It is 6:45am on a Saturday morning. Someone is lightly shaking me, causing me to wake up.
“Daddy, c’mon. Lego Star Wars.”
There is that voice again.
I roll onto my back and mumble something about “sleep-in Saturday” and going back to bed.
“I can’t sleep any more. C’mon!”
She shakes me a bit more.
I hear my wife say sleepily, “C’mon daddy.” I can hear the grin on her face. She has some more sleep time coming.
I expect this sort of thing on Christmas morning, but it is September.
There is a new ruler in the kingdom that is our Wii. Mario Kart Double Dash lasted all of two weeks, and then we found something new.
A couple weeks before the early morning Saturday scene, we were out at Fry’s. I was looking for cable extenders for the GameCube controllers I bought for our Wii in order to play GameCube games. The six foot cables that come with the controllers were too short. We found those at Fry’s, digging through some of the GameCube accessories that had been pushed to the end of one aisle in the sprawling Brokaw Road store. We started at the Arques store, but their GameCube section had disappeared completely, so we had to move on to the next best location.
I found the cable extenders. I also picked up a GameCube memory card so we could save GameCube game histories.
I also spotted a copy of LEGO Star Wars II.
I showed it to my daughter, who was quite enthusiastic. It had been marked down, so I was happy enough to throw it in the basket.
My daughter is already a Star Wars fan. At age 5 she has seen all the movies, can tell you what characters appear in which, and, as I have posted here before, enjoys playing with Star Wars LEGOs. (Though it is really the mini figures she enjoys the most, like our golden C-3P0.)
Little did I know that I had created a monster.
The combination of LEGO, Star Wars, and a video game proved to have a lot of appeal for my daughter.
And so the scene above… me being awoken early on Saturday morning to play LEGO Star Wars has been repeated for quite a few weeks in a row.
Fortunately, for sleepy dad at 7am, using a GameCube controller is pretty low impact.
I roll the big Love Sac (we have the Super Sac, which pretty much fits us all) in front of the television, grab the controllers, jump in an get comfy with my daughter for a couple hours of LEGO Star Wars.
But enough of the indulgent father routine. The game is freakin’ awesome.
I may not enjoy it quite as much as my daughter, or be quite as eager to get up early on the weekend to play it, but I have a great time when we play.
So aside from the fact that it is LEGO and Star Wars and a video game all wrapped up into one package, what does this game have going for it?
Well, it is a very fun and somewhat silly look at the original Star Wars trilogy. You get to play through all of the major parts of the movies.
Second, the game play is pretty reasonable. I found the speeder bike section a bit trying, but for the most part, the game is very accessible. We blew through all 18 basic levels (six per episode) in about two weeks of not very intensive play. We generally reserve the Wii for Wii-kends (ha ha), though we did go through a level a night for a few weeknights. And, in the end, it wasn’t too tough to figure out. I only got stuck twice and had to go to the web for answers. (I used this site for basic level walk-through, and this site for a more of the advanced questions.)
Third, it is extremely replayable. Once we got through the story, we started on the “Free Play” aspects of the game, where you go back through the levels to pick up special pieces, unlock new characters and special abilities, find secret or locked locations, and run some of the special missions that only become available after you have completed the basic game.
The game even tells you how much of the content you have completed. We currently stand at 56%. Our big bonus for last weekend was earning enough of the in-game cash to unlock one of the three ghost characters. (We took Anakin, but still have Yoda and Obi-wan to go.)
So we have been playing this game, and not much else on the Wii, for some time now.
We took a diversion into the original LEGO Star Wars for a weekend, but the game play was a lot more annoying. We did not get too far into it. I especially found the pod race level very aggravating. I had to have my daughter drop out of the game so I could finish it by myself.
That’s no fun.
But they appear to have learned a lot from the first one when they made the second.
And I gather that they probably learned some from the second. At least I hope they did.
Because, do you know what came out yesterday? What I had to buy at Fry’s while I was there grabbing Ratatouille on DVD?
All six movies combined into a single game.
New Characters! New Levels!
And it is for the Wii! Swing that lightsaber!
I predict more early Saturday mornings. Only now I am in danger of having to move around because of the Wii’s controller.
(And if they get it right, they have pretty much sold me a copy of the upcoming LEGO Indiana Jones game as well.)