LEGO Jurassic World Vita – IM PLAYIN Review

LEGO games have always interested me from afar in the past and that is about it. I have played quite a few of them from Indiana Jones to Star Wars but I have never felt particularly invested. Most of the time I see the LEGO games as part of the scenery, they exist to have a bit of fun when you need a two player game but they have no place amongst the AAA elite or even the quirky indie titles. They sit in the middle ground of gaming, to be enjoyed but at a price – a lack of passion. I needed something to fill my gaming void as I am travelling and so with the release of Jurassic World, feelings of child like nostalgia washed over me and I took advantage of the limited supply of new Vita games to dive into the LEGO of my favorite childhood movies. As they say “Welcome, to Jurassic Park”.

The biggest benefit for the LEGO games is that they are already working with a great story. Jurassic Park has a rich history of films and no matter what you may think of some in general, all 4 titles have some great moments. It’s these moments that LEGO Jurassic World tries to capture. Whether its the kitchen scene from the first classic or the infamous bird cage from number 3, you are given a whistle stop tour through memory lane as these iconic stories are told. Companioning these set pieces is of course that amazing soundtrack that makes Jurassic Park what it is. Beyond the tried and tested tunes, the music does a good job of setting the pace and the scale is made grander by the sounds coming out of that little Vita. It’s in this use of the film however, where the game commits the worst of its crimes. The voice acting is horrible! Maybe the worst I have heard in a long time. Story scenes use soundbites from the movies to make up the dialog and its like they have been recorded on a baby recorder. Not only does the soundbites sound off but the original voices also grind on my brain. The only way I managed to deal with it was to turn on the helium voices block, sure, it makes everyone sound like they were at a kids party, but it was a hell of a lot better than the original alternative.

With such an amazing story to tell, you have to make sure that the gameplay allows you to feel like you are reliving the tale. For this game you can definitely tell that you are playing a cut down version designed for the handheld. My curiosity getting the better of me I checked out some video of the PS4 version and it blew my mind how much better it looked. I knew that graphically the PS4 would put the Vita to shame but even the scale of the levels seemed minute on the handheld compared to its big brother.

One big thing that sets LEGO Jurassic World apart from the other LEGO games is the lack of enemies. In its nature, most of the time you are not the one dealing out the damage in this universe and the game reflects that. While you will encounter a few small dinosaurs and company goons to smash to bits, these encounters are few and far between. In place of combat, we are given a whole host of puzzles to figure out. You won’t find many of these hard to figure out in the slightest, but like all LEGO games, you won’t be able to access all the secrets of a level until you have unlocked the characters with the right abilities. These particular skills are well spread out and you will have built up some respectable playtime in order to 100% these challenges. Once you have got all the appropriate characters completing the game to its full is a walk in the park. There are loads and loads of characters you can unlock although I found myself just using the same ones over and over again. I would have liked to have needed other characters that maybe were hard to get in order to give me something to play for but once you have unlocked the multipliers nothing take a long time to buy and apart from using a few people for token trophies, many didn’t get play time.