PETER HOSKIN reviews Lego Star Wars – The Skywalker Saga 

PETER HOSKIN reviews Lego Star Wars - The Skywalker Saga  2
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Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC, £49.99)

Rating:

Verdict: Popcorn play 

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All of the Star Warses. From Episode I to Episode IX. Or, if you’re more of a purist, from Episode IV to Episode VI, then back to the prequel trilogy, then forward to the sequel trilogy. Or, if you’re even more of a purist, from 1977’s Star Wars…

Argh! The Star Wars universe can be knotty sometimes, but you get the point. Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga lets you play through all of the main Star Wars movies from the start of any of the three trilogies — and it manages to disentangle all the complexities along the way.

If you’ve played any previous Lego games, you’ll know the score. It’s a pop-cultural retelling built out of Lego bricks, populated with Lego people, and with thousands of (occasionally funny) gags added to the mix. 

Watch out for Darth Vader. Even as a tiny plastic man, with stormtroopers performing slapstick in the background, he¿s still the scariest dude in that faraway galaxy. Or any other

Watch out for Darth Vader. Even as a tiny plastic man, with stormtroopers performing slapstick in the background, he’s still the scariest dude in that faraway galaxy. Or any other

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The game is designed to be replayed for the discovery of more secrets, and collection of more Lego goodies, but the gameplay itself is too easy to really reward further effort

The game is designed to be replayed for the discovery of more secrets, and collection of more Lego goodies, but the gameplay itself is too easy to really reward further effort

It’s made for kids but enjoyable for adults, and even more enjoyable played side by side on the sofa.

But The Skywalker Saga is more ambitious than its predecessors, and not just because of its series-spanning size. There’s greater variety, as it switches between dozens of characters, as well as passages of lightsaber-hurling combat and twisty-turny spaceflight. The levels are larger and more open. And the graphics are far more detailed…right down to the plastic seams on the Lego minifigures.

Even so, there’s not enough here to keep more mature players occupied for long. The game is designed to be replayed for the discovery of more secrets, and collection of more Lego goodies, but the gameplay itself is too easy to really reward further effort. This is more of a breeze-through-it-and-be-happy kind of deal.

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But watch out for Darth Vader. Even as a tiny plastic man, with stormtroopers performing slapstick in the background, he’s still the scariest dude in that faraway galaxy. Or any other.

PETER HOSKIN reviews Lego Star Wars - The Skywalker Saga  4

 

PETER HOSKIN reviews Lego Star Wars - The Skywalker Saga  6

It¿s made for kids but enjoyable for adults, and even more enjoyable played side by side on the sofa

It’s made for kids but enjoyable for adults, and even more enjoyable played side by side on the sofa

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Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition (PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, PC, £15.99)

Rating:

Verdict: Technical nightmares 

There are two polar approaches to re-mastering an old game. One is simply to make the game available on newer systems, looking and playing as it did back in the day. The other is to entirely overhaul it, so that it satisfies modern expectations.

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Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition definitely hews closer to the first approach — to a fault. While there’s a musty charm about replaying this time-jumping, almost-classic Japanese RPG in a version that’s much like its original PlayStation incarnation from 1999 — right down to the square screen! — it also exposes some of its outdated gameplay. The combat system, for instance, which I remembered as revolutionary, now seems as though it’s composed of too many parts that don’t really fit together.

While there¿s a musty charm about replaying this time-jumping, almost-classic Japanese RPG in a version that¿s much like its original PlayStation incarnation from 1999 ¿ right down to the square screen! ¿ it also exposes some of its outdated gameplay

While there’s a musty charm about replaying this time-jumping, almost-classic Japanese RPG in a version that’s much like its original PlayStation incarnation from 1999 — right down to the square screen! — it also exposes some of its outdated gameplay

The combat system, for instance, which I remembered as revolutionary, now seems as though it¿s composed of too many parts that don¿t really fit together

The combat system, for instance, which I remembered as revolutionary, now seems as though it’s composed of too many parts that don’t really fit together

Worse, though, is the addition of entirely new problems. Modern systems should handle a game of this age with plenty of energy to spare, so why was there so much stuttering on my PS5?

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The inclusion of a previously hard-to-get visual novel from 1996, called Radical Dreamers, does something to sweeten the pill. 

But a pill is still a pill. Until the necessary and (hopefully) inevitable improvements are made, this one will stick in your throat and soon taste bitter. 

Modern systems should handle a game of this age with plenty of energy to spare, so why was there so much stuttering on my PS5?

Modern systems should handle a game of this age with plenty of energy to spare, so why was there so much stuttering on my PS5?

Until the necessary and (hopefully) inevitable improvements are made, this one will stick in your throat and soon taste bitter

Until the necessary and (hopefully) inevitable improvements are made, this one will stick in your throat and soon taste bitter

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