Lego Batman Review:
Not So Serious!
by JL Flett
(A ‘Girl-Gamer’ in Year 12 who still loves her N64 and Gameboy Color, which makes her newer consoles a tad jealous)
© 2009 Jamie-Lee Flett
Batman has become the latest multi-million dollar franchise to turn to the Lego video game market to earn a few more bucks. Lego Batman: The Video Game brings characters from the Batman movies and the original DC comics to life in a twisted yet fun game that suits people of any age (unless you’re afraid of clowns).
This game is a real treat for those die-hard Batman fans as it is a great culmination of the better known recent characters and also classics such as Nightwing. The quirky character features, such as Ivy’s poison kiss and Penguin’s explosive penguin minions which he stores under his hat, give the game a whole extra dimension to explore and enjoy.
Lego Batman: The Video Game diverts from the structure of the previous Lego games in that it contains three original stories rather than turning the Batman movies directly into a game.
This was an interesting move on their part but is understandable considering the darker nature of some of the more recent Batman films. However the games still insinuates darker tendencies, which may not be construed by younger audiences but are still quite blatant to anyone more mature with half a brain.
Unfortunately, it appears that Lego Batman attempts to correct the simplicity issues in some previous Lego games by knocking up the complexity by quite a few notches (I’m embarrassed to admit I had to consult walk-throughs a couple of times).
This makes it difficult for your average small child to play the game, which then refocuses its audience to teenagers and above. I’m not quite sure if that was their original intention but these newly added intricacies allow for a whole new field of fun.
Also, for the first time ever you are able to be either good or evil (of course good still wins). By opening up a whole new side to its story mode, Lego Batman has effective broadened the potential of all future Lego video games (I just wish they’d explored this option earlier on).
Another new feature which pops up in this game is the power-suits, which appear to be more of an inconvenience than a fun aid.
One of the more technical issues which also bothered me was the angle and distance of the camera. Due the fact that two characters are constantly in view, the camera often chooses to distance itself so it is possible to see what both characters are doing at any given time.
While this is helpful in co-op, it makes it difficult for a player to perform the more complex actions which are often required to get further in a level. Yet another problem I found was getting the computer character to follow you when you are in single player mode.
Even though the game’s AI is quite complex it still lets you down when a specific path hasn’t been marked out for it to follow or you have moved on and it is preoccupied with unnecessary things. These are problems that have carried on through-out the Lego games and there’s not really any way of adjusting this, unless the game’s current single screen nature is altered.
However my griping aside, this game does make really great use of colour which is displayed most proficiently in the cut-scenes. While they can be a bit tedious at times, they can often be worth the watch, even if it is only to admire the artistry.
Also the design and ideas behind the new vehicles and scenery are quite inspired. You really can admire the effort that has been channeled into this game and rightly so as the creative team had a lot more to play with than the previous Lego games, having moved away from straight movie remakes.
The music also adds to the epic atmosphere, with its fine orchestral composition and really spurs you on right from the start.
Overall this game has more positive perks than its few downsides. Either alone or with a friend, you will have a lot of fun, especially if you are a fan of the Lego games. If you are a Batman fan, all the better. It gets you into the adventurous spirit and gives you a chance to have some light-hearted fun, which is something I’m quite sure we could all use a bit of in our lives. The Joker is right: why so serious?
© 2009 Jamie-Lee Flett
Filed under: 3rd Party Games, Console gaming, Parental Gaming, Xbox 360, Xbox 360 Game Reviews, Xbox 360 News Tagged: | "Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment", Batman, batman the video game, Lego Batman review, lego batman reviews, Lego games, Nightwing, TT Games, Warner Bros Interactive