Like a medieval Spanish conquistador out to conquer the seven seas, LEGO now has LEGO-fied another franchise.[firstpara] After LEGO Batman and LEGO Star Wars, LEGO now has the Pirates of the Carribean franchise into their own vision of the world. That is, blocky, and dominated mostly by primary colors.
Unfair though it may be, these LEGO transformations have sometimes been met with a firm "WTF?" from gamers, especially them hardcore ones.
"What business does LEGO have in changing Batman's seedy atmosphere or the intense space politics and lightsaber duels in Star Wars?" they ask.
Not a lot probably, but one thing is for certain: LEGO's charm is still golden.
You see a couple of LEGO pieces lying around, and you immediately feel the need to lock those pieces together to form God-knows-what.
That charm carries over to the games, and the latest, LEGO Pirates of the Carribean, is no different. Seeing Jack Sparrow in LEGO form, sailing in LEGO ships, visiting the LEGO-fied locales that we've seen in the films is just a treat.
In fact, this is where most of the game's appeal lies. The bright, papercraft-style backgrounds appeal to your senses like those real LEGO sets did--the kinds which, once when you were a kid, begged your mom for. The story-telling is deliciously goofy, and plays out with cartoony visual cues where characters can suddenly find themselves stuck in mid-air to contemplate their woeful fate before dropping to sharks waiting below.
The silliness seeps from every corner, and it's the kind of silliness that mostly entertains and rarely annoys. It's a highly amusing, swashbuckling adventure that spans all the films in the franchise, including the newest one, On Stranger Tides.
Now, while the game definitely has nailed the vibe, and the way the story is told, beneath it all is a none-too-revolutionary action-platformer game. You run, jump, break bricks, take a swing at enemies that respawn far too frequently, solve a couple of simple puzzles, and take control of different characters at any given point in the game.
Yep, we've seen these things before, and we know that this was what the game was going to be about. But we were also expecting it to give us at least one novel element that would help separate it from the rest of the action-platformer pack. Sadly, there isn't any in this game, and odds are, if you've been gaming since Mario, the game's charm just won't be enough to keep you interested.
If you're a huge fan of the franchise though, then the game's something you need to play. It casts the entire franchise in a whole new light, that's ultimately, hard not to gain enjoyment from. If you let it, it's really as fun as playing with real LEGOs, and in the end, you're probably going to tell us: "Novel element, my ass; this is fun." And we're not going to tell you otherwise.
We are however going to tell you to check out our feature where we dissect the many faces of Jack Sparrow. It's fantastic!
WORDS BY: GELO GONZALES