So sue me, but I just love the LEGO video game formula, and I just can’t get enough of the addictive smash and build gameplay that each one offers. The latest offering can only be found on handhelds, but that doesn’t keep it from being a fully featured and supremely entertaining entry into the Traveller’s Tales’ impressive stable of LEGO games.
Developed by Traveller’s Tales Fusion, LEGO Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin is based on the popular animated television series, and is a bit unique in that it is one of TT Games few titles that are based on one of LEGO’s own properties instead of an outside property. My children are well versed in the show, but I must admit that I had not watched it before playing. The game does a great job of making one want to catch up on episodes though, as it tells an interesting story that includes several elements, story threads, and characters from the show. I almost felt as if I were missing out on some good stuff, and that is a strength of the game in that it draws the player in with a good narrative, and makes them excited to learn more about the world.
Gameplay follows the typical LEGO game formula that can be found in all of the titles, and it is just as addictive as it has always been. The scale, however, has been downsized to accommodate gaming on the go with the Vita or 3DS. Levels are much shorter this time around, but there are still plenty of them so you do not feel as if you’re getting shortchanged. There’s also not a traditional hub-world like those that can be found in the Marvel or Hobbit games, but there is a smaller map that can be traversed on the back of a dragon to reach all of the levels to play or to replay.
Replaying the levels is still a big draw, as the myriad of collectibles that these games have come to be known for are still present and accounted for. There are not as many to be found as in the big brother console versions, but there are still plenty of unlockable characters, cheats, and surprises to be found. It would have been nice to see the variety of unlockables that can be found in the other games, but the reduced amount compliments the game’s smaller size, so it makes sense and it can hardly be looked at as a detriment.
As I said before, the game does a great job of telling a coherent story and entertaining the player with a solid narrative. The characters are also all entertaining in their own right, and some of them are downright hilarious. The humor tends to be a little more on the Saturday morning cartoon variety, as opposed to the typical goofball hilarity that can be found in the other LEGO games, but it’s in line with the show the game is based on, so it makes sense. While some of Jay’s dialogue and jokes border on grating, characters like Gareth provide consistent chuckles, and the tone hits the right amount of silliness and seriousness to weave a satisfying tale to accompany the great gameplay.
I can’t say much else. The game is simple and straightforward, but it’s fun and highly polished, which is more than be said for most of the big budget titles that release nowadays. It’s a great addition to anyone’s portable gaming device and will provide fans with hours of smashing, building, and collecting.
Get real time updates about future posts directly on your device, subscribe now.