The age of the gaming console has pretty much faded in our house. We have had a Wii for more than eight years now, but it has been mostly collecting dust for the last few years. The last thing I did with it was bring up Pokemon Ranch to get back all the Pokemon I had stored in it last summer during my Pokemon binge. I am pretty sure I could pack the unit, the controllers, and all the games up in a box and store them away without anybody in the house protesting.
Our PlayStation 3, now four years in the house, gets more attention. Hooked up to our TV, it gets used to play BluRay movies or stream content from Netflix and Amazon Prime.
Video games though? Not so much. Little Big Planet, once my daughter’s favorite thing ever, the game that got her to leave the Wii behind, hasn’t been played in ages. The last games that got played on the unit were the short bout with the poor PS3 port of Dragon Age: Inquisition and a bit of Diablo III, picked up with a GameStop gift card my daughter got for Christmas. Those were both very brief encounters.
The mojo had clearly gone from our console gaming.
As I waxed nostalgic around Christmas about the days back when my daughter would wake me up early on Saturday mornings so we could jump in the Love Sac and play Mario Party 8 or Mario Kart Double Dash or LEGO Star Wars on the Wii, my wife decided that we might be due for a replacement. Our late cat Trixie kept peeing on the Love Sac, so we had to get rid of it, and with it went what seemed to be an essential part of our console gaming mix; the ability to lounge comfortably on something close to the TV.
My wife decided to fix this, so got me a six foot Cozy Sack for my birthday back in March. A discount competitor to Love Sac, it cost about a third as much as a Love Sac of comparable size and delivers about 80-90% of the experience.
With that, I decided to see if I could tempt my daughter back into playing video games with me on Saturday morning. Not early Saturday morning… neither of us are keen to get up early these days… but at the more reasonable, post-breakfast hour. But what game to choose?
Looking through our small-ish collection of PlayStation 3 titles… at least relative to our Wii collection… I decided to go with a classic. Back when we bought the PS3, I decided to get a couple titles that we already had on the Wii so I could compare the game play. One of those was LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
While we had to played the first LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Star Wars: The Original Trilogy, (Game Cube versions for both) when the LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga came out we had to have it on launch day and we played the hell out of it.
So I loaded it up, jumped into the Cozy Sack and called my daughter to come play with me.
It didn’t really work. She came over and watched me play for a bit, but then went back to whatever she was doing. My wife watched for much longer, but was not inclined to pick up a controller and join me. But I was comfy and enjoying myself, so I persisted. I have done a few levels every weekend and have been enjoying myself quite a bit.
The game has held up for me very well. Part of that is its simplicity.
Traveller’s Tales has put out quite a list of LEGO games at this point. We have LEGO Batman, both LEGO Indiana Jones titles, both LEGO Harry Potter titles, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, LEGO Star Wars III, LEGO Lord of the Rings, and The LEGO Movie game.
As the years have gone by and new titles have been released, Traveller’s Tales has worked to keep the series fresh by adding in new features and new mechanics. Viewed from that angle, LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga feels more than a bit clunky. Everything is jump or shoot or light sabre or use the force with a special mode events appearing very infrequently.
On the flip side though, this is still the culmination of Traveller’s Tales “getting” what makes their LEGO game series great. After two tries, where the original LEGO Star Wars was too much of a hard core video game and The Original Trilogy still showed some tuning was needed, it felt like they finally got the basic model for their LEGO games down with this one.
So, going back to that early model of the LEGO game idea was refreshing. A lot of what I said about the game in the past still holds true, including it being perfectly fine on a PS3 controller versus using the Wii Remote. And, while only running at 720p, it looks much better than the 480p Wii version, not to mention not being rendered in a way that makes the universe far, far away look like it was just buffed to a high gloss finish.
I am at the 40% mark according to the game, with only two episodes left undone. When I wrap those up I’ll have to decide if I want to go back and find all the mini kits and get the True Jedi achievement on each level, not to mention unlocking all the characters that you have to buy.