LEGO Batman

Platform(s): Nintendo DS, PC, PSP, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Warner Bros.
Developer: Traveller's Tales

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19. 'Lego Batman' (Wii/PS2/PS3/X360/PC)

by Rainier on Jan. 19, 2008 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

LEGO Batman features all of the characters from the LEGO Batman construction sets, plus a few new additions. Gamers will have the ability to roam the streets of LEGO Gotham City as Batman or Robin, and even take control of the villains while manipulating gadgets and building and operating fantastic vehicles in one- or two-person co-op gameplay.

Alicia Ashby: Lego Star Wars had a surreal charm, even if you didn't like "Star Wars" to a fanatical degree. (I don't.) Ah, but Batman? I'm not sure there's anybody on this planet who doesn't like Batman, least of all my comics-reading self. Thus far, Lego Batman appears to be promising costume-change driven superpowers (I want a cameo from Viking Batman!) and a host of playable villains, complete with their own Arkham Asylum lair and individual story lines. Sure, Lego Catwoman's chunk boobs look weird, but that's the fun of it! That, and seeing Batman have to solve puzzles by changing into Arctic Freeze Mango Deluxe Batman with Real Water-Squirting Action.

Redmond Carolipio: Oh, come on, it's Batman! You've seen what happens with Lego Star Wars, so it just seems like a perfect time for a blocky Dark Knight, er, Brick Knight. You've also got Robin, Gotham City, and a focus on the TV series and comics. However, the old TV series dripped with cheese, which could annoy some fans who like their Batman a little more ninja-like, sort of like the incarnation we saw in "Batman Begins." I'm also curious how angles from the comic are worked in, since the Batman character has morphed and evolved over the years. Will there be origin stories? Who exactly are we going to face? And how is the game going to handle the aspect of mumbly nonverbal communication?

Brad Hilderbrand: If there's one thing we've learned about movie games over the years, it's that they suck — unless all of the characters and environments are made of Lego blocks. Lego Star Wars has proven to be a surprise smash, so why not try the formula again with the Caped Crusader? The developers are taking a little more creative freedom with the Batman license, and oh, by the way, the game is not going to be based on the upcoming film. Instead, Batman, Robin and the gang are set to rid Gotham City of the Joker, the Penguin, and still more yet-unannounced villains. The only thing I wonder is if you have to assemble the Batmobile before you're allowed to drive it ....

Chris Lawton: The Lego Star Wars series remains, to this day, one of my favorite ways to waste some time. It's just such a simple concept that is executed with a combination of solid gameplay and fun storytelling. I have no doubt in my mind that Lego Batman will achieve the same thing. I fully expect everything, from the slapstick humor to the fun co-op play, to find its way into this title and settle in nicely in the Batman mythos. It's been a while since we've had a good Batman game, and I think this may end the losing streak.

Tim McCullough: Everyone loves Lego, and when you combine them with your favorite movies, you have a combination that can't miss. The "cuteness" factor of the Lego Star Wars games made it extremely popular with entire families. My favorite element is the sound: plastic clanking as it explodes into pieces is just too cool. Lego Batman will be just as popular as its predecessor, if not more so.

Tim "The Rabbit" Mithee: I had very low hopes for Lego Star Wars in 2005. It looked silly, even cheap and gimmicky. Let me atone now by saying LSW and its sequel featured some of the best platforming action in years. It was silly, oh yes, but it was built from the ground up to be a light game, not easy but not soul-devouring or prone to insane obsessing. The bonuses were fun to unlock, the shooting was clean and straightforward — even dying didn't really frustrate. Traveller's Tales is taking this winning design to other franchises, starting with everyone's favorite post-traumatic reclusive crime fighter, Batman. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works: There'll be less gunplay, so I can only imagine the hand-to-hand combat will be greatly enhanced. Part of how Lego Batman works will depend on how TT approaches the franchise, particularly in terms of writing; I fear that if they go the wrong route, the game may drown under unnecessary gothy angst or end up so campy that it's unbearable. But I will most certainly give this one a shot simply based on the winning formula from LSW.

Erik "NekoIncardine" Ottosen: Lego Batman: It's Batman, the space-breathing terror of the night, only rendered in Lego blocks. Lego Star Wars proved that "Lego" + "Anything" can potentially work, and since it's still in the hands of the excellent Traveller's Tales studio, I can't help but foresee top-tier, hilarious fun of the very sort that Batman has tried to find in video games for years.

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