|Min OS X: 10.5.8|
Mac OS X: 10.5.8 | CPU: 1.4 GHz Intel | RAM: 1 GB | HD Space: 5 GB | Graphics: 128 MB RAM | Other: The game does not support Intel GMA integrated video chipsets (older Mac minis and MacBooks), but does run on GeForce 9400M graphics cards or better.
After playing the original LEGO Star Wars games from Feral Interactive as they came out, this latest release may make you ask "Why would it be worth it to buy a set that doesn't include the new Clone Wars episodes?" The first LEGO Star Wars games are entertaining, it's true, but what does LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga (TCS) really add to the series? Well, if you're expecting giant changes, you'll likely be disappointed. The main draw of TCS is that it combines the separate games into one.
There are new levels, characters, and so on, but what really makes it worthwhile for LEGO fans is that you can now mix and match characters from the original series and the new movies. For example, you can take a wookie head and stick it on the body of a lightsaber-wielding Amidala. It's up to you to design the perfect bonus characters, and the extra options definitely make that a more rewarding experience. Still, nothing quite beats the gun-wielding Chewbacca protocol droid for sheer fun.
The core gameplay remains unchanged, of course. It's pretty much the same experience you'll find in any LEGO game, just with Jedi. You'll bounce around from level to level building LEGO constructions, using force powers to lower bridges and shove stormtroopers around, shooting everything in sight, and gathering enough studs in each level to unlock a macro-piece for various vehicles. There are the requisite killing pits everywhere, of course. If you're not very good at platforming games, you'll definitely find yourself dying dozens of times and being reborn a few thousand studs lighter. There's no permanent death, but it does make reaching the stud goal in each level at least a little difficult.
You'll also be using the usual sets of abilities. There's the high-jumper, the door-openers, the force users, the grappling hook users, and so on. You'll end up using the grand majority of those abilities in most levels, particularly when you revisit them in free play to gather all the hidden items. It's just as fun even after all these years, but nothing original outside of the new levels if you've played the games before.
On the graphics side, the Star Wars games have quite often been the best-looking LEGO games released. In many of the cinematic shots, it's hard to tell it's even LEGO. The Complete Saga also looks very crisp in and out of the levels, with a cantina-themed hub for all the different episodes. It's not exactly Skyrim, it's true, but it's very functional and stays consistently easy on the eyes.
The sound is roughly the same, but the complete Star Wars soundtrack pushes it an extra level. The music tracks are excellent, the lightsabers hum and crash, the blasters make the traditional zaps, and the various aliens grunt in their own languages. The production quality of the sound and music for any Star Wars game is generally top notch, and this is no exception. As a bonus, you get all of that without the poor voice-acting found in the game series focusing on Darth Vader's fictional apprentice.
So, is LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga worth the money? That depends entirely on whether or not you've already purchased the two original Star Wars games. If you haven't, the extras make it easily a great purchase. If you've only bought one, same case. The only real disappointment is that it doesn't include the Clone Wars episodes, but the total time you'd need to spend to unlock everything makes up for that.
• Excellent sound and music
• Solid platforming
• Plenty of content
• Wider variety of customization options
• Not much new for original owners
Franklin Pride is a game development graduate and professional programmer/consultant for the Unity development engine. He's currently working on completing his first two computer games while consulting on the side.