LEGO takes ‘Pirates’ to high-water markWritten by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
LEGOmania hits the high seas in this latest installment of the LEGO movie games, “LEGO Pirates of Caribbean” (Disney Interactive Studios) on the PlayStation 3. This title compresses all four films, including the upcoming “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” into a fun experience for all ages.
The constant puzzles, challenging missions and problem-solving elements are best for ages 9 and up. Younger players need considerable assistance since many story chapters (in story mode or freeplay mode) require multiple level activities. Free play mode is the best way to learn each character’s abilities. Game developers also ramped up the interactivity options to promote a more free roaming style instead of linear play that limits player creativity.
The huge character set (more than 70) has no actual dialogue, which follows other LEGO games, but makes voice expressions and sounds. The strong visuals, character physics, and synergy from the films put a unique spin on the LEGO media. Jack moves while he leans back and has the same expressions. The LEGO character cutscenes closely follow the film with unique visual styles, including puppet show-type load screen that summarizes current storylines. Key production elements like Hans Zimmer’s memorable musical score and comic embellishments provide constant entertainment.
Players can switch among the unlocked characters in free play after completing the first level and expand to two-player cooperative at any time. Players can still get hurt by their teammates, but always have infinite lives no matter which character they choose. LEGO game veterans (e.g. “Batman,” “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones”) get some definite advantages from the familiar gameplay and actions. This game also features amusing sound effects and helpful visual animations. This game has a high replay value and constant action plus great teamwork and friendship themes (***1/2, rated E10+ for action violence, also available on Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation Portable, and XBox 360).