Lego my controller!

First let me say that in MY OWN youth, nothing was better than wasting a whole day away building crazy things out of Lego pieces. I used to build everything from cars to planes to spaceships for hours on end. In Lego's attempt to jump into the era of electronic entertainment, they have started hitting up popular movie series and making them into amazing and hilarious Lego adaptations. Both the Star Wars Trilogy and the Indiana Jones movies have been made into video game series with the Batman movies being released soon.

The Lego games follow the movies almost to the letter, but they add hilarious kid-friendly comedy and the game centers around pulling Lego pieces together to perform tasks. So let's talk about the games individually.

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga: (360, PS3, Wii, PS2, DS) ESRB: E10+
http://starwars.lego.com/en-us/videogame/default.aspx

The Lego Star Wars game is pretty amazing if you ask me and follows all of the Star Wars movies from episodes 1-6 in a giant collection. You can play as any character from any of the six movies, with many characters as unlockables. The movies are broken down into episodes (levels) and run the gamut from typical side-scrollers to first-person spaceship flying. Lego pieces are put together using the "force" to build bridges, vehicles and other useful items. Out of the three, the Star Wars version is my favorite, but hey, I'm a Star Wars geek.

Lego Indiana Jones: (360, Wii, PS2, DS, PC) ESRB: E10+
http://indianajones.lego.com/en-US/videogame/default.aspx

Lego Indy is the second game Lego put out in their series and they took everything good from Lego Star Wars and made it better. In Lego Indy there are 60 characters to unlock and play and they can now pick up items and use them as well as climb, swim and do other menial tasks. Lego Indy runs through Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade. Also, for all those concerned (as I was for my son), all of the scary parts of the movie were taken out and replaced with comedic cut scenes making it a hilarious good time.

Lego Batman: (PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, PSP, DS, PC) ESRB: E10+
Release Date Sept 23rd, 2008 (official website not yet available)

Unlike the other two games, Lego Batman has a completely original storyline. Players can choose from a cast of characters such as Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Joker, Penguin, Catwoman, Scarecrow and many, many more. Lego boasts that this game collection will outdo both of the pervious titles, again with comedic undertones. Expect your kids to fight and laugh their way through Gotham City and it surroundings.

Lastly, to finish off talking about Lego's amazingness, be sure to check out the online Lego community for Lego-based online games, product information and other goodies at www.play.lego.com.


And now, the dreaded Game to Avoid part of the column. This week I'm tackling Mercenaries 2 (PS2, PS3, 360). The ESRB rates it as Teen, but let me give you my two cents. I wouldn't want my teenager playing a game that focuses on killing terrorists while stealing cars, guns and other items. I'm not quite sure why it seems to be acceptable to load up a game and let our kids shoot people down in a very realistic electronic medium. I suggest you put this one back on the shelf.