(Note: even if you’re not a gamer, I think you’ll enjoy this post)
I’ve played a few great games this year. From Dishonored to Far Cry 3 to Tomb Raider to GTA V, this has been a great year to be a gamer. But none of those games stacks up to my most recent purchase: Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
I’m not sure how, as I certainly didn’t encourage it, but my son has recently caught the Lego bug. I’ll write a separate post on that at some point, but let’s just say, the boy LOVES Legos. There’s roughly nine million Lego pieces littering our floor at any moment.
Warning: wear shoes if you come to our house.
A couple of years ago, I bought the Indiana Jones Lego game for Sean’s son on a deep discount. Sean told me that his son already had the game, so rather than return it (as my son wasn’t old enough for video games yet), I held onto it.
Recently, I decided to crack the game open and show it to my Lego-obsessed six year old.
And he LOVED IT!
The Indiana Jones games (the first and its sequel) are very well written (with some of the funniest lines I’ve seen in a kid’s game), and the animation is cute, so I enjoyed them … at first.
But there’s also a lot wrong with the games. And I do mean a lot.
The AI is among the worst I’ve ever seen in a game. I could write another whole post on that! The levels can also be very difficult for a child, meaning I had to help a lot. And … though I hate to admit this publicly … I had to actually turn to Youtube walkthrough videos more than once to figure out WHAT THE HELL TO DO on some of the levels!
Thankfully, my son hasn’t (yet) realized how shameful it is that Dad can’t figure out a Lego game.
We finished the first Indiana game in a matter of a week or so, and then went onto the second. And then I saw that there was a new Lego game with a ton of characters from the Marvel comics universe, Lego Marvel Super Heroes.
The reviews were positive, aside from some gripes about the stupid AI and some of the more complex puzzles or level design. But, on the whole, it seemed infinitely more fun than Indiana Freakin’ Jones! (Confession: I never got the whole Indiana Jones thing. The movies were good and all, but I was never a big fan. Certainly not enough to want to play games as him.)
But Marvel comics? Now we’re in my wheelhouse!
I lived on a diet of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Uncanny X-Men, The New Mutants, The Avengers, The Defenders, and a whole mess of other titles from the time I turned 7 through my teens.
I would’ve kept reading them if they hadn’t gotten so damned expensive, and had I not been banned from comics by my parents due to failing subjects at school. While I haven’t read Marvel comics in years, they’re very much a part of my DNA and I have many fond memories of the comics, and even pretending my Star Wars figures were actually super heroes (as there weren’t many cool super hero action figures when I was a kid).
Until now, my son’s only exposure to Marvel comics (or any super heroes, really) has been the occasional toy someone would give him as a gift. But he’s not old enough to be reading the adult versions of the comics which I so enjoyed as a child/teen. Nor do I want him watching the older kid cartoons yet.
So, I’ve been patiently waiting for the appropriate time to introduce him to these characters I loved so much. Or, in this case, child-friendly versions of those characters.
And he LOVES the game. More than I thought he would, actually. I was afraid he’d want to go back and finish Indiana Jones 2. But since starting the Marvel game this week, we haven’t looked back.
There’s something special about sharing something I loved so much with my son.
Not only is he getting a kick out of these outrageous and funny, awesome characters, but I love Lego’s take on familiar traits. Whether it’s Spider-Man being all angst-ridden, or Wolverine being, well, Wolverine, it’s awesome to see a game created with such affection for the source material.
There’s a TON of Marvel heroes and villains in the game, and there’s a LOT to do in the game. It’s not some cheap five hour game. This looks like it might go on for at least 20 hours or more.
One of the coolest things, though, is how each time a new hero or villain is introduced, my son is impressed when he sees me recognizing these characters.
“You know him, Daddy? Really?”
And as I tell him about the character, he looks at me like I’m the smartest guy he’s ever met! He’s probably the first person to be impressed by my knowledge of the Marvel Universe (as limited as it is since the 90s).
Even though the game is marred by crappy AI (heroes that just stand there when you’re not controlling them, or worse, walking into dangerous fire), it’s still a blast to play!
And it’s the first game I’ve truly played with my son.
While there’s been technically better games this year (like those mentioned above), Lego Marvel Super Heroes has given me something none of those other games could — a bonding experience with my son over something we both love.
So that’s why Lego Marvel Super Heroes gets my nod as the best game this year.
Of course, my warm and fuzzy feelings are tinged with the regret of now realizing that my son is now going to ask for the eight zillion Lego Marvel toys.
And if you thought video games were expensive, well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
Your experience almost exactly mirrors mine with my eight year old son. Fun game and you’re right about knowing all of the characters that come up and your son thinking you’re a genius.
It’s good to be celebrated for such geeky things! There’s also an added bonus for me in that my son used to ask me to draw the other things he liked, Thomas the Tank Engine and Cars. But I suck at drawing trains and cars. But Marvel characters, and Lego versions? I can draw those all day every day! I drew a Wolverine Lego guy and put it in his lunch today. Can’t wait until he gets home.
Awesome game and awesome post. I tried to get my daughter to play, but she wouldn’t. She said games are dumb. My son is only 4 so he isn’t quite there yet. I’ll have to crank out the Lego games in a couple of years.
I bloody love the Legos… I’ll have to get my son some for Xmas so he can get used to them.
So, let me get this straight, your kids don’t like Legos (which are quite an expensive habit to maintain) and you’re trying to get them hooked? Man, you’re not going to regret that at all 🙂
I had so many legos when I was a kid… the best part about having a brother ten years younger was being justified in continuing to play it until I was 22.
I’m super hoping my son digs on lego. I don’t care how much it costs, I wants it all!
I was obsessed with pirate lego when I was younger, totally obsessed.
Consider yourself lucky you missed the Ninjago era, and perhaps even dodged the Legends of Chima craze that is now sweeping the land. I’m not even going to talk about how much money I’ve spent on Skylanders over the years. At least with Marvel-theme games, I feel slightly more justified breaking my bank account. Next stop… LegoLand.
His friends have all those other Lego toys, so he knows about them and has asked for them. I’ve steered him toward the Marvel ones, though. And the Lego City Undercover ones. Have you played that on the Wii U? We haven’t played it yet, but have watched the play through, and man, that game looks awesome. It’s like a kids version of GTA (no hookers, of course), and it is so well-written and funny. He’s watched the entire game on YouTube and loves it.
As for Skylander, I REFUSE to start that crap. I DID get him the Disney version, though I’ve yet to give it to him.
I really really want to play Legal City Undercover.. so bad. I almost got a WII U just so I could play it…
As for Skylanders, they can EAD. I’m not buying into that crap. Again, I almost got suckered into the Disney ones… pretty cool… even my daughter wanted that. Let me know if it’s any good and I’ll consider it.