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Review: LEGO Jurassic World

Jun 26 // Ben Davis
LEGO Jurassic World (PS4 [reviewed], PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC)Developer: Traveller's TalesPublisher: Warner Bros.MSRP: $59.99Released: June 12, 2015 As a huge Jurassic Park fan, LEGO Jurassic World is pretty much exactly what I expected from a dinosaur game themed around children's toys. There is no shortage of humor, plenty of satisfying references to the movies and books, playable dinosaurs, and I get to run around as Ian Malcolm with his shirt torn open. What more could I ask for? LEGO Jurassic World's story is built around the plots of the movies, but while the movies can be tense and thrilling, the game remains silly and lighthearted. Death scenes from the films are played out in a comedic fashion. The LEGO characters are never actually killed; instead, they usually end up sharing a goofy moment with the dinosaur that attacks them. For example, Gennaro can be seen cleaning the T. Rex's teeth with a toilet brush after being pulled from his restroom hiding place, and the raptor tamer who dies in the very first scene of Jurassic Park only loses the precious sausage he was holding onto rather than his legs (there's a weird recurring sausage joke for some reason, which I can't say I really understood). Meanwhile, other parts feature raptors riding motorcycles, wearing fruit hats, and chasing lawn mowers through the long grass, so the dinos are generally more charming than they are terrifying. Of course, for a LEGO game, this was kind of a necessity. [embed]294839:59241:0[/embed] Gameplay is heavily puzzle-based, requiring obstacles to be solved by choosing the specific character required for the task. Most of these obstacles are accompanied by button prompts, and there are numerous quick time events scattered throughout as well. There is also some light combat, whenever the party is attacked by dinosaurs or InGen employees, but it involves little more than punching things until they get dizzy or fall apart. Characters do have health bars, but the only penalty for dying is losing a few studs, so it's not really a big deal. The health bars honestly feel wholly unnecessary, as there aren't any lives and characters already essentially feel invincible. They could have probably scrapped that mechanic entirely. It's possible to play as nearly every character from the Jurassic Park films, even minor characters such as Mr. DNA and that weird boy at the dig site who says raptors look like giant turkeys. Each character has their own unique skills which typically play off of their personalities and roles in the films, all of which will need to be utilized in order to traverse each level. Some characters, like Dr. Grant and Gray Mitchell, are good at building things out of dinosaur bones; characters like Lex Murphy and Kelly Malcolm can scream loud enough to shatter glass; characters like Tim Murphy and Ian Malcolm have items that can illuminate dark areas (night vision goggles and flares, for example); and others like Ellie Sattler and Owen Grady aren't afraid to get dirty and rummage through dino droppings (by diving in head first, no less!). It's necessary to play as many different characters in order to clear all of the puzzles and obstacles in the game. Of course, there's not only human characters, but dinosaurs to control as well. Most dinosaurs are unlocked by collecting amber bricks hidden in every level. They can be summoned via dinosaur creation pads, and sick dinosaurs can be healed in order to join the party as well. The dinosaurs come with their own sets of skills; Triceratops can charge and bash open large objects, Dilophosaurus can melt certain things with its venom, T. Rex can roar loud enough to shatter stuff, and Velociraptors can pull switches and sniff out hidden objects. The craziest option is the enormous Brachiosaurus, which can be used to crush certain platforms with a huge stomp, but it's so gigantic and slow that it's almost hilarious. It's even possible to play as Pteranodons and Mosasaurus, although they're restricted to the aviary and aquarium, respectively. Story mode will take the player through twenty levels centered around many of the most memorable and action-packed scenes from the movies. It's really fun to reenact classic scenes like the very first T. Rex attack, the raptors in the kitchen, the San Diego crisis, and more through the playful lens of the LEGO world. Every level is filled with puzzles to solve, obstacles to overcome, and a set amount of collectibles to find. Many levels implement chase sequences, such as running from the Gallimimus herd, or puzzle-based boss fights, like taking down Indominus Rex. There's nothing too complicated, though, so it should be an easy ride for most players. Upon completing each level in story mode, free play mode will be unlocked, allowing players to choose any character they want and switch to someone else at any time. Many of the collectibles can only be obtained in free play, since the characters in story mode might not have the required abilities, so it's necessary to play each level at least two times in order to find everything. Outside of story mode, players can also freely explore each of the four parks. The parks contain more collectibles to find, sick dinosaurs and workers in peril to help, characters to unlock, photograph locations, races, and more. The parks on Isla Sorna are unfortunately rather small and unexciting, but Isla Nublar's Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are both huge and full of all sorts of attractions and cool areas to discover. Strangely, though, once story mode is completed, free play in the parks takes place entirely during nighttime, which kind of bothered me as some areas just seem much less exciting in the dark. I'd prefer to view these beautiful parks in the bright sunshine. [Edit: Apparently, this can be changed, but only by fast travelling to specially marked areas on the map. Still an odd choice, but at least there are options!] Split-screen co-op is also an option, and players can jump in and out of the game at any time. Co-op can make solving puzzles and overcoming obstacles much easier, as players will not need to switch between characters as often and multiple tasks can be completed at once. For such a light-hearted adventure as LEGO Jurassic World, I can definitely see co-op being a popular option. The best aspect of LEGO Jurassic World for me was all the little nuances and nods to the films which were sprinkled throughout. Idle animations for characters usually highlighted certain aspects of their personalities or referenced specific moments from the movies. For example, Zach Mitchell will put on his headphones and start dancing, Amanda Kirby will test her megaphone (put that thing away!), and Ian Malcolm will run a Chaos Theory experiment by dripping water onto his hand. Many of the trophies also make great references to the movies; I think my favorite is the "Hello John!" trophy which is awarded for having both characters set to John Hammond. I also loved that Mr. DNA was in charge of all the tutorials and loading screen trivia. Aside from borrowing plot, characters, and locations from the movies, LEGO Jurassic World also borrows sound clips. While some new dialogue was recorded specifically for the game (mostly for the Jurassic World section), a lot of the dialogue is taken directly from the films. This can be entertaining at times (hearing Jeff Goldblum's ridiculous laugh on the helicopter never gets old, even when it's coming out of a LEGO character's mouth), but it can also be quite jarring. Since the tone of the movies does not match the tone of the game, the dialogue is often way too tense and emotional for what should be silly, light-hearted scenes. There are also many instances where background noise from the films can be heard in the game's dialogue, which sounds really strange when compared to the newly recorded dialogue. Unfortunately, LEGO Jurassic World is not without its fair share of bugs. During my time with the game, there were several instances where I had to restart a level after a character got stuck between a wall and an object and couldn't move or jump to escape, or after they fell through the ground when I switched away from them. There were also a few instances where, after spawning a dinosaur and taking control of it, I could no longer switch to any other character and was permanently stuck in my dinosaur body. Usually, this meant I lost all progress on that level up to the point where I got stuck, so that was always a bummer. While it may have its flaws, I was still perfectly satisfied with my time in LEGO Jurassic World. Fans of the LEGO games should basically know what to expect, and Jurassic Park fans should be more than happy with the story, cutscenes, characters, and references. It captured all of my favorite Jurassic Park moments and added its own unique sense of humor into the mix, and that's essentially all I really wanted. And if you still need a reason to play this, just remember that is has LEGO Jeff Goldblum. Let's be honest: that's all anyone really needs. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
LEGO Jurassic World photo
Hold onto your butts
Another year, another beloved franchise gets the LEGO treatment. This year, blocks and dinosaurs come together in LEGO Jurassic World, a compilation of games spanning the entire Jurassic Park film franchise. Released simultan...

Lego Jurassic World photo
Lego Jurassic World

Lego Jurassic World has some classic scenes and music for you


Playing with bricks
Jun 12
// Brett Makedonski
The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped the gun a bit last night when they unleashed an avalanche of bricks, because Lego Jurassic Park didn't actually release until today. Bad basketball aside, Traveller's Tales' latest game lo...
LEGO Avengers photo
LEGO Avengers

Hulk takes a selfie in this LEGO Avengers trailer


Okay, that was great
Jun 09
// Jordan Devore
With LEGO Jurassic World on my mind, I had forgotten that TT Games also has LEGO Marvel's Avengers lined up for this year. It's not releasing until winter, but here's a trailer ahead of E3. Save for a split-second shot of Ul...

Don't get cocky photo
Don't get cocky

Expensive dick moderation helped kill the last LEGO MMO


Minecraft competitor? Don't get cocky
Jun 03
// Steven Hansen
Someone think about the children! Like my own personal brand, LEGO is a family-friendly, name-stealing company. And so the open-ended, Minecraft-like builder LEGO Worlds has some problem what with immature idiots' propensity ...
LEGO Worlds photo
LEGO Worlds

LEGO's answer to Minecraft is here


(On, ugh, Steam Early Access)
Jun 01
// Jordan Devore
Warner Bros. and TT Games have launched LEGO Worlds -- an open-ended building game with procedurally-generated worlds, rideable creatures, and vehicles -- on Steam Early Access today for $14.99. It's expected to remain there ...
Lego Jurassic World photo
Lego Jurassic World

Lego Jurassic World isn't as 'completely safe' as they'd like you to think


Damnit, Newman
May 29
// Brett Makedonski
Look, Jurassic Park people. Just because you have this wrapped up in a Lego veneer doesn't mean the outcome's going to be any different. We've all seen the movies. Why should we expect vicious dinosaurs won't attack this time? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me a third time, and I never should've watched Jurassic Park III.
LEGO photo
LEGO

LEGO Jurassic World releases alongside the new movie on June 12


Walk the dinosaur
May 14
// Jordan Devore
Jurassic World opens on Friday, June 12. I'm skeptical, but I'll probably wind up seeing it anyway for the trained raptors. TT Games' LEGO Jurassic World, which spans the four films, releases the same day for all major conso...
LEGO Dimensions photo
LEGO Dimensions

LEGO Dimensions has Chris Pratt, the Doctor, and the Companion Cube


And a partridge in a pear tree
May 11
// Joe Parlock
LEGO Dimensions is a game we all know is going to be absolutely huge. It's little, way too expensive LEGO with Disney Infinity glued on to it, and if that doesn’t print money I don’t know what will. Despite that, ...
Lego Dimensions photo
Lego Dimensions

LEGO Dimensions reveal trailer and release date


LEGO's answer to Skylanders or amiibo
Apr 09
// Laura Kate Dale
[Update: Since we posted this story LEGO has released an official trailer as well as announced a 27 September release date. The game is coming to PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.] The first images...
LEGO Jurassic World photo
LEGO Jurassic World

LEGO Jurassic World's trailer features festive raptors, Jeff Goldblum


Rawr!
Mar 16
// Ben Davis
The new trailer for LEGO Jurassic World really knows how to get me super pumped for a Jurassic Park game. It features several scenes from the 1993 movie animated in the LEGO style. Everything from the T. Rex chase scene, to ...
LEGO Jurassic World photo
LEGO Jurassic World

Confirmed! You can play as dinosaurs in LEGO Jurassic World


Dino-mite
Feb 04
// Jordan Devore
"Imagine playing as the ominous LEGO T. rex, roaming the grounds of Isla Nublar, smashing LEGO bricks and battling with other dinosaurs -- this game is bound to bring out the kid in all of us," says TT Games managing direc...
LEGO frenzy photo
LEGO frenzy

2015's LEGO game lineup: Avengers, Jurassic World, mobile ports


If it's anything like Marvel Super Heroes, I'm in
Jan 29
// Jordan Devore
This latest round of LEGO games will do wonders for Brett's Gamerscore. Several titles are releasing in 2015, including LEGO Jurassic World, which hits in June and spans all four films, and LEGO Marvel's Avengers, which is ou...

Review: Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Jan 05 // Caitlin Cooke
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [reviewed], PlayStation Vita, Wii U, 3DS, PC, iOS)Developer: Traveller's TalesPublisher: Warner Bros. Interactive EntertainmentReleased: November 11, 2014MSRP: $59.99 Lego Batman 3 opens to a familiar plot line: Lex Luthor has his heart set on becoming President of the World, dragging other villains along with him in his quest. The Justice League scrambles to meet them head-to-head, but not before Brainiac steps in to shrink Earth for his marble collection. The game's cast of heroes and villains reluctantly join forces to defeat him in a variety of settings, including shrunken versions of the Earth’s most famous cities and the Lantern worlds. The traditional Lego game formula is present as usual in this edition. Players waltz through a fairly linear level and solve puzzles to move forward while searching for studs and minikits to unlock content. Characters also rotate in and out of levels, ensuring that players don’t get caught in a routine. This mixes things up a bit and keeps the gameplay engaging, especially since most of the main characters have different abilities to explore (ie, Wonder Woman using her bands to deflect lasers or Martian Manhunter shapeshifting). A few main characters can change into various suits on a whim, presenting new gameplay options. Batman can change into his Space Suit to jetpack around and shoot laser beams, or he can squeeze into a Sonar Suit to become invisible. The suits bring a unique and enjoyable element to the gameplay, but leave little room for players to progress through levels on their own. The game telegraphs these necessary wardrobe changes with notifies an icon, prompting the necessary suit to procure. As is typical of the Lego series, there's plenty of content to explore, including over 150 characters to unlock. Beyond Gotham excels with its extras. Most notable are its mini-games, which include Tron-like “hacking” requiring maze navigation around computerized obstacles, and a side-scrolling space shooter reminiscent of Resogun. These distractions were my favorite part of Lego Batman 3, providing a much-needed reprieve from the monotony found within the primary campaign. The levels themselves seemed more open than usual, expanding in scope and size as the game progressed. Although interesting to explore, at times I’d get stuck on cliffs or hang helplessly in midair. Some of the later levels were hampered by wonky camera angles and viewing perspectives, which proved difficult when playing split-screen. At one point, I had to force my second player out of the game so that we could expand the screen to trigger an event. From a two-player perspective, this caused a lot of frustration and only seemed to get worse later in the game. It was also disappointing that the Beyond Gotham didn't showcase an open Gotham world like in its previous installment. At first, the extra content is split up into various hubs: the Batcave, the Watchtower, and the Hall of Justice. After a steep investment in playing through the main plot (around eight hours), Lantern worlds can be unlocked. Each world contains racing trials, quests to unlock characters, and unlockable vehicles to fly around. In a lot of ways, it felt like a step backwards to have a hub-based system, especially when most of it opened up at the end of the game. As noted earlier, anyone looking for a Batman adventure you won’t find one here. Screen-time amongst the characters is divided up fairly well, leaving Batman and Robin in the dust. When they do make an appearance, they’re more focused on bickering back and forth like an old couple than saving the world. Despite this oddity, the dialogue is as crafty and well-written as Lego titles come. Practically all characters have a delightful personality-filled moment with plenty of references thrown about. Particularly amusing was Lego Batman 3's take on Mr Freeze -- full of puns and a intentionally terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger accent. You could say it was ICE to see him. Comic book fans will enjoy the assets used in this game, especially with regard to music. For example, Superman and Wonder Woman's original songs play on loop when they take flight and don’t cease until they land. Every character also (hilariously) sings their own rendition of the 1960s Batman theme song when players rest on the character selection screen. Voice acting is top notch and talent is pulled from Kevin Smith and Conan O’Brien, who play themselves. The latter tends to be a bit annoying after a while, acting as your tutorial guide and spewing out the same information every time you cross paths. Lego Batman 3 is as fun as Lego games come, but it needs to be taken with a dose (or two) of patience. The controls and camera angles are unforgivable at times, but there’s usually a moment of greatness to numb the pain -- like when Robin deploys a mini version of himself in his Techno suit, or when Wonder Woman’s 1970s TV show theme blasts when she takes flight. Fans of the Justice League (or DC comics in general) will get a lot of enjoyment out of this game, but I wouldn’t recommend playing if you’re looking for a Batman adventure. There’s simply too much fun to be had in the DC universe to give it all to one man. As far as Lego games go, it’s not perfect, but it delivers a solid story and a plethora of DC characters to play around with, which is more than ICE can ask for. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Lego Batman 3 review photo
Brainiac's mini-games
Don’t let the name fool you -- this is by no means a Batman game. The Dark Knight may grace the box, but underneath its bat-enameled shell lies a Justice League game at heart. A menagerie of DC heroes and villains combi...

Pillar of Autumn photo
Pillar of Autumn

It took almost four years to build this amazing Pillar of Autumn from Halo with Legos


Time well spent
Dec 29
// Brett Makedonski
I was recently given a tiny Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Lego set. 47 pieces. I put it together in no time. Michelangelo with a little cart thing. It was simple, but I loved it. You know; that feeling you get when y...
LEGO Batman 3 photo
LEGO Batman 3

The Suicide Squad is coming to LEGO Batman 3 as 'The Squad'


Makes sense
Dec 05
// Chris Carter
After the announcement for the Suicide Squad film with a stacked cast, Warner Bros. Interactive is spilling the beans for the tie-in DLC for LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Only, they're not actually referred to using...
Lego Batman 3 photo
Lego Batman 3

I still miss when Lego figures didn't talk, but Lego Batman 3's trailer is cute


Robin still looks and acts ridiculous
Nov 12
// Brittany Vincent
Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is available now, for nearly every console imaginable, real and otherwise. It's probably available for the Imagination Station 3000, but supplies are limited. The launch trailer above doesn't rea...
Final Fantasy LEGO photo
Final Fantasy LEGO

This artist made Final Fantasy's Garuda out of LEGOs


Her FFXIV form
Oct 31
// Chris Carter
Garuda has been a part of the Final Fantasy series for quite a while, and that tradition continues with Final Fantasy XIV. This form is a bit more human in nature, and instead of aiming for a more wild bird look, Square ...
Conan photo
Conan

Conan O'Brien will give you a clue in LEGO Batman 3


Not so clueless now
Oct 13
// Brett Makedonski
Conan O'Brien, the famed late-night talk show host and self-professed clueless gamer, will be reversing roles of sorts for his part in LEGO Batman 3. Instead of being confounded by videogames, he's going to be playing himsel...
LEGO Doom photo
LEGO Doom

This fan-made LEGO Doom set is amazing


Dead Imps everywhere!
Sep 30
// Chris Carter
LEGO enthusiast Iain Heath has created a giant rendition of Doom, and it looks pretty damn masterful. He not only has a ton of details like ammo on the ground and dead imps, but he even goes as far as pixelating some of the ...
LEGO Batman 3 photo
LEGO Batman 3

LEGO Batman 3 will get the first LEGO Season Pass ever


$14.99
Sep 10
// Chris Carter
LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will drop in November, and alongside of it, a season pass. This is the first ever season pass for a LEGO game, and will run you $14.99 for six total add-ons. The pass will launch on ever...
LEGO Batman 3 photo
LEGO Batman 3

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham saves the world on November 11


Let's put aside our differences
Aug 26
// Brett Makedonski
Smack dab in the middle of the release season for the year's biggest games comes the largest Lego title to date. Warner Bros. sent along word today that LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham will release on November 11&...
Minecraft photo
Minecraft

Check out these LEGO Minecraft sets


It's almost a LEGO inception!
Aug 20
// Brittany Vincent
Information on two sets that are a part of LEGO's new Minecraft minifigure scale sets have surfaced. The Cave Set will feature a zombie and spider, a TNT crate, pickaxe, a chest of bread, and Steve. It will center around a c...
LEGO Batman 3 photo
LEGO Batman 3

Brainiac is the big bad of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham


Holy alliteration Batman
Aug 20
// Chris Carter
Brainiac loves to shrink things and put them on display -- it's what he does. So it's no surprise that the core narrative of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham is a sinister plot to shrink the Earth. The story will see heroes...
Super Mario 64 photo
Super Mario 64

Check out the first stage of Super Mario 64 recreated with LEGOs


I can't even build a rocket ship with the things
Aug 15
// Brittany Vincent
Here's the first level of Super Mario 64, Bob-omb Battlefield, recreated in all its glory with LEGO blocks. Brought to us by the ridiculously talented Pepa Quin, it's an impressive testament to what you can create with the li...
LEGO photo
LEGO

Bat-Cow is an udder delight in LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham


Blame / praise Hamza for that headline
Jul 25
// Jordan Devore
Now here's a game that really does feel right at home at Comic-Con. TT Games has a new trailer for LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham prepared for the San Diego convention and, better yet, images featuring LEGO Bat-Cow, Batman of ...
LEGO Batman 3 photo
LEGO Batman 3

Adam West is still the best Batman and will hopefully prove it in LEGO Batman 3


As if I really needed another reason to be excited
Jul 17
// Brittany Vincent
The official LEGO Batman Twitter account posted an image of a Lego Adam West this week (seen above), which hopefully means we'll see a whole lot more of him in the upcoming LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Adam West is also goin...
ank of the Prophet  photo
ank of the Prophet

BioShock Infinite looks good as a LEGO monument


Bank of the Prophet
Jul 15
// Steven Hansen
Bank of the Prophet more like Bank of the Profit am I right? Financial institutions always be like "we're going to screw over the people and get rich doing it and pay little consequence," while religious institutions be like ...
Lego Batman 3 photo
Lego Batman 3

Preorder Lego Batman 3 anywhere but Best Buy for a physical reward


I'll go for the Batgirl keychain, personally
Jul 14
// Brittany Vincent
Following the abhorrent trend of announcing different preorder bonuses across different retailers is Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, which is shipping with six different doodads depending on where you go. Fortunately, it's not ...
Zelda LEGO photo
Zelda LEGO

The Legend of Zelda LEGO set fails approval


The LEGO Idea campaign was pretty amazing
Jun 04
// Chris Carter
LEGO has a pretty cool website where people can essentially crowdvote on LEGO ideas that they'd like to become a reality. Since all of the licensing deals have to be worked out before it hits the market it's not a 100% foolpr...
 photo
Plus: Anime.
Today on Tuesday Newsday, we go over two games that Brett Makedonski previewed, which have both been delayed, The Order: 1886 and The Evil Within. The new Battlefield is Hardline, seemingly a cops and robbers theme rather tha...


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