IGN Review of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is making an appearance on every console. The PSP version of the game plays identically to the 3DS and DS versions. And while the gameplay isn't anything we haven't seen before, it's still a fun way to spend a bus or plane ride.
LEGO Pirates is standard fare for the LEGO series. If you've played one, you know how they all work. You'll run through the story and environments of all four movies, smashing everything in sight, collecting studs, pirate doubloons, red bricks, and little ships in glass bottles, while solving some simple puzzles. Different characters have different special abilities, and you are able to switch between members of your party at any time. This gameplay set-up is what has made the LEGO games so popular, and it continues to be fun in this latest outing.
The goofy nature of the Pirates of the Caribbean films is also a good fit for a LEGO game, and the developers take full advantage of it with character design and gameplay scenarios. My personal favorite is how Jack Sparrow's running animation makes him look like an intoxicated buffoon.
The portable version of LEGO Pirates is similar to its console big brothers. Many of the environments are the same, but some of the puzzles and means of getting through the levels are a little different. The handheld version also adds in a special Pirate Duel mechanic when fighting major characters and bosses. After initiating an attack on the character, you will watch an animation and madly mash the X button to gain an advantage when the swords are locked. After that, you'll need to complete a quick-time event to actually land a blow on your opponent. At first, this was a nice way to break up the gameplay, but since these duels don't get any more difficult as you go along, they started to feel more like an annoyance. In the end, I would have preferred to just attack enemies the old fashioned way.
Shortened versions of the cut scenes from the console versions are used to tell the story. While you can see some artifacts here and there from the video compression, for the most part the movies look great on the PSP. Where the 3DS version of the game features a small multiplayer element, the PSP version has none, and that's disappointing since cooperative play is one of the things that make the LEGO games great.
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