You can pretty much guarantee that each and every year, whichever the franchise is based upon, we will be treated to a new Lego game from Travellers Tales and this year is certainly no exception with the release of Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 arriving next month and this month to coincide with its movie counterpart, we have The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game (for the benefit of repetition I’ll refer to it as simply Lego Ninjago from now on).  While Lego Ninjago tries some things new to the series, as fun as the game can be, it’s pretty much the same battled tested formula.  With the game following the movie quite closely, I won’t speak of the plot here so that I can avoid revealing any potential spoilers, just in case you plan on watching the movie anytime soon with the family.

The Lego gaming franchises have always had a smash everything, hack ‘n’ smash style gameplay and arguably with Lego Ninjago, it feels more of a natural process then what’s come before, because you know, ninja’s.  One of the new elements that has been introduced and quite frankly was a welcomed surprised, was that you can level-up the characters XP style.  As you progress though the game, you’ll be able to level-up elements such as combos lasting longer, enemies being stunned for a lengthier duration, more collectible studs being dropped and more.  Some of the combat level-ups don’t make the game feel much easier than it already is, because after all, the series has always been very accessible to pretty much everyone, which has also always been one of the franchises strongest points.  So with that said, I opted to level-up my stud increase, to help feed my addictive personality as I needed to collect all those studs!

Speaking of studs, in almost every Lego games that’s come before, one of the ways in which you’d access end of level bonuses, would be via the amount of studs you’ve collected at the end of said level.  However, while much of the mini objectives remains the same, such as little side activities, hidden collectibles and so forth, your stud count no longer contributes towards your end of level rewards.  How this works now, is that all the studs you collect, whether it be during a level, in-between levels or free-play, they all count as one, in a singular stud progression bar.  I found this a little bit of an odd change initially, but on the plus, at least it stops me from having that uncontrollable urge to focus of stud collecting in every single level (though that won’t stop me smashing everything, as that remains as therapeutic as ever).  If I’m honest, I prefer the way it was before, as I like to see my studs hit that satisfactory 100% at the end of the level, but it’s nothing off putting as I’m neither here or there with it.  Though I’ll be interested to see if Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 follows that same formula.

One of the biggest aspects of the Lego gaming franchise has been the co-op play and with Lego Ninjago following the lead of the TV series and of course the movie, and with playable characters (plus the many, many that are unlockable) such as Lloyd, Cole, Nya, Jay, Kai, Zane and Master Wu, Lego Ninjago also has a high emphasis on co-op play.  Don’t get me wrong, playing on my own is fun, but it’s even more fun playing the game with my young son.  However, this fun is somewhat ruined by the severe lag that I’ve experienced playing on the Xbox One (I don’t know if this issue is apparent with other formats), which happens when usually more than two playable characters are on screen, whether I’m playing solo or co-op.  It’s very disappointing, especially given that this game isn’t pushing any technical boundaries, so I hope that this issue is patched out ASAP, because it’s a problem that shouldn’t be happening.

That said, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with Lego Ninjago, whether it be the campaign across eight quite lengthy missions, the new Challenge Dojo’s to hone your skills and fight-off hordes of bad guy ninja’s or borrowing from the Lego Dimensions series, the Battle Maps, where you’ll be able to battle against friends and family locally in dedicated arenas with up to four players.  It’s just a shame that the lag can be very off putting, not to mention frustrating, because it partially ruins what should be an excellent Lego game.

In conclusion, if you or your child plan on watching The Lego Ninjago Movie like I, this video game adaptation will act as a fitting and fun antidote long after you’ve finished with its cinema offerings, because with its wall-running, long-jumping, slicing and dicing, The Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game is a fun experience full of humour and laughs for you and your family alike.


Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake