Lego Batman Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PS2 | DS
Lego Batman box art
System: X360, PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Traveller’s Tales 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Warner Bros. 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 23, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The life system doesn’t add any challenge, either. You’re given four Zelda-style hearts, and when they’re gone, you simply lose some of your studs and come back to life immediately. If you get down to zero studs, you stay at zero, and still come back to life. It’s unfortunate no one thought to add adjustable difficulty; this might entertain a small child, but an adult will often feel bored with no chance of dying.

Lego Batman screenshot

Oddly enough, given how intent the developers seemed on keeping this game as easy, simple, and user-friendly as possible, there’s quite a distance between save points, which occur only at the ends of the roughly 20-minute levels. One of the DS’s advantages is that you can take it out and play it on random stretches of free time (a ride to work, a lunch break), but LEGO Batman demands you schedule your free time around its save system.

After beating the Batman and Robin levels in Story Mode (or before then, for that matter), you can visit the Arkham Asylum, from which all the bad guys you’ve beaten had escaped (and then plotted all sorts of mayhem), according to the game’s original story. From there, you can play through 15 more levels as bad guys with, you guessed it, different abilities that surpass different obstacles.

(Disturbingly, some of these levels involve hitting and shooting guns at what, at least to us, appear to be uniformed police officers. Did Ice-T advise the development team? Did some of the data for Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars somehow end up on the LEGO Batman cartridge?)

You can also spend your LEGO studs to unlock more characters, and go through the levels with them in Free Play mode. Or, you can search the levels for hidden items, which purchase even more treats. Sure, it’s repetitive, but there’s no denying that there’s a ton of material here.

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The presentation, naturally, takes a bit of a hit relative to the big console versions. The cutscenes are gone, replaced by still pictures drawn in a comic-book style; to the developers’ credit, it looks like they took some time with the illustrations. The comics depict LEGO figurines in the midst of action sequences, with style and a haunting color palette. It can be hard to figure out what’s going on (there are no words), there are perhaps too many of them, and there’s no way to skip these sequences, however.

Other than that, the DS version of LEGO Batman looks and feels good. The visuals won’t amaze a PlayStation 3 owner, but it is impressive how much power they can cram into the palms of your hands these days, with countless breakable items inside a vast 3-D world. Gotham doesn’t have a whole lot of character to it, but it is gritty for something made out of LEGOs. The soundtrack comes from that of Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman flick, making for a dark, majestic mood, and the sound effects are magnificent, bringing out everything from the cute tap-tap of LEGOs fitting together to the cartoon-worthy “Pow!” of your fist meeting a bad guy’s face.

This series has hit its stride, and conceivably the developers could keep pumping out decent games for years to come. A lot of fans will surely ache for a franchise reboot (maybe LEGO Batman Begins?), but until that happens, LEGO Batman will do just fine.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.9
Graphics
Nothing mind-blowing, but this is a good-looking game.
3.3
Control
For the most part, the heroes and villains control well, but it’s annoying to have to use the touch screen for some functions.
4.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Classic Batman tunes and great sound effects.
4.2

Play Value
No challenge, but weirdly addicting, with lots of secrets to come back for.

3.8
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Play as Batman, Robin or more than 12 dastardly villains, all in their quirky LEGO forms.
  • Master special superhero power suits and the new moves that come with them, while building and using gadgets and weapons unique for each of the characters.
  • Build and take control of favorite vehicles like the LEGO Batmobile, LEGO Batboat, and LEGO Batwing.
  • Customize your characters, build and transform the game environment, and challenge yourself with multi-layered collectibles and rewards.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge Lego Batman screenshot - click to enlarge

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