LEGO Star Wars The Complete Saga: My Three Platform Comparo (UPDATE)

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UPDATE:
I decided to have some more fun with this article and add my own Star Wars crawl with the content written before you. I’ve broken them down into three parts, thereby giving each section their own Crawl. Apologies for the lack of SW theme as I would have run into some copyright issues. So just imagine the SW theme song playing as you watch the subsequent clips. Enjoy!

Anyone who’s anyone knows that Lego not only makes awesome toys, but is associated with great games. From licenses to franchises such as DC Comics own Batman, to Indiana Jones and Lord of the Rings, Lego has aligned themselves with some heavy hitters. Another such series which has a huge following is Star Wars.

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Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga (which I will heretofore referred to as Lego SW CS) was released in 2007 on all subsequent last gen platforms and computers including PS3, 360, Wii, Windows, OSX, Nintendo DS, IOS. With about seven years under it’s belt so far, the game has garnered fans aplenty, from diehard Star Wars fans to gamers alike. The funny thing is, I’ve only started playing it very recently. Even funnier is that I acquired the game over a year ago on my OSX. That goes to show that my backlog is fairly dense. Though when when it was announced that iOS would get it’s own port I got excited. If you didn’t already know, I love mobile versions of console games. Having a full blown gaming experience in the palm of my hand is a great thing. I like it so much that I took it upon myself to also acquire the DS version of Lego SW CS as well.

This is where my article comes in. Having three versions of this game in my possession would inevitably lead to an inspired Comparo piece. I’ll begin with the top of the heap version and work my way down.

Mac OSX

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I’ll be Captain Obvious for a second and say right off the bat that this is obviously the best version to play out of the three. Why? Because as we all know nothing beats true gaming on console/Mac/PC. The OSX version I have is Mac native which means it’s compatible with my PS3 controller. I use my keyboard when I’m too lazy to sync my game pad but usually I bust out the DS3. As always with all the Lego incarnations of famous franchises Lego SW CS has fun, family friendly gameplay.

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The visuals are crisp and bright with smooth frame rates. Destroying environment assets with your lightsaber is satisfying as they explode with a fury of Lego coinage and hearts. Equally satisfying is the all too familiar Star Wars musical score and sound effects as you swish through onslaughts of enemy droids. Everything works very well. It’s safe to say that this title abound definitely be added to your roster of games if none of you ladies and gents haven’t done so already.

iOS

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Like I said, I am a fan of game ports, especially when a whole console game can be shrunken down to fit in your capable smartphone. Android and iOS have been more than capable of churning out great games for the mobile connoisseur. While I do own both iOS and Android devices since my purchase of my HTC One in a few months back, it’s quite frustrates me that a lot of games only get ported to iOS and not Android. Many say it’s the whole pirated apps thing on Android but honestly both platforms have the same issue so it’s a cop out. Anyways that’s for another topic of discussion I’ll get to in future posts. Back to Lego SW CS. Lucky iOS gamers were treated to some ported goodness last December. LucasArts and Travellers Tales dropped an honest to goodness near identical version of the console game quite literally into our hands. It’s as if by some magic spell they ripped the game from my monitor and shoved all of it into my iPhone 4S.

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Everything is pretty much there. Graphics are a treat even on the cramped 3.5″ screen. My screenshots don’t to it justice so trust me when I say that this game pops. Gameplay is also great. A few issues with the touch control like movement with the virtual dpad but that’s tied to the platform, so no issues with the game itself. The touch controls are just thin line drawings instead of the chunky opaque mock buttons in other Lego iOS titles so the screen isn’t as cluttered. The only buttons you do see are the face buttons on the right side. The dpad itself is invisible until you want to move, and it’s a floating one which is a Plus for wider less restricted range of motion.

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The only real difference between this and the console versions is that, aside from being a touch based version of itself it’s free. Yes free, as in pro bono, as in libre, as in your money is no good here. Ah but there is a catch, but not ad bad as you may think. The Apple Appstore offers this sans money there are IAP’s but not those microtransaction annoyances usually nagging in other free apps. There are various episodes, as with the actual movies, that are the only things you need to pay for. Episode I: The Phantom Menace is granted to us without charge while the other subsequent Episodes, as well as bonus levels, character packs, and challenges are unlockable for a few bucks a pop. It actually works out in our favor because players can either stick to the freebie, or just buy the episodes and packs they want. I favor choice so this is a plus. Having said that, I went all in and chose to just buy the whole game for $10. That benefits me because I like having the whole experience, plus I actually save some cash. I knew I’d get the whole game anyway so instead of buying packs one at a time which would have cost a few extra dollars that I’d rather spend the USD on other wanted games. Also, once downloaded, you basically have the entire Lego SW CS game file. It doesn’t do what the iOS version of say, The Walking Dead, does which is download additional files as you purchase other episodes. Nope, what Lego SW CS does is simply unlocks the previously locked episodes which were already sitting and waiting in your flash memory. So it really behooves you to just get the whole shebang. If any of you like to game OTG I would give this iOS port some serious consideration.

Nintendo DS

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Last but definitely not least is the Nintendo DS version of this game. Permit me to say that this is an NDS Rom that is running on my Android device. I don’t have a Nintendo DS at the moment though I do have my 3DS, but needed some screenshots so I resorted to this. So I can actually say that, while no real Lego game ports currently exist on the Google Play store, I can run this “port” smoothly with a nifty NDS emulator. Moving on.

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Lego SW CS was developed from the ground up specifically for the Nintendo DS and it’s capabilities in mind. While not necessarily on the same level graphics wise with it’s smartphone and console brethren it holds it’s own. Remember, the DS is a decade old at this point. It still kicked the PSP’s Ass. Gameplay is similar to the other ports though there are some differences. There are fewer levels included, as well as no online play and no new characters. It does have a some mini game levels exclusive only to the DS. Other key differences I’ve noticed in the DS port are the level design. The themes in every level and missions are the same but are much more confined. There seems to be less room to move and the camera doesn’t pan out as far as with the other games, even the iOS port. This game seems more straightforward, closer to a side scroller. There are also less characters running around and less assets on screen That’s probably due to the technical limitations of the DS. You can compare all the screenshots and see how noticeable the differences really are. But with all the inadequacies this is still a very enjoyable game. All you Nintendo DS and 3DS gamers should get on this as it’s a blast of lighthearted fun and cheeky humor.

I’m still in the beginning levels of this game but it’s been a fun ride so far. I’m expecting more Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga goodness as I waddle, zing, and levitate every droid and character with my Lego force powers. Whether you’re a Lego collector, a Star Wars fan, this game has the best of both worlds. It’s highly advised that you gets your hands on this, on console, computer, or mobile. It’ll be worth your while.

May the Lego force be with you!

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