A Roaring Good Time
If you’re a fan of the LEGO games, you’ll pretty much know what’s on offer from each and every title. Fun humour, little puzzles, oodles of charm, and buckets and buckets of bricks to smash and resulting studs to collect. LEGO Jurassic World does not disappoint. A treat for both LEGO fans and Jurassic fans, this is one not to be missed and is definitely more fun than a velociraptor claw across the abdomen.
You’ll begin this latest LEGO adventure in Jurassic World’s Innovation Centre. From here you can access all four movie platforms, plus separate dinosaur paddocks and the creation lab to genetically engineer your own dinosaurs. There’s not a great deal to do in the paddocks and lab until you’ve unlocked more dinosaurs so these are best left until later. Better to enter each movie through the huge doors within the Innovation Centre and get right into it. Those dinosaurs are rampaging and only you or a nice herbal sleeping tablet in their water bowls can stop them.
Each movie has its own hub where you’ll have to smash things up a little to find and build access to the different chapters. It’s easy to find your way around these hub worlds and they do break the game up nicely into small sections. The levels within LEGO Jurassic World are certainly bite sized – and not tyrannosaurus chomp-sized either. More like a teeny Compsognathus nip. Great for the kids and for those of us who tend to drift off right in the middle of conversations, meetings and exciting cinematic climaxes alike.
Activities within each level varies nicely and as usual you’re left to puzzle out which character and abilities you need to complete each section. Agile characters can jump high and slide beneath things, small characters can crawl into tight spaces, palaeontologists can dig for bones and palaeobotonists can jump into huge piles of shite to find interesting objects such as bananas, ice-creams and electric guitars. Interesting diet these dinos are on, definitely not Weight Watchers, although you would have thought they were too “picy” to eat a guitar. Ahem. Get it? Guitar? Pic? Picy? Sorry, I’ll just collect my spinosaurus and let myself out. Other characters repair, some have a camouflage ability and a few can light up dark spaces allowing for tunnels containing goodies to be accessed. It’s a good variation of abilities so even while you’re smashing up the standard first playthrough, you’re already thinking about the delights of freeplay.
As well as the typical destroy everything in sight and get to the end of the level scenarios, there are some extra fun levels where you will find yourself recreating the great chase scenes we know so well from the films. Look out for some fun bonus levels that have the dinos themselves scampering and, erm, steering for their lives. One of the best levels in the entire game is the kitchen scene from the original Jurassic Park. Tim and Lex creeping around the stainless steel cupboards, distracting, misleading and trapping those tricksy velociraptors while they search for a way out. Brilliantly done and fans of the film will be very pleased indeed.
Like the other games, LEGO Jurassic World has a high replayability factor. There are a large number of trophies on offer and it is not possible to earn them all and win the platuinum on just one playthrough. Each level has a set of challenges that need to be taken on to earn 100% completion. While some of the bigger games have long shopping lists of in-level challenges, LEGO Jurassic World on the Vita keeps it simple. Complete the level, earn True Survivor by collecting over a set amount of studs , collect two fossil pieces and find the mini-kit/red brick/Amber brick. Even a concussed badger could manage it with a little dedication. If you’re going to shoot for the Platinum, however, your badger will require three Weetabix in addition to that dedication. While the game never feels overwhelming and supplies a decent challenge, it’s a long road to that Platinum.
I can never quite decide if I prefer my LEGO games on Vita or PS4. PS4 tends to be brighter and fancier, but nothing quite beats portable LEGO smashing. LEGO Jurassic World translates nicely onto the Vita. The graphics are great and on par more with the Batman games than the tiddly-but-cute Nindroids. Sound bites from the films are put together with slightly out of context cut scenes that turn serious lines into hilarious comedy moments. Look out for the banana in the gun. That one is a classic. And why do I always mention bananas in my reviews? I must have a fetish.
Once you’re done adventuring you can return to the Innovation Centre and put on your lab coats. Who wouldn’t want to build their own dinosaur? Mix and match heads, tails, bodies and attributes from a wide selection and then slap them into your paddock. Here you can control them and plan your dino escape. It’s a wonderful little mini game that adds a little bit more charm to an already excellent game. It’s the icing on the cake, the crest on the dilophosaurus and the lilac berry in the pile of poop. LEGO Jurassic World is the latest release in a long line of previous LEGO games and we are happy to declare that it has not let the side down.
More reliable than dino droppings after breakfast, funnier than two Pteranodons in a washing machine and more value for your pocket money than a buy one velociraptor get one bonus bowel extraction free. Flawless brick-smashing dino fun that will keep kids, adults and industrious badgers fully occupied until Christmas.
S J Hollis Rating – 8/10