Monday, 25 July 2011

First Impressions: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean (3DS)

Franchise overload, its the one thing that plagues every successful publisher. The constant demand to provide more of the same, but different enough from the previous game. This usually ends in a complete burnout. Guitar Hero being the most recent example of this.

The Lego series started with the hugely enjoyable Lego Star Wars games. This lead to block based excursions into Indiana Jones, Batman and Harry Potter. With every entry the games became more and more the same with slight alterations to match the licensed universe in question.

This year has seen the series journey back to Star Wars and also take on the Pirates of the Caribbean films in brick form. I downloaded the demo's for both of these on Xbox live and after playing them, I felt nothing, really. They felt like the same as the earlier games and I did not connect with these games.

This week though, I got Lego PoTC for my 3DS and what a difference a platform can make. Whereas I felt these titles were starting to go stale on the big home systems. I have spent all weekend throwing myself in to the handheld version. The graphics look as good as the home console versions and the added 3D effect has been put to very good use. Whilst the gameplay still revolves around the building switches and collecting Lego bolts to buy new characters and extras. The game just suits the portability and pick up, put down play style of the 3DS. All four films have been condensed down to 4 levels per film with good quality cutscene movies, that have been rendered in 3D as well. A simple duelling mechanic for boss fights works well with the B button used to gain the upper hand, then into a Quick Time event to strike your opponent. The game demands to be replayed, as the levels are full of puzzles, switches and sections that can only be accessed using different skills or powers. For example, several doors can only be opened by a Kings Navy officer. All the characters from the films are portrayed in Lego form, remarkably well for a small screen.

From what I have seen so far, I cannot wait to finish it off and I am looking to pick up Lego Star Wars III and future Lego titles on my 3DS.

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