See how this Lego adventure sequel is shaping up on GBA.
Having never played the original Lego Island, I came to the near-final version of its sequel with really no idea of what to expect. What I found is a somewhat odd game concept that has started to grow on me after a slow start.
The main part of the game is an overhead adventure on Lego Island. A criminal named the Brickster has stolen pages out of the Contstructopedia, thereby destroying most of the town's buildings. The story is at least pretty unique, and the dialogue is often quite funny. Most people say more than one thing, so it's worth talking to someone several times to see if they'll say something humorous. That seems like a minor thing, but it really adds some personality to the game.
As you go around and meet the townspeople, you'll quickly realize that almost everyone needs some sort of object. There are also people like the fireman and pizza shop owner who just want their building rebuilt. Thus, the game quickly boils down to a giant scavenger hunt; find the jackhammer, give it to the contruction worker, take the constructopedia page from him to rebuild the police station, etc. There is a very heavy emphasis on item-trading, and new buildings or items will often open up new areas of the island where you can find even more people who need things.
This item-swapping frenzy would be boring except that the items and the way you acquire them are quite varied. Many are won from mini-games, which are the second main portion of gameplay.
I've seen about half a dozen mini-games, and they range from simple whack-a-mole simulators to one really cool and lengthy underwater diving expedition. They're all pretty easy to beat, but very fun.
My flashROM preview copy of the game doesn't let me save, but I played for a few hours straight this afternoon and saw quite a bit of the game...though a lot of it was still blocked off. I'm not sure if there are any other islands to visit, but the starting town is extremely large and there's no shortage of things to do.
So far I'm pretty impressed with Lego Island 2. The pre-rendered graphics are quite good, and the game is absolutely packed with art. And, even though it seems targeted towards younger kids, there's enough action and witty dialogue to keep me interested. It'll be interesting to see how the final version turns out.