Meet Kai, Cole, Nye, Zane, Jay and Lloyd (La-Loyd to his father); six school kids who, under the tuition of Master Wu, must unlock their Spinjitzu powers and battle the evil warlord Garmadon. As the "ultimate "weapon" is unleashed these ninjas must punch, kick, slice, and whack their way across Ninjago to find the "ultimate ultimate weapon" and help bring peace to the city.
Although this is yet another Lego movie tie-in, it's also another step up on the evolutionary ladder for TT Games. The company, well versed in creating immensely fun and easily playable games, have finely tuned their formula to build possibly one of the best Lego games to date.
The story, following the plot of the movie, is set across 14 chapters in eight mini hub-worlds that make up Ninjago island. The use of cutscenes lifted directly from the film and quite a few in-house clips blends the often hilarious storytelling (we had some really big laugh-out-loud moments) with some fabulous gameplay. We never felt we were lost in terms of the story, and although there will be spoilers for the movie, at the time of writing it still hadn't been released in the UK (it's out on October 13), we enjoyed the game enough to still want to pop to our local cinema so we can watch it on the big screen.
Each chapter of the story opens with an image depicting our heroes in the style of old kung fu movies. It's beautifully done and, as this style is naturally draped all over the game, it left us hankering to watch old Bruce Lee flicks after we'd finished playing.
Lego Ninjago The Movie Video Game is probably the best-looking game in the franchise yet; everything seems to have been given that little bit of extra polish (perhaps because they no longer have to worry about the old-gen consoles anymore) and it helps the levels feel alive. Despite the fast-paced fighting, the huge number of characters on screen, and the vast amounts of bouncing studs, there was very little stuttering and hardly any noticeable frame-rate drops, which certainly surprised us.
The soundtrack also follows along the same martial arts-inspired theme, and the game doesn't only have dialogue, it also boasts music taken straight from the movie. This coupled to the stellar voice acting and fabulous ninja sound effects, which sounds amazing in full surround, make the game even more enjoyable.
One of the most notable elements of the game is its combat system. No longer are we limited to just hitting objects and enemies. A huge and varied skill tree gives you the ability to chain attacks and add to your combo counter which also acts as a stud multiplier. This "Wall of Ninjanuity" grants you a new skill to unlock at various checkpoints along the way, but leaves it open for you to pick which abilities you want to utilise. One such ability causes you to launch the bad guys high into the air while you swiftly land a barrage of hits before smashing them, quite satisfyingly, into the ground in a fountain of studs.