The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game brings fresh new gameplay to the series
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is the latest in the Ninjago series of games. As the name suggests, this game is a tie-in to the LEGO Ninjago Movie. I’m not normally a fan of movie tie-in video games, but the LEGO franchise always does well with their tried-and-true formula of gameplay.
If you’ve played a LEGO game before, then you will feel right at home with the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game. You’ll be exploring worlds, solving puzzles, and fighting enemies—all so you can collect the previous LEGO studs. However, the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game introduces a new dynamic combat system and a few gameplay tweaks, which make this game a must have for LEGO fans.
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Modes: Single-player, multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
Defend Ninjago City against evil
Based on the film of the same name, the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game tells the story of Lloyd—a young Ninja. With the help of his friends, these heroes, defend Ninjago City against the evil Lord Garmadon. Who, just happens to be Lloyd’s father. Ready to defeat his father once and for all—embracing his destiny—Lloyd accidentally ends up putting all of Ninjago Island at risk.
I found the game’s story to be full of classic LEGO humour and whit, which the LEGO series of games is well known for. The story spans over eight chapters, each taking place in Tokyo-esque style neighbourhoods. I spent about 6-8 hours from start to finish with the game’s story, and loved every minute of it.
Overall, I felt that Traveller’s Tales did an excellent job tying in the movie, with scenes from the movie seamlessly interwoven. It’s a story that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Tried-and-true gameplay with some notable improvements
While the gameplay of the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game follows the formula of previous LEGO games, there have been some notable improvements introduced to the combat system. You can now use specific button combinations for special attacks, which makes the combat more interesting and fun.
You can upgrade these attacks with extra perks such as dropping more studs. Though it’s a rather simple system, and wont really allow you to tailor the game to your play-style much, it wont take long to unlock all of them.
Enemies have some new tricks up their sleeves. For example, they can now block your attacks, which means you will need to use your abilities to break the block before you can deal out any damage. Enemies are also highlighted when you are locked on to them, which makes for much more satisfying combat.
I really enjoyed these changes to gameplay as you can now jump around and link hits and combos in devastating fashion. I feel that these changes are exactly what the LEGO series of games were in need of, as it makes the combat feel modern and fluid.
The levels in the game all feel varied and look different, it feels like a true adventure trying to save the city from destruction. There is occasional vehicle based missions and bosses, which keeps gameplay fresh. The game gives you a waypoint on the screen so you always know where you have to go, and the items you need to break in order to advance glow.
A beautiful LEGO game
Visually, the game looks wonderful. The environments came alive with great detail and I loved that all the cut-scenes in this game were taken from the movie. They are so much better than the usual LEGO cut-scenes, and make it feel like a proper movie tie-in game. Where as other movies that have been turned into LEGO games feel like scenes from the movie in between unrelated gameplay.
While playing the game, I did encounter a few performance issues that are worth mentioning. For the most part, the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game keeps a constant frame rate. There are however a few instances, such as the on-rails shooting and beach segments, which you can see notable frame rate dips. Luckily, these issues only occur about 10% of the time and didn’t stop me from enjoying the game.
Battle it out with friends in the 4-player competitive Battle Arenas mode
Quite possibly one of the most interesting modes in the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is the inclusion of a 4-player competitive mode called Battle Arenas. This mode allows you to and up to three other friends or bots battle it out for supremacy.
There are three modes contained in Battle Arenas: Samurai Showdown, Mystic Bounty, and Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. Samurai Showdown is similar to capture the flag, Mystic Bounty requires you to collect items scattered around the arena for points, and in Ultimate Ultimate Weapon you must hunt down the most powerful weapon and keep it away from others.
Though the bots can put up a fight, Battle Arenas is best played with friends. Even with its extremely simple design, it’s nice to see this mode added into the game. I love a good game of capture the flag, so I spent the majority of my time with Samurai Showdown.
The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is a fast and fun game. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this game as much as I did. I am glad that the game focuses more on platforming than the usual break everything into LEGOS, hop around and then build and move on format like previous games. While those moments are still present in the game, they are not as frequent as they used to be.
The game does exhibit some performance issues as noted, but they in no way detract from my overall enjoyment I had with The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game. If you are looking for another great LEGO game to play, the LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is the perfect choice.
+ Exciting new additions to combat
+ Lots of collectables
+ Competitive multiplayer mode Battle Arenas is fun with friends
– Loading times can be lengthy between chapters
– A few technical performance issues
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5