The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame is a Brilliant Tie-In that Rivals The Film it’s Based On (Review)

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From The LEGO Group, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and developer TT Games, comes The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame – Available now on Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

LEGO ninjago game cover

The LEGO® NINJAGO® Movie Video Game will allow players to delve into the world of the new big-screen animated adventure The LEGO NINJAGO Movie. In the game, players battle their way through waves of enemies with honor and skill as their favorite ninjas Lloyd, Nya, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Master Wu to defend their home island of Ninjago from the evil Lord Garmadon and his Shark Army. To do so, they must master the art of Ninjagility which allows them to traverse Ninjago by wall-running, high-jumping and battling the foes of Ninjago to rank up and upgrade the ninja’s combat skills.  Players can harness the power of Spinjitzu combat to defend Ninjago together.

TT Games has been doing a stellar job developing a string of memorable LEGO videogames. From LEGO Worlds to LEGO City Undercover, they’ve paid tribute to titles like Minecraft and even Grand Theft Auto, all while keeping that LEGO brand firmly front and center. The LEGO Ninjago Movie Videogame is my favourite release yet because of the brilliant combat system and fun adventure/beat-em-up gameplay mechanics. Think Double Dragon or Ninja Gaiden, but instead of blood and gore — LEGO body parts are a flyin’ left and right, nonstop in a flurry of ninja chaos. From the opening title credits which reminded me of Kill Bill and old Kung Fu movies, to the funny excerpts from the film and more, this title is easily the most well-rounded LEGO game to date.

lego ninjago

I’ve found myself annoyed in the past with non-stop puzzles in the later LEGO Batman games, but this title is a far better mix of combat as well as using your brain to figure out what to build, where to build it and how to use what you just built etc. Between moments where you’re figuring out how to proceed, enjoy a good amount of fighting and the combat sequences in this game are a riot. The moves are all extremely satisfying and every character has unique weapons and magical attacks that make them all a blast to play. There are “on rail” levels too that hearken back to Panzer Dragoon where you’ll find yourself flying a giant mech-dragon and blasting other ships: these sections really show off the wonderful visuals. Ninjago City is beautiful – a mix of strange but stunning buildings that meld the past and future into something that would only exist in an Anime series.

This is a game best played co-op because you’ll always need at least two characters to figure out puzzles/open doors etc, but if you find yourself alone, you’ll get used to bouncing between characters in your crew quite easily (same as every other LEGO game). I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’ve played the hell out of this game with my kids and we all agree it’s the best LEGO title yet.

lego ninjago custom

If you love 3-D platforming/fighter games then LEGO Ninjago the game was made for parents who want to play a family friendly game with the kids but still fly through the air and hack enemies to death with an array of cool ninja weapons and moves. There’s actually an upgrade ladder that is pretty deep for a children’s title and a custom ninja builder that you can use to drop your fighters into 4-player multi-player battle maps. There is a lot to love here and I was surprised by how much work was put into a game that is accompanying a movie the same week of release. We all know that videogame/movie tie-ins are typically doomed, but that’s far from the case here and I think the game might even be better than the movie it’s based on from what I hear.

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