Still some problems remain. The camera, for example, is much improved on that of the original, particularly at zooming in and out to cope with the demands of having two players onscreen, but it also has a nasty habit of not giving the ideal angle when some precision platforming is called for. The only thing that might stop you grinding teeth at certain points is that, in this game, death never stays fatal for long. More seriously, a few levels now drag on too long (the Death Star and the Pit of Sarlacc being particular examples) and there are moments of frustration where seemingly endless numbers of respawning stormtroopers make it hard to play out your solution to a puzzle. Finally, the vehicle based shoot-em-up levels are a bit of a mixed bag. The attack on the Death Star is a blast, the race through the Asteroid base enjoyable, but the battle of Hoth outstays its welcome by a smidgeon. There are only so many Imperial Walkers I want to see go down in one lifetime.
That said, I’d be surprised if any of these niggles worried you for more than a minute, for the simple reason that everything about this game is so much fun. Its affectionate, infectious humour pervades every part of it, from the weird little bonus areas – who would have thought the Death Star had such relaxing spa facilities? – to the way Chewbacca cheerfully rips the Lego arms off stormtroopers, to the wry variations on classic Star Wars moments found in each and every cut-scene. The likes of Darth Vader and Boba Fett don’t seem evil, merely mischievous, while the game does a nice line in winks, grins and sniggers. And trust me, when Gammorean Guard let their hair down, they rock harder than you ever might have expect.
On any home console platform, this is a must-have. There are differences between the PS2 and Xbox 360 version in terms of resolution, enhanced lighting and some wonderful focus-blur effects, but the thing that will keep you coming back for more isn’t the eye candy, but the way the game makes you chuckle on a ludicrously regular basis. Like so many of this year’s best games – We Love Katamari, Animal Crossing, New Super Mario Bros – it’s not so much a video game as a bumper portion of pure, unadulterated fun. Unless you have no love for Star Wars whatsoever, there really is no excuse not to buy it.
Sheer charm made Lego Star Wars a good game, but the sequel has made the hyperspace jump to greatness. Unmissable entertainment from a galaxy far, far away.