Should You Buy? LEGO Jurassic World

Oh, this terrifying scene that gave me nightmares as a child is funny now because it's LEGO! Maybe...

Well here's a series I've never tackled before, personally or professionally. I've been aware of the LEGO games for years, but I've never played one before.

This is actually four bite-sized games bundled together, based on the four Jurassic Park films. You play through small levels based on scenes from the movies. Each scene is peppered with visual gags and lines taken directly from the movies. It's cute and family-friendly and charming. If we're going purely by concept, I'd rate this game highly.

Each of the levels has secondary objectives and small puzzles. You can swap out characters to solve contextual puzzles, and replay all the levels in a freeplay mode to get the bonuses you missed the first time. I enjoyed the whimsy and gentle teasing of the movies.

So the game itself is good. The port I played was not.

I bought this game for my 3DS, because I haven't bought any new games for my little handheld for a while. I thought when I did so that it would be the same game as the versions for the "proper" consoles despite the fact that it was only half the price. I ought to have known better.

While I was playing the game, I kept getting the impression that something was missing, as cutscenes would abruptly end and several gags seemed to have no relation to current events. So I did a little research. It turns out that the version available for the 3DS is pretty much an inconsistent, poorly sliced-up version of the game. I don't mind things being smaller or even shorter, but this port seems to have made cuts in all the wrong places.

For example, in one scene in the Jurassic Park section a dino handler pulls a sausage out of his pocket to snack on (don't giggle) and gamekeeper Muldoon snatches it out of his hands and flings it away. In the 3DS version, this comes out of nowhere and makes no sense. When I saw the cutscenes for the XB1 version, I saw that this was the pay-off for a joke in a prologue cutscene where the Big Velociraptor grabs and eats someone's sausage dinner (as opposed to the actual dino handler in the movie). But because that cutscene was left out of the 3DS version, the punchline is orphaned.

The audio is also horrendous in the 3DS version. The lines from the movie have been compressed so badly that they're barely audible, yet the supplementary dialogue is set to normal volume. This inconsistency between normal dialogue and quiet movie lines meant I mostly kept the sound off. The sounds the dinos make are very annoying, as they usually only have one roar and repeat it over and over again.

I like the humor I saw in the game, but it seemed as though I got the wrong version. For the first time, I might have to buy the game a second time in order to get the full experience.

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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