10 more LEGO games we'd like to play
With LEGO Lord of the Rings about to release at the end of this month, the Lego series looks poised to expand its reach even further--with RPG-style fantasy action joining the franchise's forays into genres such as platforming, rhythm-action, and Batman. Also, of course - and doubtless this was foremost in Traveler's Tales' minds when creating the title--LEGO LOTR just happens to be the very first entry on our 2008 list, 10 LEGO games we'd love to see. Thanks guys!
We've seen superhero movies, so we know that with great power comes great responsibility, and the ability to make games happen with just a Photoshop and a few jokes is a great power indeed. So we've taken it upon ourselves to dream up another 10 LEGO titles we'd like to see. Coming in 2016: some of these things! Maybe...
If you wanted, you could just make a LEGO Dungeons and Dragons and be done with it, but the meeting of two of the most creativity-inspiring entertainment properties in the history of frivolity might cause some sort of apocalypse. Better to start out with a property where some sort of apocalypse is already done with; and if that property happens to be already beloved by gamers for its inventive stories and sly humor, so much the better.
LEGO-ready elements: Putting aside the matter of the property's single human character, Adventure Time's blend of fantasy and retro-tech would translate adorably to LEGO form. The series' format of bite-sized, D&D-inspired quests would work perfectly as well, luring in players too young to have been exposed to Dungeons & Dragons' corrupting influence. Which of course is always the goal.
Come on, this thing could run and run. Put the Avengers in a game and you're right away opening the door on the entire, obsessively-cataloged Marvel multiverse, which is so large that you could then just make further installments until the end of time. That might get boring, though, so let's ease our way in with an adaptation of the recent movie so everyone's on the same page. Follow that up with a classic storyline like Secret Empire or Civil War and watch comics nerds rejoice as the deep-cut characters rise to the occasion.
LEGO-ready elements: One of the best things about new LEGO games is finding out what kind of cast-list's been assembled for the gameplaying pleasure of you and your friends. Any Avengers-led title would boast a playable roster to rival DC's admirable showing in the recent LEGO Batman 2; and we already know Marvel characters look pretty good in LEGO form, after all.
Arguments about who was the best Bond would dwindle to their appropriate level of significance if Messrs. Connery, Moore, Brosnan, Craig et al were all shrunk down to chunky yellow block form. Then we could get on with the business of playing through the storied career of Her Majesty's worst-kept state secret: traveling the globe, saying your name a lot, and being expected not to talk but to die.
LEGO-ready elements: You might think Bond has a bit too much sex and violence for the family-friendly LEGO label; but for much of the series, the sauciest things got was some cringeworthy puns on Bond's part followed by a next morning, spies happen! scene. As for the violence, one man's bloodbath is another man's rip-roaring jetski chase or punch-up with a shark. All of this is enabled by the series' steady stream of increasingly fantastic spy gadgets, which would translate well to the Lego games' building-and-breaking style.
We honestly cannot think of a single thing you could do to Ghostbusters that we would not be enthusiastic for. Another sequel? Bring it on. A cartoon adaptation? Sure, why not. A downloadable arcade spin-off? Um, actually no thanks -- given how Ghostbusters: Sanctum of Slime turned out, we'll stick with our hypothetical Lego reimagining. There've been playable-enough Ghostbusters games before, but none have done the movies' stories and humor justice; whereas replaying the best bits and funniest gags is what the LEGO series is all about.
LEGO-ready elements: Of course you've got your varied locations and plenty of extra content that the movies only hint at; and of course there's a ready cast of four distinct characters, with plenty of supporting roles we'd love to take a go at; but really, none of that would matter, because if you just get the LEGO Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man right, your game will sell like hot smores and rightly so.
[Image credit: LEGO Cuusoo, where the campaign is on to make this a real thing]
We've seen that LEGO and comics go well together, and LEGO LOTR looks set to establish the series' proficiency in the fantasy genre. Time to go a little deeper, then - perhaps with Mike Mignola's best-loved creation and all his spooky, folklore-inspired friends and foes. LEGO Indy's already fought Nazis, so let's up the stakes a little with some supernatural Third Reich spookiness. Call it the Gamer's Godwin's Law: over a long enough timeline, every genre will eventually feature occult Nazis.
LEGO-ready elements: If there's one thing LEGO has always been really good for, it's building great big castles with lots of chunky Gothic detail. But there's actually two things LEGO has always been good for, and the second thing is the fact that when you're bored you can smash those castles to bits. It just so happens that great big spooky castles and smashing are Hellboy's biggest strengths also.
[BPRD minifigs by JR Schwartz]
Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Batman are great and all, but they're all very straightforward, unchallenging stories. Why not give players something a bit more substantial to chew on? After all, when playing a LEGO game, it's not considered rude to pause so you can get your head around the latest oddball plot development. By this rationale, a LEGO Looper would also be pretty great.
LEGO-ready elements: Inception's already divided into levels, which is very helpful from a hypothetical-adaptation point of view; what's more, one of those levels revolves around building and living within your own world, while others are huge and full of architectural quirks that would be great fun to recreate in LEGO form. We're not sure how zero-G LEGO would work, but that's why we just have the ideas and developers get lumped with the heavy creative lifting.
[Screenshot taken from Staffordshire University's awesome LEGO Inception trailer]
My Little Pony
Remember My Little Pony? It's back, in ironic-dudelove form! You don't see too much crossover between little girls and the keg-stand set; as far as we know, 343 has no plans for Halo: Friendship is Magic, so Lego My Little Pony could finally be the game to unite these most disparate of demographics. Finally a game that bronies can play with their little sisters, without anyone crying! Unless she keeps winning, we suppose, in which case a tear or two is acceptable on your part.
LEGO-ready elements: As all bronies doubtless know, My Little Pony has a huge back story whose adventuring potential's never been tapped. Hidden treasure, greedy warlords, sympathetic dragons and devious sorcerers abound, and our fabulous heroes and heroines would canter their way through fantastic realms with the slightest provocation. Technicolor gallops through blocky recreations of Paradise Estate, Flutter Valley and the Lost City of Tambelon would delight bronies and little girls alike! We assume.
Masters of the Universe
Okay, so the idea of adapting most any old-school Saturday-morning cartoon to Lego form is an instantly appealing one; but if we had to pick, He-Man, Skeletor et al would be a great place to start. Dozens of characters, seasons' worth of stories, and an enthusiastic populace whose memory of a 25-year-old cartoon is too hazy to notice when you tweak those stories to fit in more block-collecting sequences.
LEGO-ready elements: Once again you've got a huge world filled with exotic characters and environments; and with a property like Masters of the Universe, there's the added perk of knowing that anything that showed up onscreen was bound to work as a toy, what with the series existing mainly as a vehicle for Mattel to show off its latest wares. Port Castle Grayskull to Lego-game form, and suddenly that one lucky kid with the Deluxe Playset doesn't seem quite so special anymore.
[Masters of the Universe minifigs courtesy He-Man.org forums
Parks & Recreation
Back when videogames were so primitive that the graphics wish they had as much detail as a LEGO set, block-play lasted for hours and little yellow figures seemed like they really were taking on lives of their own. And they weren't all superheroes or Jedi knights: sometimes it was just as much fun to imagine you were building houses, or offices, or maybe the parks department of a small Indiana town staffed by a crew of lovable misfits. Alright, so this probably won't be on shelves any time soon, but we'd sure play it if it was.
LEGO-ready elements: Parks and Rec has a huge cult following, strong characters big on outsized physical comedy, and plenty of varied locations in which to stage challenges of physical dexterity and mental acumen. The possibilities are many: Leslie Knope's collect-'em-up park-cleanup challenges, Monkey Island-style dialogue-battles with Perd and Shauna Malwae-Tweep, broken up by Ron Swanson's Trials of Manliness. Or just say April's been kidnapped and you have to rescue her from aliens or terrorists, we won't get bogged down in specifics.
Zombies' moment in the spotlight isn't going to last forever, you guys, so put some zombies in a Lego game while we have the chance. We're not too picky about which zombies--though Dead Rising's cornered the market on mall-undead, and your classic undead apocalypse is ably dramatized by Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead and the rest. Zombieland's slapstick-heavy style would be a great entree into darker horror-comedy territory for the LEGO series, without going Full Romero.
LEGO-ready elements: Look, we understand there's a reason zombies and Lego haven't met yet, but put aside the brain-eating and dismemberment and think how much fun it would be to build your own hideouts, forage for the right blocks and see your defenses slowly worn down by the shambling hordes. Also, LEGO games don't usually feature talking, so that's Zombieland's worst element--Jesse Eisenberg's massively irritating protagonist--shrunk down to a more enjoyable form.
We're sure this list's only scratched the surface of entertaining franchises you'd play if they were small and yellow. What properties would you love to see Traveler's Tales convert to bricks-'n'-minifigs form? Let's hear from you.