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Xbox 360 Review: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean-The Video Game

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At first glance, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean might seem nothing more than a silly game for kids. After all, the characters are…LEGOs! They don’t speak so much as grunt and giggle, waddling through their world like windup toys. The surprise is that you adult gamers will enjoy this game too. If you’ve never experienced the sly Captain Jack Sparrow immortalized as a shiny, clunky LEGO figure, you haven’t lived.

The game is based on memorable scenes from the first three Pirates films, as well a sampling of the fourth and latest installment.

Gameplay is simple for anyone to figure out.  You start off at The Port, the hub of the game world where the waters are calm. This is where you set sail, first aboard Captain Sparrow’s Black Pearl and eventually the Queen Anne’s Revenge. The object of the game is to make it through all four worlds.

You can play in a couple of different ways. In Story Mode, you will follow the course set by Captain Jack and experience scenes from each movie. Free Play allows you to replay a level you’ve already completed in Story Mode.  

Occasionally you will need to build a transport to get you where you need to go. This is done by finding Mini-Kits on each level. Once built, the transport can be utilized in any bonus level.

With over 70 characters at the player’s command (nine of which can be customized), the player is kept pretty busy. If you’re playing on your own, you will need to switch between characters to get the job done. For instance, Jack Sparrow may not be able to fight a particular bandit but Will Turner can. The same holds true for others you will meet and control along the way. Between figuring out which character to use and what tasks need to be accomplished, the game can get a mite challenging. However, it never stops being fun. If you have an extra controller and a friend, you can split the characters and tasks between yourselves. It is also possible to play in co-op mode over XBox Live.

Scattered through your gameworld are LEGO Studs. Collect these and later use them in shops to upgrade your equipment. If you collect enough of these you will be hailed a true pirate and who wouldn’t want that?  In The Port you can purchase Red Bricks with your bounty which unlock special abilities and stud multipliers. Opening the pause menu and selecting “extras” will allow you to activate your Bricks during gameplay.

As I said, the gameplay is kept relatively simple. The A button is for jumping, the B button is for interacting with another character, the X button is for attacking, etc.  The graphics are as you might expect. Everything is made of LEGOs, even the trees, which means these worlds are plastic, shiny, and colorful.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is a perfect game to play with your kids. You can pretend you’re doing it to please them but there’s an excellent chance you’ll enjoy it just as much as they will.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean – The Video Game is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for cartoon violence and comic mischief. This game can also be found on: Nintendo DS, PC, PS3, PSP, and Wii.

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About Mindy Peterman