LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Reviews

  • GoldnfoxxGoldnfoxx256,699
    04 Jul 2012 05 Jul 2012
    37 3 15
    Since I first played LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga a few years ago, I've been a huge fan of these games. I know a lot of people who are wary about picking any game in this series up because they feel the games are made for kids (and they are), but the truth is adults can have just as much fun with them as anyone. When I want to play a game that is challenging, I'll look at Guitar Hero. When I want to play an action game with a good story, I'll play something like Arkham City. If I just want to chill out with a relaxing, but engaging game, I'll play a LEGO game; I call them "no-stress gaming," which I desperately need in my already stress-heavy life. There's little in any of them that will compel you to smash your controller the way Hulk smashes Norse gods.

    THE POSITIVE:
    1. Details. I've always been happy with the depth of knowledge Traveller's Tales has about the source material of their games. It's been clear over the course of the two Batman games, especially, that they are fans of the character and know what works and what doesn't. The number of unlockable characters here is, as always, brimming with the kind of characters you want to see, and which you never thought you'd get to play as in a video game.

    2. Open World. This is TT's first foray into open world/sandbox-style gaming, and Gotham is well represented here. Futhermore, unlike some of the other LEGO games (where after a certain distance apart the game tended to port you directly next to your co-op partner), if you're playing co-op, you are free to wander around at your leisure. This makes unlocking collectibles much more fun than if you had to stick together. "Hey, I'll go after that Red Brick--you go after that Gold One we found earlier."

    3. Story and humor. Like all LEGO games, TT has taken the source material and kind of poked fun at it, while at the same time paying total respect to the source material so that die-hard fans of the franchises can sink in their teeth. Here, they have a lot of fun taking Batman and Superman's personalities to their logical, extreme ends. At first, I genuinely thought they were just making fun of Superman in the way that a lot of Batman fans do (the first time you see him, he comes across like a bit of a dunce), but as the game progressed I saw that they were just playing around with their extremely different personality types. All of the humor comes from either their interaction, or the interacting of Joker and Lex (where they tolerate one another far better than they did in the Justice League animated series). It's all very fun to watch and to listen to...

    4. ...Which is, in and of itself, a major selling point of this game--the characters speak. I was against this the first time it was annouced. But the moment Luthor spoke and I heard Clancy Brown's voice again, I decided to just sit back and see what they'd done. All in all, this game is better than it would have been with the usual grunts and other sounds effects.

    5. The rest of the things which make the LEGO games great. If you enjoy this series already, there's no real reason not to pick this one up as well. Everything that made those games so much fun are here as well. I have some quabbles with the execution this time around, but it's still one of the best LEGO games to date. And...strangely...probably the best Superman game we've ever gotten. This is not to say that the game is perfect, however:

    PROBLEMS:
    1. Glitches. OMG, glitches. The LEGO games have always been plagued by a number of issues, and Batman 2 has all of those and then some. The game locks up frequently, which is always a bummer. Fortunately, the game saves fairly often (whenever you pick up a collectible or finish a level, and there are save progress terminals scattered throughout the individual levels as well), But it's still frustrating having to reboot the system. But that's not the end of it, especially in co-op. In what I'm just going to guess is a memory-related issue, sometimes things don't appear on one player's half of the screen while they will on the other's. In fact, sometimes things like lines of coins, Batcomputer terminals, and unlockable villains just won't appear AT ALL, If you happen to be in the same area when this happens, you can watch a line of coins disappear off Player 1's screen (where the same line was absent on Player 2's) and suddenly appear on Player 2's side. Playing with a friend, a Batcomputer terminal which displays an unlockable villain in Gotham Park, and which usually spawns the villain (no spoilers), simply refuses to do so (and the last time we tried, my half of the screen disappeared completely after backing out of the terminal, and neither of us could drop out). Some terminals won't show up on his half of the screen, but I can walk right up to them. It's a weird set of glitches, and potentially game-breaking. There's a series of Gold Bricks that come from actions taken in Gotham Zoo that cause a line of coins to appear, at the end of which, is a Gold Brick. I opened a fence and proceeded to do what I had to do, but the line REFUSED to appear for me. I dropped out, and the line appeared for my friend, but when he got to the end, instead of the Gold Brick, he found a purple coin (as though I'd already gotten the brick, which I hadn't); it's entirely possible at the end of the game, we're going to find ourselves one brick short. So...yeah...game-breaking glitches.

    2. Load times. I am NOT one to complain about load times. I come from an era where if you wanted to play Monopoly on the Commodore 64, you had to use an audio cassette reader that took 42 minutes to load the game. As a general rule, I just don't feel load times the way some other people seem to...but this game, especially when first loading your saved game after a reboot, takes more than long enough for me to take notice.

    3. Collectibles and Exploring. As it is, I'm already conflicted on the issue of collectibles in games--especially open-world games. In the past, LEGO games have done collectibles right. There are in-game cheats (always in the form of red bricks), which can help you track down and uncover the items you are missing. Historically, it's been a huge reason why I've called these no-stress games. I can collect as I explore, and not feel like I'm going wind up one item short of my achievements. But LEGO Batman 2 gets this wrong, in my own opinion. In other LEGO games, Red Bricks were could be found at almost any time as long as you have the right characters to unlock them. Technically, this is true here as well, but since you can't change characters in Open World Gotham until the story has finished, and most of the Red Bricks have to be unlocked by villain characters, most Red Bricks will not be accessible until you've already finished the story. This defeats the purpose for me in many ways. For one thing, it makes the post-game nothing BUT roaming around getting collectibles, rather than simply finding what you missed. Even in LEGO Batman 1, where the story was divided by acts, you could change to the villain characters at pretty much any time to find the Red Bricks. Now you pretty much have to wait until the end (note: I've found exactly four without having to change characters). So, exploring is not really rewarded the way I personally feel it should be. And this is counter-intuitive...it's the first Open World LEGO game, but it's the most restrictive in exploration. I don't get it. And for the record, this is my BIGGEST complaint with the game.

    4. It's a short game. Something like 15 chapters, which is three chapters shy of most other LEGO games. It's not divided into acts the way EVERY other LEGO game has been (including LEGO Batman), and the levels are relatively long, but it still feels like it's been a short game overall...if I didn't have a job, I'd have been done with it in a day or two's time.

    5. Still no online multiplayer. I think only one of the LEGO games has had it, so they know how to do it, but for some reason it's still absent here. With all the glitches in local co-op, it might actually be a good thing, but I hate that I can't play with friends who live a good distance away.

    6. Controls. Specifically, controlling anything that flies in this game is probably the most frustrating thing to experience in ANY LEGO game. Never mind the fact that I prefer to fly anything with inverted controls (since that option conspicuously doesn't even EXIST on the 360), but even if you don't have a problem pressing up to go up when you're flying, you'll probably find getting around in the air a major issue. All you want to do is make Superman fly upward in a straight line? Good luck! The next target you have to fly the Batcopter through is a little below your current arc? Have fun going straight down! Want to land on that Gold Brick you just found? Try not and overshoot your target by a mile (or km)! Even just pressing "B" to stop flying tends to drop you at an angle.

    Overall, it's a great game. If it weren't for the Open World exploration restrictions, I'd enjoy the game more than I do...that and the glitches are the only thing keeping me from giving the game 5 stars. Even if you don't particularly like Batman as character (all 5 of you in the world), or general LEGO games, it's still worth picking this up for the fun of the story and watching characters like Batman and Superman interact with one another. The dialogue is great, and the whole game is a wonderful addition to my collection of LEGO games.
    4.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    NeverUnluckyI agree with you, the flying in this game kills me.
    Posted by NeverUnlucky#344 on 06 Jan 14 at 20:30
    HashtagWabisabiAwesome review! I've only just got round to playing this, and it is a great addition to the LEGO franchise. The flying controls are a total pain in the butt though. I've found Wonder Woman is easier to control than Superman, but it doesn't help for those gold bricks in the air where Superman's heat vision is needed.

    (I also remember the Commodore 64 load times - remember when you used to have 4 games on a cassette and it would take around 2 hours to get to the last game?! Fun times)!
    Posted by HashtagWabisabi on 20 Mar 15 at 20:24
    Chameleon1977If you think these flying combos are bad, try lego marvel... dunno what they were thinking in that game. facepalm
    Posted by Chameleon1977 on 20 Mar 15 at 20:29
  • MASSIVEHVALMASSIVEHVAL97,768
    24 Aug 2013 26 Aug 2013
    5 0 0
    Lego games in the past have always seemed to strike into the hardcore gamers as repetitive, dull, and rushed. Although they have always had the same charm that keeps younger audiences coming back for more. Developer Traveller's Tales is looking to change that with Lego Batman 2. While most people see it and think it's another Lego game, once you play it, it changes everything you remember about previous Lego games.

    Lego Batman 2 takes the minifigure version of the dark knight back into your hands. But this time he's bringing Green Lantern, Superman, Cyborg, Wonderwoman, and every DC character you can think of with him. But there is one thing that separates these Lego Heroes from the previous ones, voices. Every once silent blocky hero now have fully voiced dialogue. While the silence was some of the charm of the comedy in previous games, for me the change is very welcome.

    The tale goes like this, Lex Luthor has lost to Bruce Wayne over the man of the year award in Gotham. And as you might think he's not very happy. So Lex teams up with the Joker to take over gotham and become President. Sounds silly right? With the voices the story becomes more engaging than it is hilarious. Robins need for attention, Batman's jealousy of Superman, and a Vicki Vale's inside jokes about the DC universe makes this the funniest game in Lego history.

    While the gameplay has seen some small but noticeable changes the presentation of the gameplay has been drastically improved. This time instead a small batcave as your hub, it's the huge sprawling open world of Gotham City. The City is beautiful. The sunset shining on shiny bricks, the every inch of details in the buildings, and the rain coated streets make this Traveller's Tales' prettiest game yet.

    While the open world is huge and filled with silly references I found that its only purpose was for collectables and gaining the next story mission. Besides collecting there isn't much to do in the world. The missions on the other have seemed to have gotten a lot longer but they are spiced up with some new suits for the puzzles. The missions are exactly what you'd expect smash lego bricks collect studs and do silly and simple puzzles to get to the end.

    This time the collectables have for the first time made me want them to see what I get from them. It's incredibly addictive. I spent more hours on this game than I have in any other Lego game to date. With 20 plus hours on the story alone I spent 40 just having fun in the open world. In short, Lego Batman 2 is much more than just another Lego game. Its a huge and captivating game with small flaws Lego Batman 2 gets 4 and half stars out of five.
    4.5
  • oO Macclad OooO Macclad Oo179,998
    03 Jan 2013
    5 0 0
    Talking, don't let the talking put you off. Yes it's the first LEGO game to introduce talking characters but gameplay wise nothing has changed. Story wise it would have been extremely difficult to portray if the characters didn't talk which I guess is the reasoning behind it's introduction.

    The game introduces Lex Luther straight away and wastes no time in bringing the Batman villains into the fore, however it is some time before you get to play as Superman, and the penultimate level before you take control of any of the other Justice League members, other than Batman and Robin, of course.

    The only flaw I found with this game is the hub. It has changed again, something the developers seem to insist upon. Of the LEGO games I have done to date this is undoubtedly the biggest hub. It requires you to have to find 190 of the 250 gold bricks, all 20 red bricks and 35/50 Citizens in Peril. You are also required to activate 23 control hubs in order to reveal the map. Most of the gold bricks can't be collected unless you activate these hubs and finish the game to access the relevant characters. This isn't the greatest problem I found though. The quickest way to get about in Gotham City (the hub) is to fly but flying is the hardest thing to do. In the levels it is straight forward but in Gotham it is far more difficult, particularly if you try and fly straight up!

    There are only 15 levels but most are 20 minutes or more and well constructed (pardon the pun). I believe they spent more time making the hub than the levels. The game is fun to play, however, and can be played entirely in local co-op, if you choose. I played it all the way through with my 6 year old son who loves it like mad.

    Graphics 7/10
    Good, same as any other LEGO game
    Gameplay/Story 9/10
    Gameplay hasn't changed but has introduced talking to the story. Good storyline
    Longevity 5/10
    The hub takes time, the story mode not so much
    Achievements 7/10
    A list very similar to any other LEGO game. Little imagination
    Overall 8/10
    I think overall it's a good addition to the ever increasing amount of LEGO games and perfect for a younger audience
    4.0
  • TheCrankZoneTheCrankZone102,743
    10 Aug 2012
    6 1 2
    I love that developer Traveller’s Tales has really taken to the idea of Legofying many of the world’s greatest media franchises and turning them into engaging, welcoming, family-friendly titles and ran with it, with no end in sight. Love it. Sure, they aren’t perfect, often overly simplistic with obligatory (and confusingly still) sloppy vehicle controls, but there is just no denying the tongue-in-cheek charm these games bring and the fact that just about any person can pick them up and play along, even with a grizzled gaming veteran.

    Lego Batman 2: DC Heroes includes many of the staples that the previous iterations have laid down as a foundation – level-based story progress, countless item collecting, breaking everything in sight, goofy after goofy moment – before tossing out the rest of the proven blueprints in favor of a risky new design involving adding vocal chords to mimes, open world exploration and crossover antics. Having seen everything this building has to offer, I have been left with no choice but to explain with a heavy heart that the price for this innovation clearly came at the expense of structure stability and lasting enjoyment. What stands here is good, often great even, but an improvement over the original design? Watch the building so easily sway in the wind and try to tell me yes, because where I stand, all I can think is, “not really.”

    What is still delightful and, most importantly, fun about the original Lego Batman is ever present from the get-go with the sequel. Visually, this is the best looking Lego game to date, finally feeling as is this is a Lego game not dragging one foot behind to keep the door cracked open for aging consoles. Nearly all the textures are sharp and distinct, nice lightning and environmental effects are scattered throughout and the color, gloss and sheen of the world only further enhances the story the perfectly imagined characters are telling.

    The level design is very satisfying in the levels in which they are given room to breathe (more on that later). What made Lego Batman the strongest of the TT Games’ Lego games is that it wasn’t tied to an existing path of events, forcing the developer to connect the dots from important sequence to important sequence with minimal artistic freedom in-between. That independence is back in full force as players travel above, beyond and throughout Gotham City. Attempting to discover Joker and Lex Luthor’s plans within Ace Chemicals, scrambling up a crumbling Wayne Tower, infiltrating Lexcorp’s headquarters or chasing Joker underneath Harbourside Theater, whatever is happening is exciting and enticing, rarely giving amusement time to lull.

    And - finally - those frustrating vehicle levels with their poor controls are non-existent, in the place are on-rails shooting segments where the game is forced to deal with the loose, overly sensitive controls. Why TT Games’ couldn’t have just employ someone to design these portions in a way that is effective and fun is beyond me, but hey, at least they are no longer there to force players into a corner of terribleness.

    The story portion that drives these levels weaves a pleasant, though too often safe, narrative, leaning heavily on the concept that Batman/Lex are grumpy loners and Superman/Robin/Joker are free-spirited and friendly. Which, admittedly, leads to some snicker worthy moments, but too often the jokes feel forced and obvious, or worse, uninspired and flat. Vicki Vale’s news reports (and the news ticker below) are a prime example of this, initially seeming to be a great lead-in to each level that is undone by ho-hum writing. Robin has some of the best lines but he sees less on-screen time than Vicki! And where are the DC Heroes the subtitle makes me assume will play a large part of this game? Minus Superman, the main Justice League characters here (The Flash, Cyborg, Green Lantern and Wonder Woman) are in the last couple of levels only. This game should be titled Lego Batman & Superman, exactly how the box art displays it. Labeling it anything else is decisively misleading.

    When there were no voices (as was the case in every Lego game before this one), TT Games’ had to rely on sight gags, facial expressions and actions to tell jokes and push the story along, which was one of the most endearing portions because these characters had never been placed in such limitations and brought out a different side of creativity in storytelling and character building. I have heard and read Batman say so many different things but how many times have I been witness to a mime Batman? Once and that was in the first Lego Batman. Without a doubt it was absurd and cheeky, but it was so out of character that it was just so clever. Sure, what is here definitely works, but it is neither demanding nor intricate. This is just plain and ever so status quo.

    Where previous Lego games had a small hub from which to select levels from (something, thankfully, that is not completely forgotten thanks to one of the computers in the Batcave), this game sees that expanded into a decently sized, free-roaming Gotham City, broken into three islands and littered with puzzles, collectibles and unlockables. This is where the majority of optional content, such as extra characters, vehicles and cheats are found, which is an appropriate way to break the game into two pieces.

    Yet, all that wonderment and warm fuzziness from the story levels begins to wan once players are given the freedom to explore the open world portions of the game. There isn’t much life in this city, with the majority of the city being sterile, boring skyscrapers of various heights. The puzzles that occupy this space try a little harder but for every remote-control vehicle battle and building sprawling puzzle there is a horrendously lame “destroy a couple trees” or punch one penguin to save a guy puzzle that is pointlessly drab.

    To make matters worse in this part of the game is that crappy controls of the vehicles and character flying abilities turn insipid into problematic. It continues to befuddle me that TT Games’ cannot hire a person to make their vehicles not make the player feel like they are attempting to steer an excessive drunk in a straight line as they continue to push the boundaries of intoxication. And they appear to revel in it, as the overly generous hit detection for flying through rings and the straight-edged layout of buoy checkpoints attest that there is still zero interest in fixing this issue that exists in every one of their Lego games with vehicles.

    Flying, which is handled more the adequately in the story mode, is completely redone for the open world portions, combining what works with the awfulness of the vehicles, creating an absolute disaster. Unless there is ample room to maneuver and take off (or you are just in the empty sky), expect to become stuck against buildings and invisible barriers, forced to start and stop and fight the sluggish camera to attempt to find space to move. Making subtle movements, necessary to retrieve quite a few collectibles, is nigh impossible as your flying character controls like a flying bull – there is standing still and there is full bore, not much in-between. Then try landing in one of the couple of spots that don’t allow standing…how my controller isn’t in the backyard is a testament to my upbringing.

    The open-world portion is an intriguing idea on paper, but the execution left me with a bad taste in my mouth. There are easily 3 large levels here that could have been incorporated into the main story with greater finesse and focus, which could have fleshed out the handful of oddly short levels and packed in more puzzles and cleverness to the levels that felt complete. Limitations are only as enclosing and negative as one makes them and TT Games’ generally shows how greatness can come from finding ways to work inside of them. If the open world were actually integrated into the story mode outside of following hard to see translucent Lego piece lines and not just a warehouse of collectibles I would be less critical. As it stands, it is nothing more than a neutral addition.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I am probably alone in some of my criticisms for this game, there is one area I believe we can all agree on and that is the outlandish amount of bugs and sloppy play-testing that was done on this game. I’m not even talking about the things that could be considered deliberate design choices such as control problems, I mean full on bugs. Here are some of the highlights from my play through: the first time I used Robin’s magnet suit, the magnet platform kept kicking me off; while playing co-op in the Ace Chemicals level, 90% of the time I attempted to fly as Superman, it kicked me to a different character; during The Next President level’s roof fight, Superman became trapped underneath Mecha Joker’s fist and I had to restart the game; and during a magnet puzzle, I rolled a ball up too far against the other character, they became stuck and I had to restart the game. Check the Internet for even more. Reprehensible.

    Had I know what I was getting into before purchasing this game the day it was released, I’m not sure I would have. There are certainly more positives than negatives in the overall package, and there is no denying all the fun I did have, but was it worth the $50 entry fee, especially with plenty of our games out there I have yet to play or about to be released? I am so hesitant to say yes. If you get new games all the time, then it probably won’t make a difference, but if you are like me and only pick up one now and then, heed my warning that this purchase may be best held off until the inevitable price drop (as personally painful that is to write).

    Why do you make me write such harsh things about you, TT Games? Sigh. cry
    3.0
  • Balsin FaseBalsin Fase164,471
    04 Jul 2012
    4 4 3
    I used to be a staunch Lego game fan, lining up to buy them the day they came out. There was just something so endearing to see my favorite characters rendered with Lego that I couldn't resist. The games were relaxing as well, providing me with fun without any kind of real danger of losing. It was like kicking back and watching cartoons.

    Then, I noticed that my 'cartoons' were making me slowly lose my mind. I'd play through long, torturous levels while trying to figure out what was the one thing I'd missed to make the game progress. I'd spend most of a level punching everything in sight in case it produced studs, just so I could max out the stud meter for the level. I'd then proceed to lose a ton of them when my character got locked on some piece of environment and started freaking out, dying over and over again while losing every stud I'd found. I gave up on them after realizing this with the first Lego Batman, a game that simultaneously gave me everything I wanted and hated out of a Lego game. Now, years later, I'd hoped Lego Batman 2 would fix all of its problems and give me the amazing DC Comics game I'd been dreaming of.

    Instead, they kept all of the old problems while making some new ones.

    There are some really cool aspects that made me want to like this game. Having the huge roster of DC characters was endlessly cool, providing me with opportunities to play as characters that have rarely been done right in a video game. The only drag is that said characters pretty much just show up around the end of the game, so one of the main draws of this game was a wash for 90% of it. Superman gets unlocked pretty early in, and he's great and all, but I really wanted to see some character variety.

    The suits are supposed to make up for the lack of characters, giving Batman and Robin lots of little abilities to get through the levels. If you played the previous games, you'll notice that many of the suits amalgamate the powers of a handful of suits from the last game. For instance, one of the suits Batman wears combines the gliding and glass-breaking powers from the last game (don't ask me why those two got put together). This seems like it would make your life easier, but it just frees the developer up to add more suits with new powers. There's an electrical suit for Batman that lets him store electricity, an acrobat suit for Robin that lets him flip on poles and ride a giant hamster ball, and a handful of others.

    They're used in creative ways, and I like that they're trying to add some variety to the levels, but all I find I'm doing in each area is pushing forward in one suit until I'm given the option to change into another. They don't add much to the gameplay before giving me more costume-specific tasks to do, meaning more bouncing back and forth between costumes. I felt like every few minutes I would hit a wall in gameplay, and have to smash and search until I'd unlocked the proper costume to progress. Flow is not a world in TT Games' vocabulary.

    The levels look nice in many parts, but they're almost all just as bad for being too long and too boring. If people think that levels in shooters tend to be incoherent messes made of disjointed parts, they've never played Lego Batman 2. Due to the need to use all of those costumes, each level is a mess of pipes, fires, water, glass, and other disjointed pieces. They all seem to go on interminably, with some of them pushing past the two hour mark. Given that all I was doing for most of that time was hitting background objects in hope that my path would reveal itself, I wasn't exactly having fun.

    It also looks like no one's bothered to fix the particular problems these games have with their platforming. As soon as I went after a purple stud in the second level, I saw that it was up to its old tricks. Trying to grab one resulted in me falling down the side of a building I'd been trying to climb for some time. I hit the ground without dying, something that amazed me, but I soon saw the predicament I was in. There was indeed a ladder down here for me to climb out with, but it was on the outside of the tower I was standing on. That meant leaping out over the pit and trying to hook around to the front of the ladder, praying that I would grab it. These games have always been finicky about hit detection on interactive objects, and Lego Batman 2 was no different, so I ended up falling off that cliff about a dozen times before my controller was cocked back, ready to fly towards the nearest wall. Instead, I stood up and shut the game off, having to come back to it later.

    This is a kid's game?

    The same thing happens in quite a few places when you need to use your powers to advance. I've had multiple objects fail to react in any way when I knew I was using the right power on them. Some of them are so stubborn about your position that they'll hold you back for hours. I remember one particular waterfall that just would not freeze no matter how many times I tried to do it. I was stuck there for ages because the game would only read what I was doing if I was positioned exactly right. It drove me nuts.

    They added free roam to it, in case you weren't having enough fun already. They gave you a giant, sprawling city in which to hide stupid junk to collect later. Instead of just hiding things in the straightforward levels, you now have to look for them across an entire city. It doesn't help it that the city is really, really dull. Beyond looking for loot, it's just an inconvenience whenever you want to do some simple task, like go to the next level. There's no picking levels. You have to drive to them, and there's a reason I skipped every driving sequence in L.A. Noire.

    Navigating these maps is a pain. Instead of giving you an easily visible indicator of where to go, the game puts a trail of pale studs to show you where you should be going. It's a nice gesture, but considering that the hood of your car obscures studs that are close up, and the trail changes directions in a poorly visible way, you'll find that you slide right past every single turn you need to make. You could give up on it, but the lack of landmarks makes it all but impossible to get around, and the compass is just terrible. It's symbols get jumbled up on each other, so you typically lose wherever you're going behind something else.

    I thought that the co-op would salvage it, but again, I was thwarted by the terrible level and play design. For starters, they had what appeared to be an interesting idea with their split-screen. Previous games just forced you to be on the same screen at all times, usually resulting in one player dragging the other to their death. Instead, Lego Batman 2 carefully divides the screen into sections based on where you are. If I start working my way up and left while the other player goes down and right, it will cut the screen in two, allowing you to go where you want on the screen while showing you the chunk of the level that you've walked to.

    It's hard to describe, but it allows both people to go to different places while trying to make it look dynamic and fluid. It manages neither, as the split just makes the whole screen look confusing. It's not bad when you focus on where you're going, but if you take in the screen as a whole, like most players do, you'll get a little confused with what you're seeing. For me, it caused more than a few momentary stalls in my concentration while I tried to process why I was seeing two different things on the same screen. It tricks your mind into thinking the game is messed up, and it's a really jarring effect. I'd take regular old split-screen over it any day.

    On top of that, it still seems like the level designers have no idea how to keep things interesting for two players. If you play with a friend, you'll find that there are a lot of times when one player or the other is just standing there doing nothing. The game tends to lean toward one person or the other, giving them a bunch of tasks that can only be solved with their powers, and then ignores the other person. For example, I had to climb a building once with magnetic boots (a slow process in itself), pull a few panels into position, use my magnetic boots to cross them, break a few containers open, fight some bad guys, and then finally build a platform and lower it to my partner. It might not sound like much on paper, but that was about a three to five minute period where my partner had nothing to do. Sure, bad guys respawned for her to fight, but since they don't drop studs, they're useless. All they did was slowly whittle away at her health and cost us studs, creating a boring, irritating, and unnecessary diversion.

    I really wanted to like this game, but it feels like it's actively trying to make me mad. The levels are boring fetch quests, the enemies are non-entities, the split-screen is a mess, the free roam is impossible to navigate, and the other super heroes who drew me to the game are barely in it. On top of all this, Lego Batman 2 still has every single problem the Lego series has had since it started. TT Games needs to FIX some of these problems. There is absolutely no reason why a series that has been running this long and doing this well needs to suffer from the same poor hit detection and wonky platforming its predecessors have. It's not enough to have a cool concept for these games any more, as they're never going to be a step better than mediocre until these issues are dealt with.

    If you want to play something better than Lego Batman 2, you might like...

    Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga - Back when these games were fresh, the high concepts alone were enough to make me overlook some of the game's flaws. It had a charm that couldn't be ignored. I just wish they weren't still relying on that charm to impress people.

    Banjo Kazooie - Yes, the N64 port. If you want to pay something lighthearted and fun, give this tight platformer a go. I played it for the first time two years ago, and became more hopelessly addicted to it than I have to almost any game I've played in years. Collecting jiggies is way more fun than collecting studs, that's for sure.

    Like what you read? Visit http://mashthosebuttons.com/, http://www.joelcouture.com/, or follow Joel_Couture on Twitter for more video game ranting, as well as free monthly fantasy short stories!
    3.0
  • FrustratedNerdFrustratedNerd297,268
    03 Jul 2012
    4 6 1
    Traveler's Tales has opened the doors to a newer, and better Lego-game franchise. Featuring a mobile split-screen, a new open world hub, more diverse characters, and a fine tuned engine; Lego Batman 2: DC Universe can be called a trail-blazer of what's to come in the future.

    Fans of the firs game will be glad to know that the previously annoying suits and "powers" have been fixed to be more comfortable and given more of a solid feeling with less room from for error. The over gameplay is smoother, and less chopping; although the load screens can somtimes show it. Patience is a virtue.

    Unlike the first Lego Batman, you're no longer picking missions from the Batcave instead you're found running through Gotham City (following waypoints) to discover new places. Seeing these familar landmarks from a new perspective gives new light to the forever famous city of Gotham. Leaving the Batcave at full speed on a Batcycle has never been matched in a Batgame yet.

    Each landmark is a level split into littier parts until a boss battle is reached. Throughout the mediocre difficult challenges you will unlock new suits (or characters) with special powers to complete the un-attainable objects in Free Play Mode. At least 2 partial run-throughs will be required to 100% this game since you need these new suits to access all the mini-kits and red Lego pieces required for unlockable cheats and achievements. The overall game play isn't challenging once you've got a general idea of what suits do what, (which the game hands out tips throughout playing). Remember the ESRB rating here!

    Comparing the friendly feel of any Lego game to the instense darkness from the likes of Arham City or Arkham Asylum is obvious. The game will lack the gore and insanity from the characters, but it still thrives on the enemy's madness, and low-lit Gotham, but in a child-friendly version much like the old Animated Series. The new jokes and dialog (Yes, they talk now!) from the heroes are toned down for children yet it doesn't take away from the humor or enjoyment at all.

    The DC tie-in / Story line so far is the best (or at least my personal favorite) I've ever seen compared to the animated television shows, and even the graphic novels. Lex Luthor is up against Bruce Wayne for the "Man Of The Year Award" (1st scene, wouldn't call this a spoiler). Obviously Bruce (being the great dude he his) wins. Lex becomes mad enough to break out Gotham's worse criminals and cause a big enough ruckus that even the rest of the DC cast has to help.

    The co-op is what impressed me the most. I'm still flabbergasted at the way the split screen is ran on this game. It's almost impossible to explain with text, but I'll try. Basically it keeps both players on the same screen when you're near each other, but when seperated the screen splits in the direction each character is going. There's no direct line down the middle (except on driving levels), instead the line splits in accordance to your direction. With how smoothley it's done, you'll almost never even realize you split from your partnet until you need them for a task. The achivements listed "Singler Player Only" do unlock for the first player (host) during co-op.

    In short; Lego Batman 2: DC Universe adds more then just voices to the little lego guys but also a whole new co-op engine and brand spanking new world that is second to none. Obviously it's not as "dark" as Arkham Asylum, but any fans of the series will appreciate Batman for his child appropriate humor that we grew up with.
    5.0