|Min OS X: 10.6|
|LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Video Game|
February 29, 2012 | Ted Bade
The game makes use of a wheel control for both Jack Sparrow’s special compass and to select a specific member of a party to control. Control of the needle/pointer was ridiculous. To move the pointer you use the movement keys. But using these keys randomly moves the pointer one, two, or even three positions in a direction, making it almost impossible to quickly select a particular position. This is a critical issue in scenes where you need a particular character’s ability to resolve an issue with the environment or a boss, and the keyboard character select isn’t working properly. It is also frustrating when you are trying to use Jack Sparrow’s ability to locate hidden items and it takes several flicks of the controls to finally get the needle where you want it.
One thing I really dislike about this game is how long one needs to play before the game is saved. I realize that lacking regular saves is a challenge aspect of this type of title, but in this particular case it seemed a bit excessive to me. Depending upon your ability and familiarity with a section, it might take over an hour or more to complete the sections necessary for a save. You can pause the game and come back later, if you don’t mind tying your computer up, which is a good option since quitting loses all the progress you have made. So, when you finally master a particularly difficult movement sequence, you really are compelled to finish the level or face that deadly sequence again!
On a number of occasions the program just crashed. The worse was at the end of one chapter. The crash damaged the save file, which would then not load at all, forcing me to start over from the beginning. While the game is entertaining enough that this repetition wasn’t at all boring, it is still annoying to be forced to start over. Most other times when Pirates crashed, it was in the middle of a game and I just lost what progress I had made since the last save point. There were a couple of times when I simply lost control of the game, no controls worked at all. My only option was to force quit the game and start again.
While the animation sequences are cute and generally entertaining the first couple of times, they can be an annoyance while waiting to actually play after four or five viewings. If you complete a section, then choose to play it again, you can bypass the intro scene, and once you have a save file, you can bypass the intro animation to the game. However, if you are redoing your progress because of a crashed game, or if you quit, or if you choose to start another save file, you cannot bypass the animations. This was mainly an issue because crashes forced me to do everything over and over again. If something in your life occurs (which for me is inevitable) and you need to quit before finishing the level, you will be subjected to the animation each time you return.
There are a variety of digital sources of this game, as well as a boxed version. I could find no way to get either customer support or updates for my version. I tried the game’s official web site, and while it offered customer support allowing one to send a question, after a month of testing this game, I haven’t heard back from them. The updates on the site only support the boxed version. If you install the update, the game won’t run until you insert a CD (Which, obviously, you won’t have if you purchased the digital version). I wasn’t impressed at all with the support. If you buy it, you are essentially on your own.
Overall, this game is a real blast. It is a shame that the poor implementation of the controls and iffy integration into the MacOS gets in the way of truly enjoying LEGO Pirates. The game has both easy aspects and more challenging aspects of play. If you like to truly hone your skills, you can go back to any area completed and try again in both the regular (Story) and free play modes. If you have the time and patience, you can search for all the hidden treasures and areas. The game offers hours of entertainment and is worth considering even with the control issues.
• Entertaining game play and fun animations
• Fun fantasy world environment
• Implementation of the game controls is not good
• The game has a tendency to crash for no apparent reason
• Poor control can make difficult movement sequences truly frustrating
• Terrible customer support