Review: LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins

LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is the Nintendo 3DS prequel to the Wii U title, LEGO City Undercover (click here to read that review), and tells that tale of how our hero, Chase McCain, first met his nemesis, Rex Fury. Can this new edition hold its own or will it be left to gather dust?

Story
As the prequel to LEGO City Undercover, this new edition goes back to the start of Chase McCain’s career as a police officer in LEGO City and are joined again by the same characters, such as Chief Gleeson and Deputy Dunby. To get you started, you are tasked with running errands, helping citizens and solving small crimes which soon leads to taking down gangs and tracking the masked villain, Rex Fury. It takes a while for the game to get some traction and actually get fun but even then I felt like a child who had to have a parent hold their hand to cross the street. There was markers telling you where to go, arrows telling you where to use items and a trail of coins leading you to a specific place to go.

There was also a lack of talking scenes; during missions it was all down to text conversations which seemed to linger on forever, but the scenes with voices were great, riddled with cheesy jokes and puns to make you giggle. All though I did enjoy the general story, I did not like the instructions introducing you to the controls and the usage of, often they came far too late or just were not present, leaving you to figure it out on your own.

Gameplay
Running through the streets as Chase with the circle pad was great, I loved diving round corners and running down criminals as it was just so smooth and simple but the same can not be said for the driving. Most of the cars available were too fast for the main traffic, forcing you to dive in and out or the other cars and if you hit a vehicle then controls seems to go haywire, right becomes left and left becomes right or just completely ignoring what you want to do all together. At one point I was so annoyed I just ran across the map instead of dealing with it and if I was having so much trouble with it, I can’t help but think how younger players would handle the difficulty. One thing the younger audience would find easy is the fighting, I would often just mash Y and zone out until it was over, however, I did enjoy some of the finishing moves, there was a wide range and they were varied so you did not see the same again and again.

Lego City.

The one thing I did use wherever I went was the scanner, while in the original Wii U title, you used the Game Pad like the Prepper Pad in ZombieU, moving it to reveal hidden objects around the city, well this basically the same for the 3DS title, simply activate the scanner and move the handheld to the area you want to see, but with the 3D turned on it is difficult to move around and keep it in the ‘sweet spot’, I would always say turn the 3D off before scanning in any 3D game. Playing through the different sections was not only fun but allowed for a lot of adventure, in between missions you could search for hours and still have items to find. Same as its parent title, there were different disguises used to deal with different situations like, the robber for breaking into a sealed building, the miner for clearing blocked pathways and the firemen for putting out fires. You will also be using the using an audio scanner which involves moving the 3DS in different angles to get the perfect pitch and taking pictures of landmarks.
 
Presentation
What I liked most about this game was the style, it is so bright and stylish, even though the maps were so big, I found it easy to find my way about as there was not the same two building and every street is different from the last, keeping things fresh. Even though everything is built out of LEGO, as is the usual for LEGO games, everything felt well put together and well designed. From the start and all the way to the finish, you are always kept amused with movie references, funny cut scenes and brilliant jokes.
However, as well designed as the city is, it was a little muddied by draw distance. There is a permanent fog instead of the building or trees that should be in its place which left the feeling of a good game that had been watered down.Lego City 2.
 
The fog was not the only problem with the presentation of this game, there is also a lot a frame rate issues, causing the screen to keep jumping and times and a lot of lagging. The destinations you travel too are straight out of the Wii U title but they have been scaled back so far to suit the 3DSit just feels like they have stripped out the best and left only the skeleton. It took a little while to notice that when you are running down the street or on the road, there seems to always cars, trees and people just popping up from the ground out of no were and once you do notice it, it is pretty hard to ignore.
 
But my biggest problem was the loading times between entering the game, leaving and moving into different areas. It’s a problem that plauged the Wii U title and I found that the average waiting time was around 30 seconds, causing me to lose my attention and left the game feeling bulky plus not as smooth and all together as I wished.

To sum up
It seems that for every good point, there are two or three bad little points, but LEGO City Undercover: The Chase Begins is a good little game for people who wants to sit back, relax and enjoy a LEGO game and kids who want an easy game. Even though it is riddled with technical issues, my biggest problem is that it lacks the personality that it is trying to hard to prove is there.PopBucket Review Score 6

Version reviewed: 3DS

Author: Chantelle McIntosh

I am Chantelle, I am 18 years old and live in Scotland. I am passionate, dedicated gamer. I have mainly played on Nintendo consoles such as the N64, Game Cube, GBA, DS, Wii, Wii U and 3DS. My favourite games are The Legend of Zelda franchise, Resident Evil Revelations, Pokemon Emerald, Assassin's Creed and ZombiU.

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