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The idea of a video game incarnation of the Star Wars universe rendered entirely in Lego was always going to be a popular idea. Ironically though, what became a series of Lego games from Travelers Tales had to survive a very ropey first release on the DS.
The initial Star Wars Lego The Original Trilogy DS crashed in a few places as well as getting players stuck in the scenery. Star Wars Lego The Complete Saga DS solved these niggles and set the stage for Lego Batman DS and Lego Indiana Jones DS.
Action adventure games are enjoyed for two reasons. They provide a variety of fast action encounters where you are fighting, fleeing or evading some enemy. They also provide a large world in which to explore and adventure. This exploration is usually driven by some particular plot-tension introduced early in the game that you must resolve.
As you adventure through the world, you encounter the action sequences through encounters with enemies and general hazards. Success in these encounters opens up more of the world to explore and provide new equipment.
As with the other Lego adventure games, players work their way through a series of puzzle and henchmen brawls before confronting an end level boss. The heroes, bad guys and story all take their cue from the Star Wars universe. Not only that but cut scenes provide more than a nod to Spielberg's filmic stylings.
Most levels revolve around using Star Wars character's different abilities to unlock doors, circumvent poisonous gas and generally foil the Empire. Although in miniature and not as expansive, there are quite a few similarities here to the Zelda games.
Players are attracted to Lego Star Wars for the combination of these two already strong brands. The simple joy of watching a living breathing Lego Luke, Han or Bobafet running around a Lego world is something to behold. Put this on a handheld machine and add the ability to build a variety of Lego constructions is then the icing on the cake.
The game goes on to provide both set piece and incidental experiences that prove both its depth and attention to detail. From the story boarded narrative to the familiarity of each and every Lego piece encountered, there is plenty to get the gaming juices going.
As the player progresses, they can unlock different playable characters and Lego style add-ons. This, along with the hunt to collect every last brick, adds to the games longevity. To get through the main game will take most people a good fifteen hours.
Not only that but the first completion opens new characters and challenges that must be completed on repeated play throughs to gain access to every character and area.
Players short on time may find the lack of mid-level save points a little frustrating, although the DS's sleep function alleviates this somewhat.
Very young gamers will be attracted to the brands involved, which regardless of their age will have worked their way into their psyche. However, the nature of the subject matter means that a certain amount of hitting, light-sabering and shooting is inevitable. This is never gratuitous - particularly as the Lego characters don't bleed (or even die) but simply fall apart.
The console version of the Lego games (Wii, PS2, PS3 and 360) make it easier for players of mixed abilities to collaborate. Our kids enjoyed this collaboration and ended up preferring the Wii version, before graduating onto the handheld DS game (which they often played late at night hidden under their duvets.
Intermediate and older players should get on well with Lego Star Wars and are well served via the simple D-Pad and touch screen controls. Those that already enjoy the Star Wars films and Lego are the ideal market for the game, although this is not a prerequisite.
Experts are most likely to take up the challenge of collecting every Lego brick in the game and unlocking all manner of character combinations. They will want to avoid the buggy Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy DS in favour of the fixed Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga DS.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: