LEGO Battles: Ninjago

LEGO Battles: Ninjago, A Fun Game With A Lot Of Story

What It Is

Remember that awesome LEGO Battles video game for the DS that came out back in 2009? LEGO Battles: Ninjago is the follow-up to that game. However, it is not a sequel, in fact, and it’s very different in both content and strategy. In Ninjago, we enter a world of ninjas and weapons, where we will have to build an army, encounter dragons, restore harmony, battle feisty skeletons and master the art of Spinjitzu, a lost martial art which has been completely invented by LEGO to complement it’s spinning tops game in the offline toy world. It’s a whole lot of story packed into a little handheld game.

Once again, players control LEGO minifigures and use them to move through various levels as they complete challenges. Unlike the first game, Ninjago relies more on action and story than strategy to pull the player into the game.

Why It’s Fun

Ninjago seems to be a little more story based than the first LEGO Battles, which was more about separate worlds and missions. In Ninjago we learn the tale of a ninja master and his greedy brother who are trying to find four special weapons but before we even get into all that, we meet an evil underworld king who kidnaps the blacksmith’s sister. It turns out that this king is the ninja master’s brother and then there is something about a map given to that blacksmith’s father which brings the whole story back around to those four weapons. Like I said, there is a lot of story in this game and that is what makes it so much fun.

Who’s Going To Love It

This type of deep story is usually reserved for much older gamers’ games, and Ninjago delivers it in a game that kids as young as six-years-old will be able to play. Kids need to know how to read but that’s the only requirement for enjoying this game.

Even on the normal (medium) setting, Ninjago is a little easier than the first LEGO Battles game so the age range for kids who love this is going to be mostly ages six through 10. Kids as old as 12 who prefer DS games as opposed to console games might enjoy Ninjago, especially if they are into ninjas, but anyone older than 12 is going to think the game is way too easy and, perhaps, even a little boring.

Anyone who loves the LEGO Star Wars games probably isn’t going to like the LEGO Battles games. More on that in the next section.

What To Be Aware Of

Ninjago is not like other LEGO games such as Star Wars, Batman or Harry Potter (to name a few). It is much closer to a Real Time Strategy or turn based game, where the player makes a move and then the computer makes a move and then the player moves again and so on. The battle sequences are more like a Pokémon game than a LEGO Star Wars game.

This game has the odd distinction of being too easy and confusing. The confusion comes from a poorly conceived menu system that requires the player to move from room to room in the Ninja Dojo in order to access the game’s modes and other areas. I get what they were going for with the Dojo but it’s too complicated and makes you go through too much when all you want to do is play. As for being too easy, even the youngest gamers will probably have little difficulty playing this game on the hardest setting.

The game features a local wireless mode that allows two people to play together if they both have the game and are in the same room.

Replayability

The game contains two main modes-story and battle-with both modes containing multiple levels and challenges. In addition to the two modes, players can also upgrade their characters using items collected in the game. All of this content keeps the game fresh and replayable day after day.

Fun Scale

2 out of 5

It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!

Video Game Information

LEGO Battles: Ninjago
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Rated: Everyone

System: Nintendo DS
Genre: Adventure
Players: 1

SRP: $29.99
Launch Date: April, 2011
Date of Review: April 27, 2011

*Rating determined by the ESRB

Comments

What do you think about LEGO Battles: Ninjago?

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