When Super Smash Bros. first came to the Nintendo 64, fans were immediately grabbed by the strange premise. A fighting game where Mario and Pikachu beat each other up? And you have to knock the opponent off the stage, not deplete their life bar? And what the heck is Captain Falcon? Years later, Smash Bros. has more appeal than ever but for different reasons. And every Red Bull-guzzling bro in the Smash Bros. community is legally obligated to main Captain Falcon.
When fans celebrate Smash Bros. nowadays, it's often due to the crazy amount of detail the developers cram into the game. Like this theory that a simple moment in a trailer is the work of one character's power changing the backstory of another. Such references give players the impression that the developers love these characters as much as we do. That exact attention to detail is behind LEGO Legacy: Heroes Unboxed, an upcoming mobile game by Gameloft.
It's the arrival of these Dark Times that call the heroes to unbox in LEGO Legacy. Much like in the first few Smash Bros. games, these toys actually stage their battle in a child's room. Knights, spacemen, hot dogs, and others all come together to save their homes, actual LEGO sets, from certain doom.
For all the LEGO fans, you read that right. LEGO Legacy features actual sets, right down to the number printed on the original box. You earn pieces to build them, and animations show them being built according to the real instructions. These developers are true fans, and worked closely with LEGO to get all the details right. They even have names and specific animations for all the mini-figures, such as my boy Basil the Batlord.
Look closely, and you can see that they even put in the work to nail the textures. There's smooth plastic for the figures themselves, and more bumpy plastic for things like helmets. For things like Basil's cape, there's that cloth texture that takes me right back to playing with the LEGO Knights set.
So what do you do with all these amazingly accurate figures and sets? You battle in a turn-based RPG through various LEGO lands. As you'd expect, it's very simple touchscreen controls, and each character that I saw had three abilities. Usually there's a basic attack, an AOE, and then some special ability like healing or drawing aggro. Most of these are accompanied by amusing, sometimes slapstick, animations on par with what we've come to expect of LEGO games.
Of course it is a mobile game based on LEGO, so there is a collection element involved. Getting your favorite figures and sets will take work and will probably be a lot easier if you're willing to spend some cash. In that way it's definitely not Smash Bros., but it is an ambitious LEGO crossover crafted by people who love LEGO. I'll definitely be giving it a trial run when it comes out next year.