Oh no! A new threat by the name of Ronin has stolen the memories of the Ninjas of Ninjago using the Obsidian Glaive (nevermind they can’t tell a story without messing up the details in the first place) and it’s up to the Ninjas to get them back…while smashing stuff for studs on the way. Because hey, Lego video game.
It’s funny that some gamers are the most sad not when a game is rubbish overall but when it’s fun and well done but something holds it back from enjoying it fully. It could be graphics which are too messy, a game being a buggy mess or just using the controls is a frustrating affair make you play for less time then you’d like to. It’s the latter that Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin, from Travelers Tales, suffers from.
Okay, Shadow of Ronin isn’t the best Lego game by a longshot with it being very shallow, having unskippable cutscenes, contains glitches such as falling through the floor and the formula itself starting to show its stale side. But it feels almost at home on the mobile market and Shadow of Ronin is still a game that brings out the inner completionist among most of us, making us groan when we lose one stud, nevermind many when you die.
The graphics have a PlayStation 2 HD feel to them, which you’ll either find to be “meh” or have a fondness to them. At the very least the bright colours are used well and the levels look decent, even if they sometimes have an empty feel to them (not enough things to smash is perhaps why it feels like this).
The music is average but the voice acting helps make the dialogue very amusing, in a dumb Saturday morning cartoon kind of way. It’s a credit to Shadow of Ronin that the goofy plot is what another factor which make keep plugging away at this game.
Unlockables and level-achievements (such as not dying on a certain section) help flesh this game out but whenever you’ll stick with it in the long run depends on the controls. You have a choice between two, but since “Casual Controls” are out of the question (its way too fiddly to use) you’ll be stuck with Virtual D-Pad. It just about works but many times it will act stiff or having you overshoot your movements. The fact that the D-Pad is stuck in place and appearing wherever you thumb is pressed on the iPad and it can be just as easy to miss the D-pad.
It’s not quite a deal-breaker but it can mean you get fed up and quit playing for a while after completing one level. If you can learn to live or deal with the somewhat iffy controls, then this is a game that is enjoyable on goofy levels and will last a good while as per the norm of Lego video games.
Download Lego Ninjago: Shadow of Ronin on the App Store.