First up, picture yourself in a galaxy far, far away. Then pair it up with the toy of choice from those halycon days of your youth (Action Man? - Tim) and you've got yourself a heady rose-tinted cocktail that'll reduce even the most ardent cynic to a gibbering nostalgic wreck.
Grumpy Meldrews that we are, we actually gave Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy something of a shoeing back in issue 43, complaining that for £50 it simply didn't strut enough next gen funky stuff for our liking.
The good news is that in return for your hard-earned wad of notes you're now getting a made-over Lego Star Wars (making its belated bow on 360) complete with all of the Original Trilogy's improvements - like melée attacks and being able to dodge blaster fire. There's even an entire new speeder chase mission starring delectable shapeshifting villain Zam Wesell.
The bad news for those seeking next gen thrillage of the like offered by Bioshock and Mass Effect is that Lego Star Wars is still very much a one-trick pony - but what a loveable pony those Travellers Tales trainers have reared. It bowled us over with its charm even in the Xbox days of yore, but on 360 it melds the series' traditionally simple yet absorbing gameplay with plastic fantastic looks to die for.
Let's get this straight; we're not just talking fresh-faced Mark Hamill pretty here, we're talking Princesses Leia and Amidala three-in-a-bed-sexy-times. Shiny high-res Lego bricks flying all over the shop, achingly cute characters and model animations plus sumptuous cut-scenes really make the 360 version worth picking up even if you've played the Xbox original to death - though the odd, frankly unnecessary, screen tearing issue blots the copybook a tad.
Over and above the platforming, puzzling and lightsabering action, the occasional vehicle segment helps keep things fresh, and it's a blast returning to missions to mop up bonuses with freshly unlocked characters. This game is a completist's dream, though whether the majority of gamers will really want to demolish/Force power every piece of destructible scenery in the game in order to unlock all 150+ characters is questionable.
We found the best japes actually emanated from free-play mode, where imaginations run riot - resulting in freakish mutants like Chewbacca's head atop Leia's bikini bod. A million pre-pubescent fantasies ruined forever.
A cheeky, nostalgic retrospective look at some of the most loved (and, in the case of the tosh that was Episodes 1-3, hated) movies of all time, this is a must have for any self-respecting Star Wars fanboy and probably the best platformer on 360 into the bargain. Bear in mind though; if you already own the Original Trilogy, you've played the stronger half of the saga...
A kiddy game at heart, that's now packing more bang for your buck.
- Cute 'n shiny
- A mighty gaming meal...
- ... but relatively samey