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Lego Dimensions: Fun With Fun Packs: Wicked Witch of the West and Doc Brown

lego-wicked-witch

Late last summer, I picked up the Lego Dimensions Starter Pack on a whim.  It was on sale and I was going to spend a week at home with the girls just before the new school year.  Turns out it was a rainy week and we got a lot of use out of the new toy/game.  When I made that purchase, I had not anticipated it turning into such an investment either financially or in terms of time.  Today’s article is the fourteenth weekly write-up covering expansions for the game and it is also the last one dealing with the game’s first year offerings.  As a result, the two Fun Packs I’m reviewing may seem a bit random.

The two packs we will look at today are the Wicked Witch from The Wizard of Oz and Doc Brown from Back to the Future.  Both characters are from cherished old movies, but there’s nearly five decades between them.  There’s not a lot of thematic common ground.  I suppose the Wicked Witch hails from the West and Doc Brown traveled back in time to the Old West.  That’s about as good of a link as I am likely to come up with.

wicked-witch-fun-pack

The Wicked Witch of the West is one of the great cinematic villains.  She’s also an unlikely choice as the sole character representing The Wizard of Oz.  But then again, I don’t know how you translate Dorothy or the Scarecrow into a video game.  What skills did they possess beyond bursting into song?  The witch may be a bad guy, but she had actual powers that make her useful as a video game character.

Not surprisingly, the Wicked Witch has the “magic” ability.  That’s a bit redundant since Gandalf came with the Starter Pack.  She also has Gandalf’s ability to illuminate dark places.  But the Wicked Witch also possess powers her Lord of the Rings counterpart does not have.  For one, she can fly on her broomstick.  She can also blow up silver bricks and she has “mind control” which is an uncommon skill.

The Fun Pack also includes a winged monkey as a “vehicle/gadget”.  The monkey can fly which is of no use whatsoever to the Wicked Witch.  But other non-flying characters can hitch a ride from the monkey if they are so inclined.  The monkey can also be upgraded to blow up silver Lego bricks or shatter glass.  All in all, he’s about average for a side item in a Fun Pack.

The big selling point here is that the Wicked Witch gets you access to the Wizard of Oz adventure world.  In fact, she’s the only way you can get access to this part of the game.  This pack retails for $12, but you should have no problem finding the Witch on sale for about half that price.  That lets you explore all of Oz including Munchkin Land, the Haunted Forrest, the Witch’s Castle and the Emerald City.  The Wizard himself is flying his hot air balloon on his way back to Kansas.  Since you’re playing a villain, you can knock him out of the sky.

doc-brown-fun-pack

Doc Brown is one of two characters available from Back to the Future.  Marty McFly comes in the more expensive Level Pack.  Unfortunately, as the first Level Pack offered in the game, there were apparently some issues with meeting deadlines.  I haven’t shelled out for the Back to the Future Level Pack because from what I hear the new level was cut incredibly short and as a result it isn’t worth the money.  Additionally, poor Marty isn’t a useful character (he has just one ability!).

But Doc Brown is pretty handy.  He has both the technology and the fix-it skills as befits an inventor.  He’s also a capable hacker – an ability he must have picked up in the future because I doubt it was prevalent in 1985.  He has the “intelligence” ability and he can also pilot a miniature DeLorean drone.

Doc’s vehicle is the time traveling train he used in Back to the Future Part III.  Time traveling is essential for the Back to the Future adventure world.  But more on that in a second.  The train can be upgraded to fly, tow things and fire missiles that destroy silver Legos.

Once again, the main selling point here is cheap access to the adventure world.  You have the option of buying the more expensive Level Pack with the less useful character, but why would you when Doc Brown can get you into Hill Valley for a fraction of the cost?

As soon as you enter the adventure world, the soundtrack starts blaring Huey Lewis and the News.   You will find familiar settings like the clock tower and city hall.  Overall, the setting is less distinctive than the land of Oz.  That’s probably not a fair comparison seeing as how Oz is such an iconic location.  But the point remains that outside of a few landmarks, Hill Valley feels like any other small town.

What differentiates this adventure world from any other is the presence of time travel docking stations.  Using Doc’s train or Marty’s DeLorean, players can travel from 1985 to the Old West or the far-flung future of 2015.  The actions you take in the past will change the world around you in the future.   Solving some puzzles will require players to go back and forth in time making alterations as they go.

The adventure world comes up a little short in specificity.  For example, the Old West features characters from Back to the Future III voiced by Michael J. Fox, but it feels like a generic cowboy setting otherwise.  That’s a relatively small complaint/  If you’re a fan of the franchise, there’s an undeniable kick out of hearing Christopher Llyod declare “Great Scott!” when Doc Brown enters the game.

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Posted on February 24, 2017, in lego, video games and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Great post. There are so many of these character and level packs, it’s hard to choose just one or two since they can end up being quite costly once you start adding them to the cart.

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    • They can definitely be expensive. I rarely ever pay the retail price for any Lego Dimensions product as it is pretty easy to find them on sale if you are patient. Around the holidays, it was common to find prices slashed by 50%. The most recent packs that were just released a couple weeks ago, I picked up at 40% discounts. But even with the discounts, if you are going for any level of completion you will end up spending quite a bit of money. You obviously have to know what your budget will allow and make choices accordingly. For the most part, my recommendation is to buy the characters that interest you because the quality of the product is uniformly good. There are only a few places where the game stumbles a bit (Back to the Future and The Simpsons) and those aren’t fatal errors. More like missed opportunities.

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      • Yeah those are some good tips for sure. A little self restraint it always a good thing. I’ve got my eye on the Doctor Who sets and I’m hoping for a sale soon so I can snatch them up. 😀

        That said, do you share your writing on any other sites? I work over at Creators .Co (we’re part of Now Loading) and this is the sort of content that makes for an interesting read. Would you be open to the idea of crossposting your work on our Creators fansite? You can also share you wordpress posts with the users in our Facebook group right away if you’d like. I’m more than happy to help you get started. My e-mail and more info and links about us can be found on my page if you’ve got any questions.

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  2. That sounds like a real kick, playing as The Wicked Witch and knocking The Wizard out of the sky.
    I just finished replaying Telltale’s “Back to the Future” game last night, so I spent the last five nights with Doc Brown (in the game, Marty goes back to 1931 to rescue Doc, who’s going under the alias of Carl Sagan. Ha! For Marty’s alias, I chose Sonny Crockett, so the townspeople in 1931 are referring to them in those names, and it cracks me up). I’m always up for some Doc Brown; he may be frantic, but I can see him being useful in a Lego world. Marty though, what would his ability be, skateboarding, one-liners, and sarcasm?

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    • Marty has a guitar which he can play in order to shatter glass. That is his one and only ability other than waves of nostalgia. To add insult to injury, the Batmobile which comes in the game’s Starter Pack can be upgraded to do the same thing. Marty McFly may be a great protagonist, but he’s the most useless character in Lego Dimensions.

      I played Telltale’s first Walking Dead game and I enjoyed it, but they really oversold the idea that any of your choices matter. No matter what you do, that game ends the exact same way. You can moderately shape how you reach that point. I also bought Telltale’s Batman game but it wouldn’t work on my computer so I had to get a refund. I’ve heard Back to the Future was pretty cool. I think Fox and Lloyd came did the voices for that game as well.

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      • Marty using his guitar, okay, that makes sense (there’s a mini-game in the Telltale game that involves Marty’s guitar, a punked out Jennifer, and a guy named Leetch). The Batmobile shatters glass too?
        Yeah, in Telltale games, I like the dialogue trees, but the stories are linear; I think branching storylines would be nice, like those old Choose your Own Adventure books,
        I’m waiting on that entire Telltale Batman game to be released on PS3, as only the first episode is available right now in that format, and I’ve already viewed a walkthrough on that episode.

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