A NintendoFuse game review by Jeremy Hardin.
Game – Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
Version – Wii
Time Spent Playing – 5 hours
Obtained – Review Copy courtesy of Disney Interactive
Travelers Tales Games is back again, this time giving the LEGO treatment to Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. As we have all come to expect from LEGO games, Pirates brings back the humorous cut scenes, an insane amount of collectibles and unlockables, easy controls, and more fun than you can shake a sword at.
Gameplay and Controls
LEGO Pirates starts you out in a hub world, consisting of a dock, some water, and a beach. You can explore the hub by swimming between the shore and the dock out in the distance, or swimming below the waters. On the dock, there are four maps; one for each movie in the franchise. Each film is broken down in 5 chapters, with a total of 20 chapters in all. For each chapter you complete, Free Play, and certain characters are unlocked. The formula for LEGO Pirates is the same as every other LEGO game in the franchise. Each chapter starts off the same, with a humorous cut scene which briefly sets up the stage. Once you gain control of your character, you must fight, solve puzzles, collect studs, and unlock characters and collectibles. The formula is applied to each level and never gets boring or repetitive. Also, part of the tried and true formula are infinite lives. Rather than give you a finite number of lives, which deplete upon your death, the LEGO games penalize you by taking away some of your studs. Travelers did a great job of providing entertainment while keeping it fresh throughout. The game is easy to pick up and play thanks to the friendly game play formula and simple control scheme.
You control your characters using the Wiimote and Nunchuk. In order to melee attack, you can either swing the wiimote or press B. Pressing A casues your character to jump. In order to switch between your characters, you can either press C to switch to the closest ally, or you can press and hold C, which brings up your Character wheel. From here, you can point to any of your available characters and choose the one you want to play as. Certain characters have ranged weapons which allow you to use the IR functionality of the wiimote to assist in aiming.
Two player co-op is supported via drop in drop out. However, I did not personally have the opportunity to try it.
Visuals and Sound
The Lego style of the game is what drives any Lego game. Each character has been lego-fied and has a distinct animation, as well as multiple outfits, and their own abilities. For instance, women can double jump, whereas men can not. The environments are visually impressive looking and loaded with many destructible objects. Quite unexpected, at least to me, were the visuals on the water, which were stunning to say the least. While the visuals won’t blow your mind or cause you do a double take, they are friendly and inviting. As always, the cut scenes are humorous especially in the usage of lego pieces. This is where the game runs into a slight hiccup. Since the game doesn’t have words or subtitles, the plot is acted out in the form of cut scenes. As anyone who has seen the Pirates movies knows, the plot can be a little confusing at times. Given that, there are times where the cut scenes struggle to convey the story effectively.
Seeing as the game uses the movies’ official soundtracks, how could the sound be anything less than perfect? Credited to composer Klaus Badelt and producer Hans Zimmer, the soundtrack does a great job creating a sense of immersion while playing through each of the films. As for all the other standard sounds one would expect in a game, Pirates does not disappoint.
Concluding Overall Impressions
Travelers Tales has once again delivered a satisfying Lego Adventure in Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. With 20 levels to complete, Free Play mode, 2 player drop in drop out co-op, and several hours of additional replay value, you will be playing for quite some time, and enjoying it all the while.
Final Score: 5 out of 5