Review: LEGO Battles for the Nintendo DS

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I don’t get a bonerd for LEGOs like some people I know whose names start with a J and end with an S and work for a site that rhymes with shmimono, but I have fond memories of spending countless hours as a youth erecting LEGO fortresses and castles and whatever else my imagination could conjure up. It was always about smashing the other fortress and kicking some tiny LEGO ass, but that was at least 20 years ago. Now fast forward to 2009 and while I still like to kick ass, I enjoy doing it on a much smaller scale. Enter LEGO Battles for the Nintendo DS.

If you’re a hardcore RTS gamer then Battles isn’t really for you, but it’s still fun to see tiny LEGO pirates, knights and moon men duke it out on the small screen. However, the charm dissipates rather quickly into story mode one of six. Think of Battles as an introductory course to real time strategy games. I hate RTS, but found LEGO Battles to be amusing and worth the time to review.

The cut scenes are fairly amusing and I have to say that the tiny actors portraying LEGO characters are hilarious, which made me laugh out loud. Multiplayer is about as good as your chosen opponent allows. In other words, find someone who is good at RTS and multiplayer can be pretty sweet on Battles. Another highlight is the free play mode where you can mix and match troops from the Space, Pirates and Castle series to do your bidding.

LEGO Battles isn’t perfect, though. With such a small screen on the DS (and even DSi), trying to control your troops when there’s so much going on can be a challenge. The artificial intelligence is pretty dumb and I spent a few minutes cursing them out when they decided to get lost or stop doing their jobs. Can you imagine a grown man yelling at a video game on a packed plane? Yeah, that was me over the weekend.

I enjoyed Battles but it’s not for everyone. Seasoned RTS gamers will want to pass unless they plan on handing it down to junior RTS nerds in the making. If anything, LEGO titles like Battles are much better than the licensed titles that involve non-LEGO characters like Batman. Just saying.

LEGO Battles

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Here’s a cut scene in glorious HD.

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