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Old 2nd April 2011, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lego Star Wars III - The Clone Wars (mini review)

Lego Star Wars (LSW) has released the 3rd instalment in the franchise.

I picked up a copy of Lego Star Wars III the Clone Wars for my son during the week. Fired it up last night to have a quick run with him. The software update from the PS3 network on load is a reasonable 300Mb.

I played a few levels with my son last night, and the following is a mini-review of my first impressions.

The game has some great humour in the storyline and approach to game play. Some of the more mature concepts have been beautifully worked around to make the game enjoyable for the younger audience but still keeping it true to the greater story.

My lad who is 8 could see the silliness and humour. Things like Ice Creams being handed out round the arena at the battle of Geonosis provided a humorous inclusion to the game.

The game is a wonderful next step up from the previous two episodes on the PS2, the graphics is fresh and clean, and makes good use of the added capability of the PS3.

Game controls are familiar to anyone who has played the previous two, and are easy for kids and older gamers alike.

There are many new things to do, and new capabilities introduced.

More vehicles can be used. A great inclusion is more things to ride/shoot with. Enemy vehicles can often be taken over (and in some circumstances need to be taken over) in the game play, this includes items like cannons.

Story flow has been improved significantly. Levels which include piloting vehicles feel much better than previous versions. Vehicle levels where there is the need to to fly a vehicle to complete tasks or mover around a level are no longer stand alone as they also include the need to disembark to complete tasks on foot. This provides a much better feeling to the storyline.

A lot of the levels feel big and open in comparison with the guided corridor that existed in previous games. This allows for a more open game play, and has been assisted greatly by the new addition in two player gaming.

Two player gaming has been given a HUGE boost. When characters get two far away from each other to fit into the screen the screen automatically splits and allows each player to continue what they were doing without the issues that this would cause in previous LSW games. The only downside of this is trying to find the other player when you want/need to meet up again, as there is no indicator as to which direction they are on the map.

Having only worked through a few levels, the unlocking of characters and capabilities seems to be more progressive and better designed.

Level design is good, with an appealing mixture of things to fight, destroy and puzzles to solve. There is much better use of 3 dimensions than has occurred in the past and it feels a lot more natural than previous LSW games.

The game feels "bigger" and is on a more grand style than the previous two versions of LSW.

In the short play I have had there is only two annoyancs. The first that is the inability to save game play mid level. This means that levels need to be completed/abandoned or the PS3 left on if kids have not completed what can be long levels in the time allowed. The second is that the split screen can be confusing as it splits in the direction you are travelling in so your split is not always on the same side. This takes concentration and can be confusing when you get distracted and bring your attention back to the game.

Graphics 5/5
Story 5/5
Game play 4.5/5
Added Humour +1 bonus.

There are some additional functions that I have yet to look at and will update when I get the chance.

For those that like Lego, or Star Wars or liked the originals, this is a must buy.

With a retail price of AUD$78 I believe it is very good value.

We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. - Carl Sagan
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