What’s going on readers, let’s talk about Lego. Childhood toy? Yes. Clever way to allow children to express creativity whilst having fun at the same time? Of course. Ever expanding video game series that faithfully recreates our favourite fictional worlds and allows us to run rampant in them? Abso-freaking-lutely.
Lego has covered a huge number of our favourite places – Harry Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean, Middle Earth, Marvel, DC and of course – Star Wars. And that’s not counting the original releases they’ve had, and whilst it’s easy to write them off as silly, colourful kids games, I would definitely give them a name I hesitate to give to many things. The Lego games are definitely family games – a term that usually just means kid-friendly, I.e. childish.
I am not ashamed to say that as a 20 year old male, I still enjoy exploring the Lego games, and my attention is always kept until that little 100% completion trophy pops. So with Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens now on shelves, I thought I’d rattle off some of my favourites. I was going to do a top five, but honestly, these first three are in no particular order. I know what my top two are, without a shadow of a doubt, but I had a great time with all of these…
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
The first Lego Batman was mainly focused on the caped crusader himself, the second expanded into more of a Justice League experience, whilst Beyond Gotham did exactly what it says on the box. It takes us Beyond Gotham and out onto an intergalactic adventure. Featuring Brainiac as the evil mastermind behind a world ending scheme, the heroes are forced to unite with their former enemies, opening up a huge character roster to play with. Killer Croc, Lex Luthor and other memorable faces (as well as a few relatively unknown ones) actually join the team! What fun!
Holy (insert expletive here). Did you ever think you’d see Doctor Who team up with Batman and Marty McFly? No. Neither did we. I really don’t need to go into much detail about why this one was so good. Remember earlier when I mentioned how Lego covers most of our favourite places? This game sure helped make up the numbers. Plus it introduced real life block building as a gameplay mechanic. It would be higher on the list, but damn it’s a tough category this Lego business.
Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and 5-7
Technically two games, but given they had eight films to cover, we’ll let them off here. A few people may actually disagree with me on this one, but ever since I was a child, it’s been my dream to run around Hogwarts. It’s why I loved all the individual games (except 4, 7 and 8, but lets not talk about those). Lego Harry Potter combined the creative block building, puzzle solving and humour, with something I’ve been obsessed with since I could say “Quidditch”. I have a very clear memory of staying up until around 5am with a friend, just so we could finish the Order of the Phoenix segment…yes we are sad, leave us alone.
As I mentioned before, my top two are definitely my top two. These are hands down, the most fun I’ve had in a Lego Videogame.
Lego Marvel Superheroes
Not to be confused with the rather disappointing Lego Marvel Avengers, Superheroes had no movies to follow, therefore no limitations on it’s characters, or stories and rules to follow. The Fantastic 4, The X-Men, the Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy and more all showed up to help defend earth from the mighty Galactus, and praise the sun! He wasn’t a swirly space cloud! Marvel Superheroes boasted a vast number of characters, including mother-effing Stan Lee who turned into a mother-effing Stan Lee Hulk! What’s not to love?
Now for my fairly obvious number one…
Lego Star Wars
No not the original trilogy. No not the complete saga. The original, PlayStation 2 Lego Star Wars. I can almost hear people screaming as I write this. “But Jack!” you’re saying, lets not deny it, “The graphics are nothing compared to the games now! The character roster is limited, there’s no open world…” etc. etc. Yes, on paper, Lego Star Wars is probably the least impressive, but no matter how many improvements to the formula Tt make, or how much stuff they add in to keep me playing, nothing will compare to that first time playing through my first Lego game. Lego Star Wars introduced me to the gameplay system that all the Lego games now run off, and no amount of flashy collectibles or open worlds can change that.
If there’s one thing that the Lego games do well, and this is across the board – it’s how much they obviously love their source material. Each world is recreated with care and loyalty, and a huge amount of research has definitely been done to give fans the most in depth, and possibly even the best experience you could have of that world. I don’t see new games set in the land of Pirates of the Caribbean being made, and all their games have been average at best, so Lego Pirates sits atop the pile. That’s just an example, but you get my point.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is in stores now, and I very much look forward to seeing what how they do it. I only have one concern. One thing that tends to trip the Lego games up is being too reliant on following a pre-written story. Lego Avengers suffered from this, as did The Lego Movie: The Game. The Lego games work best when they are free to do whatever they want, and seeing as how Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens has to make a whole game out of a single film, this could once again be an obstacle…I guess we’ll ujst have to wait and see!
That was this week’s VuePoint article!!! Check back tomorrow for a new BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!!