As I Type this up, my 3DS is sitting right next to me, waiting to be played with. At the time of writing, I have the following 3DS Games: Luigi’s Mansion 2, Ridge Racer 3D, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Mario Kart 7 and Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins. Seems like a pretty good range if you think about it….
Aah, Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins, The prequel to the Wii U version of the same name. This is the story of Chase Mc Cain being a rookie cop, and has to go through missions to earn his ranks as a police officer, and to be a cop to be reckoned with. His smooth moves are kept from the Wii U version and ported directly to the 3DS, and look fantastic in 3D. well, they would do iof it wasn’t for…
…Our First Problem: Framerate
When the developers at Nintendo and TT games sat down at a desk to have a meeting on the new games, they both wanted a 3DS prequel. But what was it to be about? The obvious (and lazy) choice was to make Chase Mc Cain, the main protagonist, go around a do minor police work and work his way up from there, and eventually, put Rex Fuy To Justice. The only problem is, is that, to make the most of a 3DS game, ‘specially if it’s got car chases, you need it to be in 3D mode. That’s not really possible in this game as it’s more laggy than an emulator. If you ran this game through a 3DS emulator (which, by the way, you can do), it’d produce these results. It seems that they forgot about the players who would play it in…er…3D? They forgot to optimise the game in 3D and left players with a choice: either a poor framerate 3D gameplay experience, or play it in 2D and complete it without enjoying the majesty of it in 3D at all. Which, to be honest, is a bit sad. The car chases look fantastic in 3D, it…just….keeps….stammering. Nothing a simple system update can’t fix, eh Nintedo?
Ah yes, the oldest trick out there for developers who have a month to produce a game worthy for the market. The classic “Place-fog-in-distant-areas-of-land-so-noone-knows-that-the-console-cannot-render-it-properly” Trick is used here. The name speaks for itself really and, no matter where you go in-game, there is Fog. The fog serves no purpose other to look insanely horrible, distracting to players when in a car chase and to ensure that buildings only get rendered later in the game when they’re needed. I thought this was Lego City, a place filled to the brim with Lego action, Not Victorian London Town.
What annoys me is that Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins, would look fantastic without all that fog covering the City. It’s essentially unwanted makeup hiding those buildings, making it look like a small town, rather than a city at first glance.
Very Little Voice Acting Involved
There is a rule in Lego Games: Stick to no voiced and just grunts and sound effects with no speech OR do full voice acting with speech in every part of the game. Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins does a hybrid of both these things. There’s cinematic cutscenes that have the full speech and such, and then, in-game, where there’s those little insignificant cutscenes to help you and make you… giggle a bit. There’s no voices whatsoever in those parts.
It’s Like Super Mario Sunshine all over again….. Voice acting (besides Mario) in the cinematic parts, with text displaying (with the usual grunts etc) accompanying the greetings and signs in the minor cutscenes, so you have an idea of what’s going on. There is one huge difference between these two though; Super Mario Sunshine has the single most annoying voice acting cast ever in the history of Gaming (which explains why there aern’t too many playthoughs of it on Youtube), whereas Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins has fantastic voice acting, much like Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and it’s original game on the Wii U before it, so it strikes me as odd that they’re not making use of those voices.
My theory being is that they recorded the voices for the 3DS version when the were making the Wii U version of the game. This is entirely plausible as there wasn’t much time to do much else. They do have the obvious excuse of “filesize limitations” and that no longer count’s itself as an excuse, as Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is 2.41GB in all, making it the biggest game to download to your 3DS’s SD Card. The second Biggest being Fire Emblem Awakening, with 1.5GB, then Luigi’s Mansion 2 (881MB), then Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins, with 841MB of data to download. And DK Country Returns 3D has no frame rate issues and that’s probably more processor intensive too, and some even say the 3DS’s battery decreases when playing it!).
Nobody likes to wait forever for loading. Some claim that the 3DS cartridge is to blame as cartridges are generally very slow, despite it essentially being a USB stick only to be programmed to run Lego City Undercover: The Chase Begins on the 3DS, and nothing else. Elimiating this issue means that the loading times on the downloadable version might take between 15-20 seconds, right?. Wrong. Even in the download version it’s actually SLOWER than the cartridge, as SD cards are slower to read and write off of, compared to their flash memory brothers. Though This doesn’t bother me. I’m pretty used to Super Smash Bros. Brawl taking 40 seconds to load a “graphic heavy” stage, let alone a 3DS game.
Now, i’m sorry to get all negative about this game, but there’s more cons than pro’s in this game it’s unbeliveable. The fact that it’s a good story doesn’t cover the fog, the loading times or the lack of voice acting. That being said, i do love the voices when they do do them….