Jump to content

Happy 15th anniversary to Bionicle: The Game! :)


Recommended Posts

Hi, guys!:) I am not sure if you remember a certain Bionicle video game called Bionicle: The Game in 2003, so I would say it’s been 15 years. 3 months, and a day since the game was released on September 1, 2003. If anyone remembers the game from their childhood, let’s celebrate.


To celebrate, let me tell you what the game is:


The game is the first Bionicle game to have console versions, like PlayStation 2 (I played the game with that version). It is based on Bionicle’s 2001-2003 storylines and and the direct-to-video movie called Bionicle: Mask of Light in 2003. It is about the Toa Mata/Toa Nuva and Takanuva fighting Makuta and his forces to save the island of Mata Nui from them.

The console versions are mainly about the 2002 and 2003 storylines. There are eight levels, each is where you play as one of the Toa in its Wahi:

1. Tahu Mata - Tahu fights four Kohrak, a breed of the Bohrok. It’s also where Takua found a mysterious Kanohi mask.

2. Kopaka Mata - Kopaka slides though snowy mountains to find and fight a Gahlok and a Tahnok before they reach Ko-Koro to attack it.

3. Gali Nuva - after the Toa Mata got turned into the Toa Nuva by the Krana that they collected, Gali fights against the Bohrok-Kal, who threaten the Ga-Matoran. After that, Takua warns Gali about the Rahkshi.

4. Pohatu Nuva - Gali warms Pohatu about the Rahkshi, as Pohatu goes to warn Onua about it. Pohatu goes in a mining cart and travels into the Onu-Wahi to find Onua.

5. Onua Nuva - Onua goes to find and fight a Rahkshi called a Lerahk.

6. Lewa Nuva - Gali warns Lewa about the Rahkshi, as Lewa goes to find and fight another Rahkshi called a Panrahk.

7. Tahu Nuva - Tahu surfs on lava to race against another Rahkshi called a Kurahk, who has the mask that Takua was talking about called the Mask of Light. After defeating Kurahk, the Mask goes on Takua’s face and turns into into the legendary Toa of Light called Takanuva (called Takua Nuva in the game) before he disappears.

8. Takua Nuva - Takanuva challenges Makuta to a fight to end Makuta’s threat once and for once. After Takanuva defeated Makuta, he combined with Makuta to become Takutanuva, who opened a door to a new place.


Along the way, when you can shoot energy to your enemies, which are the Infected Rahi. Kopaka and Tahu Nuva only do surfing in their levels while the others travel on foot. Gali and Onua do a special move called a Nuva Blast, which can act like a bomb that can destroy everything in its path in the area, but it takes up a lot of energy. Gali can swim and Lewa can fly. You also have to rescue Matoran and collect Lightstones.


In the handheld versions, you get to play as all six Toa Mata and six Toa Nuva. The Toa Mata fight against the Bohrok, and then the Toa Nuva fight against the Rahkshi. The Toa Nuva never fought the Bohrok-Kal.


Anyway, let me review the console versions of the game. I like that the game made characters look more like a human, like the movie, but the graphics are kind of horrible. I like the movie’s better. Plus, I understand that each Toa has two fingers in each hands, like the Tahu Mata, Lewa Mata, and Pohatu Mata sets in 2001, but they look weird with them when you compare them to the movie, where characters have five fingers in each hand.

The level design is fine, but I wish Kopaka Mata and Tahu Nuva could do some travelling. It’s interesting we get to explore the island of Mata Nui, which is divided into six regions. Plus, I wish Kopaka Nuva, Gali Mata, Pohatu Mata, Onua Mata, and Lewa Mata are playable (there is a commercial where you can play as Lewa Mata, but that wasn’t shown in the game, sadly). I also wish some of the levels could have been longer.


As for the story, it is rushed. It has the storylines combined, so the Toa wouldn’t catch a break. It is radically different from the canon story, as there are some different things that don’t make sense, like Krana turning the Toa Mata into the Toa Nuva, Gali defeating all six of the Bohrok-Kal, the Panrahk left behind a Krana, and Takanuva putting his mask of Makuta’s face to combine with him into Takutanuva. However, I do like that Takanuva fights Makuta by blasting him and fighting his minions rather doing a Kohlii match with him. Sadly, you never see all of the Turaga, for that you only see three of them, all six Matoran types, and all six Rahkshi. The 2001 storyline is not shown, either. You never fight all of the Bohrok or the Rahkshi, nor do you fight the Bohrok-Kal in the handheld versions.


I wish the game could have been longer if these ideas had happened. I heard that Lego didn’t have time to do these things. Overall, the game is a little fun, but it is not the best Lego or Bionicle game that I ever played. Wished it has more stuff and could have been longer. Nothing’s perfect much.

In fact, I heard it got negative reviews. Plus, there was originally a sequel for the game, which is based on the 2004 storyline and another movie called Bionicle 2: Legends of Metru Nui, but it got cancelled. We haven’t known that until several years ago in this decade. It was surprising when that happened.

I loved Bionicle Heroes in 2006 better than Bionicle: The Game because it is longer and has more stuff, something that can last many hours. The 2003 game, though, only lasts an hour. Not much and too short. That’s all because Heroes is made by Traveller’s Tales, and they make the best Lego games there are. Lego should’ve have took some more time improving the 2003 game.


However, we get to see how would characters that never appeared in the movie look like if they had. Plus, the Nuva Blast influenced Greg Farshtey to make a new part of the G1 story, where Toa in general can do a powerful and explosive attack, which is similar to the Nuva Blast.


So, what’s your favorite part of the game? For me, well, I like the Gali, Onua, and the Takanuva levels the best.


How would you celebrate the game’s 15th anniversary? For me, well, I would replay the game.


Happy 15th anniversary to the game, even if it is cruddy. :)

I like Lego, Bionicle, and Hero Factory!:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have mixed feelings about this game. It definitely would have been better if the developers didn't procrastinate until the last minute. I do want to clear a few things up though. First, Kopaka mata and Tahu Nuva were intended to walk around at some point during development (Some of the areas are still accessible in the final game via glitches). I can also confirm that all of the Toa mata excluding Pohatu were playable at some point. As for that early Lewa Mata level shown in the trailers, It is still in the base game, and I managed to get it working recently https://youtu.be/MDLEFqzHPso

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I dunno, I still much prefer this game over its successor, Bionicle Heroes. Sure, it's easy, and short - it takes, what, a couple of hours to run through the whole thing? - and actual storyline-relevant plot is non-existent... but the thing that makes me like it the most is that each level was unique. Whether it was a world-explorer level like Tahu, Gali, Onua and Lewa's, or something more specialised like Kopaka, Pohatu and Tahu Nuva's, no two moments in the gameplay were entirely the same (excepting the Bohrok and Bohrok-Kal battles... but after how alike those waves of sets even were, I'm not sure we could have expected anything else!) And even the 'walkaround' Toa had unique abilities that added an differing elements to their level gameplay.


Whereas Bionicle Heroes, three years later? The levels all played exactly the same which, to me, got far too repetitive to fully enjoy.


Aside from game length, though, I feel like Bionicle: the Game's biggest failing was story... there was barely any, and what little there was had no explanation at all. A Bionicle fan, going into the game, would understand what was supposed to be going on, sure... but your average gamer who just picked it up out of curiosity? Wouldn't have a clue. In a sense, I feel almost like no story would have served the game better than the out-of-context story moments thrown together seemingly at random... that, and maybe picking a specific point on the timeline to explore rather than trying to jam together elements of all three years.


I'd... honestly love to see a remake of this game that built upon what it did right, and corrected what it got wrong... I feel like the concept could have had a lot more potential than it actually realised. With a bit more work, it could have been a jumping-on point to the franchise for a whole new set of fans... but as it is, Lego settled on something that really could only be enjoyed by the existing fandom.


In summary: it's still a fun little game, to me... but, unfortunately, that's really all that it is.

Edited by Darth Jaller


"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An acquaintance at school (whom I would be loathe to call a friend, but whose conversation I tolerated due to sharing an interest in Bionicle) was kind enough to burn me a copy of this game since I did not own it. I struggled to get the game to run properly on my computer, but the game worked well enough that I was able to finish it multiple times, but even at the age of seven or eight I was constantly frustrated by the lack of content. I wanted the game to offer more, but it never did.


Fast forward about 7 years. My family and I were at a local Rite Aid to get some ice cream, and I did a double take when passing an end cap. For some reason I have yet to understand, the end cap was filled with various LEGO video games: Bionicle: The Game, LEGO Island, LEGO Island 2, LEGO Racer, and LEGO Stunt Rally. My brother and I were quite surprised and excited to see games from our younger years, including titles we never got the chance to play. Unfortunately, my brother had no money at the time, and I only had enough to purchase one of the games. I was strongly tempted to purchase one of the LEGO Island games since I never owned one, but in the end, nostalgia for the Bionicle line and rose-tinted glasses in regards to the game led me to purchase Bionicle: The Game, since our burned copy had long since disappeared.


That experience with the game was short, but I enjoyed the nostalgia of playing through a game from my younger days. I can’t say I enjoyed the game much—the controls, even once changed from the cramped default PC controls, were too imprecise, character movement was oddly floaty, and the game was far too short—but I wasn’t disappointed with the experience. It gave me a window back into childhood, and I was grateful for that. Part of me wishes I had chosen another title, but I suspect my memories of Bionicle: The Game would be fainter for that choice, so I don’t regret the choice I did make.


Now, I have much stronger memories of the Gameboy Advance version of the game. I can honestly say that that was probably my first dream game. I watched the trailer for it dozens of times over, and I scoured the Internet as well as I could with the limitations I had to find out as much as I could about the game. The game finally came into my possession when I was somehow able to convince my grandparents to buy it for me as a birthday gift. I spent untold hours struggling my way through what I considered an incredibly difficult game, but I loved the sense of accomplishment with each level beaten. I have fond memories of laying on the couch in our den and playing this game while my mom watched Judge Judy and Judge Brown. I have much less fond memories of the game’s save passwords not always working properly, but I still view the game with nostalgia.


In fact, now that I’m talking about it, I realize that I still have my Gameboy Advance and Bionicle: The Game. Maybe I’ll pull them out and give them another try.

My epic: For Them (Review Topic)


BZPRPG: Trauer and Faora


Bionifight Ultimate: Daedalus Drachoren and Von Worten Undtränen


The Elder Scrolls: Ashfall: K'Larn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still liked this game for what it is, have it installed even now for the nostalgia factor. But as flawed as it was - and it *was* - the soundtrack was absolutely amazing. 



  • Upvote 1

:kakama: Stone rocks :kakama:

Model Designer at The LEGO Group. Former contributor at New Elementary. My MOCs can be found on Flickr and Instagram

:smilepohatunu: :smilehuki:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If there's one thing the Bionicle games had it was good music. Shame you barely got to hear any of it in Bionicle Heroes, though. :v

<- - - - ->

-Say goodnight-
-With each bite does your sanity die-
-Sucking the life out, letting the dark-
-Say a prayer as the light leaves your eyes-
-Or scream all you like, your gods can't hear you

<- - - - ->

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And, okay. I've just replayed the game (I haven't been able to get it to work on my new laptop, so I picked up the PS2 version cheap instead) and, taking out the huge rose-coloured lenses...


You guys are COMPLETELY right.


I mean, I'm still always gonna have a soft spot for this game, nothing can change that; and I'm still convinced the best thing it attempted to do was trying to make each Toa's level gameplay unique, rather than the rather repetitive strategy that BH used. But...


Oh man, is it ever bad otherwise xD I'd forgotten how *slowly* the Toa ran, for one thing... add to that the low-budget graphics, sometimes-unresponsive controls, basic and dull battle mechanics, lack of coherent story... not to even mention that, if you die on certain levels, there's a bug that means the music dies too - and it doesn't come back when the character does. Looking at you, Onua. And though I still do applaud the attempt to have each level's gameplay be different, that very attempt led to each level feeling very... simplistic, for lack of a better term. Aside from a few moments that seem just put there to be cruel (glide after the Gukko, anyone? Still gives me trouble even now!) it's so straightforward that there's no real CHALLENGE factor at all. I get that Lego didn't want to make it too hard, for the sake of the target audience, but...


The one level I exempt from this criticism is Tahu Nuva's surfing level. Easily the highlight of the game, in my book; still by no means perfect, but it was the one point where I felt like it gave me enough of a challenge that there was a real sense of accomplishment to beat it. Granted, that was also the level that I struggled with the most as a kid, but... preferences change xD


"New legends awake, but old lessons must be remembered.
For that is the way
of the BIONICLE."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

After all these years, I'm still tilted over how Lewa was the first Toa shown in the teaser and ended up being cut. I still dig the music in that trailer. Really makes me wonder what else the dev team had planned that didn't make the cut. I feel like there was going to be more to Pohatu Nuva's level than the mine cart considering the really short walking section, and there's also the cancelled Metru Nui-era sequel.


I actually picked up a used copy of the GBA version a while back, complete with an instruction manual and (very squashed) box. It mentions a cheat menu that enables infinite lives, which would be a godsend considering the horrendous perspective in that game. Quasi-3D isometric views can be done properly and...that game definitely didn't do it lol.


I only ever managed to beat Kopaka's level proper, and any time I tried Lewa's level I was really tempted to throw my SP across the room.

^Nostalgia Trip. I was 8 years old.^
[insert 1.2mb GIF here]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...