Archive for the ‘Video Game’ Category

The LEGO Movie Experience at LEGOLAND California

February 21, 2014

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I’ve been on LEGO Movie overload ever since it came out two weeks ago. First, seeing it 3 times in 3 days, plus buying the LEGO Movie Video Game for both PS3 and 3DS (review to come later) and playing the PS3 version, and the ongoing news, reviews and accolades that the movie keeps getting from pretty much everywhere. The “Everything is Awesome” song is now permanently lodged in my brain — it doesn’t help that they keep playing it throughout the video game. And then to culminate it all, yesterday I went to The LEGO Movie Experience that made its debut yesterday at LEGOLAND California.

Warning! Spoliers Ahead!!!!

If you haven’t watched the LEGO Movie yet, and don’t want to find out one of the major spoilers, read no further. Come back after you’ve watched the movie. ;)

Okay, now that that’s done, lets get to this.

The Lego Movie Experience at LLCAVia: Miro Dudas

Like I said when I wrote my Non-spolier review, I still have a lot to write about this movie. One thing I didn’t like that much in the movie was its biggest spoiler — entering the real world. I get that it taught a valuable lesson of creativity over keeping things just so, but I felt that it pulled you out of the story. I would have preferred if we never entered the real world. Even if remnants of it (band-aid, “kragel,”etc) were in the LEGO world.

However, if they had not added that real world element, The LEGO Movie Experience would not have been possible.

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In the movie, the “real world” is basically an Adult Fan of LEGO’s basement LEGO room. And what a room! A full town layout in the middle, castle, western, and space themes along the wall, a corner that looks very much like my desk with all the “nuts and bolts” drawers full of LEGO and various LEGO kits and creations on display. But of course Finn — the son — isn’t supposed to play with any of it. Those are all Dad’s collection — not toys!

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Sound familiar? Many of us die-hard AFOLs have LEGO Rooms of one sort or another. Our rooms vary in collection size and how much our roommates or families allow it to exist. Not all have rooms like Will Farrell’s character in the movie, but I know quite a few who do — me included.

And some have the “my collection” and the “kid’s collection.” Most who do will allow their children to borrow from them, but there is a definite line. Even my brothers (who I took their LEGO when they grew out of it) like to play with my collection (they are 35 and 27 by the way) when they visit and sometimes I bristle silently (or not so silently) when they mess up my system.

Finn’s LEGO collection
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You can see the “Magic Portal” tube in the back of the room.

But, despite all that LEGO can be, it is first and foremost a toy. If and when I have children they will definitely be allowed to play with my LEGO, and they will have their own. Of course I’ve never been one that leaves huge LEGO displays out. For one, leaving displays out permanently causes them to get dusty and color fading can happen. For another, I don’t have the room to leave large things out. I never know when I’ll need the space for a commission. I’ve been known to take over the dining room table when the project is too large for weeks. So leaving a large model or display up, at least at this point, is not in the cards for me.

As an added bonus for the grand opening, they had a special guest — Jadon Sand, “Finn” of the LEGO Movie.

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He was on hand to tell of his experience working with Will Farrell and being in the LEGO Moive. During the question and answer part, I asked him if he wanted to be a Master Builder. He said yes, he definitely does. When I got to talk with him and his mom later he said he would like to be a Master Builder, Director and Writer. I also asked him what his favorite theme was and he said he loves the Harry Potter sets. He even treated us to a rendition of “Everything is Awesome.”

I took lots more pictures, you can see them on Flickr as well as these pics by Miro.

I was fortunate enough to get in as Media, because when I emerged from the building it was to a massively long line. Some of my fellow SandLUG members were in line for over an hour and a half!

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I would have taken more pictures, but as the public came in, and it got more and more crowded, I felt it was time to leave.

One cool thing I got was a picture with Jadon that his mom took
Me and Jadon Sand 1

It was great meeting Jadon Sand and seeing the awesome models that were used in the movie.

And check out this Awesome video LEGOLAND made for the opening.

If you get a chance to come to LEGOLAND California, be sure to check this out. I’m not sure for how long this will be there, but I imagine it will be for quite a while, especially considering the popularity of the movie. ;)

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game Review

November 4, 2013

So I’ve been a little under the weather (okay more than a little), which is part of the reason there’s been a lack of posts. So since I haven’t been feeling all that great, and since the new LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game just came out I’ve been playing the game.

I’m not much of a gamer anymore, but LEGO video games are always the exception. And unlike my LEGO Chima video game experience, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this game from the get go. :)

*** Warning Spoiler Alert! ***

Okay now that the warning is in place, I can freely mention all the fun goodness that is the game. From all the previews of this game and the demo I saw at the San Diego Comic Con, I was sure I would love this game. I mean what’s not to love? Its got practically every Marvel character — ever! There’s over 100 characters in the game. Of course you have to play and replay levels to get all the goodies and find all the characters.

But even from the start this probably my new favorite LEGO video game. I really, really liked LEGO Batman 2 but the main failing with that game was that it was all about Batman. Sure Superman and several other Justice League-ers show up, but its still mainly a Batman game.

That’s where this one differs. At each level you have a different mix of characters — from Spiderman with the Hulk, to Mr. Fantasic with Ironman. You don’t get to play with every character during Story mode, but you get a nice mixture.

The voice talent is top notch! Including the actual voice of Agent Colson (yes he is alive in the LEGO world too)– Clark Gregg. So much better than the watery sound bites they used for LEGO Lord of the Rings and much more in line with Batman 2. The story line is pretty darn cool too and you have all of New York City as your background. There’s tons of hidden areas and you can even ride the train!

If I have one complaint, the levels seem a tad easy this time. Maybe its because I’ve played basically all the TT LEGO Video Games since they started in 2005 with LEGO Star Wars. Maybe, but even so, there wasn’t anything new about the basic gameplay. Each level took about an hour. They would have probably taken less time, but I was going for “True Believer” status on each level — in other words, getting all the gold and silver studs I could — and smashing everything takes time.

Another good / bad thing about the game is that when you beat all the levels you only have 25% of the game completed. There’s a lot to do.

****super spoiler alert****
There isn’t just one extra level. There’s a whole bunch of extra levels! The more gold bricks you collect, the more levels you unlock. And just like the story levels, there’s a story level and a free play level. You need to play both to unlock everything.

On top of the gold bricks, Deadpool bricks (red bricks), minikits, characters and vehicles there’s one additional thing you have to find throughout the game — Stan Lee in Peril. There are no less than 50 of them! And of course Stan Lee voices himself. ;)

Even after 2 weeks of playing I still have less than 40% of the game complete. I’ve gotten half of the characters, extra levels and Deadpool bricks. But I’ve only saved 10 Stan Lees. So I still have a lot to go.

This is definitely a game I highly recommend!!!!

And if the LEGO Movie Video Game is anything like this one (which I’m sure it will be) I will be picking that one up as soon as it comes out next year. ;)

Comic Con Swag Giveaway #2

August 24, 2013

Considering my previous post, this one is a little ironic. But I had already planned to do this before I played the game, especially because Prima Games was awesome enough to send me a copy of the strategy guide so that I could give it away here. And I’m sure some of you will want to play this game so here’s your chance.

Chima DS Giveaway

As promised, here’s my second Comic Con Swag Giveaway. I didn’t get the guide at the Con, but I did make the contact there, so that counts right? :D

There will be three ways to enter:
1)Comment on this post
2)Like my Facebook Page. and then Like, Share, and Comment on my link about this post
3)Follow me on Twitter @MariannAsanuma and reply to my tweet about this post with the #Chimagiveaway

Yes, you can enter once all three ways. I will leave the giveaway open till midnight August 31st (pacific standard time). This will be international, so as long as I can mail this to you, I will.

Good luck! :)

LEGO Legends of Chima 3DS Game Review

August 22, 2013

So right before I went to my two week / two LEGO Convention trip I picked up a copy of the LEGO Legends of Chima 3DS video game. I figured it would be a good plane ride and airport game to do while I was traveling cross country.

*Start Rant*
There’s only one problem, I don’t really like Legends of Chima — at all. Don’t get me wrong, I like the parts. All that lovely bright orange and olive green is awesome. I just don’t like the theme. I suppose if I was 8 or 10 I might be interested, but most likely not. The story line is weak at best, and a little disturbing at most. I mean think about it. There’s all these different animal tribes in this magical land that all get hopped up on “Chi” and fight each other.

No, not the energy force from Chinese culture. The lack of cultural respect that LEGO has a tendency to run right over on occasion has always bothered me. They don’t even change spelling they just go with it — Sensei Wu (a mixture of Japanese and Chinese names) is just one example. The Māori language controversy of the original Bionicle wave is another.

So back to Chima. The main character looks a lot like Lion-O from Thundercats, a show I actually did like watching when it originally came out in the 80s (of course I was like 8 when it came out). And according to the first episode of the TV show Lavel (the lion) and Cragger (the crocodile) were friends until Cragger took a Chi ball before he was ready for it and it results in misunderstanding and the loss of Cragger’s parents which in turn causes a war in the “peaceful” land of Chima.

And that’s where the video game comes in. I had read another’s review that said the game was a weak addition to the LEGO TT Games line as it couldn’t hold up without a licensed theme like Star Wars, Indiana Jones or Harry Potter.

Now I wasn’t expecting an epic game, far from it. The fact that it is only available on 3DS, DS, and PSP Vita shows that they didn’t put as much effort into the game like the much anticipated LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game coming out later this year.

And the addition of talking, which was a definite plus in the LEGO Batman 2 game, is just plain distracting here. The most annoying thing is that you can’t bypass it. You have to listen (or not listen if you turn the volume down) to the cheesy commentary that goes on and on, all the time.

Well even though its been a week and a half after my trip, I finally beat the story version of the game last night. Playing the game felt rather like a chore. The game-play is the same — break things, fight bad guys, get through levels. But because the constant collecting of Chi, you don’t get to collect the hearts (life energy) as much. And when you have a full circle of Chi, you can power-up. Sometimes you have to power-up so that you can get to the next part of the game. So you’re constantly looking for Chi and Chi vents. (Kind of like an addict.)

One thing I though that was really weird was they never use those Speedor bike things in the game. In fact there’s only one part near the end of the game (slight spoiler) where you build one but it immediately crashes and revels a character disk. You’d think that something that is so prevalent in half the sets would be more in the game.

Was it fun? Sort of. There were fun elements, but I actually had to cheat with a couple walkthrough tips or I wouldn’t have been able to get past certain areas. Maybe I could have muddled through eventually, but I didn’t have patience for it.

Will I be playing the free play mode? Not for a while. I’ve had my fill of Chima and all its silliness. Would a kid like it? Probably. I’ve loved all the LEGO Games so far, but this one fell flat. *End Rant*

Walmart Iron Patriot Exclusive

May 7, 2013

So, have you seen Iron Man 3 yet? I just got a chance to catch it last night and it was just as fun as one and two.

One thing I was disappointed with **warning: slight spoiler** was that of the three Iron Man 3 LEGO sets, only the Malibu Mansion has anything to do with the movie. I realize that the sets are often designed while the movie is still in production, and perhaps there is a small chance that the other two sets may have been left on the Editing room floor, but considering the continuity of the movie, I really doubt that.

On that note, LEGO Marvel Super Heros the video game is coming out at the end of the year. And for this one Walmart, not Gamestop, has the exclusive figure — Iron Patriot.
Via FBTBVia FBTB

Its a pretty sweet fig, although I still think that the helmets look a little on the big side.

Iron Patriot is available with the preorder of the game on PS3, XBox, or WiiU — all for just a hair under $50 each. Sadly it doesn’t look like it works for Nintendo DS or 3DS. :(

The weird thing is that it says that the game will be available for shipment on Dec. 31st, everywhere else it says Oct. 31, which makes more sense. So we’ll see what the actual date is.

LEGO Batman Movie Review at WonderCon

April 3, 2013

The LEGO Batman Movie may not be out on DVD till May 21st, but I got to see the West Coast preview at WonderCon! Not only did they show the movie, but there was a Q&A afterward with the director Jon Burton of TT Games and several of the voice actors.

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If you haven’t seen the trailer, here it is:

I’ll get back to the Q&A part in a minute. Now for the review — if you haven’t played LEGO Batman 2 yet, or don’t want to know what happens, you might not want to read this review. Spoilers ahead –

If you have played LEGO Batman 2 like I have, read my review of the game here, and read the description of the movie you would think what I thought — that the LEGO Batman Movie is basically the cut scenes from the game.

That is both true and not true. The story line is the same, but an interesting fact that I discovered from the Q&A is that the game is based off the movie!

According to Jon Burton, the director, they were working on the movie and then realized it would be a great game. But the game took less time to make than the movie and that’s why it came out first.

So in watching the movie, the plot is not really a surprise for those of us that played the game. Even so, this is worth watching. I have to admit I enjoyed it a lot more than any of the latest LEGO Star Wars mini movies. It was cute, fun and funny.

And watching a Gotham that’s built of LEGO is just plain cool. One of the coolest scenes is something that isn’t in the game — Lex’s airship. Its massive, shiny and “built” of over 20,000 parts. Like Jon Burton said, all the models in the games and the movie can be built in real life. TT Games actually has LEGO Master Model Builders on staff to ensure this.

What I like about the movie is that you can just watch it, you don’t have to do anything like in the game, and when you get the DVD you can pause it to look at the models more closely.

If you want to watch the Q&A here it is: (more spoilers)

After the panel I was able to meet both Jon Burton and Christopher Smith (the voice of the Joker)

Here’s a picture of Christoper
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It was awesome seeing it on the big screen and meeting some of the talent behind it. I highly recommend it!

And don’t forget that you get this awesome minifigure with the movie ;)

Overall 5 out of 5 stars! Fun movie, and I’ll be wanting to watch this one more than once.

This model is the Bob-omb

March 22, 2013

LEGO Bob-omb

Carl Merriam has created this sweet little vignette. I love how tiny the little Bob-ombs are and how very detailed. Carl himself told me that there’s no cheating or cutting.

SEALUG at Emerald City Comic Con

February 17, 2013

SEALUG is coming to COMICON!

BrickCon isn’t the only time you can see awesome LEGO displays in Seattle. Emerald City Comic Con is just two weeks away and for the second year in a row SEALUG will have all kinds of LEGO coolness for attendees to see.

And that’s not all — several LEGO vendors will be there too, including your’s truly!

I will be partnering with BrickShirts and AltBricks. So if you are attending, stop and say hi. ;)

Not only that, but I will be giving a presentation at 3:20 pm in Hall C all about my career as a Freelance LEGO Artist.

But if you want to attend the Con, buy tickets soon. The full Con passes and Saturday passes are already sold out but Friday and Sunday are still available.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game!!!

January 8, 2013

Some said a collaboration between Marvel and TT Games could never happen. Apparently, nobody told the studio behind the popular series of Lego games. After all, Warner Bros. is the parent company of both TT Games and DC Comics, which made many people assume that a Marvel Lego game was off the table. As our cover story shows, those people were wrong.

Via: Gameinformer.com

Not much news is available yet, but just the name LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game conjures excitement! How can it be anything but cool? Especially after watching this video

LEGO Lord of the Rings Video Game was a pleasant surprise for me and I really enjoyed it. Of course to be honest I’ve enjoyed pretty much every Travler’s Tales LEGO game out there. But the Lord of the Rings story just isn’t my cup of tea. Marvel on the other hand — well lets just say I went and saw Avengers three times in theaters and leave it at that. ;)

The one thing I’m hoping, and they probably have fixed this if LEGO Lord of the Rings is any indication, is that the Marvel game will be about more than one character. I loved LEGO Batman 2 but its one failure was that you only got to be Superman at the very end of the story portion of the game. Once you got into Free Play, it was much cooler. I mean who doesn’t want to fly around the city looking for citizens to save?

Lord of the Rings was very different, and had to be, since it was the Fellowship of nine characters traveling around together for the most part. So you got to use all the different characters with all their different abilities much more frequently, even if it that can also get a tad old after awhile. I have to admit, I still haven’t finished the game. A week is about my limit on playing a game constantly. I don’t know of any of the games that I’ve fully finished except maybe the old LEGO Star Wars video games, but that was many years ago when I didn’t have quite so much going on in my life.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Video Game won’t be out till the fall, so we have a while to wait. LEGO City Undercover exclusively for the Wii U game console is set to come out March 1st and although it looks like fun, I don’t have a Wii U and don’t have plans to get one any time soon.

Even if we do have a bit of a wait I’m looking forward to being Iron Man, Spiderman, and Wolverine when it finally does come out. And of course as soon as I know more info I’ll let you know. ;)

Chima goes digital

January 3, 2013

The new Legends of Chima theme is barely on the shelf but LEGO already has big plans for it. Warner Brothers Interactive has three games planed. A mini game for LEGO.com, one for Nintendo 3DS and PSP Vita, and a free to play online game.

London, UK – 2nd January, 2013 – Enter and explore the Kingdom of Chima™ in three gameplay experiences, offering something for all types of LEGO® gamers! Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and The LEGO Group today announced the LEGO ® Legends of Chima ™ videogames, scheduled to roar into 2013 for various platforms. The three videogames will each provide an entirely unique and exciting adventure that builds to the next experience and complement the just announced LEGO Legends of Chima™ universe of products, which includes construction sets, vehicles, TV content and more. LEGO Legends of Chima™ is a fantasy adventure set in land inhabited by different magical animal tribes and tells the classic story of good and evil, friendship and family.

“We are doing something innovative with LEGO Legends of Chima™ by making three distinct videogame experiences on a variety of platforms,” said Samantha Ryan, Senior Vice President, Production and Development, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. “By creating multiple LEGO videogame experiences for one brand, we are catering to today’s diverse gaming community, as well as establish a rewards system for players of all three games.”

LEGO® Legends of Chima ™: Speedorz ™, a racing mini-game produced by TT Games and 4T2, revs its way on to LEGO.com today and iOS tomorrow, 3rd January. Players will race against famous Chima™ characters, battle through iconic Chima™ locations, and unleash the power of CHI to boost their Speedorz, all while collecting studs and rewards to unlock more Speedorz and customize characters. The player’s goal is to become the ultimate champion and win Golden CHI, which transforms the world map and opens a new race level.

LEGO® Legends of Chima ™: Laval’s Journey, developed by TT Games, is scheduled to be available for the Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system and for the PS®Vita system in summer 2013 and for the Nintendo DS™ hand-held system in autumn 2013. Players will embark on an amazing adventure into the world of Chima™ where the brave warrior Laval and his allies are called upon to fight for justice.

In autumn 2013, LEGO® Legends of Chima ™ Online , a free-to-play, online world developed by WB Games Montréal, will provide kids with a safe and incredibly immersive connected game experience. Players will be able to build and customize their kingdom in the world of Chima™, explore massive environments like the Falling Leaves Forest, take on missions to help Laval and his friends, uncover hidden secrets and treasures, earn rewards, and use LEGO bricks to build weapons, gadgets, and more!

The Chima™ Vault, which houses an exclusive reward system, will be accessible to players on LEGO.com/chima. While playing LEGO Legends of Chima™: Speedorz ™ and LEGO Legends of Chima™: Laval’s Journey , players will be able to earn points. These points can be redeemed through the Vault for a variety of unique content that players can use to enhance their experience in LEGO® Legends of Chima ™ Online.

Not to be out done, Cartoon Network is starting a whole new series based off the toys. The first episode will be aired on January 16th.

I’m still on the fence with these sets. I’m personally not too keen on the whole animal figs, but I do like all the new parts and colors. Olive green and bright light orange any one? Not to mention the awesome new wing elements.

I’m hoping the Nintendo 3 DS game will be fun and plan on picking that up when it becomes available.


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