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Lego Star Wars II
March 16, 2007 | Michael Wuerthele

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The first Star Wars computer game I ever played originally came on cassette on my Apple II (no e, +, or c nonsense, thank you very much). Fortunately, my Father sprung for the 5.25 floppy drive, or Iíd STILL be loading the game. Featuring an out of tune Star Wars main theme, and two types of Imperial star fighters Iíd try to manipulate into the crosshair with the paddles to blast, it was a game I played in the seventies and early eighties more than many other Star Wars computer games to follow. There were many Ė various platformers on the Super Nintendo, eponymous arcade ports to both my later acquired IIe and my trusty Mac SE, Dark Forces on my Powermac 6100, Shadows of the Empire and Rogue Squadron on various incarnations of Nintendo hardware, and finally my favorites X-wing and Tie Fighter during the dark Performa hardware days. The less said about Rebel Assault, Rebel Assault II, and prequel games the better. Rookie One? What kind of name is that?

When the Lego Star Wars II preview arrived at my humble moisture farm nearly thirty years after my first Star Wars gaming experience, recent abuse at the hands of shoddy Star Wars prequel games faded. The mass-media prequel era games just didnít cut it for me. It isnít the same as any other Star Wars game Iíve played on my Macintosh, thatís for sure. Blocky, yes, but Lego-blocky, not graphically blocky. Everything is Lego-ified! The people, the ships, the creatures, the plants, everything but the rock canyons of Tatooine and some buildings all get the Lego treatment. Visually, this is a lot of fun, and there are a lot of sight gags to be had during the game with this. Youíll just have to purchase it when it comes out to see.

While you wouldnít ordinarily think of Legos as the best medium to try out your fancy new graphics card in your iMac, the graphic options in Lego Star Wars II put other games to shame. With full 4x FSAA support, and super-high resolution support, you can really put your machine through its paces. On this Mac Pro tower, with FSAA enabled, I never had a framerate issue! Shooter authors take note, Lego Star Wars II is an example of how itís supposed to be done.

Blasting bad guys! Thatís why we play games, right? Dishing out the hurt in the name of the Rebellion couldnít be simpler. One button is the perpetrate violence button, it shoots, it stabs, it bashes, itís your one stop shop for Lego destruction. Another button is a manipulate button, allowing you to force push, shove, pull, and open things. Lego Star Wars II is LOADED not only with blasting, but also with jumping, sokoban-style, and Lego construction puzzles.

Star Wars at one point had come under fire for glamorizing violence. While I canít figure that out exactly, the play violence in Lego Star Wars canít help but amuse you. Blast or saber a pesky Stormtrooper, and he flies apart into his component Lego bits with smaller studs popping out of him like candy out of a beaten piŮata! Small Lego studs are the currency of Lego Star Wars II and can be found nearly everywhere- in plants, in enemies, in containers, you name it. Collect enough studs, and you can purchase other figures for freeplay to explore the levels at your leisure! A coveted gold brick or other assorted ship parts are strewn about each level for collection insuring that youíll have to go through the levels multiple times to collect everything.


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