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Video Game of the Week – LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

In the world of video games, the LEGO franchise is something of an anomaly, relying on blockbuster movie titles as an inspiration for a series of charming and often highly-entertaining adventure games.

The latest in the series, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean, is possibly the most ambitious LEGO game yet, taking on one of the most popular modern-day Disney franchises and covering all four movies, including On Stranger Tides which is due to be released later this month.

Like most of the other LEGO video games, Pirates of the Caribbean is a fast-paced platforming game in which players control small Lego-style figures – in this case, the characters from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. There is no dialogue in the game; instead Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and friends interact with each other through a series of beguiling – and often hilarious – gestures and expressions.

As the characters traverse castles, pirate ships and tropical environments, they swing swords and use ‘cartoony’ weapons to shoot pellet-like projectiles at pirates, skeletons, hostile natives, and enemy soldiers. There are 20 story levels in the game, five for each movie. As LEGO fans have come to expect, there are lots of things to collect along the way and extra goodies to unlock. The “Lego stud” remains the currency of choice and players have plenty of opportunity to accumulate and trade.

You can play Pirates alone or in local cooperative play. There is no online option. One feature that is new to Pirates is the ability to switch between characters, which you have to do quite often to solve certain puzzles. However, discovering which character has the skill-set that you are looking for is largely a matter of trial and error, which can in turns be highly entertaining or devilishly frustrating.

The graphics in Pirates are gorgeous, with much of the action taking place in lush, realistic-looking tropical environments. Even the numerous cutscenes show an incredible attention to detail and you never get tired of the cinematic backgrounds.

Even if you are not a huge fan of the movies, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean offers plenty of variety and more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. Despite one or two risqué moments that might prompt a few embarrassed giggles from younger kids, it’s also great family entertainment!

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is rated “E 10+” (cartoon violence, comic mischief) by the ESRB. Check out the ESRB video game ratings and content descriptors at ESRB.org

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios

Platform: Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC (Windows 7/Vista/XP), Mac, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS

Genre: Fantasy action/adventure

RRP: $29.99 to $49.99

Release Date: May 10, 2011

ESRB Rating: “E 10+” for Everyone 10 and older

Comment by Heidi Helene(@DreamFog), posted 5/22/2011, 4:20 PM:

Well, I posted yesterday that Jesse got this game. He's still pretty happy with it at the moment and playing game slot 2, BUT he beat the game this morning. I have to say I'm disappointed that he beat the game within 24 hours of buying the game. He just turned 7. I like the games that really make him think. With all the other Lego games it took weeks. I hope that HP yrs5-7 isn't as easy for him as the Pirates game was.
Comment by Heidi Helene, posted 5/21/2011, 8:27 PM:

Well, your teaser trailor did it. We had to make a trip to GameStop today to get the Lego Pirates game. Son has been pleading for it since we watched the teaser last week. He's in his room now kicking some pirate booty!
Comment by Heidi Helene, posted 5/14/2011, 6:31 PM:

My son is a huge fan of all the Lego games. He's conquered Lego Indiana Jones 1 and 2. Harry Potter Years 1-4. He's working on Lego Batman now. I know he's going to love the Pirates of the Caribean too. And he can hardly wait until HP Yrs 5-7 comes out.
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