|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Hellbent Games||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jun. 10, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Although the gameplay is fun and very solid, there were a few things that could have been done better. For instance, I enjoyed making very large bases and building up large amounts of troops for my missions. However, I was dismayed when I discovered that you are only allowed to take a total of nine troops out at a time, and any other units must be left behind or brought separately. Although this does make for a simpler game, as a longtime RTS fan, I couldnt help but cry foul just a little bit.
Another thing that I found a little disappointing with LEGO battles was the A.I. While dragging groups of nine units, sometimes I would only see seven or eight individual units following, as some poor fellow had gotten stuck behind a tree or had gotten off course somehow. This is especially frustrating when I have built an extra-large force and have to manage all the lost characters from two or three troops of nine that I am attempting to move simultaneously.
Still, despite these few faults, I do think that LEGO Battle is a worthy RTS. Although it is not the most complex, I certainly had fun with it, and I found several excuses to come back to it. Although there are only six different story modes, you can also design your own LEGO Battle experience using the free play mode. This mode allows you to use any unlocked units on any unlocked map, and it even lets you set your own conditions and rules. There is also a multi-cart multiplayer that lets you form competitive strategies against local opponents.
Visuals and sound are both on par with previous LEGO games. The visual look of the game is quite sharp, and I was especially impressed with the animation quality of the cutscenes. In-game graphics are a little bit more basic, and they feature sprite units and pixel-based environments. Although the in-game visuals are not all that technically remarkable, I have to say that when I considered the size and scope of the levels, I was still impressed with the overall visual style in-game as well.
The sound scheme in the game is also very high quality. The cutesy LEGO voiceovers are still here and, though they are completely unintelligible, are still amazingly humorous. The level music is fun to listen to as well, and it varies nicely throughout the different themed levels.
Although I really liked LEGO Battles, it isnt a game for everyone. If you are a hard-liner RTS fan who craves challenges like those found in PixelJunk Monsters or Final Fantasy Tactics, than you might find this title a little too simple. However, if you can appreciate the LEGO brand of humor, and you dont mind a fairly forgiving RTS, then this game is a ton of fun and I cant recommend it highly enough. The construction elements and simple strategy gameplay definitely dont present the most ominous challenge, but they are fun and different enough to keep the gameplay interesting. Just dont go to pieces if you fail a mission!
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor