Free Play Mode. In this mode, players can choose to play through the level with their choice of unlocked characters (with the computer randomly selecting other characters based on their abilities.) At any point, the player can rotate between each of the chosen characters instantly, to access areas not accessible during the Story Mode to obtain hidden extras. No story cutscenes appear during this mode.
Dexter's Diner is the area from which the player chooses what level to enter, or can enter the Parking Lot to view any vehicles whose parts they have found and pieced together. The parts to these vehicles are contained in 10 mini-kit canisters which are hidden throughout each level. Battles often take place between canon-good and canon-evil characters, such as Jedi and Sith, respectively, in the Parking Lot as well. At the diner counter, the player may purchase, or enter codes to unlock extras in exchange for Lego studs they have collected by playing through the levels.
Publisher Giant Interactive Entertainment came up with the concept of a game using Lego figures in 2003 and approached Lucasfilm who saw the potential of such a title. Developer Traveller's Tales, who had previously worked on Crash Bandicoot and Sonic the Hedgehog games were commissioned as game designers.
Heading the project were James Cunliffe (lead artist), Jeremy Pardon (lead animator) and John Hodskinson (lead programmer). Tools used to create the game were designed in-house. Lucasfilm provided assistance in various ways including the commissioning of new sound effects and music from their Skywalker Sound facility. The Lego company in Bilsund, Denmark also helped out.
Game Boy Advance version
The Game Boy Advance (GBA) version of Lego Star Wars has several differences, including fewer playable characters, devalued studs, fewer levels, only one player character on screen at a time, and cutscenes consist of still frames of the home console versions.
All lightsaber users are able to deflect blaster shots aimed at them and each character has their own style. They also are the only ones able to use the force to interact with undeployed platforms and switches. However, unlike other versions of the game, blaster shots can only be deflected if they are headed straight towards the player at the front, not the back or sides of the character. Blaster characters can charge a shot by holding the button, making it stronger and able to pass through several enemies. However, they don't have the shot deflecting abilities of Jedi. The game has 15 playable characters that are unlocked through gameplay. These include Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin, Jar Jar Binks, a clone trooper, Darth Maul, Darth Vader, a battle droid, R2-D2, R4, Padme, and a Tusken raider. The game also has multiple cheat characters.
There were several levels that never made it into the game; which were 'Anakin's Flight' (set during Episode I, the player must pilot a Naboo Starfighter as Anakin destroys the Trade Federation Cruisers, 'Bounty Hunter Pursuit' (set during Episode II, the player controls Anakin and Obi-Wan as they pilot their speeders as they chase down Zam Wessel), 'Asteroid Dogfight (set again during Episode II, the player controls Obi-Wan in his starfighter as he escapes Jango Fett in the asteroids of Geonosis), 'Boga Chase' (set during Episode III, the player must control Obi-Wan as he rides on Boga to catch General Grievous as he attempts to escape on his wheel bike) and 'Palpatine Duel' (set again during Episode III, the player must control Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Saesee Tiin and Agen Kolar as they arrest the chancellor). The 5 levels were all deleted from the original Lego Star Wars game, but 'Anakin's Flight' and 'Bounty Hunter Pursuit' were incorporated into a bonus level and a main story level in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga respectively. They also appeared in the sequel game in the "Mos Eisley" level in a cinema part near the end (of that level). The other three levels were all deleted permanently, all for unknown reasons.
This game was released nearly two months before Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith on the Game Boy Advance. Another month later: on Xbox. In the first week of the game's release sales shot up high, possibly due to the fact that the basic plotline of Revenge of the Sith was in the game. To prevent inadvertent spoilers, most reviewers warned that this was the case in their reviews.
Reception and legacy
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Lego Star Wars was the thirteenth best-selling game of 2005. Figures released by The NPD Group show the PlayStation 2 version as the tenth best-selling single-platform title of 2005. The game's worldwide sales total exceeded 3.3 million copies in March 2006 and 6.7 million in May 2009.
It was one of the The Best-Selling PS2 Games with more than 1/5 of the copies sold on the PlayStation 2.
Lego Star Wars is credited with starting the Lego game series and revitalising the Lego brand. IGN rated the game 8 out of 10 saying, "If you're a parent, LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game should be at the top of your child's birthday list. It has everything a family-oriented title needs: it has personality, puzzles, cooperative modes, replay value, low violence, a lack of frustrating difficulty, and most importantly, it has Darth Vader. And that's what makes it enjoyable for adults too, because let's face it; Darth Vader makes everything better -- it's a fact."
- "Kidzworld's Top 10 Video Games of 2005". Kidzworld.com. Retrieved November 4, 2006.
- "LEGO Star Wars (pc 2005)". Metacritic. Retrieved March 9, 2008.
- "LEGO Star Wars II: Improving A Surprise Hit". IGN. March 1, 2006. Retrieved October 27, 2009.
- "The NPD Group Reports Annual 2005 U.S. Video Game Industry Retail Sales". The NPD Group. January 17, 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2009.
- "Lego and Star Wars Celebrate 10 Years Together!". Wired. May 2, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2010.
- "Star Wars Games Through the Years". Yahoo! Games. Retrieved October 26, 2010.
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game on Wookieepedia: a Star Wars wiki
- Lego Star Wars: The Video Game at MobyGames