PS4 Review- LEGO Dimensions

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LEGO Dimensions is a LEGO-themed action adventure game developed by Traveller’s Tales and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.  The game comes with three LEGO figures, a vehicle mini kit and a portal to bring them into the game.  It is available for the Wii U, PS3. PS4, Xbox 360 Xbox One.  This review is for the PS4 version.

The Vorton Portal, which make Dimension jumping possible
The Vorton Portal, which make Dimension jumping possible

The game follows three characters, Batman, Gandalf and Wyldstyle (from LEGO: The Movie) as they travel through different dimensions to stop the evil Lord Vortech.  Vortech is tearing through different LEGO world searching for the Foundation Elements. With these items, Lord Vortech can unlock the Foundation of the Universe recreate all of reality.

The game takes you to many worlds, such as Oz.
The game takes you to many worlds, such as Oz.

The different levels consists of worlds based on different LEGO properties.  Some worlds are from LEGO’s properties, such as Ninjago, Chima or The LEGO Movie.  Others are from licensed properties that LEGO has been making sets of for years (DC Heroes and Lord of the Rings) or more recent licences like Scooby Doo and The Simpsons.  The even got properties that haven’t got the LEGO treatment before.  Some are pretty out there (Midway arcade covers a slew or old Arcade, like Spy Hunter) and some are properties that should have gotten the LEGO treatment before, like Ghostbusters and Doctor Who.  Then there’s Portal 2, a computer game that you wouldn’t expect to get a LEGO treatment but works very well.

Chell interacts with Wheatley in the Portal 2 level.
Chell interacts with Wheatley in the Portal 2 level.

There are open world levels for each of the different LEGO worlds.  Each world has different objectives like escorting Scooby Doo’s parents in the Scooby Doo world, or fighting crime with the Flash in the DC Comics world.  Each world has tasks or actions that can only be completed by certain characters not necessarily from that particular property.  To enter these worlds, you must have a mini-figure that goes with that world.

You can explore the fields of the Shire in Middle Earth
You can explore the fields of the Shire in Middle Earth
...Or attend a rave at Wayne Manor in Gotham City.
…Or attend a rave at Wayne Manor in Gotham City.

Like Disney Infinity, to add characters, you have to buy additional packs.  There are three types of packs: Fun packs, with includes a character and a vehicle/item mini kit; Team packs, which have two characters and mini kits; and. Level Packs,which have a character, two mini kits and level based on that property.  So far, they include Back to the Future, The Simpsons and Portal 2.  The Doctor Who level pack is coming this November and two more packs, Ghostbusters and Midway Arcade, are scheduled for next year.

Travel between worlds
Travel between worlds

Much like Disney Infinity and Skylanders, you need certain figures to get to certain areas.  While having only the Starter set will allow you to beat the game, you won’t be able to get 100%/  You have to get certain characters to access some areas and open worlds and some, like Peter Venkmen from Ghostbusters, are not out until next year.

Scooby Doo World
Scooby Doo World

Unlike Skylanders or Infinity, the toys are actual toys.  They are normal LEGO figures and bricks, with the base being what loads the characters into the game.  But the bricks are a functional part of the game.  You even build the Dimension portal as you play the game.   You even follow on screen instructions to build the mini kits and there is no physical instructions with them. This is optional (the portal set comes with an instruction manual) as the LEGO pieces are just set dressing, but it adds to the fun.  You can upgrade your vehicles, too, unlocking two other configurations with unique abilities.  If you don’t want to build the LEGO. you just need the base.

In the Portal 2 world, there is cake!
In the Portal 2 world, there is cake!

But here is the best part of LEGO Dimensions:  The different characters interact with each other.  While Disney Infinity has each world separate (except in the Toy Box, which is great), the story in this game has Joker invading Springfield, GLaDOS sending Orcs after you, amongst other things.  The characters you have sometimes interact depending who else you have on the portal.  Wyldstyle gets chatty with Wonder Woman, Scooby Doo sings the Batman theme and Homer can’t believe a dog can talk.  They all have a few phrases when they enter or exit the game.

There is a lot of hidden details referencing the source material.
There is a lot of hidden details referencing the source material.

LEGO Dimension is a fun game with an interesting hook.  Traveller’s Tales have been doing LEGO games for years and it shows in this one.  Of course, there is one obvious omission (LEGO Star Wars), but there is enough different properties to make up for it.  I mean, Doctor Who!  In LEGO form!  With packs scheduled to come out until next year,  the game is posed to stay fresh and relevant.

4.5/5

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PS4 Review: Disney Infinity 3.0- Star Wars Saga pack

Disney Infinity 3.0
Disney Infinity 3.0

Disney Infinity is an open world/sandbox action-adventure game developed with Avalanche Studios and published by Disney Interactive.  It is a sequel to the original Disney Infinity game and Disney Infinity 2.0. The game is available on multiple platforms  including PC and iOS devices.  Like the other two, it required the purchase of figurines and “Play Sets” to gain more characters and levels..  I am reviewing the PS4 Saga Starter Bundle, which included the game, the Twilight of the Republic and Rise of the Empire playsets and a exclusive Boba Fett figurine.

Twilight of the Republic follows the Clone Wars cartoon.
Twilight of the Republic follows the Clone Wars cartoon.
Boba Fett takes on all comers!
Boba Fett takes on all comers!
Rise of the Empire tells a very abridged version of the Original Trilogy
Rise of the Empire tells a very abridged version of the Original Trilogy

The basic game has been improved from 2.0.  The game starts with several quick scenes from the various properties (Star Wars, Inside Out and a racer starring Mickey Mouse) and leads into the new and improved Toy Box Hub.  Here you can  use any Infinity character to go through tutorials and challenges such as racing, platforming combat and, how to use your sidekick.  Sidekicks are AI characters that follow you around and help out in combat.  You can use them to get to certain areas or you can equip them with weapons and items that grants them abilities to hep you, such as healing or invisibility.

Side kicks can help you in you Hub and your Toy Box adventures
Side kicks can help you in you Hub and your Toy Box adventures

Once you open up all the areas in the Hub, you can go back and play different challenges.  The Hub doesn’t stay quiet those as enemies send to spawn and come out of the combat zone, attacking the townsfolk.  Occasionally, a Star Destroyer will appear and you will have to get in a X-wing and destroy a wave of TIE Fighters.  You also can build your own personal space called an INterior, decorating it with various picture and items you’ve unlocked.

You can create a home  in the Hub called the INterior.
You can create a home in the Hub called the INterior.
Sometimes you will need to take to the skies in an X-wing to defend the Hub from the Empire
Sometimes you will need to take to the skies in an X-wing to defend the Hub from the Empire

The Playset work the same as the last two games,  Old playsets do not work on the new game and only characters the setting of the playset will work wit them.  Only Anakin, Ahsoka, Obi-Wan and Yoda will work with the Twilight of the Republic set and only Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie work in the Rise of the Empire.  Cross over coins are back, allowing other Star Wars characters play in those levels, but, unlike last time, all characters in the franchise can play in either Playset as long as you find their particular cross over coin (Boba Fett’s is located by the Saarlac in both playsets, by the way.).

You will need to find her cross over coin to allow Sabine Wren to play in either Star Wars playset
You will need to find her cross over coin to allow Sabine Wren to play in either Star Wars playset

There are additions playsets as well.  In addition to the Inside Out set currently and the Force Unleashed set coming out in December, there is something called the Toy Box takeover playset, where Syndrome (from the Incredibles) stealing Mickey’s magic wand and taking over the Magic Kingdom.  Every character is playable in this Toy Box as you fight bad guys from the various properties, including Marvel and Star Wars.  There is also a Toy Box Racer and a 4 player Marvel Battle Arena coming out later.

Boba Fett vs. Pirates in the Caribbean.
Boba Fett vs. Pirates in the Caribbean.

Of course, there is the Toy Box itself, an sandbox in which you can create your own level.  Community created content is back and toy boxes created in previous versions and uploaded can be re-downloaded again.  You can create levels that allow any character or ones that only a specific one  There is tons of levels available and once you unlock different building sets with blue sparks earned in game

Some user created levels are for specific characters.
Some user created levels are for specific characters.

All previous Disney Infinity characters are playable in the Toy Box.  With the exception of all the Star Wars characters (who are unlockable, if not immediately playable in/ both sets) and the Inside Out characters in their set, all the new figure are only usable in the Toy Box or Toy Box Takeover.  I would have like to see a Playset for the Star Wars Rebels characters or one for Tron 3.0, but I’ll have to settle for ones created in the Toy Box

Boba Fett!
Boba Fett!

Disney Infinity 3.0 is a definite step in the right direction.  Having more to do in the Toy Box lets players use their favorite character, even if they are from different properties (which would be great for kids)  The Toy Box takeover was good idea, but I feel it should have been built into the game  With LEGO Dimensions promising (and delivering) crossover between various brands, 3.0 seems a bit lacking, but still offers a decent, all-ages Star Wars experience to tide you over until Episode 7.  Or Star Wars Battlefront, at least

4/5

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Let it go.

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PS4 Review: Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round

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DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round_

Rehashes of Fighting Games are not new.  How many versions of Street Fighter 2 were there before Capcom released Street Fighter 3?.  Usually they refine the fighting mechanics, add new stages, characters and costumes and add a adjective like “Super” to the front or a subtitles like “Third Strike”.  Koei Tecmo is following this convention with the Dead or Alive series with Last Round.

Dead or Alive 5: Last Round is a fighting game developed by Team Ninja and published by Koei Tecmo.  It is the fourth iteration of Dead or Alive 5, counting Dead or Alive 5 Plus for PS Vita.  The games is available as a free to play Core Fighter version with 4 playable fighters with the option to buy the rest or as a full game with all 34 playable characters.  It is available for PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.  This review is on the PS4 version.

DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round has the same  sexy fighting as before
DEAD OR ALIVE 5 Last Round has the same sexy fighting as before

The main game is the same as the previous versions, with an arcade mode tag battles, story mode, etc.  The Story Mode does not include any of the additional characters from Ultimate or Last Round.  You still can save replays and take pictures in game (in addition to the Share function.)  These are saved on your PS4 hard drive.

The main draw of Last Round is the additional characters and features from the previous versions. From DOA5+ are the Private Paradise clips, where the DOA girls play on a beach on Zach Island for your viewing pleasure.  From Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, you get 7 more characters;  Jacky Bryant (from Virtua Figters, Momoji and Rachel from the Ninja Gaiden series, classic DOA characters Leon and Ein , Phase 4, the Kasumi clone from the Story Mode, Nyotengu, a female tengu (Japanese demon) and Marie Rose, a young girl who’s bucks the trend of all the females having big breasts.

I'm not sure if this is less creepy
I’m not sure if this is less creepy

Last Round adds two more characters to the roster.  From the original Dead or Alive returns Raidou, Ayane’s father, now resurrected as a cyborg.  Also debuting is Honoka, another busty 18-year old girl (it says so on her official bio) who seems to borrow from various fighting styles for her moves.  There are new stages as well such as a beach at night during fireworks and Loreli Castle decked out for Halloween.  Then there are the costumes.

Momoji and Rachel
Momoji and Rachel
Jacky and Leon
Jacky and Leon
Phase 4 and Nyotengu
Phase 4 and Nyotengu
Ein and Raidou
Ein and Raidou
Honoka and Marie Rose
Honoka and Marie Rose

Previous versions had DLC costumes.  Those for the original cast from the first DOA 5 and DOA5+ (cheerleader outfit, Hot Getaway) are mostly included as unlockable costumes.  DLC for DOA5 Ultimate are transferable or can be bought individually, in sets or in one shot for $92.  New DLC are grouped in seasons, which there has been 2 so far. and include Ninja costumes, Christmas and Halloween costume for most characters as well as more bikinis, sexy nurse outfits, a Bath and Bed set and others for most of the female characters.  Of course, this being a Dead or Alive game, most of the female costumes are sexy and/or skimpy.

Some outfits barely qualify as one...
Some outfits barely qualify as one…

Some costumes have a special feature on the PS4 and XB1 versions.  Outfits from the Senran Kagura set can be damaged if hit by a critical hit.  The outfits will be torn and remain that way for the duration of the fight, Other themed outfit sets feature this (Deception 4 and Costumes by Tamiki Wakaki set) with more to be added, I’m sure.

Outfits like the Senran Kagura ones can be damaged.
Outfits like the Senran Kagura ones can be damaged.
Outfit damage last until the match is over.
Outfit damage last until the match is over.

All this DLC can be pricy.  To get both seasons, plus all the Ultimate DLC Honoka’s cheer leader Christmas and swimwear, and all four new girls Hot Getaway movies, it will cost you close to $400.  It seems excessive, but none of this DLC is essential and you can pick and choose what you want.  Buying the Season pass net you an exclusive costume each (angel outfit for Marie Rose for Season 1, and Secret Agent Honoka for Season 2) but, as long as you buy the full game, you have the complete game, with most characters having at least 6 unlockable outfits.

Agent Honoka costume is a bonus for Season Pass 2
Agent Honoka costume is a bonus for Season Pass 2

If you only have a last gen console and have one of the previous games, this is an easy pass.  If you have a PS4/XBOne, this is a great fighter for your console.  With the DLC continuing into the next year and with a new character and level coming in Spring 2016, there is enough to keep it fresh, exciting and sexy.

Hitomi dressed as Yumi (Senran Kagura)
Hitomi dressed as Yumi (Senran Kagura)

4/5

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Halloween 2014. Nice…
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Phase 4 as Ikargura and Kasumi as Asuka
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Tina as Katsuragi and Mila as Hikage
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Momoji
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Rachel in Halloween costume
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Kasumi in a battle damaged outfit.
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Secret Agent Honoka
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Nyotengu all wrapped up in ribbons. Festive!
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IT’S OVER!!!!!!