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Lego Batman Review

October 4, 2008

Lego Batman, a third installment of the Lego series where we had the ever so popular Lego Star Wars and Lego Indiana Jones. Now if you’ve played Lego Star Wars your pretty much going to get the same exact formula of gameplay. Lego Indiana Jones I have not played yet but from what I’ve heard it’s actually the best of the series. Whatever the case is if you’ve played with Lego’s as a child and you’re a fan of batman you will get a little bit of nostalgia and a lot of fun. The story is split up into six parts, the first three parts following Batman and Robin, while the last three parts follow all the criminals you face. In each part there is a main criminal such as The Joker, The Penguin, and The Riddler. They are usually paired up with another big name criminal for example The Riddler is with Two-face and you bring the top criminal down one story line at a time.

Now right off the bat, no pun intended, you can see this game is not meant to show off its graphics. The visuals are not so great but from a game like this, especially when you’re mostly looking at Lego creations, you really don’t ask for much more. This game is meant to be old school arcade style fun. Now it’s not very challenging as you get infinite lives and most enemies are killed very quickly. They also give you a bunch of health just in case you lose some and all in all there isn’t a huge amount of enemies, which saves your fingers from some annoying button mashing. But this game is based on collectables and that is what you spend most of the time doing, figuring out how to get that stupid red Lego block. They also give you a nice little way of making you forget you have infinite amount of lives by making it so that you lose thousands of Lego currency if you die. On top of that every level has you collect a set amount of currency to unlock more Lego pieces to 100% complete the game.

So even though you could beat the game really quickly there would be no point to it. You set yourself to figure out all the puzzles set in the level and you collect those items like their candy and you’re aching for some sweet confections. Once you beat one chapter or story arch in the game, you unlock another chapter on the enemy’s perspective. You get a set of entirely new levels, objections, and cinematic’s except this time you use the villain characters. The puzzles become entirely different because previously, you mostly concentrate on obtaining different Batman/Robin suits to do a task. But the villains just have special abilities of their own such as super strength or mind control. This was done slightly different from Star Wars as in that game, once you beat the first 3 chapters (which are based on the three newer films) you unlock chapters 4-6 (based on the older films).

Now obviously from all that I’ve mentioned you clearly have some nice replay value. If all you’re doing is collecting items, you’re going to want to finish collecting everything you missed. If you’re someone like me if you still can’t find everything then you look that crap up online and you 100% complete it. Doing this is where the real challenge is, the designers decided to give two levels on Batman/Robins side to be really hard to collect enough currency without dying once. Currency by the way lets you buy out a bunch of playable characters, vehicles, minor cheats, suit upgrades, and Batman facts. But you have to unlock everything by beating levels and collecting items before you can buy it. Also you soon realize it is literally IMPOSIBBLE to collect everything on your first run trough. You have to play the level again because when you do so, you can choose “Free Play” mode, which lets you play as unlocked characters. Now you can finally rip apart huge doors with the Man Bat, switch between any suit you want for Batman/Robin, or get to really high areas with Clayface.

There are a couple of things that really makes this gaming experience worst for you, playing it on the PC. First of all it’s a lot more awkward moving around with the 4 directions on a keyboard instead of a 360 degree stick on a game controller. It’s important because this game is part platformer but the biggest flaw is 2-player mode on the PC. You have to crowed around one keyboard and throw the second player into an even more awkward position to play. Also I’ve heard of people suffering from random crashes as I’ve experienced one myself. I read a solution that suggests lowering the graphics so it doesn’t crash and it worked but the odd thing is that I didn’t notice much of a graphical change. The cinematics aren’t always smooth and sometimes the sound is a bit off. But when everything runs smoothly the sound made by the Lego characters are a series of grunts and laughs. The levels have their own score of music, many you can recognize from the Batman series although in general sound could be a bit better.

In conclusion this gets a C, the PC itself holds many flaws but there’s also a couple of other issues. Obviously the graphics bring this score down and it’s not very creative with all the puzzles. Basically it’s just being able to play on “Free Play” mode and destroying every single object you see to find stuff. Killing enemies becomes a chore as you just want to find the rest of the collectibles and they are in your way. This game does have some decent AI to it. Sorry for skipping this in the review but when your not playing with two people, your AI buddy usually does what he is supposed to do. The only problem is he doesn’t do that much damage to the enemies and occasionally he does something stupid. I still recommend to get your hands on this game because it’s a really fun and addictive time. But you might not want to actually buy it



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