Even if I was a "gamer" at some point in my life, I never gained any satisfaction from the mechanics of the game itself. I only concerned myself with whether the story was "cool" or if the concepts related to the story were "cool" or if the aesthetic design of the game was "cool."
The only game I currently play on a part-time basis is Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. I am under the impression that many, if not most, players enjoy action role-playing games/dungeon crawler games, like the Diablo series, because of the game mechanics. They tend to like the randomness of the maps and the possibility of finding awesome "loot," i.e., upgrades to their player character's equipment.
I play Diablo with my brother, and I like to pretend we're like the medieval, dark fantasy version of the Winchester brothers (Supernatural). I enjoy clicking away on my mouse with that concept in mind: Saving people, hunting things. I also appreciate the isometric perspective of this action RPG, but even still, I am not a gamer.
I remember enjoying the NES game Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, even though it was a confusing game to beat. I suppose I really just liked the concept of killing monsters and Dracula. In any case, I mused that it would be cool if they re-made Simon's Quest in the isometric style of Diablo.
I ran that idea by a friend, a true gamer, who informed me that the classic Castlevania games were meant to be side-scrolling platform-jumping games, not an isometric hack-and-slash. This was the point were I kind of understood that I was not a "gamer" -- in the sense of being fan of game mechanics -- but merely someone who enjoyed a silly/serious video game story, coupled with a sense of aesthetics.
It took me several paragraphs to provide context for the actual subject of this blog post, the recently-released "toys-to-life" adventure game LEGO Dimensions. I did not buy a $400 current-generation game console (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Wii U). I did not buy the $100 starter pack version of LEGO Dimensions, and neither did I purchase the various add-ons to the game.
What I did do, was gather minifigures of Gandalf the Grey, Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie, and a cobbled-together Batman. If purchased from a Bricklink seller, those three minifigures would probably cost anywhere from $15 to $20. I also watched nearly three hours of cutscenes from LEGO Dimensions on YouTube ...
And I enjoyed every minute of it.
The premise of LEGO Dimensions is that an inter-dimensional warlord named Vortech wants to conquer all the parallel LEGO realities (minus the Disney-licensed ones), and it's your job to stop him. It's basically a grander sequel to The LEGO Movie. There are many non-Disney character franchises involved, including DC Comics, The Lord of the Rings, The Simpsons, Back to the Future, Portal, old school Midway arcade games, Scooby-Doo, and Doctor Who.
There are so many mash-ups of realities and characters and worlds and concepts that LEGO Dimensions' storyline actually feels like a very long episode of Doctor Who -- or an off-the-wall episode of Supernatural. While some non-player characters (who might be player characters with the purchase of individual add-on minifigures) feel like glorified cameos -- you must save Homer Simpson, Superman shows up to shoot a laser, etc. -- The Doctor is a strong supporting character to the three leads -- Gandalf, Wyldstyle, and Batman. The Doctor and his TARDIS show up at the right moments, as a sort of deus ex machina to resolve various sticky situations for our starter pack heroes.
The entire idea of warping from world to world, from quasi-historical time period to speculative futuristic time period and all times in between, is very Doctor Who. Any kid -- or adult -- who plays with LEGO will almost always mash-up divergent worlds, whether yellow LEGO minifigures or flesh-colored licensed LEGO minifigures, much like any silly, feel-sy episode of Doctor Who. You make stuff as you go along when playing with LEGO; fantasy shows like Doctor Who often feel like they're making stuff as they go along -- and it's totally wonderful!
If you are a gamer with a current console, and you enjoy the LEGO aesthetic, then it's a no-brainer to spend all sorts of money on this game. If you aren't a gamer, but you enjoy LEGO things, just watch the cutscenes on YouTube. The same goes for fans of The LEGO Movie and/or Doctor Who. LEGO Dimensions is just delightful.
I hope you all have a happy October! Cheers!