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legolegendsofchimalavalsjourneyvita

Lego Legends Of Chima - Laval’s Journey - Review by Andy Urquhart (PSVita)

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Finally the Vita gets a Lego game that is not a port of a PSP/DS game. So what can TT Games really do with it?

Based around the recently released Lego Chima line Laval’s Journey put you in the role of Laval, a lion (who
looks suspiciously like a young Lion-O from the Thundercats) who has to go on a quest to restore the balance
of the Chi which has been thrown out of whack by a couple of crocodiles one who seems to be able to brainwash
anyone into attacking Laval using a Chi'd up plant. Thats about as deep as the story gets here its a very
simplistic story that largely serves no purpose other than to press you into returning home to talk to your dad
who then points you along to the next area.

The dialogue the characters use is very simplistic and the few jokes in the game fell very flat on me (and yes
I realise its a kids game but aren't they all? All previous lego games I have found to be pretty funny) sadly
this game lacks the trademark humour that the Lego games are renowned for. Sadly the voice cast is also
absolutely horrible with most of the dialogue sounding very forced and poorly performed. The sound quality
is otherwise fantastic even through the Vita's tiny speaker (and it sounds even better through headphones).
And even the score & sound effects both fit the game perfectly so it's just the voice acting that lets the
game down especially compared to Lego Batman 2 (and yes I realise that it would've had a bigger budget
being on the console and the sound bytes were just re used for the handhelds but still!).

Gameplay is your standard Lego fare a mix of platforming, fighting and puzzling. Platforming and fighting
perform exactly as previous games on the home consoles and those were always very good so if it ain't
broke don't fix it. The puzzles whilst well crafted are sadly not optimized to the Vita's control scheme so
you find yourself turning cranks using the analogue stick rather than using the Vita’s gyroscope for these
gravity based maze puzzles which feels so counter intuitive when there's a powerful gyro as well as a
brilliant touch screen at the disposal of the developers. This is a common theme for the game and it
feel very much like a straight port of the 3DS version that hasn't been fully optimised for the Vita.
It only in fact using the touch screen to activate the Chi Up ability and it can be used for shooting
(and in fact it is far easier to shoot using the touchscreen). Sadly because of this many of the puzzles
 come off as basic and rather underwhelming.

I realise it seems I'm being rather critical of this game but after having played so many of them over the
years its easy to pick out the flaws and see where they could be improved upon for the next one.

Where the game does excel however is graphically. It looks every bit as good as any of the games on
the consoles to date and far far superior to the previous Lego titles on the vita. I'd even go so far as to
say that it's right up there with Uncharted Golden Abyss as one of the best looking games on the Vita
at the moment.

Overall Laval’s Journey is a decent game which will be greatly enjoyed by the younger generation,
but with the lack of a license (and halfway decent voice cast) there's nothing much here for us die
hard older Lego fans or indeed the regular Vita gamer especially with its almost laughably short
campaign (approx 3 hours).

 

 

Overall Score - 73%