With two successful titles, Lego Star Wars, and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy under their belt, what could Traveler’s Tales and LucasArts have in store for fans now? It certainly couldn’t be another Star Wars game, after all both trilogies have already been exhausted. Imagine my surprise when I found out what was next on the list. This is Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga.

I have to admit that after playing Lego Star Wars and its sequel Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy, I was not looking forward to playing Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. I was all set to completely bash this game. The main reason for this is that Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is just the first two games repackaged. That of course isn’t completely true. These games are not just to discs stuffed into new packaging, as I expected. They have actually been combined into one full game, making the title quite proper. Traveler’s Tales and LucasArts seem to have gone through a lot of trouble to make a definitive edition of the original two games. So you may be asking what’s new, if I already own the original two, why should I buy this? It is a fair question, and this time around we will talk more about the differences in this version compared to the original two, otherwise we’ll just be rehashing everything we’ve already talked about.

First thing of note is that the graphics seem to have been improved for all levels especially, the first three episodes which come from a much older game. The colors seem much brighter and there certainly several more graphics options that you can turn on and off. Turning on all these extra settings, such as, FSAA, a form of anti aliasing, shadow, bloom, and speed blur improve the look of the game for sure. There is also a setting called enhanced graphics, but I couldn’t figure out what exactly it did. Some research suggested that it might be some type of automatic settings, as it has an effect on FSAA, disabling it. The fact that it disables FSAA, could also be some kind of bug according to some forms I read.

Some of the games cut scenes, seem to have been enhanced or completely replaced. I’m not quite sure. Sometimes you’ll just notice subtle differences, while other times you’ll find yourself thinking; this wasn’t here before. Sometimes, I wondered if I was just imagining it, but I don’t think so.

The Xbox 360 controller is finally recognized properly. In controller settings you will now see color and letter designations. This is certainly an improvement compared to the previous games that indicated which button numbers to press. Interestingly enough controller settings seem to take a small step back in this title. If you’re using a wireless controller and failed to turn it on before launching the game, the game will not detect it unless you go into controller settings and select change device. It’s a minor inconvenience if you had to step away from your game for a few minutes and returned to find the controller has turned itself off.

The levels of the first three movies have not been altered very much. If you are playing this one shortly after playing the original Lego Star Wars then you may notice key differences but, it’s not too obvious. One big difference you’ll notice for sure is that the Clone Wars levels now contain a full six chapters. You may remember I mentioned that the Clone Wars part of the original game seemed to start late into the movie. The Complete Saga contains a deleted level from the original game, where you pursue a bounty hunter who was just tried to kill Senator Armidala. In my opinion this actually does make the game feel more complete.

Another example of a minor change, is when you attempt to take back the palace on Naboo. Early in the level there is a vehicle that can only be blown up in the original game, but in Lego Star Wars Saga you can now get in the vehicle and drive it around the level for a short time. There are other small changes too, like characters being able to build things in a few areas that previously only a Jedi could.

The Mos Eisley Cantina, returns as the main hub for the game. Of course it has been modified to accommodate all six movies now. I think this is one of the best versions too. Dexter’s Diner, from the first game felt a bit out of place, as it was an unfamiliar area to the Star Wars lore. Mos Eisley Cantina was a much better fit in Lego Star Wars II. It was a bit large though, and you had to wander around to find the movie and chapter you wanted to continue. The funny part was that the hub in the game and in this one, look different than the Cantina in the game’s level. In this game though, the Cantina hub has a nice design. All the doors leading to the different movies are lined up right next to each other, and the chapter doors inside the rooms are also lined up nice and close. This saves a lot of walking time just to get to certain levels.

In the hub, you can still find and spend extra studs, the games currency, at the bar. You can still buy hints, extra characters, and other funny things. The character generator can also be found here, as well. It’s been enhanced a little bit, allowing you to change more than just the tops and bottoms of characters. Now you can pick specific heads, capes, torsos, legs, and possibly more. The names can be randomly created with a simple button press.

Since the levels really haven’t changed much, disguises are back again and work just the same. You pull a lever and a storm trooper’s helmet is lowered down on to your character’s head. You need to do this in order to open certain doors, it’s a neat idea inspired by the first movie. It can be slightly annoying if the lever to get the helmet and the door are quite far apart, because the helmets are fragile and if you get shot you will lose it.

Minikits and collectibles are back too, after all what would you do without them. This of course means that the parking lot is also back. Exiting the Cantina, you can view the vehicles you have obtained by collecting all ten pieces of a minikit in a level.

The biggest change in Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga, is in its vehicle-based levels. More specifically the vehicle levels from the first game, Lego Star Wars. Some of these early levels are still on rails, meaning that you don’t have much control over the forward momentum, and that if you miss something important, like a target you may have no option but to crash. With that being said they have been enhanced quite a bit. The pod race, for example has been completely redone to the point that it almost feels too easy. In the original game, you had to beat each lap by getting in under a specific time. In this version it seems all you have to do is beat all the remaining racers in the final lap. As far as I could tell the first two laps didn’t matter at all.

The level called Gunship Cavalry from Episode II, is a good showcase of the level redesign, taking it off rails. The level will look familiar. It hasn’t changed so much that it’s completely new, but the control of your ship is far different. In the first game you are stuck just moving forward, blasting at everything in sight, and moving left and right, trying to avoid obstacles before it was too late. The new version gives you much more control. You can now turn around and go back the way you came or just go left and right if you need to, it is a much different experience. There is still a tiny bit of constant movement, but now it is in the direction that your ship is pointing instead of constantly moving towards the end of the level. The other big change here is how you must get through some obstacles. Originally it was all about just blasting everything in front of you before it was too late. There are times now that you must hook mines and drag them to certain targets in order to open laser gates that block your way. I did like the new approach, but I had not realized how different it was right away. I did not realize I needed to drag mines around to targets to progress. It was an annoying moment. Changes to the rest of the vehicle based missions, seem to be cosmetic only.

Bounty Hunter Pursuit, the first chapter of the Clone Wars, is perhaps the most interesting, if only for the fact that it was missing from the original game. I suspect this is not the original version of the deleted level either, but what we get in this game is pretty cool. It plays a lot like Gunship Cavalry, including dragging mines into certain targets to destroy laser barriers. The setting this time around is the city, which you fly through. You sometimes get trapped at the top of certain buildings by the bounty Hunter you’re pursuing. To escape you hook conveniently placed mines and drag them into the generators powering the grids. It’s nothing new and actually comes before Gunship Cavalry, but it is interesting and fun.

The bounty hunter missions have doubled in this game. By unlocking Jabba the Hutt’s door, you get twenty bounty hunting missions from Jabba. As you might have guessed ten are new, and ten are repeats from Lego Star Wars II. The door is unlocked when you complete all the story missions, and buy all the bounty hunters. The location of the door has also changed. Now you must exit the Cantina in order to find the door.

Free play mode also returns. As always it allows you to explore the levels deeper than before, switching through all your unlocked characters to get to places blocked off to you in story mode. There is also a new mode called the challenge mode. The object of the new mode seems to be to collect tan blue minikits under a certain amount of time. I could not figure out if the blue kits were useful for anything else past the challenge.

As with the previous game, once you complete an episode you have access to another door. This door leads to some bonus levels. The bonus levels here are character bonus and minikits bonus. These are pretty simple beat the clock levels. You must collect the assigned amount of studs as quickly as possible before the clock runs out. The more time remaining the better. Finally we have super story mode. In this one you must complete all the chapters within a certain amount of time.

Now let’s talk about some of the stuff that makes Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga so cool. There is one more set of levels to be found in this game. These levels are why I thought of it as the definitive edition. Two of the levels are the original levels from Lego Star Wars that have been modified in this game. If you wanted to try the original pod racer level, you can, because it is here just like it was in the original game. This is true, also for Gunship Cavalry. If you wanted to try the original on rails version that I talked about, you can find it right in the bonus room.

There is also another deleted vehicle level, called Anakin’s flight. One neat thing about it is that it comes complete with the cut scenes to fully represent its place in the story. I have no idea if it’s been modified at all from its original design, but I suspect it has. It’s cool to see either way. The level itself plays very much like Bounty Hunter Pursuit, or Gunship Cavalry.

Bonus level A New Hope, from the original Lego Star Wars is also here. It is need to see it wasn’t tossed away or forgotten, just for being a small bonus level.

Also here is something called Lego City and New Town. I’m not fully sure what the point of these two are, but they’re fun to run around in. I think the objective might be to smash as much as possible, as quickly as you can, because there is a clock running the entire time you’re playing.

Obviously Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures was just around the corner when this game was released. Indiana Jones is a bonus playable character. I did notice that he plays a bit different from his actual game. There is also a trailer that you can watch for the upcoming game too.

There is also a section called The Two Player Arcade. This is another cool little section, put aside for just you and a friend. It has about seven modes, though truthfully there are only three. This is because some of the modes are repeated with just higher goals. With each of these modes you get to pick a location, type of mode, and the amount of points or rounds. The modes are dual, battle enemies, and collect studs.

Dual is just as it sounds. You are dropped into an arena of your choice with your opponent, and must battle it out against each other. Once you defeat your friend you score a point or complete a round. So for example, if you set your duel for five points you have to defeat your friend five times.

Battle enemies pits you against your friend in a different way. In this one you set the number of enemies to be defeated, the choices are ten, twenty-five, or fifty. You have to be careful here, when choosing the amount of points. Like I said, points are kind of like rounds, so if you select fifty enemies and ten points, you have to defeat fifty enemies ten times. Imagine if you set the points meter to fifty.

Then there is stud collection, which can be set to fifty thousand, a hundred thousand, or two hundred and fifty thousand. The first one to to collect the set amount of studs wins a point. The number of points for all these modes can be said to five, ten, twenty-five, fifty or even off. With point set to off, it appears you just keep playing until you decide to quit manually. I personally would be afraid to set it too high for some of these modes.

The Two Player Arcade is one area where the camera suffers in multiplayer. During story mode, free play mode, and many of the others you are meant to work together, which means that you stay close to each other. But, in the arcade you are working against each other and therefore may not always stick together. What happens is the camera backs up as far as it can, which does have a limitation to it. Once it zooms out to the maximum it just stops. You can’t move any further in the direction you are going unless your friend comes after you. This is one part of the game that would’ve benefited from split screen for each player.

In only one level, I suffered from Traveler’s Tales’ vsync issues. It was actually in the mission where you raise speeder bikes around. You are supposed to stand on the platform while the other character, a Jedi uses the forced to levitate the platform. Once he does this you are supposed to leap onto a fallen log. I could not leap onto the log no matter how many times I tried. If you come across this issue, try turning on vsync manually in your video card settings. It was disappointing to see a return after everything worked perfectly and Lego Star Wars II.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga is packed with content. Perhaps feeling that this would be the last Lego Star Wars game, Traveler’s Tales and LucasArts gave it their all. You have got all the content from the first two games, six bonus levels, twenty bounty hunter missions and loads of unlockables. With so much to do, you will be busy for hours. It is still a lot of fun, even after just playing the original two games. If you’re looking for some simple fun for yourself, for your kids, or for something to do with them, you can’t go wrong with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga.

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