Joystick: LEGO adventures continue with Batman and friends

Published 11:03 am Thursday, June 21, 2012

"Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes"

“LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes”

3.5 out of 5 stars

For PS3, 360, Wii, PC, DS, 3DS, Vita

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•Style: Action adventure

•Rating: Everyone (+10)


• Batman and the Justice League take on DC supervillains

• The latest LEGO game brings same creativity, imagination to a well-known world

• Yet another LEGO game with frustrating puzzles, lack of tutorial, wonky platforming.

“Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes” isn’t a bad game. It just plays that way.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Lego series, though games like “Lego Indiana Jones” and “Lego Batman” should have been right up my alley. They always seemed clunky and difficult to figure out what to do. That’s not a good sign when your target audience is 8- to 14-year-olds.

“Lego Batman 2” has a few nominal improvements, but there’s still the same sense of clunkiness that pervades the previous games.

You play as Batman and Robin, the crime-fighting duo trying to protect Gotham City from supervillains. You’ll face everyone from Lex Luthor to the Penguin, and of course the Joker makes several appearances. Batman and Robin, along with the Justice League, have a variety of suits at their disposal to fight crime with, including an invisibility suit for Batman and a magnetic suit for Robin.

Players bounce around, attacking Lego baddies and destroying as many items as possible, while also building useful tools should the situation call for it. The game is imaginative, as many of the puzzles require a lot of experimentation and creative thinking. Completing more puzzles yields extra items, which ultimately gives you unlockable items and characters.

Longtime cartoon watches will be excited as “Lego Batman 2” employs voice actors for each character, a first for the Lego series which was previously known for its expressive storytelling with no dialogue. Some of the more famous voice actors are present, though there’s no Kevin Conroy to give Batman a gravelly undertone.

The game also gives players a taste of various gaming genres, which was always something Lego did well.

One of the first levels pits Batman and Robin in flying craft against the Joker fleeing in a motorboat. This flight simulation level is reminiscent of Super Nintendo games, which would stick random levels inside an action game. It still works today.

The problem is there’s no real tutorial for this game, and some levels are a struggle as you try to figure out why you can’t proceed past a certain point, or which suit or character you need to unlock the stage.

Playing multiplayer is often fun, but there’s a lot of times where you won’t be able to see Batman and Robin because they’ve either blended into the background or are too close to other characters. And yes, players can still kill each other at whim.

“Lego Batman 2” brings just as much fun and creativity as previous Lego games, but it also plays as rough and as frustrating as previous Lego games. It’ll still sell well, and it’s a good family game. But be prepared for frustrating puzzles and some challenging gameplay.