Welcome to a series that I hope extends for a long time because I hate it when there’s nothing going on and I can’t post at least twice a week: my Lego Jurassic World review! For the first few posts I’ll be reviewing the game’s cutscenes, and after that I’ll start on gameplay. I know everyone’s way more excited about gameplay (probably because of the chance to make your own hybrid dinosaurs and everything) but I’ve been hyped for the cutscenes for quite a while. I can’t wait to watch and review all of them bit by bit, because it should be cute and hilarious.
From having watched this ahead of time, I got one thing clear in my head: My expectations were too high. I know, I know, I just said I was really excited about it and I’ve been saying that this will be the best game ever for a while, but I set the bar too high. I don’t usually play Lego games because I am not a gamer in any sense of the word, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of the animation and stuff, and so I ended up expecting something on the level of The Lego Movie. I expected the level of detail and intricacy– both in the animation and the storyline– to be on the level of the movie and not a regular video game, which was a mistake. If I sound disheartened during this review, that’s why. Otherwise, though, the game met and exceeded my expectations! Let’s take a look, starting with the first movie. Keep in mind that these are just the cutscenes, so it’ll jump around sort of abruptly, and I’m really just reviewing the basic outline and the stuff I particularly like.
We begin with the raptor-loading scene, of course, and with two recurring trends: hot dogs and the deliberate avoidance of anything scary or suspenseful. The first is silly but excusable, and I didn’t mean the second as a bad thing. It’s a LEGO game, we aren’t here for the Jaws treatment.
The hot dog thing was because instead of Jophery’s arm being graphically devoured, the hot dog gets chowed on by the raptor instead. This is how the whole game is– silly, based off the source material with a couple of alterations, and food-based. Anyway, I don’t feel bad for Jophery’s hot dog. He should have been having a churro in the first place. That’s one of the official Jurassic World foods now, dontcha know? (Now that I think about it, I’m severely disappointed in the lack of churro mentions in Jurassic World. We could’ve had Churro Guy instead of Margarita Guy.)
No yellowed, poorly-kept teeth on Muldoon. I am disappoint.
There’s a short scene of these two at the dig site. I’m glad their outfits are correct and not just the ones they wear for the rest of the movie; also, does Alan say “No, not velociraptor” at any point during the movie? He says it here and it sounds authentic (a lot of these characters, such as Muldoon, are voiced entirely through clips from the movie) but I can’t remember that particular line. And someone should make that Paleontology Assistant lady into an OC. Technically she’s canon, so I wouldn’t be as annoyed as I am by other ~~super speshul assistant~~ OCs.
I had to commemorate the hand-holding. A moment of silence for this beautiful, now-sunken ship.
Hammond is, of course, voiced entirely by Richard Attenborough. The scene where he meets the two paleontologists is very rushed, but a lot of things are in this game; it plays very much on the assumption that you’re at least a moderate JP fan and that you know what happens in the movie by heart. And if you’ve spent $50 on a Lego JP game, this is a pretty fair assumption to make.
There are a couple of cutscenes that we’ve seen already and that I’ve consequently already reviewed. The helicopter scene is one of them, so I think it’s safe to mostly skip past it. Same with the brachiosaur scene, except for this bit with Lego Gennaro:
A lot of iconic lines (Hammond’s “In 48 hours, I’ll be accepting your apology”, Malcolm’s “Don’t you mean extinct?”) and scenes (the amber mine scene, Nedry and Dodgson’s meeting) are dropped; again, because they assume you already know the movie by heart. That’s fortunate, because without the setup for Nedry’s plot, not all of this would make sense. We’re really here for the jokes. Case in point, a minute of witty banter on the stairs is replaced by dead silence and a guy with a fossil stuck on his head:
The Mr. DNA video bears very little resemblance to the original:
That’s another assumption I made that turned out to be wrong. From the trailers, I thought the whole game would be a painstaking homage to the original, crafted by hardcore JP fanboys fueled by Mountain Dew and a burning desire for fame in their Jurassic Park forum circles. However, although I don’t know much about the game’s backstory so I can’t tell you about the creators personally, this doesn’t seem to be entirely the case. It’s a tribute to the movies, sure, but it’s not a recreation of the film like I thought it would be. These people took liberties, and there’s nothing wrong with that, they just went for the easy route sometimes by animating things in simpler graphics instead of taking the time to perfectly recreate these iconic moments (which isn’t true all of the time; for instance, the Jeep attack scene). In other words, the creators valued the jokes and wider audience appeal more than the approval of the movies’ serious fan base. And, again, there’s nothing wrong with that– not being screen-accurate doesn’t detract from the game’s overall value. It’s just not what I had my money on.
It’s also disappointingly sparing with the Malcolm speeches, although it captures his looks of disgust beautifully well. I haven’t watched much of the Jurassic World cutscenes yet, but I really hope it does the same with Masrani. Here, by the way, is Malcolm’s idle animation. When he doesn’t have anyone around to flirt with, he just kind of stands around rolling water drops off his hands and grinning like a maniac about it. Just watch this loser:
I feel like I should also mention that the game follows a storied tradition among bad fanfiction writers– it has him declare that things are “the essence of chaos”, even when the term barely applies and the phrase is sort of inappropriate for the situation (in this case, a man about to be viciously torn apart by raptors). Congratulations, Lego guys. Come by later to collect your FF.net membership card:
But they did do something great in this scene. They recreated one of my favorite shots from the trilogy:
Everyone else is horrified, but Hammond– Hammond can do nothing but smile and whisper, “But the fun is only beginning.”
I have made it my personal mission to document every hand grab/ shoulder touch/ other bodily contact between Alan and Ellie in this game, simply because we haven’t had any new canon interactions between them in years since JP3 destroyed our dreams. Anyway, shoulder touch.
The Lego kids are very adorable, and they show up during the raptor feeding for the sake of time. This means that the Hammonds have a delightful family reunion and share a hug while, for all they know, a man is being torn limb from limb right behind their backs.
Just like in the movie, Malcolm reaches out and holds the kids back to make sure they’re safe. I don’t have any feelings about that at all. None. Stop looking at me like that.
The car-flirting scene is cut down on, possibly in an attempt to play Ellie up as even more of an action heroine than she already is, not someone who just lets people hit on her in Jeeps. Actually, I just wanted to show this because of Alan’s (who, faithfully to the source material, manages to completely ignore the fact that a stranger is hitting on his girlfriend a foot away) expression.
The triceratops scene is adorable and full of the original scene’s wonder…
…until it isn’t.
D’aww, happy ending!
Grant, Muldoon and Malcolm are voiced entirely with the original movie’s clips, Ellie’s voice is a blend of a voice actress (who does an amazing job) and Laura Dern, and the jury’s still out on Arnold and Nedry. If their voices are indeed impersonators, wow. Hats off to them. I mean, I don’t know how lucrative the profession of “Wayne Knight impersonator” is, but you could probably make a good few bucks with this kind of thing and by posing for pictures in Times Square.
You never quite know when Ellie will show up behind you, but when she does, she will be as silent as the breeze. She will stand behind you, completely still. She will wait. She will watch.
That’s all I have for now because I’m hoping to drag this out for kind of a while, but rest assured that I plan to actually follow through with this review. Next week we’ll get to the T. rex attack scene!