Lego The Hobbit Dwarfs All Previous Lego Games

LegoHobbitThe new Lego The Hobbit game–inspired by the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, as well as the collection of Lego The Hobbit construction sets–is available now across North America for the Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3, and Nintendo 3DS. The game will be available for the Nintendo Wii U on April 22.

Lego The Hobbit features key locations from the film, including Bag End and High Pass over The Misty Mountains. In addition, this will be the first Lego game to utilize a loot system, in which Lego studs representing a variety of materials can be for crafting items. Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and developed by TT Games, Lego The Hobbit will be available on all platforms.

A main new feature of the game allows players to utilize dwarves’ combined abilities such as buddy fighting, two-player attack, staff climb, mace swing, and belly bounce to help them fight Orcs and fouler things. There’s also an easy access drop-in, drop-out gameplay option available on the consoles. Together players will navigate 16 levels, unlock more than 90 playable characters, and partake in treasure quests–the most diverse number of any Lego video game to date.

Lego Ninjago Sequel Coming to Handheld Systems

Lego.NinjagoWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group will release the second installment of the Lego Ninjago franchise, Lego Ninjago: Nindroids, to the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita this summer. Hellbent Games developed the sequel in partnership with TT Games.

The game will feature 30 fast-paced, action-packed levels that follow key plot scenarios featured in the Lego Ninjago Rebooted animated series. Players get to use vehicles such as the Kai Fighter, special moves, combo attacks, and secret weapons like Technoblades to solve puzzles and defend New Ninjago city.

COMMENTARY: Lego Friends Video Game Appeals to Boys and Girls

Lego Friends box art.jpgRight in time for the holidays, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment has released Lego Friends, a video game based on the construction toy line of the same name. While the game is all-ages-friendly, the target demographic appears to be young girls in particular: The box art features many of the characters that appear in the game—fresh-faced ladies of various hair colors, skin tones, and hobbies.

I first heard of Lego Friends, developed by TT Games and Hellbent Games for Nintendo 3DS and DS, months before, and even then I was interested in how it might differ from titles intended for more of a boys’ audience. Eventually, I got to demo it alongside Lego Marvel Super Heroes, a game that if not specifically for boys, is certainly a more testosterone-heavy affair. The art direction and color palette for Lego Friends are cuter and brighter, respectively. But do those factors alone—and that the main avatar and supporting characters are all female—qualify calling it a video game for girls? Could it still conceivably appeal to other audiences? [Read more...]

Warner Bros., TT Games, and Lego to Create Lego The Hobbit

WBIE_Color_LowResWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, and The Lego Group are making a new addition to the Lego videogame series: Lego The Hobbit. The game will bring filmmaker Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and the upcoming The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug to life as players are taken on quests and adventures throughout Middle-earth, joining Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf the Grey, and Thorin Oakenshield and Company.

Players will even visit key locations from the films, including Bag End, Bilbo’s Hobbit-hole in Hobbiton, as they solve countless puzzles, partake in treasure quests, and battle with orcs, trolls, and other foul things.

Lego The Hobbit is currently being developed by TT Games and will be available on Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vista, Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, and Windows PC and Mac, next year.

COMMENTARY: New Warner Bros. Licensed Games Look at Superheroes in a Different Light

I couldn’t be happier that 99 percent of all current movies—including Thor: The Dark World, due in theaters this week—seem to feature somebody in a cape or a miraculous suit of armor battling evil. Full disclosure: I was way into superhero comics when I was a kid. I managed to amass hundreds, which I kept in cardboard long boxes, re-reading them over and over throughout my tortured adolescence. I didn’t buy them for collecting purposes, thank goodness; years later, I traded in the entire lot for $10 and a key lime pie, and considered myself lucky to have gotten that much.

(Seriously, folks, if you started collecting comics during the 1990s or later, they’re not going to put your kid through college. It just won’t happen.)

My point is, I’m a huge superhero fan. However, I’ve started to feel super-saturated by all the licensed comic book-based movies and TV shows popping up of late. They always seem so serious, with all the world-saving and high drama, the death and epic romance and heroic posturing. It’s great the first time, pretty good the second, but around the umpteenth, I have to fight the urge to stand up and yell, “Hey, grown person in hockey pants! Aren’t we supposed to be having fun here?”

For that reason, I am grateful for the recent trend in video games based on licensed superhero properties, specifically those from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. While its offerings of late include the very seriously toned Batman: Arkham Origins, the company is also responsible for two titles that manage to be respectful of the superhero genre, while simultaneously turning it on its head in ways that are funny and downright fun. Both games are available now and suitable for kids ages 10 and up. [Read more...]

Warner Bros. and TT Games Unveil The Lego Movie Video Game

LEGO_LogoWarner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games announce that The Lego Movie Videogame will be available next year, alongside The Lego Movie, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures, and a toy collection of The Lego Movie building sets.

In a scenario drawn from the film, The Lego Movie Videogame puts Lego kids into the role of Emmet, an average Lego minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. Players guide him as he is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on a quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which Emmet is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared.

Players will also be able to collect and use Lego instruction pages to build construction sets or harness the power of the Master Builders to virtually build extraordinary Lego creations along the way. With more than 90 characters inspired by the film and 15 levels, kids can build and adventure like never before.

Pirates: On Stranger Tides Merchandise to Debut Beginning in March

At a pirate-themed preview event earlier this month, Disney Consumer Products unveiled a new toy line based on the upcoming fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, On Stranger Tides. The 3-D movie will release in theaters on May 20.

The On Stranger Tides toy assortment, debuting in stores beginning this March, will include figures and play sets with a special black light from Jakks Pacific. The black light accessory that comes with all four-inch figures, four-inch Legend Pack figures and accessories, and the Queen Anne’s Revenge play set unveils a secret reveal that turns the figures into zombies. Jakks will also introduce new strategy-based board games based on the movie this fall.

The Lego Group will introduce nine play sets based on the movie, including a buildable version of Queen Anne’s Revenge and the Whitecap Bay play set, in which Jack Sparrow and the other pirates encounter mermaids.

[Read more...]