...but first, a note about my location. I am on the bus to work. The bus seems to have broken down in some way, and I believe it's the result of driving over a traffic cone. I'm hoping we'll be moving soon, though.
We're pulled over on the side of route 378, just across the mountain and into Saucon Valley. Fortunately, though, we've broken down near an open wireless access point. I don't know what it is, though it's probably Keystone Automotive Industries. The ssid is SSID068, which is no help.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand: I sent back Lego Star Wars this morning. It was the last game on my GameFly subscription, which I have now cancelled. If I had started playing Lego Star Wars before cancelling, though, I would have held off until I finished it. It is totally superb.
It is probably the best Star Wars game I have ever played, and is more fun than you might imagine. The visuals are fantastic. Everything looks very true to the films, but it's nearly all constructed of Legos. The characters are minifigures, as are the enemies. My Jedi characters use the Force to cause broken bricks to re-assemble into staircases or machinery. R2-D2 plugs a little Lego switch into little Lego panels to open doors. Instead of coins, I collect studs (one-stud round Legos).
The gameplay is a lot of fun, though there are a few flaws. The camera is fixed, which is sometimes not helpful. The perspective is sometimes a little awkward, and I find myself walking off ledges more often than I should. I can't think of any other real systematic problems beyond those two, though, and they're really not horrible.
The game has a few other unfun parts, though. It encompasses the entire new trilogy, from the ambush on the Trade Federation ship to the battle between Anakin and Obi-Wan. This means it includes The Dreaded Pod Race. The Pod Race is destined to become the new Hoth. Every Star Wars game is destined to include it, presumably because (a) everyone rememebrs it from the movie and (b) it's a change of pace from whatever else might be going on in the game. Personally, I am not a big fan of racing getting randomly thrown into other games. I like it even less when it's pod racing. I died a lot, and the death animation is the same whether you lose all your hearts, crash into a wall, or fall into a pit. Ugh!
Once the pod race was out of the way, everything was piles of fun. (Well, the battle with Anakin would have been more fun if I was better at jumping.) Even though I've just focused on the negative, above, I really feel mostly positive about the game. It was just piles of fun, and (as a Lego Star Wars game must be) it is really heavy on collectables. Getting enough studs on a level gets you a piece of a Lego ship that you're trying to build throughout the whole game. Each level also has ten "minikit pieces" that form a little Lego vehicle for that level. Studs can be spent in the hub world to purchase unlockable characters (you unlock them by beating them in Story Mode) or to buy extras. Extras include things like "Invincible" but are mostly goofy things like "moustaches" and "silly blasters" and "purple." Purple makes your light sabre purple, which I suppose is a nod to Mace Windu (whom I didn't unlock).
Once it's down to $20, I'll pick up Lego Star Wars, and so should you.