The release of the Lego Ninjago movie coincides with a new Traveller’s Tales game based on that same movie. The Lego games are a well-known entity and should probably have their own game category by now. We channel our Spinjitsu and meditate on what this new Lego game brings us.
- The combat system is great fun. When you unlock more skills and bonuses, you can chain awesome looking combos together.
- While I expected the ninjas to play mostly the same, their weapons actually feel different in combat, and they get their own animations during multiple hit combos. This will likely lead to personal favorites based on the fighting alone.
- The general writing is good and entertaining. For a Lego game this one has a lot of dialogue, and while it may be an acquired taste, I really enjoyed some of the jokes. I can’t get enough of Garmadon calling Lloyd, La-loyd, much to Lloyd’s chagrin.
- Finding ancient scrolls that you can activate to change the gameplay, like indicating secrets on the map or having everything look like an old movie, is a nice touch.
- The game basically uses the same formula as the other Lego titles, which definitely isn’t a bad thing as most of these games have been fun to play. There are some changes and additions, of course, such as the Ninjanuitiy tokens that boost certain skills.
- The Battle Arenas see four players duking it out in co-op over three different game modes and maps. The open spots are controlled by the AI. This can be fun, but since the screen is always split into four parts, it can be hard to see what’s going on at times. Also, the battle system doesn’t work nearly as well for fighting other players compared attacking the AI.
- Graphically the game uses a more realistic look. I would have preferred the more animated look, but I guess this is taken from the new movie. Sometimes this works really well, sometimes it doesn’t. During some early scenes in Ninjago City, it’s incredibly hard to see what’s going on. The screen just looks like a convoluted mess where nothing really stands out.
- There are frame rate issues every now and then. This happens especially in Ninjago City and even more so while playing in co-op.
- The story ending is a huge disappointment. I wouldn’t even call it an ending. It’s like the writers forgot to finish the story altogether. I haven’t seen the movie yet, and maybe this is how the movie ends. I’m not sure, either way, it definitely takes some enjoyment away from the campaign experience.
The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game (whew!) is a fun game that is well worth your time if you enjoyed the previous Lego titles. Personally, I wish they had based it on the series and not the new movie, both look and lore-wise. However, any fan of the Lego Ninjago universe should definitely check this one out.