Lego Star Wars was a game that even rabidanti-game campaigner Jack 'Jack' Thompson couldn't complain about. If the impossibly cute characters didn't melt your heart then you probably didn't have one. And all this was achieved while being based on the more recent trilogy. They added personality to Phantom Menace, had inchhigh plastic models out-acting Hayden Christensen and even made Jar Jar Binks more likeable... if only by letting you smash him about with a lightsaber.
Now the original pre-CGI films are getting the treatment and the result is the ultimate gaming nostalgia trip. You'll love the unique experience of doing the Death Star run in your X-Wing IN LEGO or checking out the Mos Eisley Cantina IN LEGO... but coders Travellers Tales haven't just adapted the good stuff.
REVENGE OF THE BRICK
Most importantly you're able to 'build' more objects using your Force, so get ready to make plenty of ramps for C3P0 to do his thing or assemble an AT-ST, the two-legged Empire Death stalker, in which you can stomp around the landscape. There are a ton more vehicles as well as over 50 playable characters from the films to get hold of, each with special moves. Chewbacca, for instance, can rip the arms off enemies. In most games that guarantees an X-rated certificate. In Lego Star Wars 2 it guarantees a wink and a jig. And taking a tip from the mix-and match nature of Lego's creative play, you can now create your own characters by swapping around each of the nine parts that make up a figure. That's crazy talk.
Frankly only the soulless could fail to enjoy this - and moreso for the ability to play as Han Solo and Chewie - but we do have some concerns about the difference between the 360 and Xbox versions. From what we've seen so far the games will be pretty much identical, meaning that all-important graphical next genness isn't evident. Sure, there's only so much bump-mapping you can apply to pixel-modelled plastic, but there's a potential £20 price hike between Xbox and 360 to justify...
Should be another cracker to better the first - and it's all the more likable for shifting to the original trilogy. However, if the 360 version carries its usual 20 quid mark up, we're wondering whether it will be worth the extra cash for a carbon-copy game with near identical graphics. Definitive verdict? Soon.