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Lego Star Wars: The Video Game: Episode II

This is the second part in the three part preview for Lego Star Wars: The Video Game. This preview will go over how the game handles Episode II: Attack of the Clones, as well as reveal a few more of the various features that you will be able to experience while playing. If you have not read the first part of this preview, please click on the link at the bottom of the page that says ?Lego Star Wars: Episode I preview.?

The second part of the Star Wars saga is broken up into five chapters, covering many of the major events of the movie. The first chapter, ?Discovery on Kamino,? gives you (and your friend) control over Obi-Wan Kanobi and his astromech droid, R4-P17. Chapter two takes you straight to Geonosis, where you will have to use Anakin, Padme, R2-D2, and C-3PO?s unique skills to find and free Obi-Wan. The third chapter, ?Jedi Battle,? is (in my opinion) the most fun of all the levels I?ve seen in this game yet.

Here you fight your way through the coliseum on Geonosis and attempt to free the captured Anakin, Padme, and Obi-Wan. You can take control of Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Shaak Ti, Ki-Adi-Mundi, or many other Jedi that are in the arena. Though this level isn?t huge (its just one room), the constant battle, laser fire, and barrage of battle droids will keep you entertained. And the level is finished off with a battle against the bounty hunter, Jango Fett. ?Gunship Cavalry? (Chapter 4) gives you control of a Republic gunship as you fly your way to one of the battle droids? control spheres. This top-down level is very reminiscent of classic space shooters, where the only real strategy is if it moves, shoot it.

Chapter 5 of Attack of the Clones is the fight against Count Dooku. Though you start off controlling Anakin and Obi-Wan, you eventually get to control Yoda as he flips and spins his way across the battle area. Of the Jedi characters that I have unlocked so far -- Yoda is both the most powerful and hardest to control. Instead of just walking around while you have your light saber out, Yoda will jump, twirl, and flip around. But when you sheath his sword, he will only slowly creep across the screen.

Along with the various Jedi you can unlock in this episode, you can also play as a Clone Trooper, Jango Fett, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan?s R4 droid, C-3PO, Geonosian warrior, super battle droid, or other characters introduced in this episode. After playing through this episode, it is fun to walk around the game?s hub area and watch all of the characters attack each other (typically it is the Jedi's and Padme against Darth Maul, Jango, and battle droids).

Like the chapters of The Phantom Menace, Episode II of Lego Star Wars: The Video Game gives you plenty of rewards for exploring every nook and cranny in the levels. Collecting enough studs in each chapter builds a Lego ship to sit on display out in front of Dex?s Diner (the hub area between chapters and episodes). Chapter 1 has you building a mini-kit version of the Jedi Starfighter. Chapter 2 yields a droideka (AKA destroyer droid). You get a Republic Gunship from ?Jedi Battle,? an AT-TE (those six-legged walkers that carry clones) in Chapter 4, and Count Dooku?s chapter builds his Solar Sailer.

The one thing that really caught me off guard in Episode II was how it seemed to remove some of the darker elements from the movie. There is no mention of Anakin going back to Tatooine or his fight with the Tuskens. In fact, Anakin doesn?t even show up in this episode until he arrives on Geonosis (rather late in the movie). I guess this can be forgiven seeing as Lego Star Wars: The Video Game is directed towards the younger gamer, but I have to wonder what will be in the much darker Episode III chapters.

As the launch date for this game (and the release of the ?Episode III? movie) draw closer, Star Wars fans around the world are looking for any hints as to the events of Revenge of the Sith. What will turn Anakin to the dark side? How will the birth of Luke and Lea be kept a secret from Darth Vader? What happens in the gap between the end of the Clone Wars and the beginning of the Galactic Civil War? Hopefully the events of the last Episode in this Lego Star Wars will shed some light on those questions, and I will be able to tell you what I learned in the last installment of this preview. Look for it soon.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer
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