If you haven’t yet seen The LEGO Movie, you really should get to the cinema if it’s still showing, or at the least give it a rent when it comes out on DVD/Blu-ray. It’s much easier to get away with watching if you have children, as you can keep up the pretence that you went with your offspring whilst secretly enjoying it yourself. A bit like the guilty pleasure that is Lego games really, and of course we have the obligatory movie tie in title here. Is it Good Cop or Bad Cop?

The handheld versions of LEGO games saw a change in direction with the release of LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes, where you can actually die, cannot jump unless you are a specific character and has a completely different mission structure and experience to the console version. If you have played the Marvel title, you will be right at home here, although this time round it seems a little more enjoyable.

LM2The evil Lord Business aims to conquer the Lego world using the mysterious Kragle, which he plans to use to fuse the plastic creations permanently into position. The only thing the can save he world is the “Piece of Resistance”, yielded by the “Special”. When this mystical piece is actually found by Emmet, a construction worker with no special qualities at all, the Master Builders in the Lego Universe find themselves in quite a pickle and a race against time to save the day. Thankfully, this enjoyable romp of a movie has translated well to the handheld, with familiar takes on the movie events playable across 15 chapters with three sections in each and upon completion you are treated to segments of the movie which act as cut scenes to the next chapter. The majority of the missions are your standard LEGO fare, top down environments with destructible blocks and puzzling gameplay requiring specific characters to solve.

These are not the only mission types, though, as you also get falling style missions (akin to Gandalf’s stages in LEGO LOTR) and driving missions too (as in LEGO Batman 2) to break up the monotony of the same mission type. This variety does break up the play nicely as well as (in places) playing along nicely with the film’s plot. The missions themselves will not take you very long to complete, depending on your skill you are looking at four to six hours. The longevity is supplied by repeated failure when dying (and a lack of checkpoints) and the challenges, with each mission having ten objectives for a total of 450. Many of these being time based or character specific and therefore requiring multiple mission plays to complete as with the usual LEGO title mechanics.

LM3There is a large selection of characters to choose from, but the abilities here will be quite familiar if you have played previous titles. Emmett, as a construction worker, has the ability to use a pneumatic drill to break through areas and a spanner to repair parts, whilst Wyldstyle is acrobatic and can jumps across bars and scale walls. Vitruvious can move far-away items with his staff and Benny the 1980s spaceman can float across gaps. In an improvement from Marvel Super Heroes, you can now have more characters in your party during your first play through (albeit still only one on screen at a time) and during free-play have full control over who comes along via a character wheel.

The game controls well enough, with a combination of touch screen mechanics and physical controls. You can move tour character around with a tap on the screen, but this is not particularly successful. Changing character and activating your characters special move are the other touch commands, whilst the face buttons serve as your attack, ranged, dodge and interaction buttons. Visually the game is on a level with other LEGO titles, nothing special or out of the ordinary, but functional. It is worth noting that of all the LEGO games I have played, this feels most like the plastic pleasures that hurt your feet in the night. The game is also “blessed” with extracts from the “Everything is Awesome” tune that accompanies the movie upon completing each mission. It soon irritates!

LM4

As expected though the usual detractions apply here to act as deterrents. The game is far too expensive for what it is; a simplified and cut back version of the superior console experience and it suffers from too much familiarity with the LEGO Marvel title – which was only released in November. It is reasonably enjoyable and fun and of course will be a simplistic platinum, if that is your thing and well worth playing if you can find it at a cheaper price, enjoyed the movie or have younger ones.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Presentation
Gameplay
Lasting Appeal
Execution
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Paul founded The Vita Lounge and is the Executive Editor, but still likes to get involved with the odd piece of news or a review. 35 years young and gaming since 1990, he has a preference for Action/RPG games, Shooters, Racing Games (despite ironically not being able to drive!) and quite partial to a game of FIFA.
  • ruefrak

    Even though they are apparently hobbled version of their console brethren, I’m really beginning to enjoy the Lego games on the Vita. Batman and Lord of the Rings were both really enjoyable. I’m going to have to add this to my queue for something that is perhaps a bit easier than Fez. That game’s puzzles are still hurting my brain.

  • Lester Paredes

    Found it on the cheap. thoroughly fun, though some stages where the mission is to score a certain percentage of accuracy were… the most frustrating thing in the game, to say the least. Definitely fun (especially if you’ve enjoyed the movie), but not at full asking price. And, obviously, the console version is superior. Still, this was a good time. I certainly went through the trouble of earning it’s platinum. And I only do that for games I enjoy.

  • Buckybuckster

    Thanx for the review Murphy! You’ve given me much to consider. Love the console Lego games but I’m somewhat noncommittal when it comes to the offerings for the Vita. It seems to me that $40 should buy me something more in line with the console editions.

  • I’m loving Lego Marvel on the Vita, even moreso than the “full” console version because of the challenges. They’re really totally different games with the same framing. People who expect ports of the console versions are inherently disappointed, but I appreciate them.

    • André Rocha

      You’re the first I hear saying that like more the vita version.

  • André Rocha

    LEGO Legends of Chima: Laval’s Journey was the last LEGO game I got for the Vita, Marvel Super Heroes, The Movie Video Game and now The Hobbit are a shadow of what they could have been. Got those 3 for the PS4 but I could’ve got ’em for the Vita aswell if they were like legends of chima.

    Lets face it, ps vita versions of lego games are being held on because of the 3ds we al know that but this won’t change because 3ds has a larger install base so it will always lead the development which means the ps vita will always get the worst of it.