LEGO Dimensions EP on how brands are chosen, how involved IP owners are

A portion of a MonAmiibo interview with Doug Heder, Executive Producer on LEGO Dimensions...

MA: On that process of deciding on brands for the game, what does LEGO deem appropriate and inappropriate for their audience? Gremlins is known for being a super violent kid’s movie, so I was equal parts excited and surprised to see that one revealed

DH: Yeah, LEGO’s been great, going outside the normal boundaries of the LEGO IP. That said, I think yeah maybe Gremlins has a bit of that reputation but it’s also a property that’s almost 30 years old, and I think the standards are a bit different from back then [laughs] You go back and look at those films and, as great as they are, there’s a nostalgic factor there. Every title that we bring into the world of LEGO is going to get its own LEGO interpretation. If we’re recreating a scene from a film and a character dies… you know, LEGO characters never die. We always adapt the moment to make it light-hearted and funny. That’s one of the important aspects of LEGO games in general. And you’re not going to see any violence or gore in a LEGO game, it’s never going to be that. It’s always going to take the property and adapt it in a way that’s in the spirit of the original brand, and keep all the sensibilities in mind. So we do have to think about that when selecting the different brands that come into the game – how far do we have to adapt it? Is it so far that suddenly it doesn’t feel like it’s in that same world?

MA: So when you’re working with these rights-holders, do they take a very hands-on approach? Or do they sort of just let you go free to do whatever you want?

DH: It really depends on each brand. Each partner is different, no two are alike and the collaboration with each is unique. We have a good track record from past LEGO titles, and that gives our partners a lot of trust in us and I think we’re afforded a lot of leeway. We present our first draft, if you will, of the game to our partners and we work together to ensure there isn’t any detail that doesn’t make sense or doesn’t feel a part of that world. Or in some cases, the partner is able to give us information we didn’t know going in! Little behind the scenes knowledge of how something came to be in that world. You’d be surprised that sometimes that helps us understand the DNA of that property even better and helps us make our game even better. Sometimes we can throw in a little Easter Egg to that fact. As a simple example, if you go into the Back to the Future Adventure World from LEGO Dimensions, you can walk around downtown Hill Valley. The film on the marquee in the original movie was Jaws. Well in our game when you walk by that banner, even though a holographic shark does pop out, the name there doesn’t read ‘Jaws’, it reads ‘ Bruce’. And that’s a little insider joke – Bruce was the name Steven Spielberg gave to the mechanical shark when they were filming the story. And I believe he named it after his attorney [laughs[ That was a little inside joke that fans who followed the Back to the Future or Jaws properties will know, but the general population doesn’t. It’s a fun little nod and homage to the inside jokes we find throughout the process.

Monster Hunter Stories - Famitsu review details

Play Time

* Around 50 Hours to complete the games Story
* Countless hours of fun battling, gathering and collecting items.

Kishida (9):
"In Stories you don't play as a hunter, but as a Rider. Basically, you go out and raise your monsters which I find very interesting. You still feel the Monster Hunter charm regardless if the game is not exactly the same as the others in the series. Picking up Eggs and Nests, adventuring across various familiar backdrops as your bonds with your monsters begin to grow is so much fun. The game's battles are very lively and the most entertaining part of Stories although I was disappointed by the length of the load times between changing areas."

Honma (8):
"The fact the Monster Hunter series has dipped its toe in a different RPG style is amazing. Especially the battles which are very easy to play, but doesn’t pull back on the difficulty of battles with its increasing depth as you play through the game. Performing double attacks alongside your monster has a real charm to it (or at least I think so). It gets very exciting as you run in to collect items such as Eggs or items from Nests each time you enter a field too! Finally, I would say the biggest con is the load times before each battle and when entering a new part of the map."

Uchizawa (9):
"Stories may be different, but it brings the best parts of the main series with it. Going on quests, defeating Monsters and gathering a variety of items, yet it has moved to a different realm of RPG's which I find great. There are three commands during battle and one of the better ones begins a "Bond Attack" which is a great addition to a game where the most important part of this game is the bonds between the Rider and their Monster. There is so much to the game from countless armor, character voices and much more based in a gigantic world over several climates. You will never feel stressed as you play through this game, it is a fun and challenging game with a lot to do and a lot to uncover as you play through the story. Also remember to enjoy using the "Ride Attack" to your heart’s content!"

Fan-Art: Gundam X Pokemon

Artist Khris has put together another round of Pokemon-inspired Gundam, this time going with Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres motifs. You can check out individual pics of the creations here.

Prototype for unreleased SNES game 'Shadowhawk' releases online

Turns out a SNES adaptation of the comic book character Shadowhawk was once in the works. For whatever reason, the game never saw release. All these years later, a playable prototype has surfaced and the internet jumped on it to record footage of what the game could have been.

Nintendo UK store - Waluigi amiibo preorder open

The other Super Mario amiibo preorders had been open on Nintendo UK's online store for a little while now, but Waluigi was absent from the options. Now we're happy to say that the purple weirdo is up for preorder. We have a feeling this one is going to go fast, so hop on your preorder now!

Grab yours here

Pokemon Sun/Moon moncolle-ex figures seeing release in Japan this November

You can bet your butt that Pokemon Co. is going to release all sorts of Sun/Moon toys after the Pokemon GO rush. There should be a ton of merch to get your hands on!