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Lego Pirates of the Caribbean video game review



The Pirates of the Caribbean movie series is full of adventure, swashbuckling and all kinds of acrobatics – good stuff for a game. And in LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, you get to play through all four Pirates movies, including the latest, On Stranger Tides.

LEGO PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN
Disney Interactive for PS3, Wii, Xbox 360, DS, 3DS, PC

Gameplay: 8.0
Graphics: 8.0
Sound: 7.5
Replay Value: 8.0
Overall Score: 7.7

Pros: Relive action from all the movies; fun swordplay and barrel rolling; many characters.

Cons: Puzzles sometimes are too easy; game can feel repetitive; no online multiplayer.

SAME OL’ LEGOS, BUT FUN!

While the game is very good at times, they haven’t improved the patented LEGO gameplay very much. When you’ve played everything from LEGO Star Wars to LEGO Harry Potter, you notice that the way they are constructed doesn’t change much from game to game. You kind of wish they’d do something completely different, at least for part of the game.

Having said that, it still can be a lot fun, especially for fans of the movies.

You start out with a long movie-like scene that introduces the elegant tall ships and the high-seas adventure that’s in store. Then you meet Jack Sparrow, who falls down into a fireplace and burns his behind (which he cools off in a bucket of water). Immediately, you’re into some puzzle play, and you even have to use a horse to help you move a giant gear or two.

But the authorities catch Jack, and you have to bust him out of jail. Here, you have to switch off to inhabit a character on your team that’s a dog. Supply him with a nearby bone to help Jack. Once outside, the views are awesome: the beach, the piers, the water, everything sparkles. Tip: Go swim in the ocean to get an early achievement for the Xbox 360 version. But watch out for the giant shark.

Of course, you collect those famous studs and, for this game, ships in a bottle as you play. You’ll make all sorts of things: planks to walk on, pieces of boats, platforms to jump onto and more. One of the early features I really enjoyed was getting on top of a barrel and rolling it to a contraption with pulleys and using the barrel as a kind of gear to open a door. You also get to zipline to a ship, which is a thrill.

CHALLENGES, CHALLENGES

Try to get everything you can in an area before you move on. At one point, I couldn’t return to an area to finish up. (I like to get 100 percent of everything in LEGO games, and I only got 80 percent.) Don’t worry about getting everything in the first go around. Once you finish a level, you’ll unlock free play and get more stuff when you play the level again.

One of the things you might have found in the Pirates movies is that the plots are difficult to follow. That’s even more the case here with the video game because LEGO characters don’t talk. So you if you want to know what’s going on, watch the movies again. Or look at a synopsis on Wikipedia.

When you play Sparrow, you can pull down a compass full of his added abilities. And you have 70 characters to use during 20 long levels before you’re done. Then there’s more with the Free Play option.

You also get a couple of cool extras inside the game box. While the game booklet isn’t worth a fake gold doubloon as far as a tutorial or real game info goes, there’s a playing card inside with a code on it. It allows you to download some goodies.

COOL 3DS VERSION

It’s worth mentioning that the 3DS version of LEGO Pirates is nearly as good as the console versions. The graphics, which are just as detailed, have the added sweetness of depth (which is great for viewing the high seas and ghosts, too). And the 3DS tutorial is really good. In fact, it’s much better than those for the console versions.

Fighting can be a little different, though. You press buttons in the same order as they appear on the screen as you duel it out with swords. There are some items and parts of the environment in the console versions that are missing from the 3DS version. But you don’t really miss them much. Overall, the 3DS version gives you just as much bang for the buck.

While LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean isn’t quite the treasure I expected, it’s still a pretty deep experience. You’ll love the funny way Jack Sparrow moves – with his hands raised up and leaning back on his heels, almost as if he’s going to fall over. And you’ll enjoy playing with a pal on the console versions.

With a couple of reservations, it’s a Yo Ho Ho of a game.

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