The LEGO Movie Videogame Review
publisher: Warner Bros. Entertainment
developer: TT Games
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Feb 07, 14
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This video game could go down as one of the worst titled games in history, almost eclipsing Battleship: The Movie: The Game (the game about the movie about the board game). This video game could also go down as one of the best movie-based games in history. Most movie-based video games are poor attempts to connect with their movie foundations, rife with faulty mechanics, boring gameplay, and lackluster aesthetics. The LEGO Movie Videogame has none of these poor qualities because Traveller's Tales didn't have to create new gameplay; they plugged in their tried-and-true formula for LEGO games, forced The LEGO Movie to fill in the cut scenes in between levels, and released an absolute joyous product.
A lot of Legos...
A tremendous amount of Legos...
Like many of the other LEGO games, such as LEGO Harry Potter, The LEGO Movie Videogame won't make as much sense without knowing what it was based upon. The game uses the movie for its cut scenes, but not the entire movie is utilized. Without knowing the movie references, one could get confused with what seems to be complete nonsense. Don't get me wrong; it is complete nonsense, but with the movie in your database, the chaos has meaning.
On the same token, the game is careful to avoid one major spoiler from the movie, so for those who haven't seen it, you won't see the entire movie from the game. In fact, many of the humorous lines from the movie are not in the cut scenes.
Many of the lines in-game that aren't from the cut scenes are also taken straight from the movie audio. All other lines were written by the talented Traveller's Tales staff and voiced by a completely different cast, but they imitate the movie cast so well, it's hard to differentiate between them. It helps that the non-movie dialogue sounds like it could be written by those who scripted the movie. I laughed louder at some of the game-only dialogue than I did in the movie theater.
The game includes many of the same collectibles as other LEGO games, including red bricks, gold bricks, and additional playable characters, but there are far fewer gold bricks to find in this game. Typical LEGO games require players to find around 450 gold bricks to count toward that 100% completion. This one only requires 70 gold bricks, but to compensate that deficiency a little, there are more red bricks to find in the hub worlds than usual. In the game levels, instead of finding minikits, players hunt down golden instruction manuals. Instead of finding citizens/students/Stan Lees in peril, there are random pants to collect and donate to the set of "Where are My Pants?" (Only movie-goers will understand any of that last sentence.) Your characters can even swap out their current pants for any pants you find. Collecting costumes hasn’t been this fun since Final Fantasy X-2.
The Lego chopper.
Boom! And even more Legos...
Also, like the other LEGO games, there are two modes, story mode and freeplay, the latter of which allows players to use any of the characters they unlock and purchase (in-game coins, not microtransactions) instead of the given characters in story mode. This way players can solve many of the puzzles in each level that are not possible with the story mode characters. This is the only way to find all of the collectibles in the game, in both the game levels and in the hub. Most of the time, as you play through a LEGO game, you learn which characters have which abilities and therefore which characters are a priority to purchase. The game sometimes gives hints as to who is needed, but for a few puzzles, no real hints are given, forcing the player to figure out which of the hundreds of characters are needed for this one particular element. For example, one puzzle requires a “character who can build fires.” In the story, you unlock a fireman, but he doesn’t start fires, he only puts them out. This was one of the rare moments something was not completely obvious in a LEGO game, and it made me ecstatic when I figured it out (it was complete luck). I know these games are meant for kids and are therefore supposed to be easy, but more LEGO games need to incorporate head-scratchers for puzzles like this.
The LEGO Movie Videogame was one of the few LEGO games that instantly made me want to play more upon finishing the story mode. I probably spent just as many hours in the hub world trying to unlock red bricks by solving puzzles and completing side quests as I did in the story mode alone. Everything is indeed awesome in this LEGO game.
Hilarious dialogue, fun gameplay, clever puzzles, and avoiding a key movie spoiler make this one of the best movie-based video games as well as one of the best LEGO games;
Those who haven't seen the movie will not completely understand what is going on in the game or truly appreciate many of the in-game jokes;
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