Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New LEGO Batman has a lot to offer gamers

As far as video games go, I’m all over the map.

I like old school classics like ‘Super Mario Brothers’ and ‘Sonic the Hedgehog.’

I like newer endeavors like ‘Batman: Arkham Asylum’ and ‘Kinect Star Wars.’

As a horror movie fan, the new ‘Silent Hill: Downpour’ was engaging and scary (and difficult).

And, quite frankly, I’m addicted to the LEGO video games.

I bought the first LEGO video game years ago – mostly because it happened to be a 'Star Wars' video game. I didn’t expect much from it, so you can imagine my surprise when not only was the game engrossing but it was also challenging. I became obsessed with getting it up to 100 percent.

The strength of sales for the first ‘Star Wars’ LEGO video game surprised just about everyone.

The game was followed by ‘Indiana Jones,’ another two ‘Star Wars’ titles, ‘Batman,’ ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Pirates of the Carribbean.’ I’ve bought them all and, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed playing them all.

The two titles that I didn’t like playing were ‘Batman’ and ‘Indiana Jones.’ There’s just something about the entries that I found lackluster.

So, it was understandable that I had some trepidation when it came to buying the new ‘LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes’ – which was released Tuesday.

I love the LEGO games, I really do, but I didn’t ultimately decide to purchase the title until about three weeks ago. Quite frankly, I think it had more to do with the fact that I hadn’t found very many video games that I was interested in recent weeks – other than ‘Game of Thrones,’ that is.

All I can say is that I’m glad my boredom won out over my disdain for the previous Batman title. I would have been missing a lot of fun.

First of all, LEGO broke new ground this time around by having the characters talk. Sure, I enjoyed the hilarious antics of the quiet LEGO characters, but there’s something endearing about the new talking LEGOs.

So far, and I’m only about a third of the way through the game, I’ve enjoyed the antics of the characters (special shout out to LEGO Two-Face, who I’m in love with).

The LEGO video games have always been a mixture of childish and adult humor. I had to laugh at this game because Robin’s obvious admiration for Superman is not only hilarious, but somewhat homoerotic. Sorry fanboys, it’s true.

I’m not a comic book fan, but I am a super hero fan on the big screen.

So far, the new LEGO Batman title has lived up to the hype – and it was a worthy purchase.

That being said, the game does have two drawbacks.

The first is the driving function. I don’t know anyone that wasn’t geeked about taking the Batmobile out for a spin. The problem is, the Batmobile, and Robin’s motorcycle and, quite frankly, every vehicle introduced so far is hard to control. It’s fairly annoying. I’ve had to ditch the Batmobile twice now and carry on with my mission on foot because it gets caught up on a bridge or over a railing (yes, I know that’s a commentary on my driving).

My second quibble is the level length. I know it’s a personal thing, but I prefer more levels that are shorter in length than fewer levels that are longer in length.

Essentially, I have the attention span of a gnat, so it would be nice to be able to play a level in 15 minutes and leave for awhile and then return. I know that’s a minor quibble, though.

In the grand scheme of things, I’m still taking a tour through Gotham and all that it has to offer – and trust me, that’s a lot. I also think the Batcave is cute and unassuming.

Oh, I would be remiss not to mention the graphics – which are the best of any LEGO game up to this point. That being said, I still prefer the smaller “common” areas in both the ‘Harry Potter’ titles and ‘Pirates of the Carribbean.’ The common area in this game is expansive -- and filled with quests.

I can already tell it’s going to take me two weeks to get this video game up to 100 percent – and I won’t be able to sleep until it’s mission accomplished.

Then I’ll have just enough time to recover before the title I’m really excited about – ‘Lord of the Rings’ – comes out in October.

Bring on Middle Earth.

What do you think? Is ‘LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes’ a worthy entry into the LEGO franchise?


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