Author Topic: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover  (Read 7734 times)

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Offline Crimm

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RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« on: October 02, 2016, 12:58:47 PM »
Here is the official RetroActive thread for our next RetroActive - LEGO City Undercover. Post your thoughts and discussions here and we may use them on the show.
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Offline azeke

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2016, 01:29:22 PM »
One of the first surprising things about this game is that is is dubbed into everything: german, french, even russian.

High, cinema quality dub into all european languages is very rare to see, only very high profile games receive it.

I suspect LEGO paid for this because they tried to make LEGO City project more of a thing, with this game and animated shorts on TV. I really can't think Nintendo agreeing to this.

Then why LEGO put it on Wii U only -- i don't know. Maybe it was Bayonetta 2 situation where Nintendo agreed  to pay for the completion of LEGO's inhouse big long-term game project at the cost of making it exclusive?
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Offline Lemonade

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2016, 08:20:03 AM »
Im very glad this got voted in, I love this game. I would say Im a fan of the Lego game series, I own 13 of the games and I have finished them all except one (Indiana Jones). I would say Lego City on the Wii U is easily the best one of them all.
I think it not being tied to an existing series gave them the freedom to make it however they liked. It turned out amazingly well. There were many funny moments and exploring the world was always fun.

Its just a pity they didnt put as much effort into the 3DS prequel. It wasnt bad, but I was disappointed with it after the Wii U version.

Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2016, 01:19:49 PM »
My biggest complaint with LEGO City Undercover is how much of the content found when roaming around is locked until you finish (or at very least, progress deeply into) the game.


For anyone new coming into the game, I'd almost recommend focusing on the story as tightly as possible until it's completed and then to enjoy the sense of discovery and exploration that the world deserves - after you've unlocked the special abilities that are used time and again, at almost every turn.  Of course, approaching the game this way robs it of some of the fun early on because I think that (despite good writing and a solid structure) it's been exploring the sandbox content that was most entertaining part of the game for me...


Regardless, this is a great little game. Every time I play, something makes me literally break out laughing - maybe an off-handed comment by an NPC passing by, some unlikely scenario unfolding before my eyes, or a piece of sweet Nintendo fan service hidden away in the game world. What more could you really ask from a video game?
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2016, 01:23:44 PM »
It's funny you say that, ejamer, because the open world-ness is exactly what my least favorite part of the game was.  I'm basing this off of memory because I haven't picked Lego City: Undercover back up to start over with retroactive yet, but I remember it being horribly empty, uninteresting, and not motivating to go searching for the collectibles.


I mean, for this type of game, I didn't find the open world an impediment to playing it, but it was at best an OK window dressing to the story missions.


I need to get started on this game tonight, so I know i'm not talking out my rear here.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2016, 02:56:49 PM »
...
I mean, for this type of game, I didn't find the open world an impediment to playing it, but it was at best an OK window dressing to the story missions.
...


Might depend on what you want from that portion of the game.


For me, the open world part means just looking around to see what's there - and I always find something that catches my interest. Granted, there isn't anything important or meaningful, no real missions or optional content that opens up... but there is always something cute or interesting to find when travelling through the world, some new ledge just out of reach that taunts me to look for new pathways.


If I was playing just for the story, LEGO City Undercover would be a fine game. The fact that the story works and the game world is filled with cute or humorous references pushes this to a game that I really enjoyed though.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2016, 03:02:23 PM »
One of the first surprising things about this game is that is is dubbed into everything: german, french, even russian.

High, cinema quality dub into all european languages is very rare to see, only very high profile games receive it.

I suspect LEGO paid for this because they tried to make LEGO City project more of a thing, with this game and animated shorts on TV. I really can't think Nintendo agreeing to this.

Then why LEGO put it on Wii U only -- i don't know. Maybe it was Bayonetta 2 situation where Nintendo agreed  to pay for the completion of LEGO's inhouse big long-term game project at the cost of making it exclusive?


As someone who plays with kids often, the fact that everything is voiced (and in the language of your choice) is a huge deal. My children are old enough they want to play games, but one is too young to read and the other is still in early stages of learning. LEGO City Undercover is one of a small number of games I own that doesn't solely target young audiences, but does fully support them.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2016, 12:02:42 AM »
What I'm noticing is that it's much more fun when you're just playing through the missions then it is to scour through them for collectibles.

Also the Jetpack just breaks the game's platforming into a million pieces. I love it.
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Offline Fatty The Hutt

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2016, 02:26:24 PM »
I agree with ejamer that I wish this game had a better balance between free-roaming and story missions. I think the first lego marvel game got that balance just right.
Even when returning to story missions on free-play I remember being frustrated that you still couldn't 100% the mission without having finished the story because only then would all the required costumes be unlocked. That was disappointing. I would have liked to alternate between story and free play missions more frequently. I like doing the free play version of a mission soon after the story because then the level layout and flow is still fresh in your mind.
But that gripe aside, I think it's a wonderful game bursting with creativity and fun things to do. The writing is often very chuckle-worthy and I like the plays on cop-movie stereotypes. And Frank Honey is juts the best. He's so funny.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2016, 03:26:17 PM »
When did you guys get the game?  Did you only buy recently, after the re-release at a lower price?


I wonder what sales figures for LEGO City Undercover looked like, because usually LEGO games take a steep price cut early on... but this game was held at a premium price for a long time (both retail and digital) and then simply became unavailable thought many normal channels.  It's also unusual for a LEGO game to not have a built-in audience because of the licensed theme it's built on - Marvel, Batman, Star Wars, etc.
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Offline Lemonade

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 09:33:36 PM »
I bought it at launch. It even came with Chase's minifig

Offline Fatty The Hutt

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2016, 05:16:02 PM »
I bought at or close to launch and played it through pretty much right away. I bought digitally.
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2016, 10:41:20 PM »
I think I bought it in the first half of 2014 in a sale, I forget exactly when. I believe I played for around five hours or so before I got distracted by another game and forgot to go back to it. I'm not sure why that happened, as I remember liking the game and wanting to see how the city opens up, as well as enjoying the story and characters. The lack of co-op may have been the thing to turn me away, since that's the best feature in other Lego games that's sadly missing here.

Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2016, 03:23:01 PM »
... I got distracted by another game and forgot to go back to it. I'm not sure why that happened, ...


Let me guess: you got distracted in the middle of a loading screen and forgot to come back? Because I could definitely see that happening.


(Kidding, although loading times are ridiculous in some cases.)



Quote
The lack of co-op may have been the thing to turn me away, since that's the best feature in other Lego games that's sadly missing here.


This is a notable downside to the game. When I think of LEGO video games, co-op play is the first thing that jumps to mind... and while LEGO City Undercover is still a game I enjoy a great deal it's a shame that it doesn't offer any options in that regard.


I'm assuming that it's because this is one of very few games where they tried to make the Wii U GamePad indispensable - and I think they came reasonably close. The way that controller is used for different features in-game, and to display audio and video in some cases, is generally pretty compelling. Those features could have just been restricted to the first player in a co-op mode though...
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Offline Mop it up

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2016, 04:11:07 PM »
Let me guess: you got distracted in the middle of a loading screen and forgot to come back? Because I could definitely see that happening.
ZING!

I actually don't recall load times being a problem, however I think I was playing some PS2 games at the time so it probably seemed quick in comparison!

Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2016, 08:05:41 PM »
...
I actually don't recall load times being a problem, however I think I was playing some PS2 games at the time so it probably seemed quick in comparison!

Double ZING!  ;D


The loading times don't bother me that much because they aren't frequent... but when you hit a 30-second loading screen (maybe entering the police station, or when the game starts) it can be somewhat frustrating to be left watching a progress bar crawl across the screen.

When playing with my kids, these are dedicated "booty shaking" time so we all get up and dance.
When playing on my own, it's more like "go find some food" time.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 08:08:19 PM by ejamer »
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Offline Jonnyboy117

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2016, 01:09:06 PM »
I'm generally trying to avoid buying games right now, but I will make an exception for RetroActive and download this one at the Nintendo Selects price. It will be the first Lego game I've ever bought and maybe the first I've played more than a demo or for an hour with friends.
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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #17 on: October 23, 2016, 12:14:57 PM »
LCU took the established gameplay mechanics of LEGO games, added some twists via costumes and invited you to explore the vast city with slick presentation, graphics and stunning writing and delivery. If only Nintendo had actively pushed the game further it may have done better. Minor advertising and a lack of store presence was disappointing. Especially as the game launched when the WiiU was desperate for titles and market presence.
A gem of a game with love oozing out of every brick, LCU is a fantastic homage to buddy cop movies and a title that surprises more than many other open world games do.

The bigger shame was how the title didn't galvanise WiiU sales as potentially expected with such a a big game and brand; especially with children.

As it stands, LCU is destined to go down as a gem for the system and to appear on top ten lists when looking back at WiiU in years to come.

And that ending...Stunning!
« Last Edit: October 23, 2016, 12:17:58 PM by Tapedeck »

Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #18 on: October 24, 2016, 08:31:54 AM »

Do you guys have any memorable secrets or hidden sights that were particularly appealing?


I don't remember all of them, but do remember really enjoying every time a Nintendo-themed secret was found. Little things like Cheep Cheeps or Warp Pipes hidden in different corners the game. I also spent way too much time trying to reach the wiggler crawling around above one of the train tunnels.


There are Mario-style coin boxes you can discover too - but I don't know yet what happens if you find them all. Hoping for something cool (wouldn't a LEGO-styled Wario costume look awesome) but not really expecting much. Please use spoilers if you talk about it!


It's probably lame, but I liked it when Wii U games offered this kind of (usually hidden, or at least under the radar) fan service for Nintendo gamers. There were a handful of others that did similar thing: Need for Speed Most Wanted and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 both come to mind.
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Offline Lemonade

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #19 on: October 24, 2016, 08:41:17 PM »
It has been so long since I played it that I cant really remember specifics. I just know I really enjoyed exploring the world of the game.

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #20 on: October 25, 2016, 02:21:02 PM »
There was a fantastic Mario sunshine-related 'Shine Get' Easter egg. That was a great little nod to Nintendo. I also liked the superstar balloon and the Mario hat you could pick up.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2016, 02:44:22 PM »
The last act of Lego City Undercover's story features quite easily the greatest visual spectacle you can experience on the Wii U.
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Offline ejamer

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Re: RFN RetroActive #37: LEGO City Undercover
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2016, 08:53:05 AM »
The last act of Lego City Undercover's story features quite easily the greatest visual spectacle you can experience on the Wii U.


I beat the game but totally don't know what you are talking about.


Do you mean the fall back to earth?  It's pretty awesome, but I don't know about it being the greatest visual spectacle on Wii U. I feel like some Bayonetta 2 moments were just as visually intense.  My memory of that part of the game is a bit faded now though...


Using the spoiler tag, please tell us more!
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