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"[GAME] LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean'.
Mon 23/05/11 at 08:58
Regular
"Carpe Diem"
Posts: 154
The Lego series has really exploded. From it's humble beginnings with Lego Island in 1997, the franchise has become a leading name in the world of family gaming. In the last few years, more and more films have been signing up for the Lego video game treatment, and it usually ends in a hugely fun; if slightly similar adventure. Enter Pirates of the Caribbean, the latest film to be built in blocks and retold in the shape of platformer. But will this new quest be shivering your timbers, or has the franchise gone a brick too far?

As with other Lego games, there's an instant amusement from seeing the film stars modelled in the iconic bricks, and nothing has changed with this latest offering. From the outset, humorous cutscenes tell the story of the movies; and playable characters resemble their silver-screen cousins. It wont be long before your out to sea; solving puzzles and swashbuckling your way through the 20 levels on offer. It's a simple yet rewarding experience; and even though the core gameplay remains unchanged, the sense of enjoyment is present in droves. In early levels, you will do such things as hunt for crewmen, solve simple puzzles and try out your sword, all to the backdrop of the licensed 'Pirates soundtrack. Cutscenes are frequent and always comical; eschewing voice acting in place of the series' renowned slapstick approach. That said, those who have not seen the films in question may be left in the dark at times; but the visual laughs and stylish looks are still guaranteed to raise a smile.

Levels themselves are a varied bunch, each accessed through a port-themed central hub. They are then split into groups of 5, each based on the 4 different 'Pirates movies. Choosing a level will give a choice of either 'story' or 'freeplay' mode, the latter allowing your own choice of characters for more exploring and collectible hunting. Levels are notably varied and colourful, throwing any fears of repetition immediately out of the window. There's always something exciting to do, whether it be firing cannons at ships, battling foes on roll-away wheels, or even just building up Lego creations; the game is always fresh and inspiring. Furthermore, it manages to remain accessible, even as later puzzles pile on the challenge. Many interactions are character based, with each new face adding different abilities to help you progress through the game. Characters are changed with the touch of a button, and their differing abilities are often inspired by those in the film's they are based upon. For example, Will Turner can throw axes at objects, whilst Jack has a compass to lead you to secrets. Furthermore, only female characters can double jump, making high-to-reach areas the sole domain of the ladies. It all adds up to an assorted adventure which; whilst never overly challenging, is superbly playable and never boring.

A staple of the Lego series has always been an overwhelming amount of collectibles. Thankfully, things are no different in this latest offering, with tonnes of trinkets for looters to hunt for; only this time in real pirate fashion. There are things such as 10 ships to find each level, 84 gold bricks spread through the world, and hordes of unlockables for the determined. It all makes for barrels of replay value, with collecting all coins in every level a task which is quick to become addictive. This is perhaps an important point; as without an urge to rerun the levels, the game could be seen as somewhat short. However, only the most ill-humoured gamer would not find something worth replaying. There are too many moments you'll want to return to; if not to unlock new areas and items, then simply to experience them over again.

This is doubly true if you play with a friend, as many of the game's puzzles and areas have been created with co-op in mind. A friend can join with a simple drop-in system, turning the game into traditional split-screen. Co-op moments are present throughout, such as helping each other to raise a cannon, or beating a boss in platforming unison. Playing alone still works well though, with AI characters taking over the actions of the other player. The only real drawback in terms of co-op is the obvious lack of an online component. It would have been nice to go online with the huge roster of playable characters, instead of the only option being split-screen.

Technically though, the game is superb. The colourful world is a breath of fresh air, and things such as textures and lighting are stellar. Music is lifted directly from the films, an addition which makes even light exploration feel suitably epic and in tune with it's namesake. Another nice touch is the animation; in particular Captain Jack's jocose mannerisms. It's the sort of small touch which can go unseen, but when noticed reminds you of the detail on offer. There's so much to see that even loading screens put on a show, in the shape of parades by papercraft caricatures!

Ultimately, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is an excellent addition to the series. It is full of content and infinitely approachable, providing a game which is often whimsical, and always fun. Fans of the films should look no further, and Lego lovers should be already sold. It's a game that comes recommended to everyone; whether your looking to play as a family, or just for a new and charming experience. It may not provide a weighty challenge; but for pure fun and colourful wit, Lego 'Pirates should be a first port of call.

9/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Mon 23/05/11 at 08:58
Regular
"Carpe Diem"
Posts: 154
The Lego series has really exploded. From it's humble beginnings with Lego Island in 1997, the franchise has become a leading name in the world of family gaming. In the last few years, more and more films have been signing up for the Lego video game treatment, and it usually ends in a hugely fun; if slightly similar adventure. Enter Pirates of the Caribbean, the latest film to be built in blocks and retold in the shape of platformer. But will this new quest be shivering your timbers, or has the franchise gone a brick too far?

As with other Lego games, there's an instant amusement from seeing the film stars modelled in the iconic bricks, and nothing has changed with this latest offering. From the outset, humorous cutscenes tell the story of the movies; and playable characters resemble their silver-screen cousins. It wont be long before your out to sea; solving puzzles and swashbuckling your way through the 20 levels on offer. It's a simple yet rewarding experience; and even though the core gameplay remains unchanged, the sense of enjoyment is present in droves. In early levels, you will do such things as hunt for crewmen, solve simple puzzles and try out your sword, all to the backdrop of the licensed 'Pirates soundtrack. Cutscenes are frequent and always comical; eschewing voice acting in place of the series' renowned slapstick approach. That said, those who have not seen the films in question may be left in the dark at times; but the visual laughs and stylish looks are still guaranteed to raise a smile.

Levels themselves are a varied bunch, each accessed through a port-themed central hub. They are then split into groups of 5, each based on the 4 different 'Pirates movies. Choosing a level will give a choice of either 'story' or 'freeplay' mode, the latter allowing your own choice of characters for more exploring and collectible hunting. Levels are notably varied and colourful, throwing any fears of repetition immediately out of the window. There's always something exciting to do, whether it be firing cannons at ships, battling foes on roll-away wheels, or even just building up Lego creations; the game is always fresh and inspiring. Furthermore, it manages to remain accessible, even as later puzzles pile on the challenge. Many interactions are character based, with each new face adding different abilities to help you progress through the game. Characters are changed with the touch of a button, and their differing abilities are often inspired by those in the film's they are based upon. For example, Will Turner can throw axes at objects, whilst Jack has a compass to lead you to secrets. Furthermore, only female characters can double jump, making high-to-reach areas the sole domain of the ladies. It all adds up to an assorted adventure which; whilst never overly challenging, is superbly playable and never boring.

A staple of the Lego series has always been an overwhelming amount of collectibles. Thankfully, things are no different in this latest offering, with tonnes of trinkets for looters to hunt for; only this time in real pirate fashion. There are things such as 10 ships to find each level, 84 gold bricks spread through the world, and hordes of unlockables for the determined. It all makes for barrels of replay value, with collecting all coins in every level a task which is quick to become addictive. This is perhaps an important point; as without an urge to rerun the levels, the game could be seen as somewhat short. However, only the most ill-humoured gamer would not find something worth replaying. There are too many moments you'll want to return to; if not to unlock new areas and items, then simply to experience them over again.

This is doubly true if you play with a friend, as many of the game's puzzles and areas have been created with co-op in mind. A friend can join with a simple drop-in system, turning the game into traditional split-screen. Co-op moments are present throughout, such as helping each other to raise a cannon, or beating a boss in platforming unison. Playing alone still works well though, with AI characters taking over the actions of the other player. The only real drawback in terms of co-op is the obvious lack of an online component. It would have been nice to go online with the huge roster of playable characters, instead of the only option being split-screen.

Technically though, the game is superb. The colourful world is a breath of fresh air, and things such as textures and lighting are stellar. Music is lifted directly from the films, an addition which makes even light exploration feel suitably epic and in tune with it's namesake. Another nice touch is the animation; in particular Captain Jack's jocose mannerisms. It's the sort of small touch which can go unseen, but when noticed reminds you of the detail on offer. There's so much to see that even loading screens put on a show, in the shape of parades by papercraft caricatures!

Ultimately, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is an excellent addition to the series. It is full of content and infinitely approachable, providing a game which is often whimsical, and always fun. Fans of the films should look no further, and Lego lovers should be already sold. It's a game that comes recommended to everyone; whether your looking to play as a family, or just for a new and charming experience. It may not provide a weighty challenge; but for pure fun and colourful wit, Lego 'Pirates should be a first port of call.

9/10

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