Legos still rock my world

By Bill Hanley

Video games have wasted away a good portion of my life. I can’t say I am a better person for playing video games, or that I am a popular guy because of them. However, I can state that one game made me hate the world a little less.

Judging by my enjoyment of video games, you may have also guessed that I am a fan of “Star Wars.” You would have been correct until May 19, 1999. This is the date when I started hating George Lucas for ruining the coolest movies ever by releasing “The Phantom Menace.”

Honestly, I have been bitter for six years until some plastic toys from Denmark finally made “Star Wars” cool again. That’s right, “Lego Star Wars” made me stop hating George Lucas.

Instead of a game that attempts to expand on the “Star Wars” story line, Legos takes the gimmick approach and retells the movies only using Lego pieces. The graphics are amazing, and have a great unique look.

“Lego Star Wars” hits the vast majority of the movies, from “The Phantom Menace” all the way to “Revenge of the Sith.” Of course, that means watching the Lego version of Jar Jar Binks. Fortunately, this time it is much more enjoyable than watching him in theaters.

Jar Jar even comes in handy during the game. Actually, all the characters do. To beat “Lego Star Wars,” you must play as one of the several characters that are always on the screen. These characters switch out in accordance to the story line, so typically only three are on screen at any given time.

Pretty much all the characters that appear in the new trilogy of movies have some role in the game. It is definitely entertaining to see fifty or so Legos without thumbs and block heads that still manage to be recognizable.

Most of the game consists of puzzles that require a certain character’s abilities. Sometimes you need a Jedi to use the force to move boxes, or a droid to open a locked door. The rest of the time is filled with searching for hidden Lego pieces, short cut scenes emulating the high points of the movies, and kicking some butts with the Jedi.

“Lego Star Wars” is a simple game to beat, mainly because it was designed for kids. It does not take too long to play through the majority of it. Yet, all of the precious time is filled with action. Since the game is fairly easy, you will never run into frustrating dead-ends. “Lego Star Wars” moves along so fast that it only rarely seems to be a game intended for younger children.

Actually, I enjoyed the fact that this was a kid’s game. Every time I died, my character instantly came back to life. There is no long wait, or a screen shot that belittles me for failing to beat the game on my very first attempt.

The major fault of this game is the camera angles. There are a lot of times when the camera becomes a pain to deal with. The camera problem is at its worst in the two player corporative mode, when both players must fight to stay on screen at any given time.

The game retains all the good aspects of the movies, and replaces all the junk with inch-high toys from Denmark. In the end, this turns out to be an even mix of the movies and Legos. If you don’t believe how effective this is, then you will just have to play the game for yourself.

If you are a “Star Wars” fan, have your parents buy this game for a little brother or sister, and then steal it from them. “Lego Star Wars” will not be your favorite game of all time, but it is really cool for a couple of weeks or so.

Bill Hanley is a senior in LAS. His column appears on Tuesdays. He can be reached at

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