Okay, I think I’ve put in enough time into this game to do a review. Which isn’t much if I’m being honest. According to the progress meter, I’ve only completed 8.25% of the game. And I have absolutely no interest in playing any more. I’m stuck at a boss battle, with no idea of what to do. The clip above is me fighting said boss, the surtur.
It’s only a 5 minute clip but I’m pretty sure I spent about 20 minutes total just wandering around this stage trying to figure out what to do. I consider myself of above average intelligence, and I’ve played enough games to recognize game mechanics. I don’t expect to have my hand held throughout the entire game, but if I’m spending twenty minutes walking around a platform trying to trigger something, anything, and make something happen, there’s a fundamental flaw in the level design.
Perhaps, it WAS explained to me via audio instructions, but usually if key pieces of information are conveyed via dialog, then those instructions would be or at least should be repeated in regular intervals.
Throughout this game, there are usually markers in the form of glowing sparkles that indicate some sort of action can be done to an object. Bricks that can be built into some other structure have this obnoxious golden glow, which is great. The catapult in the surtur boss battle has these sparkles on the device attached to the side of it but I could not figure out what to do. If you watch the clip, you’ll see me take control of Loki and try and interact with the glowing spot. But again, nothing happens.
Maybe the game is just buggy and it glitched out on me. Maybe there’s a patch. But I’m so annoyed with the game right now that I really don’t feel like putting it back in to find out.
The Combat Was Not Fun
The battles are not fun. It is a HUGE step back from The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game. In TLNMVG, once you start whacking on enemies, sometimes you’ll see the circle button pop up (on PS4 at least, other systems use different buttons), and once you hit the button, you can trigger a multi-hit combo, or, my favorite, Skyward Dragon. Combat was awesome, enjoyable, and I gave TLNMVG 5 stars in my review.
In the LMSH2 game, there is also a combo opportunity but it’s just such a buzzkill. First of all, once you hit the circle button, your character grabs the enemy. And if you hit the correct button after, your character does some sort of signature move. In slow motion. EVERY TIME. That’s assuming you hit the right button. I still don’t know what to do once I hit circle and grab the guy. Because there’s no indication what button needs to be hit next. Is it square? X? Circle? I still don’t know. I end up just hitting all of the buttons to see what happens.
But that slow motion effect, it just makes battles drag on and on, to the point where I didn’t want to hit the circle button anymore. And that’s another problem with the game design: a feature that’s built-in that’s supposed to be fun and engaging, but I actively avoided. If I accidentally grab the guy, I just won’t press anything until my character lets go of him. You can actually carry the guy once you grab him, but that seems pointless.
I extracted the below video from my 5-minute clip to show you exactly what I’m talking about. I purposefully activated that combo move with Captain America a couple of times:
I imagine doing that in every battle while trying to 100% the game. I’m telling you, I’d rather be waterboarded.
The One Part I Liked
There is one part that I really enjoyed. Near the beginning of the game, you get to play as Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen. Double jumping activates web swinging, and you can swing around the buildings in the section of Manhattan that got transported to wherever it ended up. That was pretty satisfying and fun to do.
If I were to try and summarize this game with one word, it would be tedious. There is a LOT to do in this game and that’s something I would normally praise it for. But after playing less than 9% of the content, the prospect of suffering through other 91% is not appealing for the reasons outlined above. And don’t get me started on the character selection screen and how hard it was to navigate that. TLNMVG may have been TTGames best LEGO game yet. LMSH2 feels like a huge step back. This is kind of a short review, but there are such glaring issues they made me consciously decide to not play it anymore, and I’m not one to give up on a game like that. I’ll score it one out of five stars. You can avoid this one; pick up The LEGO NINJAGO Movie Video Game instead. It’s way more enjoyable and digestable.
Win A Copy
WBIE provided a digital code for me to do a review with. So I have this hard copy of the Deluxe Edition that’s sitting here collecting dust. It’s been opened, but all the content is still there. No digital codes have been redeemed, and yes, it also comes with Giant Man. THIS IS FOR THE PLAYSTATION 4 VERSION OF THE GAME. First, read the standard giveaway rules. Then, send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line GIANT MAN for a chance to win. Incomplete or wrong entries will be thrown out. You have until 11:59pm PST Thursday May 17th to enter. Good luck!
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And for the record, Warner Bros. DID provide a copy of the game. Thank you, WBIE.