Games Gazette Logo

 

Christmas is the time for giving and receiving presents, watching old movies, over eating and drinking and playing LEGO DIMENSIONS.

If you have a console like the XBox ONE, PS4 then LEGO Dimensions is available for you, it is also available, unlike many other console games, for the good old XBox360. Yes LEGO aren't telling you to buy a new console if you want to play their games, they are embracing the fact that not every family can afford to change consoles every time someone has the idea to bring out a new, non-compatible, game system. What's more, the action, fun and visuals are as top quality on this (somewhat) antiquated system as they are on the more expensive and up-to-date systems.

What I love about LEGO DIMENSIONS (apart from the fact that I can play it on my Xbox360) is that you can interact every character with every other character. Just pop one on the Portal, wait for recognition and then move it to the central spot for it to be accepted and then it becomes part of your ever-growing story.

All of the characters that you buy in a Fun Pack or Team Pack etc come with one or two personal possessions, similar to Batman having the Batmobile in the original boxed set (there are no specials for Wyldstyle and Gandalf in that set). Amongst the latest characters, which now have a more interactive Yellow base, are E.T. who naturally has a telephone, Sonic the Hedgehog has a Speedster and a Tornado, and Tina Goldstein from Fantastic Beasts has a Swooping Evil Giant bird. In the Team set Gizmo the Mogwai and Stripe the Gremlin come in the same pack with a Polaroid camera and a Remote Controlled car.

 

Speaking of FANTASTIC BEASTS there is now a new set that allows you to play the movie by building a new Portal - MACUSA - the Magical Congress of the United States of America headquarters. This is an imaginative desk piece that is very much a Hogwarts type building where Newt Scamander and Niffler are ready for you to battle against your friends in an up-to 4 player arena - brilliant! If you haven't seen the movie yet DIMENSIONS will have you running to the cinema, if you have seen the movie you'll love the LEGO adaptation.

I love playing games, on the PC, XBox360, RPGs and Boardgames, but I just can't get enough of LEGO DIMENSIONS. Watching the Simpsons race into their front room, flop on the couch in front of the TV and then run like crazy as the ceiling gives way and my choice of characters (ie those on my Portal) crash through and land so they sit, Simpson's style ready to watch themselves on the goggle-box.

 

Not every vehicle or special contraption/gadget is immediately available, and somewhat annoyingly this means that although you have the Lego pieces available in the box you cannot make them until they are requested onscreen and then you can choose to build them. The pages of the manual appear onscreen one at a time. Each page shows you the pieces you need for the next part of the gadget, often showing just one or maybe a couple of pieces along with the machine as it currently stands, the new additions clearly defined. This way you carefully but quickly create the construction until on completion you pop it on the central point and the game accepts it. A swirl onscreen and the gadget/car (your build) pops up ready for action. Any character standing close to it can, on the tap of a Y jump into/onto it and utilise its abilities. Batman may look good in the Batmobile but Gandalf can drive/control/use it just as easily.

        

Characters like Sonic the Hedgehog (and others of course) have side games to take you off on a tangent from the ongoing story. Sonic rolls and buzzes jumps, flips and flies through rolling terrain, spinning overhanging hills, dangerous bridges and stinging and dangerous creatures and encounters. As an example of interactive play you can happily run other characters with Sonic on his external adventures to help him get past obstacles, but when it comes to the crunch it is Sonic's own special abilities that will win the day. You do not have to play these extra games, but why wouldn't you? Playing LEGO DIMENSIONS isn't a race, even when it is a race, it's an experience that you will want to continually enjoy and return to.

 

These packs are not inexpensive, running from around £12.00 through to (and past) £30.00 depending on the franchise and the included parts. For instance, Benny (and his Spaceship) from the LEGO movie can be found at £12.99 while the Dr Who with the T.A.R.D.I.S.& K-9 is £27.99 and the Jurassic World set of  Owen Grady, plus an ACU trooper, Velociraptor and Gyrosphere are £29.99. As you can see, the price rarely bears very little relevance to the number of pieces. A 2 piece (Benny pack) is £15.00 less than Dr Who's 3 piece pack and yet Jurassic World which has 4 pieces is just £2.00 up on Dr Who. But you cannot buy (or should not buy) LEGO DIMENSIONS by price. You should buy them, in my opinion for one or more of three reasons; 1) you like the characters, 2) the abilities offered by the characters - most characters have different abilities from each other (some have duplicate abilities) so to get a good balance of abilities you should carefully study what you already have and go online to see what you haven't got and go for that pack; finally the 3rd reason is that LEGO DIMENSIONS is great FUN!!!

    A box of LEGO parts still waiting to be constructed

Here are just a few of  the characters I have and their abilities:
a). Jay from Ninjago has Spinjitzu, Acrobatics, Stealth and Deflection. Jay can also use Deflection and harness Electricity plus Repair Broken Objects.  Jay's vehicle, the Storm Fighter, has fighting as standard but can evolve during the game into Lightning Jet and Electro-Shooter which adds the Laser ability.
b). 
Batman has a Batarang plus Grappling, Stealth and Boomerang plus the Batmobile
c). Gandalf has his magical staff that can Levitate objects plus Magical illumination
d). Wyldstyle can detect Relics (which is how she found me) and is a great builder of useful items from piles of Lego bricks.  

As you can see, the original grouping of Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle give plenty of scope for action and when you add the Batmobile into the equation the game goes wild and in style.

LEGO DIMENSIONS is available in so many games, toy and supermarket stores that there are too many to mention. If you have Christmas money left over and don't know what to buy yourself, if you have a capable console then check out the fun in a box that is LEGO DIMENSIONS.

 

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015