The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game – Review
Follow Genre: Action
Developer: Traveler's Tales, TT Games
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Xbox One, PC, PS4, Switch
Tested on: Switch

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game – Review

Site Score
6.5
Good: A lot of puns, fun and simple combat
Bad: A few annoying glitches
User Score
0
(0 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)

LEGO games are always fun as they bring the inner demolisher out of everyone who plays it. Who could leave all those gold and silver studs that you get from destroying the most random things in the game? This game follows the little ninjas from The LEGO Ninjago series and more specifically The LEGO Ninjago Movie. Like every LEGO series/movie/game, there are a whole lot of jokes some hidden and some more obvious. Even if this game is targeted more at kids, adults will still be able to chuckle multiple times.

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Story

This game based on The LEGO Ninjago Movie follows Lloyd in his journey to discover inner peace. A journey that isn’t easy as the son of Garmadon. Luckily he is part of the ninjas who fight for Ninjago (the city). Garmadon keeps trying to conquer Ninjago but the ninjas are always there to stop him. Lloyd is tired of his dad being the bad guy and invading Ninjago over and over again. So he lashes out to Garmadon who makes him even angrier by teasing him. Mostly because Garmadon doesn’t know that the green ninja is his son Lloyd.

Lloyd makes a mistake in his anger towards his dad and unleashes Meowthra on the city with the Ultimate weapon he borrowed from master Wu. Although Master Wu warned him that he should find inner peace and instead fight Garmadon with his mind and not weapons or mechs. Garmadon takes the Ultimate weapon from Lloyd and destroys the mechs from the ninjas together with a big part of Ninjago.

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To fix his mistake Lloyd has to take a journey into the jungle together with his ninja friends. He has to find the Ultimate Ultimate weapon and find inner peace along the way. This Journey won’t be easy since his friends are mad at him and Master Wu can’t always help him.

As in a lot of LEGO games and movies, there are a lot of puns and humor present which can make everyone at least crack a smile. The story follows The LEGO Ninjago Movie’s story except during the gameplay segments where they try to piece the movie segments together with interesting gameplay. Sadly, this doesn’t really work since they left out vital things to the story. This means the story in the video game doesn’t really make sense as a lot of pieces are missing to the story.

Graphics

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game uses clips from the movie pieced together during the cutscenes in the game. These clips have pretty amazing CGI and special effects. Graphics during the gameplay parts are good but not as good as the movie’s CGI of course. Since everything is made out of LEGO; it looks a bit simple but the shading is pretty well done. Backgrounds in the game (not the buildings) aren’t LEGO and although they aren’t spectacular they are pretty nice.

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Sound

Voice actors in The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game are pleasant. The game developers used different voice actors in the game than in the movie. Voice overs were used in the Ninjago movie clips in the cutscene. Which is understandable but a bit sad because now the movie differs from the game.

There are quite a bit of problems with the sound in the game especially timing problems. When characters speak they often get cut off by achievements or the game continuing before they finish their sentence. A bug is also present in the sound system where the voices just disappear and only the sound effects and music stays. This is quite obvious when you turn the subtitles on and they appear but no one is speaking. Restarting the game mostly helps this but it happens multiple times.

The music is alright but seems a bit lacking during gameplay. The tracks that they used during the cutscenes, intro and outro stand out a lot more than the gameplay music.

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Gameplay

The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game is an Action game. As in every LEGO game you get to destroy almost everything that looks like LEGO and get to rebuild some items with the pieces you just demolished. This game follows the story from The LEGO Ninjago Movie and although you can play without watching anything Ninjago related, it might be better to at least watch the movie first. Since they don’t introduce characters in the game or have any backstory other than the story they use from the movie. You unlock characters in a special way: a life-like LEGO Ninjago blind bag. It would have been more informative had they included an option where you could read the backstory of a character you just unlocked.

In the game you start off with a tutorial were you learn combat and combos. There are a couple of basic attacks you can always do and a few others that get “unlocked”. This happens when you get more combo’s after each other and your combo meter goes up. The player starts these moves by pressing a different button than the regular attack button and then smashing the attack button. This is a nice way to include more moves but still pretty easy to figure out. It could have been fun if different characters had different moves but they basically have the same attacks only other weapons. Even just another “special” animation would make them more distinctive. The player can also unlock Ninjanuity tokens that upgrade the attacks. At the end of the game, all the Ninjanuity tokens are unlocked and you’re a “true ninja master”.

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Some enemies “hide” as in they run off so when you want to beat everyone forcing you to look for the last one. In some areas, combat is necessary for the path to open but other times you could just run by the enemies and ignore them. Most villains are pretty easy to beat but some of them can block which is quite annoying since you yourself can’t block. The only option to evade attacks is rolling away which can be quite wonky in tight spaces with the camera. To break blocking enemies’ defense, you normally use a jump attack but this seems a bit glitchy since it occasionally doesn’t register.

As you follow the story you play through areas instead of real “levels”. When you finish the storyline in one of the areas you unlock it for free play where you can freely explore. You can also use the characters you unlocked and open/discover more secret places in free play. There are a lot of unlockables you can find which is a returning feature in every LEGO game. All the characters are unlockable by just playing the game, discovering hidden blind bags and completing challenges.  Once you finish a story part in an area you are immediately transferred to the free play of that area and need to walk to the designated point to go to the next area. The loading time between areas is horrible.  As the next area is loading you get a “simplified” LEGO build of the area that’s loading. In this loading screen, you can control the camera to look around a bit. This isn’t so fun that it could make the waiting seem to take less time. A little mini-game or just not such horrible loading times of more than a minute would be better.

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In The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game, you practice a lot of Parkour as you jump from building to building like a real ninja. There are some puzzles that you solve by breaking an object and building a solution. Frequently you can break objects and build something new as extra or even just discovering, pressing a button or just destroying counts as extra and gives you something special which mostly is a golden brick. Sadly, this sometimes glitches when you save and quit so you have to restart. Which is quite annoying when the checkpoint is far away from the first object. Checkpoints are used to spawn you when you quit the game. Sometimes checkpoints also glitch and start you from a previous checkpoint instead of the one you passed further in-game.

Conclusion

Although this game has a few glitches, it’s still quite fun to play. LEGO games really have a charm to them and The LEGO Ninjago Movie Video Game has simple but fun combat on top of that. If you or your child are a fan of the Ninjago series this game really is for you. Or even if you like LEGO or the LEGO game series give this game a shot. If you plan on playing this game, it’s best to watch The LEGO Ninjago Movie first tough.

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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! 😀 -student multimedia-

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