The Bargain Games Club: Lego Batman

230px-Lego_batman_coverLego Batman
Price: About £10

More Lego games? I hear you cry. What can I say – I like Lego games.

My siblings had this on the Wii, but our Wii console didn’t last long enough for us to pick this up off them and play through. We didn’t like the Wii half as much as we liked the concept of it…

So when Carole gave me this freebie, I was quite pleased. Especially as my siblings are currently trying to complete DC Superheroes, the sort of sequel to this, meaning it will come my way soon. May as well play through the predecessor while I wait.

I’ve been spoiled somewhat, though, by more recent Lego game mechanics. Though the gameplay was very similar, there were some bugs and glitches that annoyed the hell out of me.

Like all Lego games, you never have enough money until suddenly you have 20zillion studs, and if you don’t like ‘smash the hell out of stuff, build more stuff and smash it again’ gameplay mechanics, this won’t be for you.

But Lego Batman does boast some great characters – the DC Universe has some great heroes and villains alike to plumb – with some charming level design and puzzles. Unlike other Lego games, you unlock a number of key characters fairly early on, through Batman and Robin’s various ‘suits.’ And these a free unlocks, not characters you have to buy, so you can go back through and complete a large number of the early levels before you’ve even played through everything, allowing you to unlock some really useful bonuses quickly.

It’s let down by ineffective AI if you’re playing in single player mode. Too many times I had to backtrack through a whole level because my second character had got stuck somewhere, and decided against following me. And when they do follow, they don’t always pull the levers or stand on the buttons when you want them to. One particularly annoying section saw me switching between the two characters, trying to climb them up a building at the same time. Which meant climbing them really quickly so the other couldn’t follow them back down, putting you right back where you started. One wrong move and you were back to the beginning… Activate rage mode.

There was also a really annoying mini kit, which I didn’t bother to get in the end, which involved sliding down a ramp through some gates. Only if you cocked it up, you had to restart the level to try it again. And it was the last corridor before the main boss fight, and therefore right at the end of the level…

Given that this was free, I can’t really complain. And I did enjoy playing this most of the time. Especially the levels with crocodiles – crocodiles that became infinitely scarier with a couple of pints of cider in me… I don’t think I’ve ever squealed in quite such terror over a Lego game before. That’s got to be something, right?

Up Next: Batman Arkham Asylum (to continue the Batman theme…)

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