LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game

Moby ID: 77264
Nintendo DS Specs
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LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game for handheld platforms is similar to the console game, but features simpler graphics, fewer and smaller levels with their own level and puzzle design, and a unique dueling mechanic.

As in the console game, the handheld version allows players to play through events of the four Pirates of the Caribbean films, with the game released as a tie-in with On Stranger Tides. Cutscenes from the console version are partly reused, partly newly done to fit in with the different design. The handheld version features only four levels per movie compared to the console's five.

Actual gameplay follows the standard template of earlier LEGO games: players move through the levels playing as several characters with different abilities, whose skills must be combined in order to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. Collecting LEGO studs, bricks and other items like medallions and rum bottles allows the unlocking of bonuses. A unique feature of the handheld version are pirate duels: when prompted, players have to press a button rapidly, which is then followed by a quick-time event, for which two out of three of the indicated buttons must be hit for a successful strike against the enemy.

The 3DS version is the only version with some multiplayer functionality: it supports the 3DS StreetPass feature for collecting Play Coins by walking, which can be spent to buy characters. These characters can then be used in Pirate Duels (using the same gameplay mechanic as in single player mode) against other 3DS users, with the winner earning more Play Coins.

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Average score: 72% (based on 21 ratings)

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Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 5 ratings with 1 reviews)

Best Lego game ever, but keep in mind Lego games aren't that great

The Good
I will admit that the style of Lego games is very charming and cute and it's pretty funny how characters and items explode into a dozen tiny blocks if you hit them enough. This is a style that is obviously for all ages because it's fun for the little children while it also stays interesting for the older people like me. It might have something to do with great nostalgic memories since I, like many other people, grew up playing with Lego and the likes. I do wonder if the toys will make a come-back someday...

Rather then blindly ripping-off the movies and copying every scene this game does take some liberty with the material; a lot of new jokes are added, you can take your time to explore areas like ships and we get to do some side-quests as well. At the same time it still follows the same story and has the same "feel" as the movies did. I especially liked some of the new jokes because they were pretty good and sometimes they made you think they used a joke from the movies, only to surprise you with something they came up with themselves.

Unlike other Lego games I played, there was no reason to ever be in the HUB-world, in this case Tortuga, because there was just nothing you actually needed there. I remember that in Star Wars you could buy a ton of important items that really helped a lot, but here everything I ran into was cosmetic or just for giggles. I also liked how you could just play through an entire movie without returning to Tortuga after every mission to enter the next one.

After you completed a mission once you can do it again in a special mode that allows you to play it with any character you want, this allows you to mess with the story in weird ways (such as fighting Davy Jones with Elizabeth), but more importantly it allows you to enter areas you couldn't enter before because it required the help of a character you didn't have around. In these areas you can find bonus items and collectibles which can come in handy,

The music was of course awesome, this is Pirates of the Caribbean we are talking about after all. It doesn't matter how often you hear the main theme, it just sounds so adventurous and epic that it will stun you every time, even if you know Jack is just making a fool out of himself. My favorite sound though is "Davy Jones theme" which is a very sad, yet still dramatic and loud song that always gets me in the right mood to keep on fighting hordes of enemies (in the game of course).

The Bad
There is barely any challenge to this game and that goes for both the puzzles as well as the combat, I know this game is supposed to be playable by kids, but that doesn't mean you can't challenge them a little to avoid making the game boring. Every fight can be won by simply spamming the attack button without any tactics at all and most of the puzzles required the same five or six possible solutions to solve. I got through this game in less than a day without rushing at all, just because it required no thought or skill for me to complete it.

The game completely fails to tell the story properly, so you pretty much have to watch the movies if you want to know what the game is about. The first problem is that none of the characters have a voice, so a lot dialogue is just gibberish while characters point at things or make faces, this doesn't work and makes the characters very forgettable. The second problem are the cut-scenes which show a bunch of weird images while having no narration, I know the movies and I still couldn't figure out what the game was trying to tell me.

The Bottom Line
This could have been an amazing game, a 9/10 even, if it wasn't for the mistakes I have seen in every Lego game I have ever played (which is two games in total): repetitive gameplay and a serious problem with the storytelling. This leads me to believe that the game is just in the hands of the wrong development team and probably needs one that does know how to stitch and adventure game together and tell a story. You might argue that this is just part of the Lego-style, but that's my point, this studio seems to make the exact same game all the time and just add whatever movie they want to add to the mix.

If you can ignore the fact that this game is very short and easy, an adult fan of the movies might enjoy this game, kids will probably be all over this and whether or not they know the movies is not very important in this case if you are too old to be consider a kid and you haven't seen the movies you should either watch them or just pass on the game as well. Personally I liked the game for as long as it lasted, but it was the same kind of fun I have when I play Garry's Mod and I spawn NPC's in the middle of a minefield.

Nintendo DS · by Asinine (957) · 2016

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Game added by Terok Nor.

Game added March 2, 2016. Last modified July 29, 2023.