LEGO Movie 2:
Ah, the LEGO games.
Years have passed and as much as I thought Traveller’s Tales would have gotten fed up by now, they haven’t. They’re still churning out the brick brawlers on a yearly basis, and if it isn’t broke, you don’t need to fix it. Mind you, you may have to build around it to get the most out of it.
I’ve played on more or less every generation LEGO has made it to, from the PS2 up to present day, but how much can you eek out of a game that is based on a movie that is pretty short?
Strangely enough, quite a lot. As you’d expect the second movie starts where the previous one ended, with the inhabitants from the planet Duplo coming along and, over a decade, turning Bricksburg, the AWESOME place from the first film, into the aptly names Apocalypseburg. Not to mention that they take away some of the bigger characters to add that bit of peril, although taking Batman just isn’t on. Well, you’ve got to have that reason to be the hero, right?
The usual suspects from before are here, both in the story and also in unlockables, which if you’ve played any LEGO games, you’ll know there’s a whole LOAD of that going on.
The game does stick relatively close to the story of the movie, but there are some original mini bosses, puzzles and zones thrown in to pad it out a bit. This has to be done, as I don’t think ANYONE would want a game that lasts a very small amount of time for full whack now, would they? It still leaves you hard pushed to get past the five-hour mark if you’re not really bothered about being a magpie and collecting everything, so I’d say you have to really be into the style of the LEGO series before you actually take the plunge. This isn’t one for anyone who just wants to “try something new”.
Personally, I love the fact that they all speak now. Back in the days when you felt like you were in control of a toy-based Buster Keaton movie was not hugely enjoyable, but adding some emotions to the plastic makes a big difference. Other than that, its business as usual. You’ll be spending a lot of time bashing, collecting and creating.
You can obviously stray completely off the LEGO brick road and play as whoever you unlock during the time, so you can personalise your own playthrough. These games are meant to be played with your son/daughter though, or they can play with their pals on an evening, so multiplayer still adheres to your local console variant. You can also get someone to drop in via the online service too, but it is best when you’re both in front of the telly. It’s decent enough, but not without fault.
This is probably one of the more inconsistent titles when it comes to keeping the frame rate up, in some cases being choppier than the water the Titanic was on. For a game that hasn’t really changed on graphical style for years, this shouldn’t really happen in my eyes.
Certainly, this frame rate issue can impact on the way everything looks when moving, but other than that it is the same colourful adventures that we’ve become accustomed to. The worlds are a mixture of locations from the first and second movies and they are varied enough to keep you entertained for long enough to be fun.
As Traveller’s Tales have been doing this for a long, LONG time, the presentation is as smooth as always (unlike that blasted frame rate). As anyone who has been a veteran of the series will know, bashing up objects and putting those blocks to a different use is quite calming. I remember when I used to spend endless hours just running around looking for things, but I’ve gotten a bit older now and my time is a lot more limited.
It still leaves you enough of a chance to have a quick plug ’n play style session, but this is meant to be an enjoyable game played with someone.
Playing “The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame” takes me back to a time when I was addicted to the franchise. I genuinely looked forward to the next game and I’d just while away a few hours just whacking enough stuff to get my points tally up and see what I could unlock after each level. As much as the idea has remained the same, the quality has been up and down over the years. For every return to form there’s been one that has had a dip. This one has just slightly slipped into the latter. It feels like it had to conform to the film and there simply wasn’t enough content to make it long enough to stay the distance for a long time.
This isn’t to say it is bad though. It does show those classic moments we are all familiar with, as well as being able to collect anything and everything in sight, before breaking it all and forming something else. There are some fluidity issues with the game engine, but if you can get your head past that, as well as have someone to play it with, then you’ll not feel totally out of sorts.