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Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy

Lego Star Wars didn't so much secure the support of a wide audience as capture, for entirely separate reasons, the hearts of two. Children warmed to its unpatronising approach and to adults it provided an antidote to George Lucas' wavering prequels.

For its successor - at first glance a project with everything to gain - the use of Episodes IV to VI as source material is, in the eyes of adults at least, of significant concern. Will innocent parody earn the same appreciation when applied to something treasured rather than tainted?

The likelihood is that it will, because Traveller's Tales' approach remains solely about play, and never about ridicule. Uninhibited play is the ambition. There is, for example, nothing to stop you approaching The Original Trilogy's vehicle-based levels as leisurely explorations, much like its (and its predecessor's) on-foot stages.

The Death Star trench run and Hoth defence won't tie you to a rail or linear route, instead welcoming the use of a wide range of vehicles and characters without the restriction of what's appropriate. The design philosophy is unsurprisingly generous, adding another three movies' worth of weapons, characters and vehicles to the original roster. But it's also concerned with lifting restrictions previously introduced.

Construction abilities and block manoeuvres are no longer exclusive to Jedi characters, and ships assembled through the acquisition of hidden parts will, thanks to new bonus stages, have purposes beyond decoration.

There is no sense that development of The Original Trilogy was done on autopilot. Confronted with the need to turn a novelty item into something extendible, its developer has piled on a second helping of gimmicks and jovial references (to the universes of both Lego and Star Wars) while steadily reinforcing its foundations.

As if to question its perception as a kids'-title-cum-curio the game promises an adaptive difficulty level to widen its challenge factor to something that befits its broad market appeal.
The end result might not be a reinvention or even a particularly altered experience, but so long as it enjoys toying with itself, we'll look forward to playing. 

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