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Lego Batman Wii Review

19/02/2009 Family Returning Gamer Review
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Lego Batman Nintendo Wii

Lego Batman

Nintendo Wii



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Finding a good couple's games isn't as easy as just picking up the latest game with co-op play. And you certainly don't want to go down the competitive route, as beating your partner in a game just isn't as fun as a sibling or friend (you're still going to have to sleep in the same bed at the end of the day). Even with co-op games you need a genre in which you both have some skill, having to carry someone through a game is fine, dragging them gets tiresome fast.

King of the couples-friendly co-ops has, for the past few years for us, been the Lego games. Notably we completed the two Star Wars games on the PS2, before rebuying the Complete Saga on the Wii and completing it all over again. Having followed Star Wars up with Indy, we found the formula was starting to go a little stale, and we still have that title on our ever growing 'to be completed' list. This didn't stop us picking up Lego Batman when it arrived on the scene, although we were a little cautious of just how much enjoyment we could get from the game.

It was only when we failed to notice the first several hours of play pass us by that we realised Traveller's Tales were back to form. Picking up some of the tweaks that where added in the Complete Saga version of Star Wars, most notably the improved vehicle based sections, and then painting the whole setting with comic book tones and we have ourselves another laugh filled time.

Laughing at your partner falling off again and again.

What's fascinating about playing Lego Batman as a couple, or any of the Lego games for that matter, is how it can completely turn some game dynamics on their head. Take for instance the jumping sections. All platform games have them, and they can invariably become frustrating when you've fallen off for the tenth time. But add to this the chance of laughing at your partner falling off again and again, as you first take turns and eventually just repeatedly rush attack the obstacle, and you end up with some of the most entertaining moments of the game.

Were the game did suffer slightly was in it not having a set story to follow. The missions are not, as far as I am aware, based upon any actual story lines - not from any of the more recent film based incarnations at least. This meant there wasn't quite the same chance to parody the Dynamic Duo or their nemeses.

Thankfully the levels made use of expected comic book pulp story lines of bank robberies and dastardly plans that we can all recall from many a cartoon watched growing up in the late 80's.

The fact that everything falls apart into Lego rubble is probably at play here.

There seemed to be a little more structure to how the red power blocks, that unlock special modes and enhancements, where distributed. Playing through the levels in order they seem to hold back the completionist parts for the later levels, leaving you to play through the first 75% of the game more on your own. This is a nice improvement upon the earlier Lego games where you would sometimes score multipliers far to early and end up with more studs (Lego's currency) to spend than you knew what to do with.

It says something about the charm of these little Lego men and women that you can spend most of your time happily wandering around, supposedly protecting the public from harm, but actually smashing up everything you come across, and still feel like you're doing the right thing! The fact that everything falls apart into Lego rubble is probably at play here. We all know those pieces can be put back together once more.. no one ever really dies, which is possibly the most fitting result in the super heroes world where villains are never truly slain and will always “get you next time”.

Written by Sinan Kubba

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Sinan Kubba writes the Returning Gamer column.

"As an 80s kid I was obsessed with gaming. But university, stress and life relegated my hobby to the backseat. After years in the wilderness, I'm back into video games. I don't just want to play games that remind of a happy youth though. I'm just as excited about games that take things forward, experiences that re-ignite that curiosity and fascination I had years ago."

Here are the games I've been playing recently:

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