Lego Star Wars III

I have a love hate relationship with all Lego games. They all have the same wonderful possibility and they all so far have managed to create in me a frustration that rarely crops up in other games.

The cutscenes and story edits are nothing short of inspired. Watching Leia lift up R2’s dome and chuck the disc in like she was tossing it in a garbage can was hilarious in the extreme. LSW3 focuses on the Clone Wars, a story I have never particularly cared about, but once more, has managed to make the story hilarious and adorable all at the same time.

The game leverages collecting and completionists to great effect. There are studs, characters, bricks, and mini-figs to collect every where, with a single simple percentage showing how much has been completed. The fact that the game is designed to be played through twice, just to collect everything from each mission.

The gameplay is basically solid. Combat feels nice, watching enemies explode in a spray of studs is rewarding, and even the jumping feels substantial.

Now, having said that… COULD THEY FRAKING FIX THE GLARING BUGS ALREADY?!?! Three Star Wars games (4 depending on how you count), two Indiana Jones games, a Batman, a Harry Potter, with a Pirates of the Caribbean and likely a Harry Potter 2 on the way, and they STILL haven’t fixed the damn enemies can stand behind something and shoot through it, but I can’t shoot through the thing to hit the enemy? Don’t even get me started on the targeting system that just LOVES targeting the pile of destructibles instead of the 5 droids slaughtering me.

Then there are things like, in the very first level of LSW3, the player is moving up the screen (which is a GREAT way to show off the 3d) and encounters a cannon and has to jump on it to shoot down a droid tank. Instead of having the cannon activated, or jumped in like a vehicle, it is a context sensitive “run” against it until you pop into it. Yes. Great idea. No one would EVER have problems trying to do that while being SHOT and KNOCKED BACK from the tank shooting at them. Not to mention the trigger for activating the cannon is so dang small I spent 3 minutes sliding back and forth across the back of it trying to get it to trigger. Yeah, this is fun. /sarcasm. Add this to the fact that they have this EXACT same setup FOUR times in a row… yeah, not a great design.

Rounded edges of cliffs that make falling off or getting stuck on a slope are everywhere, as always. Multiple force activated objects right next to each other so the game never picks the one you are trying to activate? Present. Endlessly spawning enemies who interrupt the building of some wildly complex and long Lego item? Accounted for. There just always seems to be so much shoddy design. I can’t tell if it is bad designers, over worked designers, or just apathetic designers.

I always want the games to be good. They usually are, until you hit the mind bogglingly frustrating parts that I just have to ask “Did NO ONE see this during testing?” If not, then they need to get better testers.

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