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The LEGO Movie: The Videogame is exactly as crazy as it sounds. Actually, it’s more crazy than it sounds. It is an excellent movie tie-in, perhaps one of the best ever. The cutscenes are ripped straight out of the movie, so the plot follows perfectly in line with the film. Restrictive source material is often a problem in movie tie-in games, but The LEGO Movie is so bonkers that it allows its game to be much more unique than past LEGO games.
Like the film, The LEGO Movie: The Videogame has a bizarre story. The star of the show is Emmet, who finds “The Piece of Resistance”, which leads to him being dubbed “The Special.” “The Piece of Resistance” is supposed to be used to stop Lord Business from using the “Kragle” to end the world on “Taco Tuesday.” That might sound strange, but the strange part is how all of it gets justified in the narrative. It is a joy to watch the plot unfold, and it makes the game completely worthwhile to play.
Over the course of the campaign, you meet and control a wide cast of characters, including Shakespeare, Cleopatra, Batman and Unikitty, and they get put in sometimes hilarious, fish-out-of-water situations. You get to see Batman survive Cloud Cuckoo Land, for instance, in one of the game’s most humorous segments. The one criticism I have, however, is that there doesn’t seem to be any humor added specifically for the game, so the jokes get repeated frequently and start to get old.
If you have played a LEGO game before, you know how this game plays out. Each character attacks in a slightly different way, but you are primarily mashing the attack button with absolutely no consequence for dying. In that regard, it is perfectly suited for its primary audience, children, but it did leave me wanting more depth. Just like in past LEGO games, a second player can drop in and out at any time.
Similar to the combat, puzzles in The LEGO Movie: The Videogame are simplistic. Most of the time, the game only requires the player to determine which special ability is needed to progress. The visual cues associated with said puzzles, however, can get lost in the hectic nature of the stages. Several times I cleared a room completely only to wander about for the next few minutes desperately looking for a button prompt. It didn’t happen often, but it was obnoxious when it did.
I am not intimately familiar with the LEGO franchise, so I can only assume past games have included mini games of different sorts, but the mini games in The LEGO Movie: The Videogame come out of nowhere and left me cackling for minutes on end at their sheer absurdity. By the end you will have played the most bland rhythm game in existence and a ludicrously simple Pac-Man clone to name just a few. Their infrequent use made the simplicity bearable, and it was always fun to see what developers TT Games came up with next.
There is a lot to do in The LEGO Movie: The Videogame. Each stage can be replayed with any character, or you can simply relive the story as you did the first time. There are several hub worlds that have some hidden goodies, and characters to buy with your collected currency. Each hub is small but has enough character to add to the overall game world.
I finished the main story at 25% completion in about six hours. Each stage has extremely well hidden items to find, which then can be used in the free form “Bonus Room” after the game is completed. Most of the percentage is collectibles, but because they are so well hidden, finding them is rewarding.
Visuals are sharp and smooth on the next gen platforms. The cutscenes are straight from the movie, and look great, but the animation of the game looks only different in style. There were no framerate drops, and it just ended up looking incredible.
The music is bonkers and fun, but the theme song comes up way too often and is about five seconds long, so like the jokes, it gets old quickly. The voice acting, however, is strange. The LEGO Movie is filled with big name celebrities, and as such the cutscenes in the game are too. But, for the most part, the voice work seemed to be actors doing impressions of their famous counterparts. Most of the talking happens in cut scenes, so it was never a huge distraction, but it was occasionally jarring.
If you enjoy the LEGO game framework already, there is a lot to love in this game.The source material allows for a level of creativity I haven’t seen in past LEGO games, and it is perfectly suited for young kids or other inexperienced game players. The jokes often fall flat, and the gameplay is shallow, but the game was enjoyable more often than not. The LEGO Movie: The Videogame sounds ridiculous, and it is, and that is exactly why you should play it.