Daily Archives: January 9, 2023

Starting Out with LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

The idea of getting LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, which I am going to call LSWTSS from here on out, was that my daughter and I would be able to play it together.  So I grabbed a copy from the Nintedo Store on my Switch Lite and got her a copy to put under the tree to open at Christmas.

LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga

And the idea had merit.  Certainly my daughter, about to turn 21, was bored being back home where there is literally nothing to do and her dumb parents don’t understand, as if we were never young.

So when on Christmas Eve when she got to open up the gift under the tree with LSWTSS in it, that was immediately in her Switch Lite and off she went.  Her first question was whether we could play together and if this version would allow us to go in diferent directions without the tug-of-war routine of the early LEGO Star Wars games we played on the Wii.

However, while she was off and running in the new content, I was having some issues on the Switch and somehow ended up locking myself into the Episode I content, which would be well down my list of favorites, either in movies or LEGO Star Wars levels.

This was not helped along by the fact that I really don’t like playing games on the Switch.

I see the appeal of handheld, or at least somewhat portable, game consoles like the Switch and Switch Lite, but my tolerance for tiny screens and twitchy controls has diminished over the years. (This is the reason I won’t be buying a Steam Deck.)  I bought a Switch Lite to play Pokemon… because that is the only place to play Pokemon… and I have have no interest in it as a platform otherwise.

I am, I fear, a PC gamer through and through and like my big screen, keyboard, and mouse controls.  We were also in the middle of the annual Steam Winter Sale, so I went and grabbed a copy there.  It was discounted and I bought the base version.  A younger, more obsessed version of me might have gone all-in on the super deluxe extras edition, but this was a tentative purchase at best.  I was giving up the possible, but likely theoretical, co-op play option with my daughter as well, because there is no cross-play between platforms.

This was also a bit of a leap because my experience previously with Traveller’s Tales LEGO titles on the PC have been extremely unsatisfactory up to this point.  They keyboard and mouse support range between awkward and bizarre.

But I had an out this time.  As I mentioned during my Forza Horizon phase, I bought a game pad controller for my PC, and 8bitDo Pro 2.

The game pad in question

The question was, would it work?  Controllers on PC are a lot more common than they were a decade back, but I still mistrust them and the requirement that the controller, Windows, Steam, and the game in question need to all agree and align for things to work.  And, true to form, Steam was not having my controller for some reason, even though it seemed fine with it back when I was playing Forza Horizon 4 a year back.  Updates and patches and whatever else can get in the way.

Some installing and reinstalling of the device managed to convince Steam that the controller existed and I was, at last, able to get into LSWTSS.

And it is pretty good.  It looks great on my 34″ monitor.

But I also have to get used to how the LEGO games have evolved since I last played one.  I think the last one we bought was LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, which I remain surprised was ever a thing, and that came out in 2011.  I am pretty sure we played that on the PlayStation 3.

Things are more… complicated.  There are a lot more puzzles and fiddly bits to deal with.

Droids, for example, have to do little unlock puzzles for things

Then there is the camera, which last I played, was fixed in a single direction like a Diablo title.  Now the camera can be swung around with the right analog stick, which is theoretically great.   But what it also means is that I am very often looking in the wrong direction or need to move the camera to see what I am doing, which is just an additional dimension to playing these titles that I am not used to.  Also, I’ve gotten ten years older in the last decade, a situation which has not improved my ability to adapt to change.

And I had to go in and fiddle with the control settings because, not too far into The Force Awakens story line you end up flying the Millennium Falcon and the analog stick settings are backwards from the flight sim standards.  Flight controls behaving like an actual plane, where pushing forward noses you down and pulling back causes you to climb that I was pretty much completely helpless with that segment until I finally found the setting to reverse, which was not in the controller settings.

Then there is a whole new set of controls for shooting… and the default console FPS series of waist high barriers to hide behind when blaster fights are required.

Oh, and the whole thing has voice.  Back in the day, there was no voice over, just some miming and mugging for the camera.

Still, I have settled and am getting used to the new setup.  We’ll see how far I make it.  I try to get through one segment of the story every evening when I have the chance.  So far, so good.