Lego Batman PSP Review - 31/10/2008

With Lego Star Wars being such a big hit, developers Travellers Tales have moved to turning other franchises into Lego blocks with the likes of Lego Indiana Jones which received mixed reviews from critics, and now Lego Batman. Does the magic that LSW unlocked carry over to the Batman universe or is this just a way to cash in on the original idea?


To put things into perspective, Lego Batman is in no way related to the latest movies, but in fact is more of homage to the original comics. The story line follows Batman and Robin as they try to round up all the villains that have escaped Arkham Asylum, including The Joker, Clayface, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Twoface and others. The game plays a lot like LSW II with the added features from the Indiana Jones game. Instead of the Cantina, the game's hub is in fact the Batcave itself with an upstairs room of Wayne Manor serving as the trophy room. To access the levels from the Batcave you have to go to the different vehicles stationed there including the Batmobile, Batwing and the boat that Batman has. Each one takes you to a separate part of the story, with one of the main villains presiding over each (Riddler, Penguin and the Joker).

Gameplay in itself is much like all the other Lego games with bashing enemies, solving puzzles with the aid of your two characters (Batman & Robin) and building things out of Lego blocks scattered around to help you get through the level. At the end of the stage you will encounter one, and sometimes two villains that you must defeat to finish the stage. You also have the collection items as in previous games. Collecting the Lego studs from smashed scenery and fallen foes will unlock extra goodies for you to play around with (getting so many in a stage will give you hero status).

As usual, Traveller's Tales have recreated the Batman characters brilliantly.


You also have the minikits to collect which will build little vehicles which will be displayed at Wayne Manor. As you progress through the game you unlock the villains as new playable characters, alternatively you could buy them from the menu in the Batcave. You will then be able to play through story mode as the villains, whose base of operations is Arkham Asylum. Each character has their own perks and will aid you in getting to previously unreachable areas in levels, so that you can get absolutely everything out of the level. Excluding the different character traits, Batman & Robin also possess the ability to change into different suits throughout the levels (an example being Batman's glide suit, or Robin's magnetic suit). These will enable you to reach areas and complete objectives not possible otherwise.

The game plays well on the PSP and although the graphics can look a little off par at times, it generally delivers on that front. The game is also accessible as a hand held outing as the levels can be played in short bursts, perfect for that 15 minute train journey to and from work/school. The button layout is in no way hindering as the game plays like a charm, with the shoulder buttons not even seeing any use. PSP's Wi-Fi connectivity is perfect for Lego games and Batman is no different as a friend can play alongside you and complete the game in co-op, which is usually the most fun way of doing so.

Any Batman fans will love the humour and style of the game.


The cut-scenes have the same humour as previous outings with the characters rendered perfectly in glorious Lego. The expressions that they display are much better than some rubbish voice acting and negate the need for any voices at all.

This game joins the other Lego outings as far as longevity is involved, with replayability prompted by unlocking new characters that will help you finish off the parts of the levels you couldn't previously. The roster of characters is impressive with numerous villains along with Batman's sidekicks like Nightwing and Batgirl. Furthermore, the amount of collectibles available will further increase the play time as any completist will want to get everything out of the game. The smash and bash directive of the game is broken up by vehicle sections where you take control of the Batmobile and numerous other vehicles from the Batman universe. In these sections you bomb around destroying everything inside and completing side missions like capturing villains (when playing as the caped crusaders). These are highly entertaining and provide a good distraction from the main game so as to mix things up a bit.

Traveller's Tales have done it again!


Lego Batman is another great outing for the guys at Traveller's Tales, providing lots of fun and hilarity for all gamers. Fans of the Batman Franchise will enjoy this more however as seeing their favourite heroes and villains recreated in Lego will be overwhelming. Fans of the genre will also enjoy this however as the story isn't really all that important when the gameplay is of this calibre. Of course no game is without faults and these are handed down from previous Lego games with some jumps being difficult to weigh up, the AI being a bit rubbish (thus co-op being the best mode to play in), and the way that some puzzles, however simple, will take a long time to figure out. Apart from these flaws however Lego Batman is a solid game and highly enjoyable, recommended to anyone that just wants some senseless fun, or a new reason to dust off their PSP.

- Alex Goodenough

   

Another great Lego outing.

 
   

Great characters recreated perfectly in Lego.

 
   
Co-op play is difficult to beat in terms of fun factor.
 
   

Pure fun for any gamer, good handheld gaming.

 
   

Some problems that should have been fixed considering this is the fifth Lego instalment.

 

8

A reason to dust off your PSP, simple but fun

   
     

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