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Kimberley Ellis
11 Jul, 2009

LEGO Battles Review

DS Review | Block busting nostalgia.
While recent LEGO videogames have been based off popular comic book and film properties, it's quite refreshing to note that the latest LEGO title, LEGO Battles, makes use of the Danish toy company's classic licenses that many of us grew up fawning over. Specifically, this real-time strategy title for the Nintendo DS lets you take control of pirates, knights, aliens and more from the well-loved Castle, Pirates, and Space sets of toys. But does it deliver the LEGO fun that we've all come to know and love? Well yes, and no - it all depends on your age group as LEGO Battles is more of a title that should be played to introduce gamers to the real time strategy genre, rather than those seasoned in the genre. Though no matter your age, the game contains all of the charm and humour of previous LEGO titles.

LEGO Battles follows the blueprint of a traditional real-time strategy game that sees players constructing all manners of things such as: castles, farms, mines, and other buildings, then creating an army of tiny LEGO people to go out and harvest resources - which are then used in the construction of more buildings and units. It's a vicious cycle isn't it? As well as following the core building aspects of RTS titles, the game also gives you a number of larger scale objectives to complete, which involves you taking control of a particular faction and performing tasks such as collecting hidden treasure (which can then be used to construct hidden units) and hidden blocks (which bestow a number of abilities onto your army) and thwarting the advance of evil enemies throughout your territory.

Red Vs Blue: the LEGO years.

Red Vs Blue: the LEGO years.
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The game comes jam packed with over seventy levels of story mode to play throughout several campaigns which will let you control one of six factions, complete with the humorous cut-scenes that we've enjoyed while playing other titles in the LEGO series of games. Each campaign is broken up into three acts, with each act progressively harder than the one before it. The game is a great entry point for those that are unfamiliar with RTS titles, as it walks you through every aspect of the game during the initial levels, ensuring that you'll be playing like a pro after a handful of battles. For you RTS fans that were hoping for a challenging portable strategy title, sadly you are out of luck as LEGO Battles is extremely easy. While the six story campaigns are lengthy, they tend to get repetitive really fast and you'll find that playing through the campaigns becomes more of a chore than anything else.

Where the game really gets fun is when players dip into free play or multiplayer and can start mixing and matching the units from each specific faction. Players can choose any heroes, infantry, vehicles and buildings from any set which they have unlocked in the single-player campaign, giving players a wide variety of options to choose from to keep the game fresh.

  
Players are able to battle across land or sea.

Players are able to battle across land or sea.
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The game's control scheme is pretty straightforward and well laid out, with the stylus used to select and move your units - almost as if it is mimicking the way a mouse is used in PC strategy games. Players then use the face buttons to open up the menus and the D-pad is used to scroll across the battlefield. Though, once you have a large number of units on screen, trying to select a single unit can become a tricky affair.

Similarly to other LEGO titles we’ve viewed in recent years, there are a number of things to unlock and collect in LEGO Battles. Players are able to explore terrain to collect blue studs throughout each level which can then be used to new hero characters. As well as collecting studs, there are also a number of treasure chests and orange brick which when collected will enable players to unlock a number of cheats and abilities.

Let's kill them first.

Let's kill them first.
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The multiplayer side of the game allows to players to battle against each other in a skirmish mode across two consoles. Like with free play, players are free to pick and choose their units in multiplayer mode which adds to the fun.

At the end of the day, you probably won't find much long-lasting entertainment in LEGO Battles if you are over the age of ten. But in short bursts, there is some fun for those of you that want to revisit a piece of your childhood, or just plain love the humourous charm that oozes out of the LEGO series of games.
The Score
At the end of the day, adults most likely won't find much long-lasting entertainment in LEGO Battles. But in short bursts, there is some fun to be had in revisiting a piece of your childhood. 6
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  17/06/2009 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $49.95 AU
Publisher:
  Warner Bros Interactive Ent
Genre:
  RTS
Year Made:
  2008
Players:
  3

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