Aspyr's LEGO Star Wars Reaches Beta

Aspyr Media on Thursday announced that LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game has reached Beta and will ship in August. While Star Wars-themed LEGO building blocks have been around for several years, this is the first time both venerable franchises were combined in a videogame. This title puts a Star Wars spin on the block-building idea, enabling Jedi Knight characters, for example, to use the Force to move around pieces of the LEGO environment and create new things.

In LEGO Star Wars, gamers to play through all three Star Wars prequels: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. They can take on the roles of over 40 characters from the Star Wars universe as they make their way through 18 levels full of action and puzzles. Through the gameis two-player cooperative mode, a second player can drop in and out of the action whenever they want.

The Mac Observer has a copy of the LEGO Star Wars Beta and is working on a first look that will flesh out the details and let you know what to expect from the game. Look for it to appear soon.

LEGO Obi Wan takes on LEGO Count Dooku

Aspyr licensed LEGO Star Wars from LucasArts and gave the Mac development assignment to i5works. Pre-order pricing is US$29.95 and preliminary system requirements call for Mac OS X v10.3.7, a 1GHz G4 or G5 processor, 256MB RAM (512MB recommended), 2GB free hard drive space, 32MB video RAM (Radeon 8500 or GeForce FX5200 or better) and a DVD drive.

The game publisher also announced earlier in the week that it will no longer give preliminary system requirements for future games in development. Aspyr will only provide final system requirements, which will be distributed roughly four to six weeks before the game ships. The company explained its reason for doing so in a statement: "There is often a delay in the time it takes various online distributors to update a titleis preliminary requirements to its final system requirements.

"In an effort to better control the specific requirements displayed for each title, Aspyr will make a formal announcement to the press as soon as a titleis development allows for a confident declaration of the hardware necessary for optimal gameplay performance."

Aspyr offers a free utility, Game Agent, that provides the most current information on system requirements for games already released as well as those still in development. Game Agent will look at the useris Mac and determine not only how well it will run certain games but also what upgrades should be made to improve the performance of more hardware-intensive titles.