March 23, 2016

Lego Dimensions Wave 4 - Review

When Lego Dimensions first released, it was announced that content would keep being released in the coming months and here we are with wave 4. This time around, we got a singular level pack and some addition character packs, but is that enough?

The Midway level pack is by far the most varied from the levels that have been released in the past, while the core gameplay is still very much the same, destroying and creating in order to progress, what mixes things up here is the arcade games throughout. In order to unlock the elevator, you need to proceed, you need to earn at least a bronze medal in the arcade games found within the arcade. Before you can do that, you will need solve a puzzle, in order to find the pieces to build the location where the arcade machine that comes with the level pack goes, this can be as simple as hitting the Spy Hunter car so it stops shooting you, or sending a Super Sprint car to the pits, in any event you will have to use Gamer Kid’s abilities to do it.

His abilities actually come from the shirt he is wearing, which you can swap out by tapping the button, holding down the button will trigger the power linked to that shirt. So while wearing the shirt with the star on it, Gamer Kid becomes invincible, allowing him to take hits, without falling to pieces. You actually have access to give powers, Invincibility, Invisibility, Laser Eyes, Super Strength and Super Speed and you will need to use them all, in order to access all the parts of the Arcade. Of course, getting through the arcade and unlocking the machines is only part of the fun, the rest comes from playing the classic arcade titles, which thankfully work really well. The range of games that you will play is actually pretty good, titles like Super Sprint and Spy Hunter are quite popular, but they even include some more fringe titles like Joust and Defender.

Playing the arcade games takes a bit of getting used to, while most of them use the analogue stick on the left, it really only works well in a few games, at least for me. Before each game, you will be shown the controls, something you can actually check at any time, but because of the nature of arcade setups, there won’t be any cross compatible options. Each game will have a requirement for you to achieve, before it unlocks the next section, some of the games hold up really well to this day, others not so much, but all still provide some fun. The level does end with a classic series that really needs to come back, providing a few additions laughs along the way.

Of course the level is only half of the expansion you get with the pack, you also can unlock the Midway Game world, which like the others in the series is a Lego built version of it, this time the mazes of Gauntlet are right alongside the buildings from Rampage and more. Each of the themed areas of the world offers up a few challenges, like helping a rampaging monkey destroy things, by defending him from those that would stop him, to completing a race that takes part within a skate park. There are even hidden areas to be found, proving that video games really do hold the best secrets. The best part of this world though is the area right around where you land, as it holds all the arcade machine slots, some of which are open, as you would have unlocked them in the story, the others however are locked in other levels, Simpsons, Dr Who and more, which gives you a reason to go back to them again.

Wave 4 also consists of some addition characters in the form of Superman, Aquaman and the Stay Puff Marshmallow guy, from Ghostbusters, with each of the characters also grants you new abilities, though, most will be available through other characters at this point. The Marshmallow guy is fun to see lumber around the screen and with him, you can access the Ghostbuster world, which more Ghostbusters is always a good thing. Superman is always good in Lego form and as in past DC Lego games, when Superman takes flight, the John Williams score kicks in, which meant I had to stay in the air as often as I could. Sadly, someone did not think much when they designed the pack in element for Superman, Stay Puff has the Devil Dog that comes to life from the end of Ghostbusters 1, but for Superman, a being who can fly, he was packed in with a hover pod, which allows him to fly, an odd choice to be sure.

Wave 4 is not going to convince newcomers to buy into Lego Dimensions, but for those who already own it, the level pack is a must buy. Younger players may not understand the hook of games that were made at the start of the 80’s, but for anyone longing for nostalgia, the draw is there for sure. 

Thanks to Warner Bros Australia for providing the kits for review

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