The LEGO games on Vita have been up and down ever since they made the jump with LEGO Harry Potter Years 5-7; I’ve enjoyed a few, but the last couple I played (LEGO Marvel Super Heroes and The LEGO Movie Videogame for the record) have been terrible.
Hearing that we’d be getting a new LEGO game based on one of my all time favorite movies I got very excited, and yet very nervous at the same time. Were they going to go the same route they did with the previously mentioned “terrible” games, or would they bring it back to the good ol’ formula that made them famous? To keep you from wondering, LEGO Jurassic World goes back to that enjoyable formula that brought them this far in the first place – ditching that terrible isometric perspective to bring us up close for some awesome dinosaur-infused action.
LEGO Jurassic World is based off all four Jurassic series movies; if you haven’t seen them then maybe you will feel a bit lost, because this game jumps from level to level in regards to the actual story from the movies – mainly focusing on key points or famous scenes from in the movie. Now for someone that has seen all the movies including the newest one (which this game is titled after), it is quite exciting to play these scenes in LEGO form. Although things have been changed to appeal to a younger audience than the teen-oriented thrillers they’ve drawn from, it still works quite well.
Without dropping any real spoilers for the fourth movie, the game has you in the main building in the new park and to select which movie you’d like to play through you simply walk to that movie’s entrance door. Think of it as an exhibit at a zoo or museum, which each movie being a wing or area.
After choosing your movie you then head to these blue platforms with control panels on them. By standing on one of these you can then select the level you’d like to go through. This can be somewhat time consuming as you have to run to a total of four control panels to select all the levels within that movie – and no they aren’t right next to each other either, as that’d be too easy right?
For those that don’t know how a LEGO game works it’s pretty simple. You break stuff, collect LEGO studs, find hidden collectibles, and progress through a goofy but enjoyable story. It’s a very simple game that makes you laugh and gives you mostly enjoyable tasks.
Controlling your LEGO buddy is quite simple with the square button assigned to attack, “X” letting you jump, triangle switching your character, and circle using your character’s special ability (if they have one). Oh and I should also mention this applies for the dinosaurs as well. Yes, I said dinosaurs; you can control T-Rex, Velociraptors, even the new bad-ass dino from the Jurassic World film in this game.
Another feature of the LEGO games is to have to solve puzzles that really aren’t that difficult. Again this game is meant for a younger audience, but still is great for the older crowd as well. All the characters in the game have their own abilities that must be used to progress through the game – for instance, most females in the game can jump higher than the male characters so they can access higher ground. Alternatively, there’s Alan Grant who is the only character able to use a Velociraptor claw to cut rope and vine. Luckily for us if you have the character available but not selected the game will prompt you to tap ‘R’ to switch to the correct character for the job.
My only issue with the controls in this game would have to be that the touch screen is always active and I’d find myself accidentally touching it, causing my character to change directions and run to where I’d tapped. Just because the Vita has a touch screen doesn’t mean it needs touch controls, or that optional touch controls should always be on. It works great for the menu, but other than that nobody really needs it in this game.
LEGO Jurassic World‘s graphics are what you’d expect from a LEGO game, though this time the presentation fits what they’re trying for without being muddy like the older LEGO games were. It’s actually a really colorful game with all the forest and plant life on the screen, but if you’re expecting to be wowed though I wouldn’t hold your breath – the LEGO games are not known for eye popping visuals.
As one would expect from a Jurassic Park themed game the sound is very important. There’s some good news and some bad on that front, as this game gets some things right and some things wrong. For the most part it’s amazing; the music, the dinosaurs they all sound just like the movies. Now what could be bad you say? Well, they also thought it’d be a good idea to cut the actual movie voices and insert them into the game. This just doesn’t sound right at all – you can clearly tell it’s cut from the movie, and as such it just doesn’t fit with what they’re trying to accomplish here. It’s a minor flaw, but thankfully it doesn’t ruin the game.
With only minor issues in regards to the touch controls and sound design, TT Fusion (the developers behind this title) have done a great job of mashing a beloved movie franchise into a beloved game franchise. With amazing scenes to relive and the ability to control your favorite dinosaurs, all they’ve been trying for and building on seems to come together quite nicely with LEGO Jurassic World – bringing my faith in the LEGO games on Vita back out of the ground.
If you’re a fan of the LEGO games then what are you waiting for? If you’re new to the franchise… then still, what are you waiting for? This would be a great starting point for any LEGO fan or dinosaur/Jurassic Park lover – and that’s coming from someone well versed in both.