Video Game

LEGO Batman: The Video Game

Developed By: TT Games

Published By Warner Bros. Interactive

Gaming Platform: Playstation 2

Rated: ĎEí for Everyone

Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            Okay, I donít regularly write video game reviews, but after I finished playing LEGO Star Wars I and II, I simply had to try my hand at other video games featuring LEGO characters we all know and love.  I started off with LEGO Batman: The Video Game for the PS2 and let me tell you, this just may be the most frustrating game everÖand I mean that in a good way!

            LEGO Batman features our favorite caped crusader and his trusty partner Robin.  We join our heroes just as news hits that Gothamís worst villains have just banded together to break out of Arkham Asylum Batman and Robin must head out into the city and recapture the likes of Poison Ivy, Joker, Catwoman, Harley Quinn, Clayface, Penguin, Killer Croc, Riddler, Two-Face and more as they do their best to terrorize Gotham.

            Game play is a bit difficult as you get to learn the controls - not as easy as LEGO Star Wars, thatís for sure.  As you get the hang of it, new things are introduced.  You start off with your fists and your batarang, but after a while, you gain access to specialized suits and armaments.  Just as in the other LEGO games, you must collect LEGO studs, canisters and more on your journey which will be later used to unlock some cool items.

            The game starts off with three main stories.  Each story contains five levels.  Thatís a whole lot of fighting, climbing, running and destroying to do, but itís worth it as each sublevel contains movies to entertain you.  Once you complete each level, successfully locking up all of Gothamís major bad guys, you are now welcome to play a very new game.  Now, itís time to complete all of the levels as a villain.  ďSo what,Ē you say, ďit will just be the same boards with different characters, right?Ē  Wrong!  The villain boards are different from the original story boards and contain quite a few surprises.  In addition, the movies shown after each level are also different.

            Think your done after completing all of the villain levels?  Guess again!  Youíve unlocked the ability to free play.  That means you can go back using other characters and clean up on levels where you missed items which will help you unlock other characters and interesting toys.

            ďSounds like fun,Ē you say, ďso why so frustrated?Ē  Well, there are quite a few reasons.  First, as I said, game play is not very easy.  In fact, it is really easy to miss items that you may need to complete a sublevel for that very reason.  There are times you need to build items to move on in the level.  Unfortunately, sometimes these items perform a disappearing act, only showing up when you are ready to throw your controller into the screen.  Then thereís the long download time - I donít want to read about characters I already know - just get on with the game already! 

            Thereís something else thatís really annoying about this game.  How is it that I can completely skip Level 2 and go on to Level 3?  I shouldnít be able to unlock Level 3 until I have completed Level 2!  Unfortunately, this is not how things work in LEGO Batman.  How do I know?  I had put the game down for months and when I picked it up again, I couldnít remember what board I was on.  When I headed to the Batcave to select a mission, I was able to select Level 3.  I naturally assumed I was a lot further into the game than I thought.  Bully for me, right?  Wrong!  When I began playing as a villain, I realized I couldnít unlock certain levels.  Why?  Because I hadnít completed them as a hero, thatís why!  I now had to return to Level 2 and complete it.  But I had already completed Level 3 as a villain.  Iím all out of order in the storyline!  Go figure!

            While I still love the fighting and problem solving LEGO Batman provides and I still enjoy the bits of humor added into the mix, I still feel a bit frustrated.  Iíve been playing for quite a while and have only completed about 22% of the game.  Yikes!  Suffice it to say that this game is a lot harder than the LEGO Star Wars games and, although I enjoy a challenge every now and then, the quirks found in LEGO Batman are enough to make me really hostile. (You know what Iíd like to say hereÖIím trying to be good.)

            And yet, LEGO Batman does have enough good points about it to make it worth recommending.  The storyline is engaging and the movies are fun.  The gameplay can go on forever thanks to the ability to play as a hero or a villain and the huge supply of characters to unlock (Batgirl and Nightwing just to name a couple) and use in Free Play mode.  The problem solving really gets the brain juices flowing and I just love all the cool and interesting gear I get to unlock.  And so, I recommend checking out LEGO Batman: The Video Game.  Just prepare to endure some rather frustrating moments during your journey.


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