Lego Dimensions: Midway Arcade (PS4): COMPLETED!

I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting much from this Level Pack. It seemed a little contrived and almost like Warner Bros was scraping around their big ol’ IP library for something a little different and came out with this. They haven’t even got a “known” character as the main figure in the set – he’s just “Gamer Kid”.

However, it turned out to be awesome.

midway arcade
Robotron 2084

The level itself, for the most part, is quite small and doesn’t have a great deal to do in it, but the hook is that you unlock a load of actual real emulated arcade machines as you play. Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, Joust, Super Sprint (which, bizarrely, suffers from horrible slowdown), Defender, Spy Hunter and Robotron 2084 to name a few. There’s also a Lego representation of Paperboy, in which the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz have stolen the newspapers. It’s fun.

Paperboy
Super Sprint
Super Sprint

The dimension hub is fantastic too, with references to Rampage, Toobin’, Vindicators, Badlands, 720, Gauntlet and all sorts.

I’ve a complete playthrough of the level here:

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Lego Dimensions: The Simpsons (PS4): COMPLETED!

This self-contained level follows, more or less, the episode of The Simpsons with the chilli cook-off in it. So Homer has to get there, taste various chillis, then have his weird psychotic episode where there’s a coyote and a golf shop and the sun breaks. Then there’s a lighthouse.

the simpsons

You know the episode. Everyone knows the episode.

In Lego Dimensions, there are obviously changes and bits missing, but it’s pretty good regardless. For those keeping count so far:

Adventure Time > Simpsons > Back to the Future

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Lego Dimensions: The Simpsons (PS4): COMPLETED!

This self-contained level follows, more or less, the episode of The Simpsons with the chilli cook-off in it. So Homer has to get there, taste various chillis, then have his weird psychotic episode where there’s a coyote and a golf shop and the sun breaks. Then there’s a lighthouse.

the simpsons

You know the episode. Everyone knows the episode.

In Lego Dimensions, there are obviously changes and bits missing, but it’s pretty good regardless. For those keeping count so far:

Adventure Time > Simpsons > Back to the Future

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Lego Dimensions: Adventure Time (PS4): COMPLETED!

Another of the complete, almost but not quite standalone Lego Dimensions expansions finished!

Adventure Time was even better than the Back to the Future one – longer, more “fan service”, funny, and so on. There was a bug about two thirds of the way through which made the game crash each time I reached that bit, but aside from that it was excellent.

adventure time

I also loved the cel-shading effect on the graphics. It was also used in the Scooby Doo secton of the main Lego Dimensions story, but here – perhaps due to the colour palette being generally much brighter – it really stands out. At first it looks a little odd, but you soon get used to it.

I’ve a two-part complete playthrough here:

My daughter and I also played the Adventure Time hub world a bit too. That is also fantastic, not least because of Lemongrab, who makes an appearance. Also: toilets.

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Lego Dimensions: Back to the Future (PS4): COMPLETED!

Yes, this totally is being classed as a separate game. Why? Because it was a separate purchase, a separate story, and not even part of the main game. No I haven’t changed the rules – I’ve always stuck to this.

Sparsely following the plot of the first film – or at least, a handful of points from the first film – Marty McFly, his skateboard, and the DeLorean of Time smash Lego items while going back to 1955 and trying to return to 1985. Attempting to go back to the future, if you will.

As a fan of the film I was pleased with some of the inclusions and references, but disappointed the entire level, including time spent building the physical Lego models, was just 45 minutes long. There’s nothing in the game about Marty’s mum, no Under The Sea, and no Biff Tannen.

Still, I did enjoy it, and owning a Back to the Future character does mean I now have access to the Back to the Future hub world, which seems to have more content than the level did (including more than one time incarnation of Hill Valley), so that’s OK then!

And of course, I have a pile of gold bricks and minikits to return and collect.

Here’s my playthrough, if you’re interested:

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Lego Dimensions (PS4): COMPLETED!

Completed Lego Dimensions, certainly. We’ve beaten the final boss and seen the credits. Yet we still have almost ONE THOUSAND gold bricks to accumulate and haven’t even used two of the Lego characters we bought.

Now, unlike most other Lego games, I can’t really discuss the content too much as Lego Dimensions has its own story rather than retell that of a film or something. It isn’t a fantastic story, but some of the levels may perhaps be spoilers if I went into a lot of detail. I will say, though, that it’s very funny. There are references, and cross-overs, that surprised and delighted me. One-liners, events, and “wrong character” comments like Batman quoting Ghostbusters or Lord Vortex (the big bad guy) claiming he’d have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t have been for you meddling kids.

lego dimensions

The game is huge too, as barely any levels came even close to completion and the “hub” hasn’t been touched at all yet. I wasn’t joking about the thousand gold bricks either.

Building the real-world Lego as part of the game turned out to be fun, and to some degree shuffling characters around on the portal is a nice extension to the standard Lego game formula. It does get a little annoying in some levels where puzzles require a lot of character swapping in addition to position swapping, but we (that is, my daughter and I) found moving the portal nearer the sofa helped there. Unfortunately, the cable is a couple of feet too short to sit it on the sofa between us, and with a USB extension cable the portal won’t respond half the time, but we coped.

Now we’re finished with the main story, I’ve a Sonic Level Pack to break out.

lego dimensions

Oh! And this turned out to be my 104th game completed this year! That’s two whole 52 Game Challenges! Woo!

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Things I’ve been playing recently

Well, where “recently” is “any time in the last couple of months” and “things” is “games I’ve not completed as I’ve already posted about those”. In no particular order:

Spec Ops: The Line (Mac)

This was free, but only if I played it enough to get £1 credit back from Green Man Gaming. At first, I really struggled as it misdetected my PS4 controller and everything literally spiralled out of control – see this video, in particular from the 7 minute point:

With that fixed (I used a mouse and keyboard instead), I then worked through the first level, or mission, or whatever. It’s OK, but nothing special. It’s also difficult to play with an Apple mouse, because you can’t click the left and right buttons at the same time. I don’t know if I’ll play it more.

Paper Mario Sticker Star (3DS)

A lot of people seemed to be quite negative about this, but I’m really enjoying it. It removes almost all of the RPG elements (perhaps this is why it has the reputation it does), but the story and the combat are great and it looks lovely. Also, that Wii U one is out now and I thought I’d do this while waiting for that to magically appear in my possession.

Letter Quest Remastered (PS4)

Incredible Boggle/RPG hybrid. You’re given a bank of 15 random letters, some worth more than others (sort of Scrabble-like) and you make words out of them. The more powerful your word, the harder your attack is on your foes. You can level up abilities, making 6 letter words worth more, or double letters more powerful, etc. and it’s very addictive.

Assault Android Cactus (PC)

I set my Steam Link up again and this is one of the titles I played, having heard good things and getting it for virtually free in a recent Humble Bundle. It’s not bad, but I don’t think – so far at least – it deserves all the praise. It’s just a quite bland twin stick shooter with average graphics but with some great characters. I’m enjoying it, but not as much as I expected to.

Lego Dimensions (PS4)

I actually bought this a while back, but still had Lego Marvel Avengers on the go. With that finished (although not 100%ed) my daughter and I broke it out and yes – it is excellent. Jumping from world to world (we’ve had The Simpsons, The Wizard of Oz, Ninjago and Doctor Who so far) is great, and the references to other Lego games (such as the Joker Titanbot rematch) are awesome too. Playing shuffle-the-characters on the portal is less fun, though, but we’ve negated that a little by moving the portal to the sofa between us.

Pokémon Y (3DS)

With over 70 hours on the clock now, and still about 30% of my Pokédex unfilled, there’s a lot of game here. Not least when you consider I “completed” it at around the 35 hour mark.

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Lego Marvel Avengers (PS4): COMPLETED!

This has been some time in the making! I bought Lego Marvel Avengers months ago, played about half of it, then got sidetracked with Pokémon Y. As with other recent games (and Pokémon), I’ve been playing it with my daughter, and although it didn’t start out as well as Lego Marvel Super Heroes, the “endgame” content is just as good. Well, it should be – it’s almost the same.

lego marvel avengers

Completing it came as a bit of a surprise, actually. I thought we had at least another “film” to go, but it turns out that Avengers: Age of Ultron is the final bit of the game. As for the gameplay, it’s pretty standard Lego stuff, and – as I’ve said before – that’s just fine.

It’s a shame there are no (or at least, appear to be no) X-Men in Lego Marvel Avengers, and I suspect some other characters are missing too, but that doesn’t really matter. Will I complete it 100%? Perhaps not this time round. I want to move onto Lego Dimensions, and pottering round Manhattan and the helicarrier again isn’t that appealing, even if the tasks are different.

lego__marvel_s_avengers_20161120124806

My daughter and I did spend a good while in Hobbiton–sorry, Barton’s Farm which absolutely isn’t a clone of Hobbiton in any way, playing a game where she summons a vehicle and I steal it from under her nose. It was hilarious.

Also hilarious: Squirrel Girl in Squirrel Hulk-Buster Armour. Oh my.

lego marvel avengers

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Lego Lord of the Rings (360): COMPLETED!

I’ve said before that I’m a big fan of Lego games. I buy all of them, and for the last few years have enjoyed them even more as I’ve played them in co-op with my daughter. For some reason, I’d never got round to picking up Lego Lord of the Rings (even though it’s pretty old now) until around New Year, when it was on sale on the 360 shop for about £3. I’d have preferred a Wii U or PS4 version, but neither exist. I’d also have preferred an actual physical version, but for £3 I can cope.

Coming to this after Lego The Hobbit, I can see it’s very similar. The overworld is almost the same, and some of the locations are – at least without a side by side comparison – identical. It’s fun, as all Lego games are, but it’s pretty far down the list when it comes to which is best. Although not unusual for a Lego title to be bug-ridden, Lego Lord of the Rings crashed completely several times, and on at least four occasions one of the characters got trapped in scenery and we had to restart the level. Twice, blocks that had to be pushed off cliffs froze in mid air, so we had to restart the level, and once we were unable to even start a level as it wouldn’t trigger. Pretty disappointing.

The quality of the levels themselves were not of a great standard either. Some were great, of course, but a few were truly terrible. The swamp level, with Gollum setting fire to things and you having to navigate through safe paths and put the fires out was an exercise in extreme patience as it just went on forever. The hiding from black riders and dragons (again this happened in the swamp, but also elsewhere) caused tedious stop-start gameplay, not conducive to enjoying the levels. In fact, we had to do the swamp level twice due to a bug mentioned above.

There were also too many fights of the form “Kill three of these” then “Kill five more” then “Kill seven more”. Repetitive and dull. Sorry, Traveller’s Tales. At least you’ve not done a Lego game as bad as this since!

All that said, it was still – on balance – actually pretty good. As always, it shines in two player and the source material and gags add to the enjoyment. We’re not going to 100% it this time though. Too many bugs and annoying sections have put paid to that.

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Lego Jurassic World (PS4)

That’s it – 100% done, all the trophies, the lot. And it was a lot of fun too. Like the last few Lego games, I played it entirely co-op with my daughter, who loves dinosaurs and this got her into Jurassic Park itself. She bought herself some Jurassic World Lego the other day too! We spent 28 hours reaching 100%, although it does feel like a lot longer and that seems a little short for a Lego game. It wasn’t the 60+ hour epic the likes of Lego Star Wars III or Lego City Undercover, anyway.

Lego Jurassic World
#toiletsinvideogames

The last bit of mopping up involved picking up the remaining minikits in some of The Lost World and Jurassic World levels, including a couple of annoying ones that were on “into the screen chase” levels. Far too easy to miss them and you can’t go back without restarting the level.

With it done, we can move in to Lego Lord of the Rings next. Hopefully once that’s completed Lego Marvel Avengers will have come down in price!

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