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March 20, 2005

Comments

Mike Hommel

"the videogame is replacing the boardgame"

Such a crock! Boardgames are growing faster than ever! I have no evidence to support this, but I say if anything, the trend is the other way around. Both are growing, and videogames are much bigger at the moment, but boardgames are growing faster.

On a tangential note, what ROYALLY pisses me off about Lego is how they're destroying themselves. It used to be that a lego set consisted of a variety of ordinary pieces and instructions to put them together into something. Nowadays, legos are like 5 pieces all custom molded for that exact set, and it's just like a model you put together. I HATE THIS. They are destroying my childhood! Even their special line of "expert" or whatever sets, that are supposed to be like the old days have way more customized pieces than you'd ever see back then. I still remember when they changed (in the mid-80's...) from horses you put together from a bunch of pieces to 1-piece horses. It hurts, I tell you. The worst is all the little lego people. Used to be one face - a smile. Now there are hundreds, if not thousands - with beards, snarls, eyebrows, glasses, eyelashes... it's a nightmare. Imagination has been devoured.

When you buy your kid legos, just buy the piece buckets. For the sake of the future of the human race. Please.

Jeff L

I've played the demo, and, it's....weird. In a way, it's not a simulation of a simulation, since the whole Lego thing is ancillary. You don't build stuff from Legos, you *are* a lego. And all that seems to mean is rather than die, when you HP hits zero, you break up into pieces. Oh, and you can get points and power-ups that look like lego peices, too. Other than that, it just Star Wars game with lots of Force Powers & a Light Saber.

Jussi Kukkonen

I agree with Mike, I'm seeing a reneissance of board games too (my datapoint is in Helsinki, Finland). I've tried to analyze the phenomenon, and to me it seems that board games have learned from computer games -- non-static, variable playfields; resource allocating and emphasis on diplomacy/team work are all stuff I saw in computer games first. Sure, some hard core strategy board games did have those elements before, but the packaging of these new board games is very 'video game' style.

Just take a look at Settlers of Catan and Carcassonne, and compare with Civilization and RTS games...

Slink Jadranko

I'm not sure how I feel about this, though I guess I should check out the demo at some point. But everytime a Lego game is mentioned, it just makes me wish more and more for someone to make Oop!, from Microserfs. Now that would be cool! More than just the joy of Lego, without the worry of kneeling on one of those damn bricks...

Tom

Lego as a company is in bad shape, their chairman or whatever has just stepped back recently. Their business has been getting worse and worse for years now - and they are blaming video games for it.

I guess the trend with more and more custom pieces and new faces is a result of, and not a reason for this. They are desperately trying to find new ways to appeal to the kids. That's why they got into the licensing SW and Harry Potter stuff back in 1999 or so, or why there's a 'Bionicles' cartoon (how can they call that shit Lego at all?).

But should we really be surprised at this? I'm afraid the answer is that it's pretty predictable. Video games look and feel and sound a lot cooler than what most kids could imagine for themselves, no wonder they'd rather spend their time with them. And I guess it's also a matter of what the parents would buy to their kids...

Walter

Blockland, which is essentially virtualized Legos from the perspective of Legomen, is awesome.

http://www.blockland.us/blockland/index.asp?

This Lego Star Wars game is dumb. I don't actually get to use Lego logic to solve problems? Waste of a license.

Foo Bar

Did we announce USM?

M to the Vizzah

Yes, USM was announced long ago.

For those of you addicted to Legos and fantasizing about Oop!, from a Treyarch programmer: http://leocad.org

Jamie, you do know that Star Wars Legos have been around forever? Lego is totally a franchise thing now, it's very sad. I buy some pieces from the city sets occasionally which is the last "plain" one.

m.

Etali

I played Bionicle, which was vaguely fun - most of the other lego games weren't though.

Lego does a lot of franchise stuff these days - Transformers, Lord of the Rings, etc. I do agree about them not being 'the same' as they were - things like extra facial expressions don't matter to me, but the over-priced, fragile, molded things they make annoy me.

I might give this new one a look, just because I can't resist Star Wars - typical of me to encourage companies to milk a franchise for all it's worth.

Corvus Elrod

I, too, played the demo a bit. It's not great, but it's not terrible. I enjoyed the concept of needing different characters with different skills for the environmental puzzles, but I hated the lack of character control.

The stylized movement and character expression that's a result of the characters being built with Lego is probably the main thing the game has going for it...

Brett Douville

I'm with you, Jamie, I totally don't get this cross-over. Lego: Star Wars: The Action Adventure Computer Game.

That said, it's probably better than more than half of the Star Wars stuff LucasArts has put out since Episode I hit theaters┬╣. LucasArts isn't publishing it -- it may well be that someone in the marketing dept. there agrees with you.

┬╣I respectfully put the Star Wars stuff *I* put out in the other half.

killarkai

Lego should make a game around the idea of Lego itself - building stuff.

Big Jake

A note on "custom built pieces" Actually, I recently put together the huge AT-AT kit, and was impressed on their use of the wrenches as the guns, I had no idea that was coming till I saw it in the instructions. And to think the that old "ray guns" from the 80s are the same that they use the SW universe legos, although very much not like any at all. The great thing with Legos is that any of these pieces from kits today will still work from those of the 70's, so there really isn't anything too special about them anyways, just improvements and new ideas.

As for their values... this was a very lengthy but interesting article about the company's history and their trials on overcoming the new market. www.fastcompany.com/online/50/lego.html

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game