Leggo my Legos: the Finale (sort of)

Leggo my Legos: the Finale (sort of)

Glitches are no longer funny, I repeat, glitches are no longer funny.

I did everything in my power to resist the call of logic puzzles and courtroom cases and finish this game. On Saturday I blew through all but the last two levels. I was ready to end it all and call it my first win a day early, but instead I encounter not one, but two game-breaking glitches; both happened far into the next to last level. 

The level mainly has Emmett running around in a mech suit destroying everything with the help of all of the superheroes–but I’ll get to that in a minute. The glitch that tested my patience more than any child ever has happened a solid twenty minutes into this level. I had stepped on, smashed, and thrown every piece of Brickopolis I could find and had found a decent number of secrets for my first playthrough. The game went into what I thought was going to be a celebratory cutscene preparing me for the final battle. Instead all I got was a good look at the top of the robot. I waited a good five minutes and pulled up a search window on my other monitor to see if I could find anything. All I found were giant forums of all of the other lovely bugs in the game. After waiting a while, I counted to three and pulled up Task Manager as there was nothing else I could do but put it out of its misery.

After a break, I came back to it last night, ready to finish up right in time for the start of the week. The game instead decided to glitch out one cutscene earlier. WildStyle asked some of the townspeople if she could use their cars to build something, and they stood there bobbing their heads in agreement. You’d think they were Lego versions of the dog in the Beggin’ Strips’ commercials. 

I looked this one up as well and, after finding nothing, restarted the game. Again. It being so late, I went right back in, trying to clear the red that was forming in my eyes. This time I did the bare minimum, afraid that I was lose all of my progress for a third time. I left many of the citizens’ cars untouched and their telephone poles only slightly bent. And you know what? That level is only fifteen minutes long. Two days of frustration, and it was one of the shortest levels in the game. And the worst part? The first glitch really was the end of the level. That realization tainted my success.

After all of this, I was prepped for an epic last level. I did get an epic fight with Lord Business’ minions and machines, but that was all it was. The buildup was apparently the level that had me seething. 

I think that is part of the reason for the uneven level design. Because it follows the story arc of the movie bit by bit, it is impossible to balance it. One level will be incredibly short because it is just the characters travelling between worlds, and the next is them traversing the entire place. Or you spend one long level (an entire hour!) laying the groundwork for a master scheme that only takes ten minutes to pull off in the end. 

After finishing, I went back and picked Free Play for a few of the story levels, and it was so much more fun. Though I said all of the games have Metroidvania elements, I feel like this one was the most restrictive. Maybe it had to do, once again, with only having access to characters once they showed up in the movie. 

For example, half of the Master Builders in the movie are superheroes, but when do get access to most of them (excluding Batman who isn’t all that well-rounded)? The next to last level. Suddenly Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman just decide to start helping save the world after letting a numbskull construction worker, a gymnast with an identity complex, and blind Morgan Freeman go at it alone.

Maybe I was spoiled having played in franchises before where some of the powerful characters come near the beginning, but they could have figured some way around it. If they can give Lady Liberty fire powers, I think they could have found a way to up the ante on the starting characters too.

Speaking of powers, I never would have expected Unikitty to be the most overpowered character in the entire game. I don’t mean friendly Unikitty, queasy Unikitty, or biznis Unikitty–who are all playable characters. No, it is the raged-filled dinosaur Unikitty. When she gets angry, she turns Godzilla-sized, starts breathing fire, and can chew through five guards at once. Any time I was asked to fight, I relied on a unicorn-cat hybrid with dragon powers. 

And that is where some of the game’s–and movie’s–humor does shine through. The powers given to each character are funny, especially for the supporting ones. Like how Lady Liberty uses fire, Shakespeare uses the skull from Hamlet to break faraway objects. The Green Lantern builds with only green Legos while constantly wishing Superman was there to see him saving the world. And like I said before, Vitruvius does all of the dangerous stunts because he can’t tell he is at any kind of risk.

All in all, I enjoyed the game but not nearly as much as other Lego installments. I only ended up at 31.6%, so I may from time to time go back and try to up that number. The levels are more fun with more characters in your arsenal. 

But now I have to decide what to start next. Stay tuned to see what I take on next.

Leggo my Legos, Part 1

Leggo my Legos, Part 1

So I started my journey with what is the only licensed game in my library: The Lego Movie: The Video Game. Commence the collective sigh.

Here’s my dirty secret though: I love all the Lego games. Not long after getting my PS3, I spent an entire summer continuously renting every Lego game from Blockbuster until I had found every last gold brick. I like to think I single-handily kept their flimsy business model going for at least an extra year with my inability to ever pay full-price for a game. Two of the only games I have ever 100 percent completed were Lego games (Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes). If I’m a fan of the franchise the game is based on, I typically can’t stop until I have squeezed every last bit of content from its Lego-rendered world.

With that said, it is also a complicated love affair. Once in the aforementioned Batman game, there was a trophy to make Wonder Woman ride a gorilla to the top of the tallest building in Gotham City. The moment I climbed on the animal’s back though, the Amazon morphed with the gorilla. All of a sudden I was running around Gotham as a sentient King Kong. I couldn’t even switch to another character without restarting the game.

But this being my first Lego game on the PC, I thought maybe I would be disappointed by a lack of glitch-caused hilarity. But the moment the AI controlling WildStyle insisted on throwing her off of a moving train the moment I needed her to get my party off the flaming caboose, I knew it was bound to be in different.

One of the most logical moments of this game based entirely in reality was when you get to start playing as blind Morgan Freeman, and he is your party’s first sharpshooter. You can throw his staff to hit all of the out-of-reach target and break the faraway clouds for currency all by sensing their location. And I though his voice was his superpower.

There is some logic in this adventure. The character’s abilities coincide with their personality traits and talents. Emmett is the only one so far who knows how to build objects with instructions and the only one who cannot build from random Lego pieces. WildStyle is by far the best jumper with all of her gymnastics. And too funny to be offensive, Vitruvius is the only one willing to walk a dangerous path because he can’t see the flames and spikes below where he is walking.

Now if you thought “Everything is Awesome” was stuck in your head after seeing it in the movie, imagine having some rendition of it played every other minute. It plays if you collect enough studs in each level. It plays if anyone starts dancing for any reason. It plays during some of the loading screens when you’re not playing at all. I was humming it incessantly at work today while the neighboring cubicles tried to pretend not to notice me.

Stay with me while I continue to sing along in this nostalgia-ridden journey that is an expert at pandering to my outer child.