Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lego Batman... Finally got around to it.

I'm wondering if the novelty has worn off of the Lego series. I find this hard to believe as I still just love (love) busting objects and collecting blocks/bolts/what-have-you.

Lego Batman promises more of the same goodness that Lego Starwars delivered in spades. They've taken a few lessons from Ratchet & Clank, which I think is a great idea given that this game is more about gadgets than about swapping heroes (if it was "Lego DC Heroes" then they could have had more emphasis on hero swapping). The Batcave seems very similar to some platform areas in the various Ratchet & Clank games; the magnetic boots (and winding metal paths) are clearly a tribute to the R&C goodness.

Maybe I'm not excited enough by the IP to forgive the Lego series' flaws... Or maybe some of the flaws are exacerbated in this version. I'm just not that compelled to continue on:
  • Movies seem longer and not as good as the Starwars versions.
  • Geared towards more hard core/experienced players (easier to fall to death early on; combat difficulty is a little challenging for the first 2 levels).
  • Severe level design x camera interactions that make for cluttered/obstructed game play.
I wonder if I'm also a little bit sad that the combat system is so shallow. I've been playing a lot of action and action RPG games where more than just button mashing is required and I feel like my combat options in this game aren't that exciting. Pair this with the fact that the default gadget (boomerang) is not very easy to use in combat, I feel like it doesn't really matter what I do in combat -- just don't hit Y (switch by mistake) or hold X (go into boomerang mode).

I also wish there was a little more gravitational pull for the blocks -- I think I've become spoiled by other games where the essences released by a player's desctructive actions are automagically scooped up (instead of requiring me to run everywhere to try and pick some random block up).

No big surprise, but the UI and game shell menus could use some work.
  • The classic "binary option; both of which look highlighted" problem (one is in yellow text; the other is in blinking white text).
  • Jargonistic terms in the settings pages ("adaptive difficulty") and missing contextual text when having to choose upgrades (what the heck is "silhouette mode"?)
Considering that I've now basically spent $25 on it (2 months on loan from Gamefly) I should probably return it in favor of the next two games in my Q (two DS games: The Sonic rpg and a Nancy Drew game).

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