Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Legends of Chima: Laval's Journey - Final Round Review

When you think of a LEGO games the first things to come to mind are the series for licensed titles such as LEGO Harry Potter and LEGO Star wars.  TT games has no doubt had many hits in the past, but when it comes to self contained LEGO games they rarely hit the same mark of success a licensed game does.  This could be due to the fact that LEGO games almost always play out the same and it begins to show when it can’t hide behind big franchises like DC comics and Marvel.

The story begins with our hero Laval the lion losing a jousting match against Cragger the crocodile.  After some sulking about his loss, Laval discovers that the crocodiles are using their winnings (Chi orbs) from each jousting tournament to create a powerful new Chi power called triple Chi power.  Usually I wouldn’t complain about a games plot if it’s aimed at a younger audience, but why would they hand over something so powerful to the crocodiles, or any other creature for that matter, if it could be used as a powerful weapon?   Not only that, but Chi orbs can corrupt other living creatures and make them hostile and dangerous to anyone who comes into contact with it (This is usually occurs in a select few plants in game).  Each animal kingdom has been affected by the Chi orbs and the organised attacks by the crocodiles; you must venture into and offer your help in battle.

Legends of Chima has you running around a handful of sub worlds, each with its own obstacles and enemies corresponding to what animal lives there.  While helping the eagles, you are required to jump and glide across platforms; in the gorilla home world, you’re swinging around on vines and dodging boulders.  The game controls well on the vita, the jumping and attacking are responsive and fluent which can be enjoyable.  Unfortunately the gameplay is so simplistic and repetitive that I found myself falling from ledges out of boredom, you will die more times because of you lack of attention than anything else.  Even the games sound effects and music suffer from monotony with boring music loops and dodgy at best voice acting, each character having around three lines in total aside from there cut scene dialog.

What Laval’s Journey struggles with the most is new ideas, each LEGO game comes with a few new features but never a defining aspect that really sets them above any other LEGO franchise.  There is nothing adherently wrong with Laval’s Journey but there is nothing good either, which makes repetitiveness its greatest weakness.  It uses the tried and true formula that has been replicated over every other LEGO title and its dullness is beginning to show, without a licensed name to bring charm to the characters and more life to the world.  If you really want a new LEGO game, you’re better off waiting for LEGO Marvel later in the year.


- Will Flynn

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