The Last of the Lego Lot: Lego Batman

In exactly one month, on June 19th, a couple important things are happening.  Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes is being released on all consoles and I’m getting married.  Say what you will about priorities, but I suppose I’ll have to wait couple weeks to get Lego Batman 2.  I’ve been a little out of touch with the gaming world of late, and only learned of Lego Batman 2 just recently, and what I’ve heard is pretty exciting.  Numerous playable characters are supposed to appear in a re-worked open world concept.  Plus, it’s Legos! That’s enough of a sell for me. It’s been awhile since I’ve played a Lego game, the last one, not so coincidentally, being Lego Batman: The Videogame (2008) on the DS.

Lego Batman cover art © Nintendo, TT, Warner Bros., et al. (source)

By the time I got to Lego Batman in mid-2009, though, I have to admit that I was pretty much Lego-ed out.  I played all the Star Wars and Indiana Jones Lego games in quick succession, and I kinda felt obligated to play Lego Batman just to keep up with the series.  The game was fun, certainly, but it wasn’t much of a departure from previous titles, except for the plot. The Star Wars and Indiana Jones games were all based on the movies, and it was fun to watch the send-ups and tongue-in-cheek jabs in each.  Lego Batman, at least as far as I could tell, offered an original story and was not based on any of the movies. (And thank god for that, at least in the case of Batman and Robin.) (However, I’m not a comic book reader, so if the game was based on stories from the comics, please forgive my ignorance.)

WHAM! Like the comics, not the 80s pop group. (source)

In Lego Batman, the caped crusader and his sidekick faced three tried and true main villains: Riddler,  Joker, and Penguin, each of whom had put together a team of evilness complete with a dastardly Gotham City-destruction-based plan, and each of which had to be defeated.  The tropes of collecting Lego bits, fighting bad guys, and finding secret items/passages and such remained, as did the basic gameplay mechanics.  All the action took place on the top DS screen while the bottom one was reserved for information.  And instead of animated cutscenes, the story played out on “comic pages” that the player flipped through between levels.

(This video has some funky sound problems at the beginning, but they even out.  Also, SPOILERS.)

My favorite part of the game, and generally one of my favorite things in any Lego game, was the music. At least some of it came from the movies, and I thought it was all particularly fitting for Lego Batman in order to lend an eerie/heroic suspenseful atmosphere to an otherwise standard Lego game.

I wish I had some sort of amusing story that went along with Lego Batman, but it was little more than fodder to stave off a boring commute.  But as hum-drum as it was, it re-introduced me to the Batman mythos.  Sure, I had seen the movies (the campy ones and Christian Bale) and I watched those old Batman cartoons and the TV show from the 60s, but I had little knowledge of Batman’s reason for being.  Lego Batman might not have been the most comprehensive educator in terms of Batman’s world, but the knowledge that it bestowed wiggled its way in to my mind enough to eventually lead to a curiosity in Arkham Asylum and the playing of Arkham City.

Mr. Freeze and Scarecrow. See? I pay attention..sometimes…to some things. (source)

So Lego Batman 2 is on my calendar, but who knows when its time will really come.  I guess I should focus on one life-changing event at a time.

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