Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
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|Lego Star Wars:|
The Video Game
European cover art for Lego Star Wars: The Video Game
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Lego Star Wars: The Video Game is a Lego-themed, action-adventure video game based on the Lego Star Wars line of toys, and the first installment in the Lego video game franchise developed by Traveller's Tales, which would develop all future Lego titles from that point on. It was first released on 29 March 2005, and is a video game adaptation of the Star Wars prequel trilogy: The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005), with a bonus segment from A New Hope (1977).
It is the only Traveller's Tales developed Lego title that was rated Everyone by the ESRB for consoles, with most subsequent handheld versions of Traveller's Tales LEGO video games receiving such a rating; while further console versions of Traveller's Tales LEGO video games received the Everyone 10+ rating.
It was developed by Traveller's Tales for the Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2 video game consoles, and Microsoft Windows personal computers, with Griptonite Games developing the Nintendo Game Boy Advance version. These initial versions were published in April 2005. A Mac version, developed by Aspyr, was released in August 2005. A Nintendo GameCube version of the game was released on 26 October 2005. All versions were published by Eidos Interactive and Giant Interactive Entertainment, with Star Wars assets licensed through LucasArts.
Gameplay in Lego Star Wars is geared towards family play, and does not feature a game-over scenario. Given a specific set of characters in each scenario, based on a scene from each of the movies, up to two players can control them, using their different abilities. By walking up to another friendly character, the player can switch control over to that character; this interaction is necessary in order to use another character's abilities to complete certain puzzles. Lego Studs, small coin-like collectibles which serve as the game's currency, can be collected by finding them, smashing or using the force on certain objects, or defeating enemies. Players also have a health meter consisting of four hearts that gets depleted if they get injured or shot at. When they lose all their hearts, their character is broken apart and they lose studs (as opposed to lives). These studs can be spent on unlocking new characters for Free Play mode, hints for playing the game, and cheats. Certain segments of the game feature players controlling spaceships flying on a flat plane. There are also several minikit canisters hidden throughout each level that, when collected, combine to form a vehicle.
When the player first starts the game, they must first complete Chapter I of The Phantom Menace ("Negotiations"). However, once that Chapter is completed, the player may choose to play any unlocked levels from the other two movies in their desired order.
Completing all the game's levels with full stud bars will unlock an additional chapter based on the opening scene of A New Hope, which features a 'prototype' Darth Vader, who uses Anakin's fighting style, and a Stormtrooper whose movements are identical to the Clone Troopers (both of these are remodeled in the next game).
The background music is the same music used in the Star Wars movies, but as the game was released before Episode III's soundtrack, music from the original trilogy (1977, 1980 and 1983) was used for that movie's levels. For instance, the alternate soundtrack for the "Binary Sunset" was used in the second Chapter of Episode III, while "The Battle of Endor I" was used in Chapter VI and "The Battle of Yavin" was used in Chapters I and III. In The Complete Saga, these tracks would later be removed and replaced with ones from Episode III.
Lego Star Wars contains a total of 59 playable characters for LEGO Star Wars; 56 in the GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and PC versions. The three missing are Gungan, Tusken Raider, and STAP, playable in the GBA version, though the Gungan and STAP are only available through cheat codes. The playable characters are modelled like actual Lego parts and, on dying, they fall to pieces and also lose studs. There is a wide variety of characters included in the game, all of which are unlocked by completing levels or by purchasing them at Dexter's Diner. Characters are divided into groups according to certain skills. For instance, Jedi and Sith can double-jump, use lightsabers, and have control of The Force, which they can use to activate or lift Lego objects or defeat certain enemies. Darth Maul has a double-ended lightsaber which improves his defence from laser fire. Jar Jar Binks, General Grievous and his bodyguard have the super-jump, which allows them to reach obstacles that the Jedi and Sith can not jump to. Characters like Padmé Amidala and clone troopers, who carry blasters, have the ability to grapple to reach higher places. Droids, while unarmed, can travel through the game without being intentionally attacked by enemy characters. Protocol droids and astromech droids can open special doors. Characters such as Boba Fett and Young Anakin can fit into tight places. Every character, other than the PK Droid and Gonk Droid (whose only ability is that they are never attacked by enemies) and Chancellor Palpatine, has a special ability.
Unlocked characters can be imported into the game's sequel, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, as an extra called "use old save", which costs 250,000 Lego Studs, and can be used in its character creator function.
Because the game is based on the Prequel Trilogy (1999, 2002, 2005), Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian and other characters from the original Star Wars Trilogy (1977, 1980 and 1983) are not shown, and appear in the sequel Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy. However, if the player unlocks the last level (an episode 4 preview), Darth Vader, a stormtrooper, a rebel trooper and Princess Leia become available. Original trilogy characters Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda, C-3PO, and R2-D2 are unlockable in the game since they appear in the prequel trilogy also.
Once a non-vehicle level has been cleared in Story Mode, the player may play through that level again in Free Play Mode. In this mode, players can choose to play through the level with their choice of unlocked characters randomly selected by the program based on their abilities. At any point, the player can rotate instantly between each of the chosen characters to access areas not accessible during the Story Mode and obtain hidden extras. No story cut scenes appear in this mode.
Dexter's Diner is the area where the player chooses what level to enter, or they can enter the Parking Lot to view any vehicles whose parts they have found and pieced together. The parts to these vehicles are contained in 10 mini-kit canisters which are hidden throughout each level. Battles often take place in the Parking Lot between canon-good and canon-evil characters, such as Jedi and Sith, respectively. At the diner counter, the player may purchase, or enter codes, to unlock extras in exchange for Lego studs they have collected by playing through the levels.
Game Boy Advance version
The Game Boy Advance version behaves differently than the console versions. It is played from an isometric perspective with only one player, who controls one of 15 playable characters through story scenarios across the prequel trilogy, battling enemies, completing objectives and getting from one place to another. The levels are not evenly divided across the three Episodes, with Episode II having the fewest levels. Each level is divided into multiple sections that serve as checkpoints should the player's character fall apart, and players are given a longer health meter that they must prevent from depleting to continue. Each character possesses a special ability that is constrained by a stamina meter not found in the console version. Players can also find Jawas in certain levels who can award the player health or stamina upgrades, as well as a maintenance droid that can save them once from death once at the price of currently collected studs in a level. All boss battles are primarily against villains with lightsabers, and call for heavy button mashing to win, especially when players can exclusively get caught in lightsaber blade locks that must be won to inflict extra damage. Other characters have different attack abilities that are not in the console versions, such as blaster-wielding characters able to fire charged shots and astromech droids being able to drop proton mines that would damage enemies on contact. Players are also encouraged to use other characters' abilities in free-play to discover secret areas and find Death Star plans, which replace minikits in the console version. At the end of each level, players are rewarded and ranked for how many enemies they defeated, how many blaster bolts they deflected, how many studs they collected and how many Death Star plans they found.
In 2003, Traveller's Tales started the work on the game with assistance from Lego Interactive, who would also publish the game. After The Lego Group left the gaming industry and closed down Lego Interactive in 2004, a small team of former Lego Interactive employees went on to found their own publishing company, Giant Interactive Entertainment, and would be able to publish all future Lego titles, including Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. After the huge success of the game, Traveller's Tales downright bought Giant, and renamed them to TT Games Publishing.
Reception and legacy
Lego Star Wars received generally positive reviews. The PC version received a score of 77/100 from Metacritic and the game maintained a consistently high position at the top of the UK charts in May 2005.
Lego Star Wars was the thirteenth best-selling game of 2005. Figures released by The NPD Group show the PlayStation 2 version as the tenth best-selling single-platform title of 2005. The game's worldwide sales total exceeded 3.3 million copies in March 2006 and 6.7 million in May 2009. In the United States, the game's Game Boy Advance version alone sold 580,000 copies and earned $17 million by August 2006. During the period between January 2000 and August 2006, it was the 49th highest-selling game launched for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable in that country.
The PlayStation 2 version of Lego Star Wars received a "Double Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 600,000 copies in the United Kingdom. By July 2006, the PlayStation 2 version had sold 1 million copies and earned $34 million in the United States alone. Next Generation ranked it as the 54th highest-selling game launched for the PlayStation 2, Xbox or GameCube between January 2000 and July 2006 in that country.
It was one of The Best-Selling PS2 Games with more than four-fifths of the copies sold on the PlayStation 2.
IGN rated the game 8 out of 10 saying, "If you're a parent, LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game should be at the top of your child's birthday list. It has everything a family-oriented title needs: it has personality, puzzles, cooperative modes, replay value, low violence, a lack of frustrating difficulty, and most importantly, it has Darth Vader. And that's what makes it enjoyable for adults too, because let's face it; Darth Vader makes everything better -- it's a fact."
The game's sequel, Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, was released in September 2006, while a compilation, Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, was released in November 2007 and Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars was released in March 2011. Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, based on the 2015 film of the same name, was released in June 2016.
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