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LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game (Game Boy Advance) Review

Star Wars games have graced almost every console in existence, and have filled nearly every feasible genre in that time; Racer, FPS, RPG – you name it Lucas Arts will have made a game about it. However, even with a universe as expansive as the Star Wars one things will eventually begin to get stale and new avenues will have to be sought after to prevent the franchise from drying up. Which is precisely where Lego comes in, or does it?

The game is a typical 2D-Isometric, Hack-And-Slash adventure with some lightsabres and Lego blocks thrown in the mix as well. It allows players to take control of some of the most recognisable characters from the Star Wars universe and whisk them through Episodes one, two and three. Each of the three episodes are split up into a total of 14 levels which are subsequently split into sub-levels with various objectives that must be fulfilled. At first whilst playing through Story Mode only a specific character can be used to work through each level, or a few specific characters in some cases. However once a level has been completed it can be played again at any time with any unlocked character in the Free Play Mode. There are 15 characters in total to be unlocked as player's progress through the game and earn money to buy them. The amount required to purchase a character varies greatly, from a couple of hundred for less interesting characters like droids to tens of thousands for legendary ones like Darth Vader himself.

Screenshot for LEGO  Star Wars: The Video Game on Game Boy Advance - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Star Wars fans will particularly love the possibilities that playing through each level with new characters provides. There is truly something quite special about finishing off Darth Maul in Episode one with Darth Vader or Count Dooku. Equally blasting your way through Episode 3 with Darth Maul and his dual-ended lightsabre is great fun as well. Characters are generally split up into three categories: Jedi/Sith, Droids and others like Padme and Jar-Jar Binks etc. Droids are rather terrible for combat, but can be useful for unlocking doors and such; equally characters like Padme aren't very handy for battling considering how difficult it is to aim her blaster in an isometric environment, but they have some plus points on certain levels. Generally though you're going to want to be playing through with a Jedi or a Sith lord as the advantages of having a lightsabre are numerous and of course it's just a whole lot more fun.

All characters have a default attack and jump move, with Jedi and Sith also having the ability to block/guard and a few characters can also super-jump, useful for gaining access to hard to reach places. On top of these basics each character also has a special signature move, for example Anakin can force-throw his lightsabre, Darth Maul can force-push and so on. Using these special moves (and blocking with a lightsabre) costs stamina, the level of which can be easily seen in the form of a blue bar under the on-screen health icons. The bar gradually fills itself back up when no special moves are being used or it can be filled by picking up shiny blue holograms that appear now and then after killing enemies or destroying certain objects. On the subject of collecting items, we mentioned earlier money is important if you want to unlock new characters – luckily there is plenty of bounty to be found in most levels and almost all enemies will drop a couple of coins after you smash them into little Lego bricks, (one of the many little visual touches that take advantage of the Lego licence).

Screenshot for LEGO  Star Wars: The Video Game on Game Boy Advance - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Characters aren't the only things to be unlocked either; if you manage to find 5 death star plans on a level, you will be granted access to a secret-code by none other than Yoda himself for use in future levels. Each of these codes does something different and many are quite funky if a little gimmicky and pointless. We won't divulge too much in case anyone is looking into buying the game and wants some surprises left intact, but one example that is gained pretty early on is the ability to change the colour of your lightsabre (provided you're playing with a character that has one of course). It's little things like playing through a level with a red or purple-lightsabre welding Yoda that help give the game a feeling of depth beyond your average hack-'n-slash romp, certainly for Star Wars fans at least. Speaking of giving away details, those of you who have yet to see Episode 3 (at the time of writing that should be most of you) but are planning to see it there are a couple of minor spoilers included towards the end of the game. Nothing that will ruin the film for anyone, but still we thought it only fair to warn you.

Onto the customary elements of a game then, graphics and sound, to summarise; both are lovely. You're probably looking for a touch more detail than that though, so we shall try not to disappoint. In case you hadn't picked up on it already the game is a Star Wars one but everything has been constructed out of Lego, so that's characters, vehicles and various other objects and items that the player can interact with. What developers have done is to create hundreds of little animations that mix the best of both worlds; as mentioned when you kill an enemy he or she will burst into a pile off Lego bricks and fall to the floor. Platforms that are required to reach higher areas can be assembled by Jedi or Sith using the force, and will construct out of Lego parts right in front of your eyes. All of these little graphical touches look great considering it's on a GBA. The only negative point in the visual department is the odd touch of slow down here and there. This mainly occurs when there are a large number of enemies on screen and generally doesn't last too long if you dispatch them quickly enough, so it's not an end-of-world situation by any means but a tad off putting.

Screenshot for LEGO  Star Wars: The Video Game on Game Boy Advance - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

As you might expect with a Star Wars game the soundtrack including Imperial March and the timeless theme tune hasn't changed a great deal. Somehow, despite the fact you are bound to have heard all the tunes a hundred times before they still sound fresh and new, never getting tiresome or intrusive. Quite an impressive feat to say the least and certainly helps add to the atmosphere that no Star Wars games could do previously.

Screenshot for LEGO  Star Wars: The Video Game on Game Boy Advance- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Great fun battling from an isometric perspective, especially with lightsabres.

Graphics

Impressive graphics with a surplus of swish animations and special effects; looks just how you would want a Star Wars game made of Lego to look on the GBA.

Sound

Classic tunes all present and accounted for, sound effects straight from the movies and all faithfully realised.

Value

Fairly long main adventure and then plenty of unlockable characters and cheat codes to obtain. Not to mention the fun you can have going back through earlier levels with your favourite character.

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Good - Bronze Award

About this score
Rated 7 out of 10

A very pleasant surprise this one, we certainly weren't expecting to be this game to be much more than a gimmick to cash-in on the new film but we thankfully we have been proved wrong. Star Wars fans will definitely want to pick this one up.

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08.05.2005

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Developer

Giant

Publisher

Eidos

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (6 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

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Nice review Karn. I'm not really interested in GBA games, but this certainly seems like a blast.

Might pick up the Xbox version though...

Cheers Rob, I've heard the home console versions are even better, so go for it. :-D


Cubed3 Staff < Retro Editor :: Previews Editor >

After hearing you talk about this in school, I was waiting for the review, good job and looks like an amazing game, if the console ones are better than its gonna be a blast.

Hello!

This game was awesome on the PC at GSL, so will have to buy both versions if I can get them cheap. And need to pick up the DS version of Ep 3, too much Star Wars!

You can never have to much Star Wars, Sharpy!

Bring on Episode 3, going to see it on my Birthday. :-D


Cubed3 Staff < Retro Editor :: Previews Editor >

A bit of a nice surprise there! I too was expecting a cruddy cash in. Sure, I still won't pick this game up (after all it got a 7.0 not a 9.0) but at least people who do buy the game aren't getting ripped off!

Now on twitter, predicting celebrity death headlines! @thedaytheydie

Might be getting this now, thanks Spy! :-D

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

And it's also good to see the GBA version's sales are on the up-and-up, rather than just being ignored in favour of the other home versions...

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

Might be getting this now, thanks Spy!

No problemo, glad to hear the review has helped someone. :-D

And it's also good to see the GBA version's sales are on the up-and-up, rather than just being ignored in favour of the other home versions...

Ooh lovely, hadn't heard anything about sales to be honest, glad to hear it's not being completely overlooked! :Smilie


Cubed3 Staff < Retro Editor :: Previews Editor >

I prefer the console version, but this one is OK, though it doesnt appear to have as much parody.

"We destroyed the Taj Mahal?!" FMA: The Abridged series (Episode 4)

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