Lego Pirates of the Carribean
For: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, Nintendo 3DS/DS/Wii
RRP: $109 ($69 on PSP, $99 3DS, $100 Wii)
Watching the Lego version of Captain Jack Sparrow run around makes me laugh.
Somehow Lego Captain Jack Sparrow manages that same “arms waving in the air, gently rolling from side to side” sprint that Johnny Depp pulled off in the Pirates of the Carribean movies.
Before I played Lego Pirates of the Carribean, I turned to my son and said, straight faced, “I think I’m over Lego games”. He just nodded then went back to playing Gun Bros on his iPod Touch.
I mean, how much longer until the novelty of seeing Lego explode wears off? Obviously not yet, as Pirates is the eighth game featuring movie characters constructed out of Lego bricks (three on Star Wars, two on Indiana Jones, one on Batman and one on Harry Potter), but it’s fun and charming in a cutesy Lego kind of way.
I could write paragraphs about what new feature developer Travellers Tales has brought to Lego Pirates of the Carribean, but really, when you break it down, this Lego game follows pretty much the same pattern as all the other Lego games: explore locations from the four movies (yes, even including the current On Stranger Tides), solve simple puzzles, battle a variety of foes (British soldiers, ghost pirates) and search for a variety of collectibles.
You can also swap between characters at the press of a button, which is frequently required, as different characters have different skills.
It’s a simple formula that hasn’t changed since the first Lego game, but why change the formula if it ain’t broke, right?
The cut scenes are as funny as ever – it always amazes me how much emotion a plastic Lego person can convey – and this time pigs and vegetables have a large part to play.
I tip my hat at the developer for taking movies that can, at times, present scary imagery and making a lighthearted and child- friendly game out of them.
However, some of the niggly flaws of the previous games have crept into Pirates.
You know sometimes when you play a Lego game and you get stuck somewhere and have no idea what you’re supposed to do next? That happens with Pirates too.
Sometimes I was left scratching my head. “I’ve picked up the crate of bricks and moved them to there, I’ve built the wall I need to climb, I’ve zipped down the zip line to the other side, so what the heck am I supposed to do now?” Sometimes, it throws up headscratchers that kill momentum.
The split-screen co-op is back, allowing two players to play the game together, but sometimes I get frustrated when my co-op partner decides to head off in a different direction and smash up some crates, just so he can add to his tally of Lego studs, while I want to get on with the job at hand and solve a puzzle.
Does that mean I’m a bit of a control freak and just want to be in charge?
You’ll know what to expect with Lego Pirates of the Caribbean and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. My request for the next Lego game: Lego Aliens. It might not suit the kids, but I’d play it.