The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game Review
Lego has taken their Ninjago franchise and biggie-sized it into an action-packed movie, aptly named The Lego Ninjago Movie. So it only makes sense that Lego game veterans Traveller’s Tales would make a game based on the movie, super-cleverly titled The LEGO Ninjago Movie Game Video Game. Those of you who have enjoyed the many Lego games in the past will feel right at home here. Of course, the question is, does The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game rest on it’s Lego laurels? Or does it bring anything new and fresh to the franchise?
The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game pretty much follows the exact same storyline as The Lego Ninjago Movie. In fact, all the cutscenes were ripped directly from the movie, albeit edited down and dubbed with a different cast of voice actors. The story primarily revolves around the city of Ninjago and their six, color-coded ninja protectors who are constantly doing battle with the evil Lord Garmadon, who also happens to be the father of Lloyd, the green ninja. Fortunately, a lot of the boring father/son bits in the movie were scrapped from the game. The ninja team first attempt to use the Ultimate Weapon to defeat Garmadon, but when that fails, they set out on a quest for the Ultimate Ultimate Weapon. There’s no way I’m spoiling what the Ultimate Weapon is, as it provides the funniest moment in the game (and movie).
The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game follows a very similar structure from previous Lego games. Like other Lego games, you have a primary hub level but in this case, there are actually a couple smaller hub levels – some of which are connected, but a couple are on their own. The hub levels serve as a means to play (and replay) the games various episodes, but also offer some other fun distractions like foot races. You’ll work your way through 15 or so episodes, filled with standard Lego game fare. Beating up bad guys, breaking all manner of objects and building context sensitive creations to help you proceed. Fortunately, there are a few things that make this Lego game stand out. There are a couple sections where you’ll ride your Ninjago mechs in Star Fox-like on-rails shooting segments which were pretty fun. The combat is mostly decent, with some fun over-the-top moves – occasionally the game will even slow down to emphasize a sweet attack. However, one thing that I noticed regarding combat was the shortage of bad guys to beat up. It was difficult to string a combo together higher than maybe 60 or so hits because I’d run out of faces to punch. I would have appreciated a couple more baddies in each fight.
“…occasionally the game will even slow down to emphasize a sweet attack”
The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game is not without its flaws. On two occasions, the game completely failed on me, booting me to the PS4 “error reporting” section. I played the entire game in co-op, and for the most part, the game played smoothly – except for the City Docks level, which for some reason had substantial frame rate issues that made it almost unplayable! Then there are the load times. Every single level and every time you start the game you’re faced with a ridiculous two-minute load time. I really hope the team at Traveller’s Tales is working on some sort of optimization update to at least resolve these issues – especially those load times!
In terms of multiplayer, The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game allows for a maximum of two players to play locally throughout the entire game. Unfortunately, there is still no online co-op in this Lego game. The game also features a four-player, split-screen competitive “arena” mode but in truth, it really isn’t that great – but might appeal to younger gamers.
“Every single level and every time you start the game you’re faced with a ridiculous two-minute load time”
The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game is probably the best Lego game I’ve played since Lego Marvel Super Heroes. The game is quite lengthy, with around 15 episodes (including a couple levels that add some nice variety to the standard Lego gameplay). The story follows the same plot as the movie it’s based on, even the cut-scenes are all ripped from the movie. On that note, I’d recommend you watch the movie first – it does a better job of delivering the jokes! It’s a shame they still haven’t added any online aspects to this Lego game, but local co-op is still available and pretty fun. The game is clearly geared towards a younger audience, but there are a few moments that had even me laughing. My biggest complaint is easily the absurd load times. Bottom line, if you’re a fan of the Ninjago franchise or Lego games, I’d say Ninjago for it!
***A PS4 review code was provided by the publisher***
- Decent sized campaign
- Some funny moments
- 2 player local co-op
- Lengthy load times
- Some framerate issues
- No online component