I’d go as far to say it’s a bit unfair not to involve my two lads in my latest review, so of course, I have!

Max, 9 and Sam, 6 have played a quite a bit of The LEGO Ninjago the movie videogame over the past few days, so of course I had a few questions for them and this is what they had to say.

What did you think of the game?

Max: It’s the best LEGO game I’ve played, the one thing I don’t like is that their aren’t many vehicles. I like the different attacks, like spinjitsu and the art rushing boar, you can build up lots of combinations when fighting the enemy. The tutorials are cool, they show you all of the cool moves. I really like the story too, you get to see clips of the movie during the game.

Sam: I like all of the different characters you can play as. It’s cool when you unlock new characters the come out of the Ninjago packets like you get in the shops. I like how you can upgrade your characters with Ninjanuity tokens.

What do you think of the new battle mode?

Max: It’s pretty cool, you play different modes like Capture the Super Weapon, Super Samurai – I like all the power ups, my favourite one is where you get to turn into a giant cat which is really powerful- you can also freeze the other peoples screens.

Sam: I like being able to play with 4 people, so I can beat my Mum and Dad too (he didn’t).

I lost them at this point so I guess I should write the rest…

If there is one thing the LEGO movie games have been good at, it’s gibing players a decent game with plenty to do, leaving you with a feeling of getting your monies worth. The game faithfully follows the yet to be released movie, to the point where cut scenes from the movie itself are actually in the game to watch. The city of Ninjago is facing certain doom as the evil Garmadon and his gang of nautical henchmen threaten to destroy everything. It’s up to Kai, Jay, Zane, Cole, Nya & Lloyd to save everyone.

If you have ever played any LEGO game then you’ll immediately feel comfortable with the way the game plays. In this title however there are some welcome new features that really improve the gameplay. You’ll fight and build your way through different levels, all while collecting studs, discovering golden bricks and unlocking characters to use in the traditional Free Play where you will be able to discover and unlock more of the game. What the Ninjago does differently is the combat, which of course makes sense because you are playing as nijnjas. Each character has their own fighting style and abilities which can be learnt through clever tutorials. You can build excellent combos as enemies fly around from all of the cool moves.

For the first time I can remember, there is the ability to collect tokens that allow you to upgrade abilities and improve gameplay. Damage can have a bigger area of effect, new moves are unlocked more studs can be collected when you destroy things. It works perfectly well and because it’s a LEGO game its generous in making sure that plenty of tokens are available to collect.

We played around 16 hours of the game, which worked out at about half playing through the campaign, while the rest of our time was spent revisiting levels to discover all the little touches that are put in the game that you are likely to miss the first time around. There are over 100 characters to unlock and I was pleased to see that navigating the menu to swap characters has had a slight overhaul. Using the rb/lb buttons the characters have been filtered into groups making them much easier to find. If only they would go back to the older games like LEGO Marvel Superheroes and change it there too. If you have ever bought a pack of the LEGO Minifigures you’ll appreciate the excitement of opening them for the first time. Well thankfully the same happens in Ninjago, as the pack appears on screen and opens up dropping the unlocked character onto the screen. It’s a subtle but welcome touch.

With all LEGO games co-op is a must but additionally in the Ninjago game you can take part in a four player co-op battle mode which lets you play things like capture the flag & team battles. I was surprised at how much fun we had playing this.

Loading times could do with some work as they can take quite a while and on more than one occasion we had to completely reboot the game as it froze or just crashed back the dashboard, which is a bit of a shame.
The LEGO Ninjago movie videogame is an action packed title that has added some excellent touches to the game play and UI, whilst retaining of the LEGO charm you would expect. It’s a perfect complement to the movie and is a great way to make the upcoming half term go that little quicker for parents.

Thanks to Warner Bros. & Xbox for supporting TiX