Review: ‘Lego Batman 2’ ~ A Superhero Block Party
My son Beau (aka @Beauology) throw down on all the LEGO XBox games ~ and with my penchant for BATMAN, we couldnt wait this Lego Batman 2 to arrive. Needless to say, it gets are seal of approval - not to mention, it’s the first LEGO game to have “real voices with WORDS” in them.
Bonus: We fight over who gets to be Robin and stomp around in the magnetic suit. I personally like the thought behind the HAZMAT suit and all I get to slush around in when I am Robin instead of Batman (understatement). Kudos for the developers for giving Robin a little up on the trick-suits and fun.
Here’s Brett Molina’s aka @bam923 of USA Today take on the game:
‘Lego Batman 2’ ~ A Superhero Block Party
by Brett Molina, USA TODAY
Since the Justice League stars two superheroes who can speed around the world in seconds, it’s surprising to see how long it takes them to come to the aid of players in the action title Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes.
The follow-up to 2008’s Lego Batman features all the building blocks of its predecessor and the charm and humor of previous Lego titles. It’s too bad players can’t enjoy the exploits of The Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and others in a more meaningful way.
The second chapter kicks off with Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor vying for Gotham City’s Man of the Year award. The Joker crashes the festivities, and eventually teams up with Superman’s arch nemesis to wreak havoc.
Lego Batman 2 follows the similar path taken by earlier Lego series title, blending combat, tricky navigation across platforms and some light puzzle-solving. Working as the Dynamic Duo, players don different outfits such as Batman’s Electricity Suit or Robin’s Magnetic Suit to advance through a series of levels. Players can tackle the adventure solo or with a friend offline.
Lego games are also about hidden treasures, so expect to hunt down special gold and red bricks as well as other unlockable items.
The big change in Lego Batman 2 is the open world of Gotham City. Instead of following a guided journey through the game’s Story Mode, players are free to explore Gotham, seeking out hidden gems, rescuing citizens and beating down criminals.
There’s also a large roster of playable heroes and villains available to use in Free Play mode. Characters include Batman rivals such as Two-Face, Penguin, Clayface, Scarecrow, Poison Ivy and more. There are also allies such as Superman, Wonder Woman, Cyborg, The Flash, Martian Manhunter and Hawkman ready to join the fight.
Most interesting is these characters now talk, a first for the Lego franchise. Fortunately, they don’t lose the charm and cuteness fans of these games have seen before. Each voice feels like the ideal fit for the character, from the serious tones of Batman to the cackling, crazed Joker.
Initially, the Justice League roster is so much fun to use. The Flash whips around buildings at top speed, while Green Lantern creates items such as giant hands or other tools with his ring. None of this tops flying around Gotham as Superman. Fans of the Superman films might get goosebumps first hearing the classic music of composer John Williams playing as they zip across the city.
While impressive, developers make you jump through several hoops before stepping into their superhero boots. For starters, Free Play mode isn’t accessible until players finish the Story. Also, most of the campaign levels feature Batman and Robin, with a sprinkling of Superman in between. It’s not until the final two levels before the Justice League joins players in full force.
Once players finally reach Free Play, they’ll still need the right amount of Lego bits and gold bricks to unlock all these characters. Even though the Lego Batman 2 story is open, players are better off speeding through the story so they can enjoy the impressive lineup, and use flying characters to quickly explore the city.
Then again, it’s not like players do much with them once they are free. Villains can be easily vanquished, leaving heroes to only search for bricks and save citizens. And although flying around the city as Superman or Green Lantern feels wonderful, there’s not much else to do in Lego Gotham.
Lego Batman 2 is still a fun, satisfying video game, especially for young kids. It’s unfortunate players can’t get Batman’s allies to join the fun earlier.
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Developer: TT Games
Platform(s): Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Rating: E10+ for Everyone 10 and up
Release Date: June 19
Score: 3 stars (out of 4)