LEGO Star Wars II might be considered blasphemy by all the card-carrying Lucas loyalists who boast about how many times they've seen "The Trilogy," but for the rest of humanity, it's a brilliant piece of gaming. In many ways, the original LEGO Star Wars game (based on Episodes I through III) was better than the films. It wasn't muddled with clunky Lucas dialogue, and it managed to capture the spirit of the first Star Wars trilogy. Ever since its release, Jedi enthusiasts have been praying for a game based on the original three movies. Those prayers have been answered.

While the original LEGO game was shockingly clever, it didn't have the luxury of relying on such culturally relevant source material—in many ways, the familiarity makes this one even better. There are a lot of "Oh yeah!" moments, especially for those familiar with the film who haven't seen it in a while. And it's fascinating to see some of the most recognizable moments in action-cinema history played out by building blocks.

One of the game's greatest assets is how easy it is to play. You only need to press two buttons throughout the entire game, and you'll re-spawn instantly if you absorb too many blaster shots. The challenge is in finding everything the levels have to offer—there are more secrets to uncover than in Boba Fett's backstory. While the flying missions aren't as fun as they should be, and navigation in some levels is confusing, few games bring as much unadulterated joy as this.


Beyond the game: The original LEGO Star Wars was published by Eidos, but the sequel came from LucasArts' watchful eye. An obvious money maneuver, but don't fret: There still isn't any Lucas dialogue within.

Worth playing for: At the end of Episode V, Darth Vader explains, non-verbally, that he is Luke's father. When Luke resists, Vader doesn't argue. (He can't, since the game features no dialogue.) Instead, he produces a picture of himself with Queen Amidala. Brilliant.

Frustration sets in when: The enemies ferociously attack whatever character you're controlling, while your sidekicks are borderline useless. It'd be nice if their blaster fire could put away a few storm troopers.


Final judgment: It certainly isn't gaming's greatest challenge, but it's absolutely fun. If you've seen the original trilogy, don't resist! Join the LEGOside.