It has happened more than a couple of times where a friend or family member is either talking to me about video games or looking through my collection when they find out I own quite a few Lego games on the current generation of consoles (and even one from last generation). They instantly ask if it is for my kids to play or they laugh that it is in my collection sandwiched between Skyrim and Call of Duty. My general response is to try and turn the doubter by saying something along the lines of "you'd be surprised." This response is followed by either laughter or a look like I am trying to pull their leg to try something unsavory. But the fact of the matter is that I have payed every single one and these games are genuinely fun.

The Beginning
When I graduated from college and my wife and I decided to move down to Arizona to be near family. I did not yet have a job lined up and we had no money, so we moved in with my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, his wife, and their kids. The oldest of their kids was eleven at the time and wanted so much to play video games, but his parents were the type who saw them as the downfall of society. I really wanted to be able to relate to him, but I needed to show his parents that games weren't all about drugs, sex and violence.

I went to the store and asked my friend who worked there about a game for younger kids that I would enjoy as well. Without hesitation, he pointed me towards Lego Star Wars. Thinking the game would be like the Lego Creator games and rather slow, I was hesitant, but made the purchase (on credit) anyways.

Once I got home, I put the game in my Playstation 2 and got gave it a shot on my own, to make sure my nephew would have fun. It didn't take long for me to realize that I was hooked. With hundreds of collectibles and replay value to each and every level, I played through Lego recreations of my least favorite of the Star Wars movies and loved every minute of them, even Jar Jar became a useful character. The slight moments of Charlie Chaplin-esque humor tossed into the voiceless cast added a whimsical touch to the addicting gameplay and seemingly never-ending collections.

At its conclusion and 100% completion, I sat back and was satisfied with my $20 purchase, marveling that at twenty-five, I was still entertained by the toys of my youth.

The Continuing Evolution of the Digital Brick
Lego Star Wars was fairly straightforward. You had a hub location from which you could access the collectibles store and the varying episodes and the levels within each episode. The hub was fairly limited and didn't have much to do. However, each new release of the game has pushed these limits further. Lego Star Wars: The Original Trilogy, expanded the hub concept a little bit and added a customization station, where you could make your own minifigure. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 allowed the player to wander around the entire Hogwarts castle and the surrounding grounds.

Recently, we were treated to Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. This newest entry in the Lego series was the first time where the player was granted an open world to do what they wanted to. They could fly around Gotham City as Superman or drive the Batmobile like crazy around the streets of the city. This became the foundation that Lego Lord of the Rings took even further, making a game that is almost like Skyrim with Legos.

The Only Game I Would Consider a Wii U For
I can barely go a blog without expressing my distaste for Nintendo's recent console, the Wii U. There is so little I like about it and so much I really dislike about it, on a number of levels and as both a gamer and a business person. Even the listing of game releases on this console leaves me with the bitter taste of bile in my mouth...with the exception of the Wii U exclusive Lego City: Undercover.

The open world and freedom to do so much in the wonderful Lego environment really almost makes me want to go out and spend the $350 to obtain this console...then I am reminded of everything I don't like about the system itself and I regain my senses.


My nephew and I still have fond memories of playing Lego Star Wars together, even as he is preparing to leave home and begin his training as a Navy SEAL. They are great games, regardless of one's age. And, as this example teaches us, even badas* SEALs like Lego video games. So, if you haven't tried one, pick one up, give it a shot. You may just be surprised.