Friday 11 August 2006
The original Lego Star Wars on PS2 had its flaws, but we loved it to little plastic bits. So the shock news isn't that Traveller's Tales is developing a sequel based on the original trilogy, but that it looks almost as good on PSP - you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference, bar the fine detail - with a handful of unique features that you won't find in the full-fat PS2 version.
Challenge mode is the most notable new feature. In this you play through timed versions of the game's main levels, collecting pieces of characters from the first Lego Star Wars to use in the new title. So if you ever fancied taking General Grievous or Darth Maul for a stroll around Mos Eisley, now's your chance. And, because LSW works so well as a two-player game, you can team up with a mate over WiFi to tackle the key scenes from the first three films.
Then there's the ability to unlock and play the last levels from Episodes 1, 2 and 3 of the Star Wars saga, lifted from the PS2 version of the game. These include Obi-Wan versus Darth Maul, Anakin versus Count Dooku and, of course, the climactic battle from Episode 3.
Above: Make the jump into hyperspace and prey the bricks of your Lego Millennium Falcon hold together
Among the levels you can expect to play in Lego Star Wars II, there's the assault on the Death Star from the end of A New Hope, the battle with the AT-AT walkers on the surface of snow-covered Hoth, the speederbike chase through the forests of Endor, escaping from Jabba's sailing barge (which should include a fight with Boba Fett), training to be a Jedi on Dagobah with Yoda and loads more, a lot of which has been extended especially for the game.
There are also new free-roaming vehicle sections - no more of the on-rails stuff from the last game - so expect to be able to take charge of an AT-ST and stomp around Endor, crushing Ewoks. Hooray!
The Original Trilogy is going to be great - and, from what we've played, it doesn't suffer from the usual problems associated with PSP. The camera auto-adjusts smoothly and movement is crisp, and its chunky feel and arcade dynamics are perfectly suited for handheld.
Plus, with all the new features, there's even an argument that it might be better than the PS2 version. We can't wait to start customising characters. A Han Solo Hoth/Bespin/Carbonite triple-decker, please.