Playing through a healthy chunk of LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars on Nintendo's 3DS left me impressed. It also left me with a question: Should Nintendo require 3D on all 3DS games?
I don't really know the answer to that, but this LEGO game leaves me hoping they won't.
Don't get me wrong. LEGO Star Wars III is a wonderful little game by Travelers' Tales. It is packed with all of the humor, characters, wonderful little animation touches and LEGO explosions that make these games so much fun to play. But its use of 3D is right up there with the shockingly unnecessary 3D found in movies like The Green Hornet. It comes off feeling like they used 3D because they had to.
I had at least hoped that Travelers' Tales would have used the extra dimension to tinker with one of the shortcomings of nearly all of their games: The platforming. I almost always struggle in their LEGO games when it comes to extended platforming sections, because I can't quite tell how far back I am in the game. I figured it anything could solve that problem having another dimension to play with most certainly would. Unfortunately, it didn't.
Beyond that the 3D is there to occasionally cross your eyes when a targeting reticule sticks too far out of the screen, or to show the very occasional bit of debris flying toward you. Even the space battles, which by the way are spectacular, really don't benefit from the 3D. In fact, I noticed that when ships fly too fast, too close to me in space in 3D they look almost abnormally flat.
The irony here is that all of these little problems are instantly solved when you slide the 3D slider to off. Played in 2D, LEGO Star Wars III seems like a worthy title for any platform or platform launch. This is a game I'm going to enjoy playing through to the end and then digging back into to find secret treasures and hidden bricks. I can even, apparently, use the Street Pass to grab extra pegs for my collection.