Everything is awesome if you’re Lego. Geekdom has embraced your unisex product. Movies are being made to honor your plastic building goodness. Traveller’s Tales is producing licensed videogames in such quantity as to surpass water in terms of a worldwide commodity.
Then, the Lego Movie Videogame happened, and suddenly things are less awesome. But, Lego can probably afford a temporary dump of said awesome.
Plotted through a cliff notes version of the theatrical release, Lego Movie slings construction worker Emmet Brickowski into the center of Lord Business’ plan to disobey the rules printed on super glue packages. Brickowski becomes the purported savior of his decked out Lego world and instantaneous enemy of Fox News.
What this means is engaging in an endurance run of Traveller’s Tales worn paths of digital Lego-dom. Brickowski leaves levels in tatters in search of collectible Studs, picking apart menial puzzles alongside skilled counterparts. Characters unlock, replay value is instituted, and we do it all over again no matter the license.
Comparatively, Lego Movie is strapped down on tighter development strands, ditching a more freeing or open exploratory adventure. Traveller’s Tales have reignited their now retro Lego juices, punching out a multi-licensed brick builder from scraps left behind by first edition Lego Star Wars entries. Brickowski inhabits a stricter realm than his Lego City Undercover comrades. Combative stubbornness returns after Undercover broke ground, while slim penalties for a shattering death negates these stunted punches.
An abundance of falling, dancing, and sliding make up side activities away from the repetitious domain of platforming. Lego Movie is insistent regarding the fun factor of its Pac-Man-like hacking mini-game without realizing how weary it becomes. Outside of its forced comedy in-game, there is a slow seeping loss of life energy running through this overlong quest. By its close, the awesome has dripped to read almost empty, if briefly ignited by giant robots.
Giant in Lego terms anyway…
Lego games continue their march into platform inclusiveness whether the console houses something central to the needs of the title or not. Here on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Lego Movie should match its cinematic CG counterpart. It doesn’t. This proves a fluffier, less textured operation built to harness the strengths of a deeper install base on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 first. A notable aesthetic of deepened contrast is lost when shifting to gameplay from film clips (which does dissect all key plot points; be forewarned).
But, Lego Movie extends a critic repulser. None of this inherently matters. Integrity remains stable in Traveller’s Tales saturated market share. Brickowski’s business extinguishing quest is never frail enough to deconstruct the future of this immeasurably powerful, family shared franchise. It would seem the repeat trend certain movies gain during childhood has been replaced by this, “They made another one?” cycle of plastic adorableness. Outside of PopCap and Nintendo, few developers reach for the cuddly in the face of chainsaw assassinating Space Marines. Maybe in context, these seemingly endless Lego runs are more distinctive than we realize.
The Lego Movie Videogame is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief. This game can also be found on: Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PS3, 3DS, Vita, PCPowered by Sidelines