Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Review: LEGO Legends of Chima - Laval's Journey (3DS)

I'm pretty sure I've made this observation with another LEGO game or maybe I read it in someone else's review, but the never-slowing flow of LEGO games can only be explained by the existence of a LEGO Algorithm that developers are using to change a few variables, spin and dial, drop in some different textures and ka-ching! A new LEGO game!

Maybe such a theory is cynical at best and "just being a jerk" at worst, but I have no other explanation for the way it feels like Science was somehow employed in being able to produce a spate of games that so successfully reuses the same tried and tested formula.

LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval's Journey is based on the recent cartoon that features a lot of anthropomorphic LEGO animals embroiled in a plot to acquire "triple CHI power," which sounds pretty close to something you'd order at Starbucks. The story progresses at a steady pace, with more and more characters added to the roster, each with unique qualities that allow additional exploration options.

lego legends of chima laval's journey
lego legends of chima laval's journeyLike most of the other LEGO games, the puzzles are layered in the sense that each one is deliberately staged. Fight some enemies as Laval, punch a button as Gorzan to open a trap door, dive into the water as Cragger to turn a crank and lower/raise the water level, then sniff out some clues as Worriz. The puzzles are put together pretty well. Older players will walk through Laval's Journey in about six hours (and only about 22% complete, overall) but younger players will definitely spend more time exploring and uncovering all the secrets.

Also, like the other LEGO games, there's no real penalty for being crumbled to pieces. It's reallyaccessible that way, as is the game's prodding when it comes time to figuring out what character the player should be using to overcome a challenge.

Having kids is a great advantage to reviewing a game like Laval's Journey because I get to see the where was I going with this? My 4-year old stumbled through the sections of the game that he played but he did have quite a bit of fun with it, especially if I was able to swoop in an figure out a puzzle or two so he could keep playing. target market respond honestly and without that bitter cynicism of someone long past feeling anything like joy when it comes to playing games...

- Aaron Simmer

The Good:
- Accessible
- Big bright, understandable graphics
- Upholds the LEGO Algorithm of layered puzzles and multiple characters

The Bad:
- Scratchy voice work
- For some reason the cutscenes aren't 3D

Score: 8.0 / 10