Games

Lego Dimensions (Xbox One)

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Traveller’s Tales (Tt from this point on) should just set up an account that I can funnel my money into each week. Tt is the developer of the Lego series of games. You know, Lego Marvel Superheroes, Lego Batman, Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Harry Potter, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, etc., and … the master of the universe of Lego games, Lego Dimensions.

Lego Dimensions is a combination of everything you love as a pop culture fanatic. Name it. Back to the Future, it’s in there. Portal, it’s in there. The Wizard of Oz, it’s in there. Batman, Superman, all the DC Superheroes, they’re in there. The Lord of the Rings, it’s in there. Scooby Doo, Jurassic World, Doctor Who … THEY ARE ALL IN THERE!

Lego Dimensions is the greatest fantasy of pop culture junkies everywhere. All these awesome properties jammed together into a smorgasbord of awe and wonder. My friends, if you’ve ever played a Lego game and enjoyed it, this is a must have title. But, there’s a downside. The only downside with an upside that can severely hinder your fun of the game if you let it.

It’s a “Toys to Life” type of game. I’m not sure if toys to life is copyrighted or not, but that’s what I call all the products in this line of video games. Toys to life brands include Skylanders, Disney Infinity, Lego Dimensions, and several off brand games I’ve seen recently on store shelves. I have nothing bad to say about any of these other brands, they’re all great at what they offer and do. But if you want variety, Lego Dimensions delivers, my friends.

If I were to rate the “big three” toys to life companies, it’d go something like this: Disney Infinity, Lego Dimensions, Skylanders. I know what you’re thinking: if I love Lego Dimensions so much, why rate it 2nd? Well, that’s because Disney’s Infinity series is just beautiful and well made. They have weight, they appear to have value because of the craftsmanship. Even if you didn’t play the Infinity games, you could buy these figures and display them proudly on a wall.

The Lego Dimension figures are second because everyone loves Legos, and to be perfectly honest, they represent brands we all know and love from some point in our lives. From cartoon characters we loved as kids to movies we loved as adults. Their build quality isn’t as great as Infinity figures, though because they’re actual Legos! Yes, Lego Dimension figures are real Legos, they just snap on to a rewritable data disc. (Don’t ask me to get into the tagging technology, I have no idea.) And as for Skylanders, they’re fine, but their line has grown so large and has multiple poses of the same characters that it’s just ridiculous when it comes to space and money.

Here’s the deal: Lego Dimensions starter pack includes everything you need. It comes with the figure platform that can technically hold 7 figures and comes equipped with multicolored lights that come into the gameplay often. Sure, you can throw your platform up barebones, but the fun comes in actually building it through the course of the game. That’s right, you play the video game and build Legos as you go. The same thing applies to each expansion pack you buy because no instructions are included, it’s all part of the game. The starting figures are Batman, Wyldstyle, the Batmobile, and Gandolf. I’m just going to assume you know who those guys/gals are if you’re reading this. Oh, an aside, the vehicles can be transformed into several different models. The Batmobile itself can be used in three formations. The DeLorean from Back to the Future comes with three modes, one being the awesome hover mode from BttF 2.

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That aside, as you play through the main story with our three main characters (and their vehicle) you’ll, one-by-one, unlock each world that you’ll be able to buy expansion packs for. The Wizard of Oz is the first, right off the bat. My understanding is that some expansion packs will also come with larger worlds than we see in our story missions, allowing free-roaming around such areas as Hill Valley or New York. It just blows my mind how well this game works with everything that is available for it.

Let me explain that last point. You see, in Disney’s Infinity line, versions 1 through 3.0, you can use only certain characters in the mission modes. Example, the Avenger’s mission world can only be used by the Avenger’s characters. Other Infinity characters can’t come into play in that world. That’s a dirty deal, in my eyes. If you’re going to make a game such as this, any character should be exchangeable with any other character for play and enjoyment.

In Lego Dimensions, you can launch your Scooby Doo world, bring in the Back to the Future’s hover board vehicle, place Green Lantern as a partner and bring along Owen from Jurassic World also as a playable character. Heck, we’ll even throw in Homer Simpson. So you’ve got 5 properties in play in a single game of Lego Dimensions. It blends well, even though some the animations may seem to clash with one another at times, like seeing Batman or Gandolf in the Simpson’s hometown is a bit mind-blowing. It works, it’s fun, and Tt/Lego has said they plan to support the products being released right now for at least 3 years down the road. (No, I don’t have the link to that, it’s something I read in Game Informer or Gamespot, one of the two.)

Look, if you love Legos, if you love games, if you love collectible figures, movies, cartoons, etc. Go buy this game. My goodness it’s everything I’ve wanted in a game since Skylanders introduced the genre. And just think of all the other series/movies that are possible! I mean it’s got Doctor Who, for crying out loud!

If I were to give this game a rating between 1 to 5 (5 being the best), I’d give it a 7.2

 

Currently Playing This Week (August 3, 2015)

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Cooking Fever (iOS and Android) – I’m absolutely addicted to this game right now. Yes, it has in-game purchases to help you quickly advance in the game. It is also possible to advance without purchases from the store. Trust me, I’m doing it now. Slowly. But I’m doing it!

Fallout Shelter (iOS) – Still playing, doing much better on this, my 5th attempt.

Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition (PC) – First game I downloaded after upgrading. Interesting and very smooth gameplay.

The Witcher 3 (PS4) – Slowly but surely working my way through. Still low level, still struggling to get in game time.

Godzilla: The Game (PS4) – The new release Godzilla. Interesting gameplay, odd game modes. No local multiplayer, which really sucks.

Marvel Future Fight (iOS) – Still playing this on occasion. Good point and click game with rpg-ish leveling of abilities and armor. Lots of Marvel characters to unlock and play with.

Lots of mobile games on the list here because they’re just so darn convenient to pick up, play and put back down. Lots of overtime at work the last week or so, along with some other personal things going on. There are a few other odd games I’ve been tinkering with, but nothing worth jotting down.

So, what are you playing?

Lego Jurassic World (PS4)

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Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Another Lego game! Traveller’s Tales has provided yet another enjoyable title in the Lego universe. This time around, to coincide with the release of Jurassic World, the movie, on big screens, they’re throwing Lego Jurassic World at us on the consoles. As much as I had issues with the third Lego Batman installment, Lego Jurassic World more than makes up for that lackluster experience of loading issues, confusing hub and limited gameplay locations. In fact, I’ll just go ahead and forget that mess of a game even rested on our system for a brief moment in time and instead focus on all the good fun and entertainment we’ve had from Lego Jurassic World.

Now that I’ve said Lego Jurassic World fifty-billion times, let’s move on!

Right off the starting point, we are given a huge hub area to roam around and do activities in. The Hub World is actually the entire park itself, with vehicle spawn points and animal enclosures you can go into with dinosaur spawn pads for those you unlock through gameplay. Only certain sized dinosaurs can be spawned in certain paddocks, though, due to the size of the much larger ones. Most all dinosaurs can be played by accessing the Freeplay character selection screen, but only if you’ve unlocked them and then purchased them for Lego Coins.

The Hub World is also separated into two islands. Isla Sorna and Isla Nebular from the movies, of course. To access each area of missions, though, you need to find your way to the boat dock and select your path. Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park: The Lost World (and Jurassic Park 3) and The Lost World all have separate paths you need to follow to access their mission levels. It adds to the excitement and feel of the game to board a helicopter for Isla Nebular, or hop on the monorail for a trip to Jurassic World and it’s crowded main street and Innovation Center. It’s all very well done, nicely laid out and a welcome change from … well, you know, that other game. Mind you, it’s not as open to roam as New York City in Lego Marvel Superheroes, but it’s a pretty darn big place.

Gameplay is typical Lego, but instead of having confusing suites for each character (that other game) you simply have the character selection wheel in first play through missions, and later access to the whole unlocked crew in Freeplay. Each main character does have different costumes, such as Doctor Grant, Malcolm and other characters from the cast of the movies. If those aren’t to your liking, you can go to the Innovation Center and create your own characters, of course, or experiment with gene splicing by mixing up your Dino DNA and creating new species of dinosaurs to play as.

The levels are divided up to five split levels per movie. What I mean by that is it follows the formula of having one large area split into two smaller areas with a save point in between. These levels, however, don’t feel long and drawn out or overdone. Instead, we found them to be enjoyable, sometimes funny, and that each one had a replayability factor that we didn’t mind one bit! It’s fun! Entering into a level in Freeplay is probably the most exciting thing we came across. Switching between dinosaurs, human characters, etc was entertaining and never got old.

There’s lots of opportunities to unlock mini kits, which will form a skeleton dinosaur if you collect them all in each level – and yes, once completed, you can even play as the skeleton dino! There are vehicles from all the movies, from motorcycles, to the trademark jeeps from the first film. It’s a completely fanboy dreamland of Jurassic Park love, and worth full price if you’re into the Lego game series from Traveller’s Tales.

So, honestly, if you haven’t figured it out by now, my family and I love Lego Jurassic World. It’s an entertaining game with a Hub World you can get lost in if you’re not careful. There’s lots to do, many unlockables, three different island areas to explore and hundreds of characters and dinosaurs to unlock and play as. Traveller’s Tales have redeemed themselves from the last game I played from their lineup and I couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishment.

 

Currently Playing: Games I’m Investing Time In Right Now

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It’s been awhile since I gave an update on what keeps me entertained. And since I’m in a state of “blah” this week due to heat, the upcoming holiday weekend, and just being “blah” in general, I thought now was a good time! So, what games are on my playlist currently? Well, let see …

Lego Jurassic World (PS4)

The Witcher III: Wild Hunt (PS4)

Marvel Future Fight (iOS Mobile)

Jurassic World (iOS Mobile)

Fallout Shelter (iOS Mobile)

Marvel Puzzle Quest (iOS Mobile)

Clicker Heroes (Steam)

AdVenture Capitalist (Steam)

That’s pretty much it for me. Mostly I’m enjoying some quick pick-up-and-play mobile games while on my lunch break at work or lying in bed at night. I have to be careful with The Witcher III because it’s a very good game to get lost in. I started playing the other night just after midnight and the next thing I knew it was 5 hours later! Fallout Shelter is an interesting resource management game that I’ve posted a few starter tips on earlier this week, I’m still enjoying it. And the last one I’ll comment on real quick is Lego Jurassic World. Traveller’s Tale’s has done an excellent job on this game and I’ll be posting my review of it in a few days.

*Side note: I realize now that in a couple of previous posts, i attributed the Lego games to Tell Tale games. That’s what I get for mixing up companies that have two “T’s” as their initials!*

Fallout Shelter

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I’m a slow learner. This is why several dozen innocent imaginary digital civilians had to suffer at my inexperienced hands while I learned to play Fallout Shelter. For those that aren’t aware, Fallout Shelter is a new mobile/tablet gaming app from Bethesda, the makers of Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and the upcoming Fallout 4. They’ve made other games as well, mind you, like the upcoming Doom, Dishonored, Skyrim. But Fallout Shelter is – as far as I know – their first app.

In Fallout Shelter you are assigned as Overseer of a VaultTech underground Vault, a fallout shelter for the nuclear apocalypse that decimates the earth and mutates beasts, man and contaminates water and food supply of anything that didn’t seek shelter. Inside the Vault of your creation, you must build the rooms necessary to maintain life. Food, water, power, medical supplies. You can even send people out into the Wasteland to scavenge for supplies and money. It’s a sim game set in the Fallout universe, basically, complete with disasters that can sabotage your gameplay. There are instructions included with the game, but if you’re like me, you don’t like to waste valuable time reading them! You just want to dive in and have some fun, build up your tiny world and enjoy it. So, here’s a few tips I’ve learned though lots of trial and error – mostly error.

1) Water Supply Means Life and/or Death – The biggest problem when I started playing Fallout Shelter was radiation sickness. It didn’t seem to matter what I did, my Vault dweller’s eventually became irradiated and began losing health. Once that red bar appears on their health meter, it’s like a shot through the heart (to me anyways) because I didn’t know what was causing it. Turns out, it’s the water supply! If you don’t keep a steady, strong supply of water running through the Vault, the folks inside will begin to succumb to radiation poisoning. Having a water supply isn’t enough, you have to keep that sucker in the green at all times. Once it begins falling below the acceptable limit, that’s when your radiation problems begin. So keep it in the green at all times, folks.

2) The Best Population Comes From Within – If you’re like me, you’ll eventually hit a dry spell. No one will stumble across your Vault and knock on the front door seeking shelter. When this happens, it can be a long, dry spell before the next visitor shows up. That’s why you have to make use of what you have! When folks stop a knockin’ go straight to your closest, best resource – your Vault dwellers, and get two of them (male and female) in the living quarters alone. Nature will do the rest, and before you know it, little Vault dwellers will be running around in no time! Keep a stead supply going or you’ll find yourself waiting even longer while they grow up to become contributing adults.

3) Man That Door! – Raiders. I hate Raiders. Raiders seem to always come in groups of three and always seem to bust right through my 2nd level Vault door. So try to upgrade that door to the max level as soon as you can, and always, always keep 2 guards in the entrance way with pretty decent weapons. The more you can take out before they start swarming the inside of your Vault the better. As an aside, I actually blamed Raider attacks on my radiation problems. They always seemed to coincide. I’d have a Raider attack, then the next thing I knew, my people were coming down with radiation sickness. Took me a bit to catch on to the water trick, though.

4) Don’t Expand Too Fast – The worst thing you can do is go into the game and just start throwing rooms down. Take your time, grow slowly, and don’t deplete your resources. Every resource is extremely important. If you begin expanding your Vault by multiple floors and unnecessary rooms before you actually need them, you’re going to regret it in the long run. The more rooms you have the more your resources are going to be stretched. Especially your power. Take it easy, have patience and you’ll be rewarded with a happy, friendly Vault.

As I grow and learn more, I’ll share with you other tips I come across. Have fun and enjoy this little addition to the Fallout universe!