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Gremlins, Fantastic Beasts and E.T.: LFF checks out the new LEGO Dimensions expansions

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I love the LEGO video games. LEGO’s irreverent takes on everything from Star Wars to The Avengers always put a smile on my face, and the re-playability with unlocked characters and powers keeps you coming back for more. But, until, last week, I had not yet tried out Dimensions.

With Dimensions you get a Toy Pad to plug into your system, and can then build characters, gadgets and vehicles, place them on the pad and have them appear in game to play however, and with whoever and whatever you like. Sonic the Hedgehog in the Batmobile? Yup. Newt Scamander behind the wheel of the Delorean? No worries. It’s awesome fun and makes the game infinitely playable, with new story packs for the biggest movies also regularly released.

The latest expansion packs are for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Gremlins, Sonic the Hedgehog, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Adventure Time, plus there are new four-player competitive Battle Arenas added to the game – meaning you and three buds can duke it out in split-screen.

I popped down to a venue just off London’s The Strand to check Dimensions out, and got a lot more than I bargained for… A central hub in the venue featured a standard set up of four stands with consoles and pads for you to try out the game, but surrounding that were doors that led you to very special rooms featuring custom playing experiences for a selection of the new properties added to Dimensions: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Gremlins and Adventure Time; as well as Harry Potter and Mission: Impossible.

I did Fantastic Beasts first and walked into a replica of Kowalski’s New York apartment, complete with Newt Scamander’s case lying on the ground. Oddly there was no TV or console set up to play – which was weird – until I realised that like in Fantastic Beasts, there is more in Newt’s case than meets the eye. Opening the lid, I stepped inside and down into a secret room where I played the Fantastic Beasts pack. In it you can play through the entire movie, cast spells and build, use and interact with Newt’s creatures for help.

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After re-emerging from the suitcase I went into another room to check out Adventure Time. This room was set up for me to try out the new four player battle modes, and I battled it out with two other guys in three different games: Bomb, Quest and Capture the Flag. I played as Wonder Woman against Finn from Adventure Time and Batman. I clearly made the right choice as not only can Wonder Woman fly – but when she does the theme song from the TV show plays in the background: Wonder Womaaaaan! Maybe, it was the psychological warfare done by me activating that all the time but I walloped everyone on Bomb – which is basically pass the parcel, except when the music stops the parcel explodes; and kicked butt in Quest (fulfilling a variety of tasks as quickly as possible like collecting and destroying certain things), and the classic staple Capture the Flag.

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Next for me was Harry Potter, or more specifically Harry’s cupboard under the stairs: an exact replica of Harry’s “room” at the Dursley’s house. It was cramped in there but playing Harry Potter in Harry’s teeny abode surrounded by his Hogwart’s books, toys, and even his glasses was insanely immersive. After adventuring with Harry, as well as LOTR’s Gandalf and Wildstyle from The LEGO Movie for a bit it was time to change environs again and play in my two favourite spaces of the day: Gremlins and Mission: Impossible.

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For Gremlins I was ushered through a red curtain and into a small cinema. As in the film, the silhouettes of the Gremlins appeared on screen as they overran the cinema and destroyed the film – it getting replaced by the game. I played some more Capture the Flag (which I won again *brushes the dirt off his shoulder*) playing as Batman in a Sonic the Hedgehog themed stage… while the off-screen Gremlins attempted to put me off by throwing popcorn at me! Jerks.

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Last up was Mission: Impossible, and I started to get pumped up walking into the room while the theme music played and saw a harness on the ground in front of me. I was soon trussed up and clipped in, and led up a large flight of steps, then attached to the ceiling and lowered down into the hermetic vault from the first film… to play LEGO Dimensions face down. It was incredible fun but, man, the blood had rushed to my head by the time I was done and I very nearly completely un-Ethan-Hunt-ly stacked it on the stairs. Luckily my handler had my back and I returned to solid ground unscathed and beaming.

Mission: Impossible was a great experience to finish the day on, but all of the mini experiences were extremely well thought out and fantastic fun to step into and game for a short spell. I can’t wait to play some more Dimensions, but may give it a go on the sofa for a change, or at least until my pulley system and harness are delivered.

Developed by TT Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, LEGO Dimensions is available for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 computer entertainment.

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