I grew up on Star Wars. One of my first—and still best—birthday presents was the classic Kenner Millennium Falcon, along with a handful of action figures. I watched and rewatched the CBS broadcast of Star Wars so many times that I still remember when the commercial breaks started. The Lego Star Wars games bring me back to that joyous time of my youth.
I was an instant fan of the original Lego Star Wars’ clever combination of the respective eponymous franchises. And like its predecessor, Lego Star Wars II offers up another entertaining Lego-centric take on the events of the Star Wars movies. It’s enjoyable for both adult and child—at the same time, even, thanks to its kick-ass co-op mode.
All the classic Star Wars settings are in the game, from the Mos Eisley cantina to the second Death Star, but everything’s treated with a little more irreverence than is usual in Star Wars games. Whether it’s the look of shock on Greedo’s face when Han shoots first or the fact that Chewbacca’s melee attack physically rips the Lego arms off his opponent, I feel an almost absurd glee when I play this game.
Game-wise, LSWII is virtually identical to the first version. You can jump back and forth between the various episodes, but within each episode you need to complete the missions sequentially. You start most missions with two characters, chosen for you, then gain and lose party members as the mission progresses. After you complete each mission, you can go back with any two characters you’ve unlocked to complete the level 100 percent. Multiplayer consists of same-screen co-op.
I have only two complaints: The game’s five-hour duration is too short, and it requires a gamepad—it just doesn’t play well with a keyboard and mouse. The good news is that it works flawlessly with the kick-ass Xbox 360 controller for Windows.