I’ve yet to see the LEGO Ninjago movie but I can say I’ve played it. There have been a lot of LEGO games and I haven’t played all of them, but I have enjoyed my time with most of them. LEGO Ninjago is more of the same with a few new tricks to shake the LEGO formula up a little, and this new addition is something kids will love.
The city of Ninjago is under constant threat of the villainous Lord Garmadon – there’s a sign keeping count, and it’s struggling to get past one attack-free day – and it’s up to a group of talented ninjas to fight him off each time. Lloyd, who is one of the ninjas, wishes for Lord Garmadon to quit his dastardly ways and to leave Ninjago alone. This is obvious for pretty much any ninja who wishes to protect the citizens of their beloved city, but Lloyd has another reason — Lord Garmadon is his father, and they don’t get along very well.
The LEGO games have notably gotten better in terms of story-telling and performances, and Ninjago is no exception. It captures the look of the movies rather than the games (yes, there is a pretty stark difference between the two, if you ask me) and Ninjago is packed with humourous one-liners and banter. Some adults may groan a little at the dialogue but kids will likely find it funny, and it kept me entertained. There are very little games that are so easily accessible for children but pack in enough enjoyment for adults to not become bored with, and the LEGO games have consistently proven why they’re such great picks for all ages.
If you’re bored of the LEGO formula then Ninjago won’t magically pull you back in, and I’ve been in that camp. Thankfully, I’ve been enjoying more care-free games as of late, and sitting down with Ninjago and not having to worry about dying, losing progress, or becoming stuck is refreshing. Sure, holding down circle to build things still takes a fair bit longer than I wish it would, but otherwise it’s a fast-paced game that bundles on the ninja action in heaps! You’re able to wall-run (what ninja worth their salt couldn’t, right?) and make use of ninja tools such as a grappling hook, weapons and – a bit less ninja-like – giant mechs. There’s a bigger emphasis on combat along with upgrade options and special attacks, but it still feels very button-mashable. It’s great, creative fun, and it’s hard to not appreciate how outlandish Ninjago is — its story has some very grounded moments, however!
Ninjago is a colourful, explosive affair which will take your merry band of ninjas to exciting locales as they work to protect the world from Lord Garmadon and his army. LEGO games have always looked and performed better on console than they have on handheld, and it’s evident that we won’t see LEGO games on Vita anymore. Ninjago is a feast for the eyes although it can look a little less flattering up-close, but it’ll never cease to amaze me to see LEGO used in such a dynamic way. Stellar and frequent voice-acting breathes further life into Ninjago, and it’s packed with jokes and one-liners. The voice-acting may be brilliant, but the soundtrack fails to stand out.
LEGO The Ninjago Movie Video Game is a blast for families and children, but there’s plenty for adult players to enjoy if you choose to play through it solo. The LEGO games follow a strict formula but it’s clear that it’s being improved upon with each new title, and I’m finding myself very excited for LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 releasing later this year. If you’re looking for something chill, or something to play with your kids, then you can’t go wrong with Ninjago.