Traveller’s Tales is a developer who has been busy for years already bringing one good game after the other to the market in silence and thanks to their LEGO Star Wars games that recently managed to get some more exposure. By combining a very accessible gameplay with a fun look at a strong franchise they managed to create a refreshing experience.
The people at Lego were no doubt satisfied as well as now the studio brings us Bionicle Heroes, a game based on the toys. The idea is the same: delivering a fun and accessible game that will appeal to both young and old(er).
The story is as simple as it is unimportant: you play with the Toa’s, the good guys, and need to defeat the bad guys, the Piraka, during an adventure in which you look for the Mask of Life. During your search you’ll need to collect several other masks, with each their specific magical power. The red one gives you powers that have to do with fire, the blue one with water and ice, and so on. Depending on the situation of the puzzle you’ll need to switch masks to solve the specific problems (which aren’t too hard actually).
Another large chunk of gameplay consists out of defeating enemies. Very surprising – and not the least for people that have been gaming for a longer time – is that you can’t strafe! I first thought this was a bug but no, both sticks make your character turn. Very confusing to begin with and I don’t see any reason to drop strafing to be honest. A strange decision! Also the fact that an auto-targeting system was implemented but that you can’t choose who to shoot at first can deliver quite some irritation.
Luckily there are also enough positive points like the wide selection of enemies and surroundings and the fact that after completing a level you can return to collect all blocks of lego. Just like in Lego Star Wars you can destroy large parts of the surroundings and collect the remaining blocks to unlock stuff. There’s a central hub from where you can select levels, the bosses are enjoyable and the worlds colorful. With the fun factor and the accessibility for the kids there’s nothing wrong at all.
Graphically everything is quite alright eventhough older gamers may find the look a bit too colorful and bother themselves on the intensive use of motion blur during movement. The same can be said about the sound. The voices are quite ok and suit the rest but the rest rather gets stuck in averageness. Expect a decent but certainly not impressive achievement.
Bionicle Heroes is a simple but fun game that will appeal to mostly younger games with honest and safe entertainment. The collecting of lego blocks was surprisingly addictive in Lego Star Wars and it is the same here. There’s only some downsizing on charm and mostly appeal towards older Xbox360 gamers. Ideal for those that want to get their kids started on X360 and got bored with the Xbox Live library.