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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Terrible, dumbed-down imitation of console versions
on June 30, 2010
I haven't completed the game (and most likely won't), but I've found very little to enjoy in what I've played so far and not much promise of improvement.
Unlike the PSP versions of the Lego games through Batman, this one is not a port of the console versions, but an appallingly simplistic and dumbed-down version of its own (or perhaps, it appears, a port of the DS version). The camera is frozen in an isometric position and zoomed in, which would put you close to the action if there was any action to see. Instead, the environments are drab, lifeless, small and virtually free of enemies or destructible elements (there ARE some - just very few). There's often little to do but collect studs, most of which are laid out in patterns rather than hidden in objects, so that it often feels more like I'm playing Pac-Man than a Lego adventure.
The gameplay consists almost entirely of casting spells on clearly highlighted objects, but this is robbed of any enjoyability by the obscene level of hand holding. If you have to, for example, light a torch, "Light the torch" appears as your objective, the torch is marked by a waypoint on your map, and when you approach it, you press a single contextual button that chooses the incendio spell for you, and in many cases, this would all be after a character tells you "Maybe you should light that torch!" Speaking of which, the fact that characters talk at all (in the form of text windows) is another unwelcome change, and would be even if they didn't constantly tell you flat-out what to do. If you need to use another character to interact with something, that character's portrait appears as a hint, effectively removing the last possible scrap of guesswork. There's no platforming to speak of, except where a particular prompt lets you jump at scripted points. The only bright points are some of the minigames, like potion brewing or the transfiguration spell, but even there, transfiguration presents you with identical puzzles so often that it loses its novelty quite quickly.
In the other Lego games (that I own on PSP, at least - Star Wars II, Indiana Jones, and Batman; identical to the console versions save for graphics, as far as I know [and from having played/seen footage of the console versions, I should add]), goals were sometimes obscure, but figuring them out was the bulk of the experience and challenge. And even after you'd played a level and knew all the objectives, there was great fun to be had in wandering the expansive environments smashing things, collecting studs, fighting enemies, solving puzzles and experimenting with the abilities of the cast of characters. With virtually all of that removed, the remaining husk of a game plays like it was designed for preschoolers.
I want to be generous and allow for the possibility that it will get better, at least with revisiting levels in free play with new characters, but from what little of that I've done so far, it's similar to story mode, in that rather than having the pleasure of experimenting with combat or movement abilities, it's all a matter of choosing the character who can interact with certain very obvious objects, and being plainly told who to use anyway. Why bother?
I feel foolish for not being more vigilant in seeking out PSP-version-specific reviews, but given the record of the series, I had no reason to think it would be different from the console versions. I've learned my lesson. I would like to play a proper version of this game, but since that would amount to paying $50 effectively to upgrade this one to what it should have been in the first place, it's not happening.