The Mos Eisley Block Party

Hi everybody, so want to hear how awesome the game I’m playing right now is? Well, then you’ve come to the right place. But you probably haven’t. But you’re welcome, and besides what I’m playing, that’s all that matters. But it probably doesn’t.

I’ve been putting in a lot of father time in with my son lately, who is very into video games, but not in a competing or challenging way. For him, I believe that just enacting change on the screen in what looks to be a very good Pixar cartoon is the thrill. We play Smash Bros. a lot, and though he can name all of the characters and some of their stages, he’s not a vicious killer, and he doesn’t even get unhappy when he loses. For a four-year-old, I think that’s a nice attitude, but at the same time, it won’t win him any Smash tournaments. Oh well.

We recently acquired some other games from a generous friend who loaned them for the purpose of my son’s education, no doubt. The most remarkable of them (and they’re all quite remarkable) is Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. Dean Ween once recommended this game, I think, for getting high and playing with your kids or something. That’s real nice advice. We played all the way through Episode I before I realized that you could play the game with two players at the same time, but controller trading got us through.

It can be a tricky game. The controls are so simple, but the stages are laid out for you to interact with so much shit that it occasionally takes trying to interact with every sparkly object using every available character until you figure out how to proceed. And sometimes you don’t. But on the Wii, the nunchuk’s Z button does all the Force moves and lever pulling, while B on the Wii Remote does the shooting/punching/ripping arms out of their sockets. It’s also a really good way for my son to learn how to move a character around the screen with an analog stick. It can be frustrating and heart breaking sometimes to watch him fail to negotiate a ramp into an escape pod or to shoot and kill Obi-Wan Kenobi when there’s a legion of stormtroopers in the completely other direction. But you can continue forever, and it’s usually a shit load of fun.

But how clever, how brilliant, to re-enact all of those famous, classic scenes using digital Lego representations? I really dig what they did and the kind of game it creates. There’s still so much more, too – we’re only halfway through Episode IV now, and I is the only one completely completed. We went back in free-play mode, though, to see what would happen if Han Solo was calling the shots on Naboo: lots of dead Gungans. Also, that anecdote was completely not true, but possible to do. Anything’s possible with fucking Legos.

Thankfully perhaps, my kid hates Skyrim. He doesn’t get it, and is only slightly fascinated with its monsters and dragons. Regrettably, he saw me loading up from a save yesterday where I was in werewolf form, and in some really slick moves, mauled three conjurers one after the other, ripping their throats out in fatality movie mode for all three. There was so much blood, and my son saw it all. Then I fed on the corpses to get more health, and that was pretty disturbing, too. Then I sprinted away in wolf form and launched myself clear off a cliff. I died, splattering on the rocks below.

“That was pretty crazy, huh?”

“Yeah, dad. You were a monster.”

“I’m sorry, son. Let’s go rescue Princess Leia.”

“Can I be Artoo?”

“Of course you can.”


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