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Lego Star Wars II
March 16, 2007 | Michael Wuerthele

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No doubt about it, the sound presentation in Lego Star Wars II is stunning. Drawn straight from the Lucas Archives, no cheap copy sounds will be found here. John Williamsí masterpiece soundtrack can be heard throughout. By far, this is acoustically one of the best games I have ever played. Blasters sounds like blasters should, Lego pieces hitting the floor after a particular fierce destructive impulse sound right, and swinging a lightsaber around is visceral enough from just the acoustic clues! You just canít go wrong when the ambiance is set properly in a Star Wars game. In an interesting design choice, thereís no voice work. None. Youíd think that this would be a problem, but it really isnít. The musical cues and the pantomime acting of the figures says everything you need to know about the story, even if youíve been living on a desert island for 31 years and have no idea what Star Wars is. Look on the bright side, no voiceovers means no BAD voiceovers or corny dialogue, which I consider the plague of the gaming industry.

Vehicles are a focus of the Star Wars universe, and youíll get your fill of them in Lego Star Wars II. The death star trench run is the first vehicle level that will pop up, but certainly not the last.. With enough exploration and collecting, there are extra vehicles to be had for addition to the vehicle centric levels. The gold bricks you collect also have a purpose. Purchase Boba Fett, 4-LOM, Bossk and all his kin and a subset of levels with bounty hunter objectives are available for play. There are tons of things to do, and each level is replayable many times over. Just want to increase your completion percentage of the level? Play it again! Miss a power block? Play it again! Want to see the Stormtrooper hot tub scene (no, Iím not kidding), play it again. In an era of games with 10 hour gameplay limitations, Lego Star Wars II is a welcome change. Another example of what other game developers should shoot for, fun additional content within the context of the game.

Co-operative play games on the Macintosh are fairly rare. Ever more rare, are co-op games on one computer with easy drop in and drop out of the 2nd player. Grab a buddy, get close, and pull up a chair! Lego Star Wars does indeed support two players on one machine and even on one keyboard should you be so inclined! This does make for some very close quarters with one keyboard, so I do recommend USB gamepads or even an additional keyboard. Even single player games that are ported from game consoles suffer with both keyboard and conventional joystick controls. Over the course of the preview, I used alternatively a xbox 360 USB gamepad with the USB Human Interface Driver (HID), or the Walisser classic xBox controller HID. The classic xbox controller does need a dongle to adapt it to standard USB, however. If youíve got the Radio shack adapter with USB overdrive I mentioned in my review of Frets on Fire, youíre all set to use your favorite Playstation controller with USB Overdrive. I didnít try USB Overdrive with the xbox controllers. While the implementation of conventional keyboard commands is as good as can be expected for a platformer, the genesis of the game as a console port is evident.

There is a potential frustration with the game, and it has nothing to do with the game being a port and it doesn't detract from the playability of the game. A truly glaring omission to Lego Star Wars II is the absence of network play. This is by design, as neither the PC nor console versions include it. Sure, youíd have to have two copies of the game in one house, or find someone on the internet to play the game with, but is this really a big deal?

Feral ships Lego Star Wars II soon. The Original Lego Star Wars was fun, and Lego Star Wars II lives up to this pedigree. With an enhanced graphic engine, and deep replayability Lego Star Wars II is shaping up to be a worthwhile addition to your Macintosh gaming library.

Lego Star Wars II
Publisher: Feral Interactive
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