Thursday, March 10, 2016

The pallet cleanser

Ahhhh, a (good) Lego game. Just what a I needed after fighting a losing battle against Assassin's Creed Chronicles Russia and then losing that same battle against Resident Evil 0. Starting a game and not finishing it really does bother me. Even though I spent at most three hours on the game it was a struggle to force myself to stop. Not enjoying it was not enough, I had to convince myself that leaving it unfinished was okay.

It's not okay, really, but the promise of collecting millions of Legos studs for no good reason in movie themed areas was enough to get me over.

Lego games, especially the more recent ones, can be divided neatly in two. There are the levels themselves, usually fashioned after action set pieces from the movies that they are based on, and giant hub areas filled with enough flotsam in the form of gold bricks and more characters to keep anyone who is a fan of such things busy for ages. Most other open world(ish) games will see me search down every last bit of this nonsense (see Just Cause 3) but that is not how I play the Lego games. They are a blitz through to the end before being discarded and there is one specific reason why.

It is not possible to collect everything in a level the first time it is played. Story missions are limited to specific characters on the first play through. That does not mean that there are not obstacles that said characters cannot overcome. On the contrary, they all filled with items that cannot be retrieved until the level is finished and returned to in free play mode. We all know how much I enjoy repeating things, it's just not going to happen, and this made it easier for me to not care about emptying any given level. Since levels are not being completed, why should I bother with the world as a whole?

In their effort to force replay the Lego games have killed my desire to spend any more than the minimum required time with them. And I still very much enjoy that time. Their take on movies is often just as if not more entertaining that the source material. The climax of Age of Ultron was better than what the movie mustered up. By the time I finished what I was going to play I wanted to go back and watch all of the Marvel movies I had missed.

Which is most of them. Loki dies in the second Thor movie? Seriously?

I am playing these game wrong: alone and on a tight schedule. And I will continue to do so until more of them end of like The Lego Movie game instead of this one. Then I will act my age and let them go the rest of the way.

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