Category Archives: video games
The second year of Lego Dimensions was anchored by Story Packs. These big-ticket expansions essentially took the place of the typical stand-alone Lego game. The pricing reflected that. Story Packs were add-ons that retailed for about the same price as a regular video game. If Lego Dimensions had continued past its second year, Travelers Tales would have concentrated their efforts on future Story Packs. Instead, the Lego Batman Movie turned out to be the third and final Story Pack. But hey, at least it’s a good one.
The Lego company is big. They don’t just make the little plastic bricks kids like to play with. Obviously, they also sell video games like Lego Dimensions. But Lego also operates a chain of retail stores and multiple theme parks. Lego have branched out into television and movies as well. In addition to the licensed properties that make up the majority of Lego Dimensions product, they have included a few of their own brands like Lego City and the Legend of Chima. Today, I will be looking at a couple of Fun Packs from these properties.
From the very beginning, Lego Dimensions has been aimed as much at parents as it has been at their kids. The product line has included several beloved properties from the 80’s including Ghostbusters, Back to the Future and Gremlins. Today’s Level Pack will be similarly nostalgic for some, but I was a couple years too old to form an attachment to The Goonies.
The movie’s lasting appeal, as best as I can tell, stems from repeated viewings of VHS copies at a young age. Because the hard truth is, The Goonies isn’t a very good movie, but that hasn’t prevented it from developing a pretty big fanbase who will most likely enjoy the Lego Dimensions adaptation. But how does this Level Pack hold up to someone like me who hasn’t memorized the movie? I’ll tell you all about it after the jump.
I am wrapping up my coverage of Lego Dimension’s take on J.K. Rowling with a look at two Fun Packs featuring female supporting characters from Harry Potter lore; Hermione Granger and Tina Goldstein. These packs feature characters who have a lot of overlap with their male costars in terms of powers and abilities. So what do they bring to the table? Two things: gender equality and relatively low prices.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the second of three Story Packs released for Lego Dimensions. The expansion includes several new levels which recreate the story from last year’s spin-off movie. If you are a fan of all things J.K. Rowling and Lego games, there is lots of fun to be had here. But is it worth the steep sticker price?
If you see me hunched over my phone frantically swiping my finger every which way, odds are good I am playing Disney Emoji Blitz. The free-to-play game was released last summer on both Android and Apple phones. Emoji Blitz is a lot like the other puzzle-based games with the additional selling point of unlocking cute Disney-themed emojis you can text to friends and family. But even if you have never wanted to express yourself via Disney characters, Emoji Blitz is a lot of fun for casual gamers.
Disney Magic Kingdoms is a free-to-play mobile game that was released in early 2016. The game allows players to build their own Disney theme park. Back when it was new, Daffy Stardust checked it out and compared it to a similar game he was playing, The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Daffy thought the game might be colorful enough to entertain small children, but found it’s limitations frustrating. I have actually stuck with the game for over a year now and I thought I would update readers regarding how Magic Kingdoms has changed since its release.
Out of all the offerings in the second year of Lego Dimensions, the one my kids were most excited about was the Harry Potter Team Pack. Both of the girls are slowly working their way through J.K. Rowling’s series of books and have watched most of the movies. It would be accurate to describe my oldest as a Harry Potter fan. The youngest is getting there. They couldn’t wait to explore iconic locations like Hogwarts and Diagon Alley in Lego form. In that respect, this Team Pack did not disappoint.
In the summer of 1984, I was 13 years old. It was a great summer for movies, but one day in particular stood out. I pulled together all my friends and worked out a carpool to the local cineplex for a double feature of Ghostbusters and Gremlins. Over thirty years later, thanks to Lego Dimensions, I can relive those glory days with little plastic figurines and in video game pixels. Today we’re reviewing the Gremlins Team Pack for Lego Dimensions.
For the second year of Lego Dimensions, the development team rolled out a new type of product. A Story Pack contains six new levels adapting the full plot of a recent movie. You also get some combination of characters, vehicles and a new background to replace the portal from the Starter Pack. Each Story Pack also unlocks a new “keystone” which can be used to solve puzzles throughout the game. It’s a big expansion and it comes with a proportionally large price tag. At retail prices, a Story Pack will run you $50 which is almost twice as much as what used to be the game’s most expensive expansion. As it turns out, the movie that was chosen as the theme for the first Story Pack was a bit controversial.
Regular readers know that I am not much of a gamer. My video game coverage is limited to Lego games largely because their skill requirements closely align with my limited hand-eye coordination. But that was not true of the video games of my youth. When I was a kid, arcade games were unforgiving and most of the home console games weren’t much better. Even then, I gravitated towards games like Atari’s Adventure which didn’t require split-second timing. But those games were few and far between.
In the early 90’s, I had a Sega Genesis in my dorm room. Side-scrollers were the popular game style of the day. Sonic the Hedgehog innovated by making its spiky blue protagonist was really, really fast. Playing Sonic was frequently a dizzying, exhilarating blur. Even though I frequently ended up losing all of the rings I had collected, I couldn’t help getting caught up in the fun as Sonic rocketed from platform to platform spinning and bouncing like a hyper-kinetic pinball.
I didn’t stick with the Sonic series for very long. I think I may have owned the first couple of games. After that, my pathetic gameplay steered me to games that were more my speed. In other words, slower games. Thanks to Lego Dimensions Sonic the Hedgehog Level Pack, I can revisit the old high speed side-scrolling gameplay married with the much less challenging Lego video game format.
Did you watch TV in the 80’s? If so, you’re old like me. And odds are, you probably tuned in to the action shows that serve as the basis for the Fun Packs covered in today’s article. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been looking at Lego Dimensions expansions aimed at the Cartoon Network crowd. But today’s offerings were made with these kids’ dads in mind because every kid I knew growing up watched The A-Team and Knight Rider. Get ready to kick it old school.
Last week, we reviewed the Adventure Time Level Pack for Lego Dimensions. I’m assuming that was most readers’ introduction to the quirky Cartoon Network show. I have only seen a dozen or so episodes myself due to my children’s fickle TV-watching habits. But that was enough for me to observe that the show had a lot of imagination and a colorful cast of characters many of whom were included in Lego Dimensions’ second year expansion. Today, we’re looking at two of the show’s more popular characters who are featured in the Adventure Time Team Pack.