I never seem to get tired of LEGO games, regardless of theme. The almost endless destruction of objects and stud collecting between entertaining video clips, what’s not to love? Well it’s time to get back into the action with the latest title just released, The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game.
It never ceases to amaze me how Tt Games can make each LEGO themed game so familiar and yet just enough difference to each title that makes them unique in their own way.
I personally am a new-comer to the Ninjago franchise and even though I have not seen the movie yet, the cutscenes in the game give the players enough information to still get a grasp of the story moving forward in between each level.
As each character has their own unique move sets and effectiveness, the Prologue gives a brief instruction to how each move is performed and how it can be best used for maximum effectiveness. This has been a long time coming and each LEGO game to this date has led up to this mechanic. Instead of the button mashing of the earlier games, it is nice to see some variation to the combat.
A new addition to this game is the upgrade feature which allows players to unlock perks much earlier in the game. Previously, upgrades were only obtainable via collecting red blocks or spending in-game currency. In The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game, you progressively accumulate experience points throughout the levels which can be spent on a number of different upgrades of your choice. For example, by the time I reached the second story level, I was able to unlock the X2 multiplier, something that was previously obtainable much later in the game.
A feature that was incorporated very recently, the combat multiplier has made a return which will also assist in obtaining more studs much quicker. Adding this to the obviously increased quantity of studs gave me the impression that it is much easier to reach the stud target for each level. It actually feels more simplistic especially in comparison with the earliest LEGO titles where you needed to collect the majority of studs just to reach this target, sometimes requiring a multiplier to be applied. Also, the dropped studs last much longer on the ground before disappearing and when your character is hit, you no longer drop your collected studs.
The character list is expansive as ever, players will still have the opportunity to play with whichever character they choose within the Ninjago franchise. As always, certain characters will be required to reach previously unreachable locations which is a tried and true feature of every LEGO game and adds extra playability. Also for those who are very attentive, you may even recognise some characters from other LEGO properties, which I thought was a great addition. For example, you may find Emmet from The Lego Movie somewhere…
Audio & Visuals
With the advancement of technology and development software, the visuals of LEGO games have gotten better and better and The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game is no exception. The game looks even more vibrant as ever, the glistening of the studs appears to be shinier, the environments and characters, although well detailed, give the appearance of a matte-finished LEGO piece, the same as the real toys.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game has a great soundtrack and game sounds, however this is also where it falls down in some places. During some high-action scenes, the game sounds actually impact the background soundtrack. The music gets muffled and it is something that really impacted the gaming experience. Whether this is an issue with the sound programming or a factor of too many sounds being activated at once, it is not indicative of a fully quality tested title. It is not something that happens throughout the whole game but in those sequences, it certainly is distracting.
I can’t lie, I have loved all the LEGO games, and The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game is a great addition to the franchise. Despite the issues I experienced with the sound, I have and will continue to enjoy playing this game. It has also inspired me to go out and watch the movie, where I had previously not been inclined to do so. Simply put, if you are a fan of the Ninjago franchise or a lover of LEGO games, this game should not be missed.