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I have been a big fan of the Lego series of platform games, which begun with Lego Star Wars and had crossed over to different film franchises such as Indiana Jones or Harry Potter and this game focuses on the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Like earlier games, each film in the Pirates of the Caribbean is represented using Lego versions of the film characters to tell an unique interpretation of the movies.
I am not as familiar with the subject matter for this game as I was with the Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones versions, so I didn't have as much interest for the storyline and some of the jokes were lost on me, having not seen the stories which they were based on.
One of the best parts of the Lego Star Wars games is that they featured a variety of different characters that were recognisable and distinct from each other, whereas this game features mainly Pirates, who share similar looks and 'powers'. There are some special characters you can unlock who have skills, such as walking underwater, explosives and guns, but the majority of them are just pirate-looking characters.
The levels are a little repetitive, which several of them taking places on the decks of various ships or the occasional seaside towns. Again, to compare it to the previous Lego games, there is a feeling that there isn't enough variation here to substantiate a full retail game. Perhaps fans of the films might enjoy playing through the levels more, as they will feel like they're retracing the steps of the movies, but to me, the levels just seemed a bit bland.
One of the neat things I noticed was that the Jack Sparrow Lego figure has some of the same mannerisms as Johnny Depp's rendition of the character. Other than that, the graphics are fairly standard with the simplified Lego environments and textures - the games look good, but they aren't ground-breaking graphics, nor should they be. The focus here is purely on the addictive gameplay and sheer amount of collectibles available.
This game isn't quite as big as previous ones, with 20 core levels (five levels for each of the four movies in the series) and there isn't as much secondary story modes as Lego Harry Potter. However, there are still the usual collectibles found in Lego games, such as the 10 mini-kits per level, additional buried treasure and red bricks, which give you cheats. So the game is fairly long for completists like me, who need to achieve 100%, but it still falls short to other games in the series.
This game is suitable for kids and has the added benefit of being two-player, so parents can play alongside their children to help them through the more puzzle-heavy sections, but this shouldn't be too taxing for children between 5 - 10 years old to play. I would recommend it to children who have seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, as it isn't quite as colourful and vibrant as other titles.
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox360 version.
Review by Ben Nacca
(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BenNacca )
XBL GT: Darkeyes2k7 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11
Naturally, just like film series, games that are relatively successful tend to get a sequel. There is the potential that there will be another sequel after that and so on. There are plenty of franchises that have started as new IP's and spawned a trilogy or library of games. Think Halo, Call of Duty, Burnout, Need for Speed, FIFA and so on. However, with the Lego games boasting over ten titles under their belt now since they started with Lego Star Wars back in 2005, we are now looking at Lego Pirates of the Caribbean.
Traveller's Tales haven't milked the franchise. I wouldn'tsay that at all. Technically, the Lego "fill this part in with blockbuster movie title" games are always recreated with impeccable charm and tongue in cheek humour and presents challenging but involving gameplay and enough collectables to leave a kleptomaniac swamped.
It is only natural then that Traveller's Tales move onto Pirates of the Caribbean, with the film being released around the same time as the game, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean features 20 levels across all four films as you follow Captain Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and William Turner through the adventures of the films, replicated in perfect Lego harmony.
The Lego games are not stunningly graphical nor is that their selling point. I think they do well with what they have though and the plastic blocks and the numerous studs are always colourful and enticing. The obvious graphical overhaul with water being present in Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is noticeable and it does look very nice. The entire game has a vibrant feel to it and the use of colour and physics helps to bring the game to life.
Teaming up with Disney Interactive Studios, the publishers, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean has rights to the soundtrack so all the licensed music is here and sounds wonderful while playing through the game. Anyone whois a fan of Lego and the films will naturally love this game but I think it can appeal to those who have maybe not tried their hand at the Lego magic that Traveller's Tales creates. Obviously, the quirky grunts and squeals of the characters are present since there are no voices as such in the game.Everything is mime in a way, using expressions and humour to push the story forward.
These games take forever to complete and no doubts you will have more than enough to do with completing the story first of all then returning afterwards to clear up all the hidden collectables you couldn't get the first time. The game features drop in drop out co-operative feature and the dynamic splitscreen feature returns once more so you do not have to fight over the screen. The characters having abilities makes a return and a new feature for this game is the presence of water that you can swim in and even stay underwater if you are certain characters like Davy Jones for instance.
There is plenty to keep you busy and being able to complete it with a friend is also a bonus. The issues with bugs and glitches here and there are stuff that patches can solve but it is never nice to have your character become stuff on objects or items not purchasing properly. I think this is a much better effort that Lego Star Wars III: The Clone Wars presented,which seemed like a rushed cash in so that is always a good sign.
Visually generic in terms of graphics and while the scope of the game is not all about the visuals, it does still look slightly dated. Water effects are nice though and the animation is superb as usual.
Licensed music from the films make sure you stay on track to find all your treasure but the lack of voices and repetitive tracks can begin to grind on you a little.
20 levels, 5 for each movie, and a tonne of collecting to do. If you are a fan then this will be right down your street. Apart from that,this game is very narrow in its audience scope. The splitscreen works well for the most part and the hub system keeps things simple.
With glitches and bugs from day 1, it is a wonder why I didn't put it down but with so much charm and the story being recreated in Lego so well, you can get past the small flaws and focus on the best bits.
Well Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is certainly a return to good form but it isn't perfect yet. Sadly I do not see where else they can really take this saturated series but with Harry Potter Years 5-7 coming out imminently and with that franchise, Harry Potter, in my opinion, being their best offering of Lego games so far, maybe that is the one to break into the high 8's to 9's score?
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If you're familiar with the Lego games then you know what to expect and its still as good as ever. This may look like a childs game but its so much more than that. Generally I'm into first person shooter games so I think Lego does a great job at being able to appeal to those that don't particularly play RPGs or kids games. This game has something for everyone and even my children can play it.
This game takes you through all four of the films following, pretty much, the storylines. They do cut out or make light of some of the more adult parts so its still suitable for kids. It is such an involving game and very addictive. You truly have to use your brain to work your way through the game, trying to figure out how various things open etc to make your way through. Having completed the game, you can go back through on freeplay mode and unlock different areas and new things. I take a ridiculous amount of pleasure in finding new areas to play in! It's thoroughly absorbing and just as fun as the other Lego games.
My only negative would be its just slightly too short. Would like it to last much longer.
Oh I love the way the Jack Sparrow character runs with that slightly drunken, hands in the air run!