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Lego Dimensions Shopping List

lego-dimensions-aisle

Recently, I introduced the kids to the Toys to Life game, Lego Dimensions.  At the time, my goal was to keep them from being bored during a rainy week at home before school started.  But a secondary goal was to make Christmas shopping easier.  If the kids liked the game, I’d have lots of easy gifts come holiday shopping season.  Lo and behold, they liked the game (as an added bonus, so did I) so there will be lots of Lego toys under the tree this year.  In fact, I have already stocked up thanks to recent on-line sales.

The purpose of this article is to look at some of the sets that are currently available and prioritize them based on what they have to offer in the game.  I won’t be taking into consideration personal preferences.  For example, the DC super heroes are a relatively low priority despite my fondness of them.  So if you just have to have Aquaman (like I do), go ahead and buy him even though he won’t unlock all that much for you.  This list will focus on getting the most game bang for you buck.

The nature of toys to life games necessitates that players choose their own degree of investment.  If money is no object, you could just buy up every pack on the market.  But even with half-off sales available, that would cost a pretty penny.  For our purposes, I am going to break this list out into three different groups.  For completionists with some dough to spend, we’ll look at what is needed to unlock every level and adventure world in the game.  If you don’t need to play every level, we’ll examine what is needed to unlock all the adventure worlds.  And if you’re on a budget or just don’t care about the adventure worlds, we’ll look at which fun packs offer the most essential skills.

lego-dr-who

We’ll start with the big spenders.  If you just have to play every level in the game, you will obviously need to buy all of the level packs.  Currently, there are six available for purchase; Back to the Future, Portal 2, The Simpsons, Doctor Who, Ghostbusters and Midway Arcade.  Three more will be released between now and Christmas; Adventure Time, Mission: Impossible and Sonic the Hedgehog.

I haven’t played any of these although several of them currently reside in a box in my closet.  I can’t speak to the comparative quality of the different packs, but from what I have read the Back to the Future level is disappointingly incomplete.  From reviews, Portal 2, Doctor Who and Ghostbusters appear to be the stand-outs.  But for this first group, I’m making the assumption that you are buying all of them.  This will unlock several adventure worlds, so you won’t need to buy certain less expensive packs.

There are still some adventure worlds that can’t be unlocked despite the massive investment of buying all the level packs.  To get into the Jurassic World or Scooby Doo adventure worlds, you’re going to have to buy the respective team packs.  The Starter Pack included characters that will unlock the DC, Lego Movie and Lord of the Rings worlds, so we don’t need to worry about those.

That leaves Ninjago, The Wizard of Oz and Legends of Chima left to unlock.  Fortunately, all of these can be accessed with the purchase of a relatively cheap Fun Pack.  Currently, the only way to unlock The Wizard of Oz is through the Wicked Witch of the West pack, so there’s no decision there.  For Chima and Ninjago, it’s down to personal preference or whatever fun pack you can find the cheapest.  Sale prices lead me to pick up Sensei Wu and Laval just top open those worlds.

By the time you have purchased all these packs, you should have all the essential skills covered.  There are a couple of unique abilities like Unikitty’s power to blow up Rainbow Bricks which won’t be covered.  You can pick up a Unikitty fun pack relatively cheap or just use the hire-a-hero option when her power is needed.  Of course, she is voiced by Alison Brie which may be reason enough to buy her.

This option will run you a few hundred bucks even with sale prices.  It’s definitely not going to be for everyone.  So let’s look at a slightly more cost-efficient plan.

lego-dimensions-scooby-doo-team-pack

This time around, let’s assume you don’t need to play every single level in the game, but you still want to unlock all of the worlds to explore.  You’re still going to be buying some level packs, but you won’t need to buy them all.  Portal 2 and the Midway Arcade can only be unlocked with level packs, so you’re stuck with those.  Scooby Doo and Jurassic World are still only accessible via team packs, so those haven’t changed.  But hey, you’re down to two level packs and two team packs.  That will save you a lot of money right there.

In the previous plan, we had unlocked Back to the Future, Dr. Who, Ghostbusters and The Simpsons using level packs which retail for around $30.  But since we’re just trying to unlock the adventure world, we can make do with $10 fun packs instead.  For Back to the Future, that means getting Doc Brown instead of Marty McFly.  The Doctor Who fun pack comes with the robotic Cyberman.  For The Simpsons and Ghostbusters, you have choices.

To access the Ghostbusters world, you can choose from the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or Slimer.  For utility, Slimer is the clear winner here.  He comes with eight useful abilities as opposed to Mr. Stay-Puft’s three.  There are two fun pacts featuring Simpsons characters; Bart and Krusty the Clown.  There’s no clear winner here.  They both have abilities that can be found elsewhere so go with personal preference.  Unfortunately, due to contract negotiations, none of the voice actors from the Simpsons provided original dialogue.  So that’s a bit of a bummer.

But you’re not quite done yet.  You’re still stuck buying the Wicked Witch of the West and fun packs for Ninjago and Chima if you want access to all the worlds.  And that doesn’t even count the new worlds that are being added in Year 2 like Adventure Time, Harry Potter and Gremlins.  But for now, we won’t worry about those.

Plan B may not cost you an arm and a leg like the first plan, but it’s still pretty dang expensive.  If you look for sale prices, you can do this for a couple hundred bucks or so.  But that’s still a pretty steep price tag.  If this still gives you sticker shock, let’s take a look at Plan C.

slimer-fun-pack

Our final approach is going to deal primarily with Fun Packs.  The object here is to buy the characters who are going to provide the most essential skills.  Before we delve into this plan, I want to note that the game’s Hire a Hero function will allow you to temporarily use all of these characters without spending a cent of real world money.  So if you really want to save money, that’s the way to go.  But if you don’t mind buying a few characters, these are some to consider.

As I mentioned previously, Slimer from Ghostbusters is a real bargain.  He’s got 8 abilities most of which are not included in the game’s starter pack.  Those skills include: Hazard Cleaner, Hazard Protection, Sonar Smash, Underwater Swimming, Boomerang, Flight and Mini Access Ability.  He also has Illumination, but you already have access to that skill thanks to Gandalf.  He also comes with the Slime Shooter and opens up the Ghostbusters adventure world.  That’s a lot of bang for the buck.

The Cyberman is another character with a pretty impressive list of skills.  He gives you Hacking, Technology, X-Ray Vision, Mind Control, Underwater Swimming, Drone (Cybermat) and Silver LEGO Blowup.  If you bought Slimer, you already have Underwater Swimming, but the rest of those skills have yet to be covered by other characters.  Cyberman also comes with a Dalek which gives you access to Targeting and Laser abilities.  Plus the pack unlocks the Dr. Who adventure world.

Next, I am going to recommend the Jurassic World team pack.  That comes with two characters, a dinosaur, a vehicle and it opens up Jurassic World.  Owen Grady provides four skills three of which we haven’t covered yet: Tracking, Stealth and Vine Cutting.  The ACU Trooper brings along Electricity which is useful.  The Velociraptor gives you access to Super Strength and Digging.  And finally the Gyrosphere offers Speed and Gyrosphere Switches.

That doesn’t cover all the skills in the game.  But for under $50 (closer to $30 if you shop for bargains) you can cover the most essential skills and use Hire a Hero for the rest.

Of course personal preference is going to be a factor for most players.  While it’s not remotely efficient, I bought the kids all of the Ghostbusters characters and most of the Simpsons.  (They don’t like Krusty, so we don’t need him).  I have also purchased DC super heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman even though their abilities are largely redundant.  Those are mostly for me.  If you’re a big Lord of the Rings fan, you might want Gollum or Gimli even though Gandalf already gives you access to that adventure world.  Or maybe you want the full cast of Ninjago.

Assuming your budget can support it, a big part of the appeal of Lego Dimensions is that it is customizable.  It’s possible to play the game without breaking the bank.  But if you’re a bit of a collector, the game offers numerous ways to indulge that impulse.

 

 

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Posted on September 10, 2016, in lego, video games and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Yikes. My nephew loves Scooby Doo, so I’m sure his parents are watching this game with a weary eye. I guess I feel like crossing these universes isn’t that appealing to me. When it was all Disney related I could reluctantly agree to the odd pairings, but I would probably just fall back on the single universe LEGO games if I was into console games at all anymore.

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    • LOL. You remind me of the Will Ferrell character in The Lego Movie. Didn’t he insist that his Lego creations stay thematically consistent? If you wanted to impose that structure on your game play, you could do so to an extent. The story features three characters from The Lego Movie in an adventure that allows for mixing and matching. Since the movie did the same thing, I would think that would be acceptable especially since the three leads were all in that movie. If not, the game’s story mode would be problematic for you.

      For the adventure worlds, those are open to explore with whoever you want to bring. So if you wanted to stick to Scooby Doo, you could explore that world with Shaggy, Scooby and the Mystery Machine and no one else. (Although Batman did guest star on more than one Scooby Doo cartoon, so maybe he would be okay too?) You would be limited from completing certain puzzles that require other character abilities, but like everything else in the game, that choice is up to the player.

      For me, the mash-ups are a big part of the game’s appeal. For example, in the story mode when they venture to Oz, Batman mistakes the Scarecrow for his arch enemy to comic effect. The makers of these games are obvious fans of all of these properties. For example, whenever BA Baracus rides in a flying vehicle, he falls asleep because of his fear of flying. That kind of affection is all over the Lego games. Right now, all we have open is the starter pack and a Bart Simpson fun pack. I have to admit I get a charge out of letting Bart drive the Batmobile on a path of assured destruction. When Batman sees him, he wonders aloud “Could this child be the elusive Bartman?” It’s a lot of fun if you play along.

      For an adult, well, this isn’t ideal unless you are in to video games and collectibles. My primary obstacle to getting into gaming is I lack the time and the skill. Not sure which is in shorter supply. With the Lego games, I can play with my kids and my skill level is adequate for everything but the races. I suck at the races and avoid them at all costs. If you wanted to sample the Lego game experience, I’d recommend picking up a cheap game with a theme that appeals to you. There are multiple Marvel titles for $20 or less and they have PC versions I believe. But they are nothing but a pleasant time waster, so I can’t say you’re missing out if you never play one.

      Dimensions adds that toy-to-life/collectible element. I wouldn’t have opened the door to that if I weren’t a dad. But it’s a lot of fun sharing some of these old properties with the kids and we can all play together. The downside is the investment. That might be a barrier for parents on a budget. For example, if all your nephew were interested in was Scooby Doo, you’d have to buy the starter pack and a team pack. At retail prices, that’s $100. On sale, $60-70. And odds are, he’s going to want more than just Scooby Doo once he gets into it.

      What I like about it is that it is highly customizable. We’ll be investing heavily in Ghostbusters and Harry Potter. Barely at all in Ninjago and Chima. Mix things up or stay thematically consistent. Collect a lot or rent characters using in-game currency. Explore at a leisurely pace or concentrate on specific goals. Much like Legos themselves, how you play is up to you.

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