Game Preview: LEGO Star Wars

Lego Star Wars
Game Core is a weekly column by's William Vitka and Chad Chamberlain that focuses on gamers and gaming.

I have been a Star Wars geek for a very long time.

Return Of The Jedi was released the year I was born, 1983. Due to diaper-related things, I was unable to see it. But in '87, my father found it in a theater and I was all over it like a toddler on pudding.

At least, that's what my dad tells me.

I still have the massive accumulation of toys, old school Nintendo and Super Nintendo LucasArts games. Zombies Ate My Neighbors remains one of my favorite titles of all time.

But if I were a younger gamer, I'd be teething for LEGO Star Wars.

Recently, Chad and I were able to spend some time with LSW and it looks like it's going to be – I'm saying this at the risk of sounding like a dorky, not at all professional, gamer – totally awesome.

The game covers the prequel trilogy only, Episodes I through III, but boasts 30 characters with their own unique moves and powers. Chad favored Count Dooku while I was a decidedly Obi-Wan guy.

As Jedi, you can use your Force powers at will, and reckless abuse of The Force is always fun. I also enjoyed playing Blaster Baseball with the Lightsaber. You can of course deflect blaster shots, so long as you've got the timing down.

You'll need the expertise of other characters as well, though. Droids will be needed for certain doors and high-jumping characters for certain tight spots. Want to shoot enemies from afar? Princess Amidala is mighty handy with a blaster.

That brings up another nifty aspect of LEGO Star Wars: you can cycle through any characters in your team with the click of a button. There is no puttering through a menu screen or having to head back to a check or save point. It's a very nice time saver and anti-frustration device.

Actually, the game seems to be pretty frustration free. The development team, Traveller's Tales, obviously spent a lot of time making sure that kids and casual gamers won't get headaches from playing but made sure more mature gamers are still entertained.