So, this should come as no real surprise to anyone who’s spent any time playing video games during the most recent gaming generation that we’re slowly sneaking out of, but there are a TON of Lego-based properties out there. What started with a simple Lego Star Wars grew and grew, and now the franchise includes the DC Universe, the Marvel Universe, the Hobbit Universe (the games probably take less time to play than watching the movies would, but I can’t be positive), the Indiana Jones Universe, and, for anyone that needed to play as a drunken, eye-linered Lego Johnny Depp, the Pirates of the Caribbean Universe. In many ways, this is perfect, as for the low low purchase price of only one mid-priced Lego set, you get all the fun of playing with tons of different minifigs, sweeping sets that you couldn’t possibly replicate without sacrificing your first born to the minikit gods, and, even better, the characters all move!
The games started out without any sort of voicework, only relying on the sound of Lego’s cascading and officially licensed soundtracks. Over time, to keep up with technology, voices have been added. They’ve slowly been building up their casts, first pulling original tracks from well-known voice actors, then pulling sound clips directly from the properties. Of course, with Lego Marvel, they pulled off what would seem at first to be a coup of sorts, until you realize that Clark Gregg is going to ride this whole Agent Coulson train as far as it’ll take him. Not that his presence in any way diminishes from the fun, and, well, to be honest, hearing Clark Gregg give tips followed shortly by Stan Lee’s cry of “Excelsior!” is a moment that can certainly thaw some geek hearts.
Before you write off the Lego games as being just for kids, take a closer look at them. They’ve got some sly adult humor tucked in (much like the old Warner Brothers cartoons used to), and, for games intended for younger audiences, some of the challenges presented there-in can truly be mind-twisting. Sure, if you just play through the story, the games are fairly straightforward, without imposing any rigorous mental gymnastics. But if you want to spend far more time with a children’s game than you probably should, and want to unlock all that the game holds (and really, why else would you be playing a Lego game if not for the unlockables?), then you’ll actually find some challenges that require deeper thought, or, at the very least, some very dextrous fingers. And good luck trying to keep track of which powers are possessed by which characters. Sure, the Free Play sections give you access to everyone you would need to do EVERYTHING (and I do mean EVERYTHING) within the levels, but if you don’t remember which character has the specific power to perform a certain task, look forward to spending far too long using trial and error to discover who you need to move forward.
So, yes, I’m in my mid-30’s, and I can pretend that I bought Lego Marvel Super Heroes for my daughter, but, come on. She isn’t even five months old yet, and there’s no way that she can hold a controller (or her attention) for long enough to switch between Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. Clearly, this is a game for me, that I’ll feel comfortable playing in front of her. Shamelessly, for hours on end. Until I get yelled at by HawtWife. After all, it’s a Lego game, and what’s the worst that could happen?
I may change my tune when they release Lego: A Song of Ice and Fire.