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Review by: Bob Mandel
Published: May 8, 2001
Lego is perhaps the most famous name in children’s construction sets the world over, but the company burst on the computer gaming scene only relatively recently. Its first big splash was Lego Island, which was released in September 1997, sold extremely well, and gave Lego fanatics a chance to play on the virtual screen. Later followed several more varied offerings, including Rock Raiders, Stunt Rally, and Alpha Team, with each successive release becoming increasingly sophisticated and appealing to adults as well as kids. Now Lego has released a sequel to its original blockbuster: Lego Island 2: The Brickster’s Revenge (on the PC, PlayStation, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance). Is this an intriguing game of universal appeal, or a reversion to the original target audience of youngsters?
In comparing Lego Island 2 to the original, it is clear that Lego Software has become a lot more ambitious and experienced. First, Lego Island had over 35 distinct characters, while Lego Island 2 has over 56 characters with whom you can interact. Second, Lego Island contained only one environment — the single island — while Lego Island 2 has three additional islands to visit. Third, Lego Island had two racing competitions involving a car and a jet ski, several construction challenges, and transportation via bike, skateboard, and helicopter; while Lego Island 2 has many more sub-games to play and more diverse ways of getting around. Lastly, the graphics in Lego Island 2 are 3D accelerated and far slicker than those in its predecessor. The only place where the original is more expansive than the sequel is in the flexibility of role playing: Lego Island allowed you to explore the island through the eyes of five different characters, while Lego Island 2 permits you to play only as a single designated character.
The story revolves around the escape of the feisty Brickster and the subsequent need to restore order, with you playing the central role of Pepper Roni, a skate-boarding pizza delivery boy who works for Papa Brickolini at Lego Island’s pizzeria. The Infomaniac (the manager of Lego Island who can communicate with you via a holographic video link at any time) asks you to deliver pizzas to various places around the island, and in return your friends give you bricks with which to build a new house. But when you deliver a spicy one to the Brickster, who is being held at a local jail, he uses his resulting super-hot breath to break out and attain his freedom. Then he steals the island’s Constructopedia — the island’s book of building plans — and lets loose his herd of deconstructing Brickster Bots. You try to resolve this situation by piecing together the Infomaniac’s Constructopedia while pursuing the overall mission of saving Lego Island from the havoc the Brickster has wreaked.
The four available geographical settings of Lego Island, Adventurers Island, Castle Island and Ogel Island are all fascinating to explore and quite different from one another, but Castle Island has by far the fewest places to go. The new environments are based on Lego toy themes such as Lego Adventurers, Lego Knights Kingdom, and Lego City Center.
Pepper’s House has several activities of its own, along with plenty of room to display the trophies you have been awarded as you progress through the game: present there is a computer you can access in your spare time, from which you may access any of the sub-games you have previously unlocked, as well as facilities to watch in-game movies and listen to musical soundtracks. If you get lost, the Information Center includes an access map depicting all the different areas on Lego Island.
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