I’ve been playing the new Lego Batman video game (PS3 version), working on a review for the newspaper, and thought I’d share some of my initial impressions about the title:
* I haven’t played any of the previous “Lego” games, but I imagine they follow the same basic, stripped-down formula: button-mash battles, platform climbing, a bit of puzzle-solving, collecting lots and lots of “studs” (keep your mind out of the gutters pal) to purchase special items and extras, and some sections where you “build” stuff out of Legos (and by build I mean hold down on the circle button).
* Overall it’s a pretty decent, if overly simplistic formula. There’s some variety in that by moving the controller stick this way or that while button-mashing you can pull off some fancy moves, like making Robin do backflips. But overall this is an average action/puzzle game with a cute makeover, and I can see the combat aspects becoming repetitive very quickly.
* I’m a bit slow, so I always appreciate a good tutorial when I start a new game to show me the ropes. Lego Batman has a horrible one though. The instructions show up for a few seconds and then disappear, never to return, even when you pause the game. As a result, I had to restart the first level, because I couldn’t figure out (or remember, take your pick) what I was supposed to do to get to the next section (more on that later).
* One obvious new addition is the ability to throw batarangs at far-away objects and enemies. You do this by holding down on one of the buttons, moving the cursor to the stuff you want smacked and then letting go. It sounds simple, but it doesn’t handle well and could have stood some tweaking.