LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean 3DS review: LEGO Pirates Of The Caribbean is a solid little adventure title. The game of the films of the theme park ride blends charming - if simplistic - sword-fighting, puzzling and platform action alongside a daffy retelling of Disney's swashbuckling blockbuster series.
It packs all four of the Pirates Of The Caribbean films into one cartridge so you'll hop across familiar locations from the movies - from the decks of the Black Pearl to pirate strongholds and desert island retreats.
Just as in every other LEGO game, you're presented with a huge roster of both familiar and not-so familiar characters from the Pirates movies, each with their own unique abilities. The challenge is to find the right man, woman or barnacled bilge rat for the job.
As always, you need to build LEGO blocks into useful objects, but now suitably-equipped characters can fire cannons, grapple over chasms and blast out-of-reach targets. There's even a suitably swashbuckling duelling mini-game, in which you mash buttons to match on-screen prompts.
Alongside the main Story mode, there's ample opportunity to revisit areas in Free Play once you've unlocked new characters in the course of your travels. You'll need your newfound abilities to overcome previously insurmountable obstacles if you want to get your hands on the huge number of items that are tucked away in the game - these grant access to new weapons, characters and clothing.
You can earn even more goodies via LEGO Pirates's StreetPass mode, which is similar to Super Street Fighter IV 3D's passive battle system. Here, you pick a character, set a range of Rock, Paper, Scissors-style moves over three rounds, and your handheld will then duke it out with other nearby players.
Fish And Ships
Every LEGO character is packed with personality - Captain Jack Sparrow's drunken swagger and Davy Jones's fishy beard are all present and correct - and the whole thing looks and sounds a treat. The 3DS's meaty innards give the whole thing a beautiful sheen, mixing the gorgeously lifelike piratey locales with a smattering of LEGO bits and pieces. Pirates Of The Caribbean might make subtle use of the 3D effect, but it really brings you into the action.
Really, the main downside is the lack of co-op play, which has worked so well on home console LEGO games. Without this, the simplicity of the series' basic components becomes all too apparent as you progress and, you'll only need a tiny bit of brain-power see you through the game.
If you love the Pirates movies, there's probably a bit of extra mileage in this lovable LEGO retelling but, truthfully, its familiar brand of solid family-friendly entertainment is better suited to the younger crowd.
This is an edited version of a review that appears in the June issue of Official Nintendo Magazine which is out now. You can buy it here or if you want to receive a future issue before it reaches the shops, subscribe and get Monster Hunter Tri.