I’m a big fan of the Lego games and movies. I’ve played most of the franchises they’ve expanded into, I think the easy game play and light comedy work really well for the series and more often than not I’ll find myself wanting to 100% them, until I played Lego Ninjago…. I thought this would be a standard Lego game where I’d play it for fun to get an easy platinum trophy, but I don’t want to go back to it ever again.

I haven’t seen anything Ninjago related and haven’t yet seen the film but this game didn’t make me want to.

Story

The game starts off OK. With old movie style cut scenes when it’s not clips from the movie. Quickly introduces some of the characters and puts you in a dojo to learn how to ‘fight’. Soon after the big bad guy, Garmadon, is attacking the city and you have to defend it. The loose story line is that the main ninja is Garmadon’s son but he has to defeat him, and all of the other ninjas have powers…Its incredibly like power rangers but they have elemental abilities.

As I mentioned some of the cut scenes are clips from the movie, so there’s a massive change between game and movie cut scenes which hugely cheapen the in game graphics. There’s your standard Lego humour (the first enemy you face is a chicken) but having had to tie into the movie makes it a terrible game.

Gameplay

There’s slightly more complex fighting than other Lego games which makes it half interesting, you can stun and quick strike enemies and launch them in the air for a multi air combo, these elements work great in the dojo but often in levels the combat is sloppy and as there’s no targeting you’re often found, more often than not, fighting the air. The second level I was in what only be described as a dragon Lego-zord and I had no idea what was going on. I was smashing R2 with no real targeting or danger to myself. It tried to impress with some awful slow-mo but the whole thing was just messy and horrible.

One highlight was the customisable character screen, it thought it was really good and actually managed to make the graphics stand out (which isn’t achieved in any other part of the game). There’s a lot of choice in terms of clothing and you can choose weapons with abilities you don’t have yet. You then have your standard set abilities for different characters so only certain obstacles can be overcome by certain ninjas, lots of areas only being accessible by going back later with a different character.

You can also upgrade special abilities with ninjanuity tokens such as increased studs from enemies and longer stun time, however I never felt the need to upgrade my abilities. Essentially the gameplay isn’t that good, I didn’t find myself enjoying it like a usual Lego game, this could be down to me having no interest in Ninjago whereas usually it’s batman or star wars. Another thing which made all of this more unbearable is that the background music is always really plain which cheapen it even more. It was just a constant dull score which never makes anything feel like a big moment and bored me to tears within a couple hours

Graphics

Firstly there’s a really long loading time for the level, god knows why as the graphics are pretty poor. What they’ve tried to do is make the in game graphics look like the clever stop animation in the films, but it hasn’t worked. It just looks like they’ve cut corners when animating and the characters often just wiggle along, which is especially noticeable in cut scenes. The developers should have just made it look like other Lego games.

I feel like this could have been a good Lego game but it was cheapened by being a typical spin off game for a kids movie. It’s a really basic, boring game with sloppy combat and bad animation. I hope this is because it’s a movie tie in but it’s made me feel like Lego is losing its touch, which is a shame as I really enjoy the other franchised Lego games.

It’s not the worst game I’ve ever played or anything but I didn’t have any desire to do more on it and definitely don’t want to go back and 100% the game. It’s clearly a cash cow for the movie and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I was 13 or younger but it’s not a game I’d recommend to any adult.

4/10

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