Tag Archives: Gandalf

Lego: Dimensions First Impressions and Hilarity

Captain America and I are overwhelmingly, completely done with politics and this election season. I mentioned needing a break in last week’s post and this week has been no different. Of course, that’s hard to tell from my Twitter (shameless plug) and Facebook feeds, but I find I’m too opinionated to keep quiet on certain issues, et alors c’est la vie. But on debate night, we found ourselves in dire need of something more fun to do. Whereas the first debate we played a drinking game in which we had to take a sip every time we talked back to the TV (it did not go well…) we decided that was too dangerous for a Wednesday and the last debate, and wanted to avoid it entirely.

His birthday was recently, and a friend gave us Lego Dimensions and an additional game pack (Doctor Who for the win!) as a present. If you’re not familiar with the idea of Lego Dimensions, let me tell you, we weren’t either when we received it. After a lot of “oh I guess you do this and…oh you build the Legos and then play hooked up to them?” discussions that made us sound really old and confused, we decided building the main portal piece, the characters that come with the main game (Batman, Wyldstyle, and Gandalf), and then playing some video games sounded like a perfect way to pass the evening instead of torturing ourselves with the debate.

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Oh so shiny (and Capt. America’s hand in the way, gah!)

So we sat over dinner, building Legos together because WE’RE TOTALLY ADULTS and how hard could it be after building an entire (not an exaggeration) house full of IKEA furniture together? If our marriage can survive IKEA instructions over the course of two whole weeks, it’s essentially immune to everything else life throws our way. So we spent dinner cracking jokes about building things together and drinking wine, and after dinner we were ready to hook up the cool portal pad to our PS3 and start playing. We were super excited to see how this thing works, and what the levels would be like. That’s when we discovered that apparently the game has been out long enough that there’s already a patch that took 45+ minutes to download and install before we could play it.

And that’s the story of how I ended up watching the debate anyway.

 

via GIPHY

Since then, I think it’s safe to say that we have maybe played 15-30 minutes of the game itself. After the debate we began to, but Dimensions involves building other pieces as you go. For example, the starter box comes with the pieces for the Batmobile piece, but not the printed instructions. You get those at a certain point after playing the game, and it’s a literal part of the story/game to build it before continuing. After starting up the game finally once the download of the patch completed, we dove into the game only to almost immediately come upon the need to build the Batmobile. Captain America was already falling asleep and needed to get up early, so we had to take a break. We tried playing again last night, and almost immediately after building the Batmobile the game froze and we had to restart our PS3. We booted it back up and started playing, and then Captain America started yawning and we called it a night after maybe only twenty minutes. I’m looking forward to trying again this weekend, because it’s definitely a cool concept and I think it will be an incredibly fun game. So far my takeaways are this:

-Download the game/patch while building the portal! You can wait until you start up the game to build the portal, but it comes with printed instructions and we preferred building it first. If only we’d known about the patch, we could have avoided the debate. Sigh…

-The portal and its pad are actually important as you play through the video game; so far we’ve already come across a boss fight that included having to move character pieces upon the portal pad as a component of the fight to avoid bad stuff thrown by the boss. Sit near the pad while playing so you’re not going “oh crap!” like we were.

-The ability to add on different universes, excuse me, dimensions, is actually really fun because it allows customization and also a possibly never-ending game. Think of the expansions! Also, interestingly enough, if a character in a game add-on you do not have is needed for special abilities, say destroying silver Lego pieces to get at special items, the game gives you the option of “renting a hero” for 30 seconds, and it only costs in-game money. A fantastic solution to a game that involves adding on levels and characters through real world money so that those who cannot do so can work to solve problems in game instead. Brilliant!

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, A Litflix

The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug Movie PosterI finished reading The Hobbit and I have watched the second movie in the trilogy and now it is time to tell you what I thought. I think part of the issue comes out that the story is really a simple adventure, with a lot of action, but it is never as dire as the movies make it out to be. Therefore when you try and turn the book in to three movies you end up having to change a few things. In the first movie I thought they did a pretty good job sticking to the book, even though they only made it a third of the way through. They added some little things, some big things, but there were only a few moments that I felt were not true to the heart of the book. 

Now the problem is that at the beginning you have to start from the same place, but the more you add and change the further away from the book you will get as you move forward. Especially when you add elements that are supposed to stick around for all the movies. In the first movie we start out adding in a group of orcs chasing the dwarves along their quest, because the quest itself was not dangerous enough. Then you also add in Gandalf having suspicions about the dark being on the move and old enemies rising. Once you introduce these, then you have to keep them up, but as in the case of the second movie it means you have to veer further away from the story the book told to focus on the other elements that you have added. Many of the great parts in the book are shortened, Beorn, Spiders, Barrels, to add time for the orcs and Gandalf hunting down the Necromancer.

The other part is that they seemed to want to focus on the epic parts of the story and make them bigger. Someone decided that the scenes with Beorn, the spiders, and others were not interesting enough so we had to either make them shorter or add elements to make them bigger. Then with Smaug they got such a good actor, they decided to make it a much bigger scene. The problem is that the book really does a good job of telling the story that needs to be told and not adding superfluous elements. (Spoilers for The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug after the jump) Continue reading