Written by  :  ETJB (450)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2014
Platform  :  Xbox 360
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Holy Awesome Lego Batman!

The Good

I must confess to some initial skepticism of the entire "LEGO" video game concept. Skepticism that, thanks to this game, were quickly burst, incised and drained.

While I have fond memories of playing with the famous, plastic building blocks as a child, I was initially leery about the ability to bring the construction blocks promotion of constructive creativity and imagination to the gaming world. Leery, until I was given a copy of LEGO Batman for the XBOX 360.

Not only was I initially leery about the idea of a LEGO video game, but I had also played far too many disappointing video games based on comic book characters.

Video games based on merchandise or licensed characters are rarely good, much less great games. So, when I put this game into my XBOX 360, I was expected the worst. G-d help me, I actually flashed back to my younger days when comic book characters were handled by the folks at LJN.

If you cannot appreciate that video game nightmare-flashback, be thankful! Older gamers, will probably appreciate the reference.

To my amazement, LEGO Batman turned out to be excellent as a LEGO video game and as a comic book video game.

The first thing that stood out, to me, was how realistically and smoothly the Batman comic book universe had been transformed into one built by LEGO construction toys.

The developers of this game clearly managed to find their "inner child", if not also several large bins of LEGOs, because the world, and the characters in it, all look like something that could actually be designed by LEGOs

The storyline also shows an extensive respect for the DC Comics characters. The storyline moves forward, with quite a bit of appropriate -- if you are familiar with the original source material -- character development and humor, despite the fact that none of the major or minor characters actually speak words, as such.

Having never played a LEGO-themed video game before, I was blown away at how smoothly the Batman universe was transformed into a LEGO-designed universe without loosing any of the enjoyment of the original comic book source material

Batman and Robin (in a perfectly designed and executed 1 or 2-player format) must fight the forces of evil in Gotham City, which means more then taking out small time crooks or helping little old ladies cross the street.

This game has got one of the largest -- in a video game -- gallery or famous super villains to content with (and I am nowhere near to unlocking all that this game has to offer).

Defeating the rogue gallery of villains, each with their own lair and army of minions, is going to require you to exercise far, far more then just your blistered thumbs to succeed in this game.

The famous "Dynamic Dual" can do more then just jump, punch, kick or use their cool baterang and grappling hook. Although it must be said that they can do all of these things with such ease and style, it almost feels like you are fighting crime in Gotham City yourself.

Our heroes can collect LEGO studs, to unlock over outfits and other DC comic book characters. True to the LEGO world, the characters can also build some cool stuff; i.e. vehicles, different utility belts and useful switches and levers.

Each level in the game has TONS of stuff to find -- often by smashing or building LEGO backgrounds. The more that you discover in the game, the more you will want to discover in the game.

This is not a game that you just play to beat and then move on to something else. This is a game that you will want to play again and again.

The game allows you to go retrace your steps, which is especially helpful in accessing parts of the game that require you have certain outfit or be a certain character.

LEGO Gotham City is probably the BEST video game version of the famous city ever designed. Fans of the Batman franchise, will recognize the city, some of its major characters and, yes, even some of the famous Batman music.

Last, but not least, LEGO Batman is not just a huge video game that encourages exploration and experimentation. It is a huge game that makes you want to eat, breath and sleep the LEGO Batman world!

One of the beat ways the game does this is by, essentially, giving you unlimited extra lives.

This means that when you die your character breaks apart, true to the LEGO construction, but (most of the time) you will quickly re-spawn.

Yes, you may lose some LEGO studs (perhaps some respect from your co-player) but the LEGO Gotham City is still very much your oyster.

The Bad

LEGO Batman is one of those rare video games were almost nothing bad can be said about it. This is even rarer when you are talking about a video game based on not one, but two HUGE pop culture icons; LEGOS and comic books.

I will say that sometimes, just sometimes mind you, making certain platform jumps in the game can be a HOLY PAIN IN THE YOU-KNOW-WHAT.

It does not happen all the time and maybe it is just a reflection of my skills.

However, when you are trying to jump onto a ladder or jump onto platform, surrounded by deadly sewage, you may notice a tendency to miss, fall and die.

After a while, this may cause you to notice some screams of obscene, profane and otherwise beyond-the-pale, profanity coming from your mouth.

The unlimited extra lives and the fact that you tend to re-spawn right where you died keeps this from hurting the game's rating.

The Bottom Line

LEGO Batman for the XBOX 360 manages to combine LEGO construction toys and the Dark Knight into one totally, awesome, revolutionary new video game genre!