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LEGO Batman: The Videogame
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this game is not based on the Dark Knight movie but rather the Batman TV show and comics. It's rated "E10+" for cartoon violence, but the action is quite tame, relatively speaking. The cartoon characters look like LEGO blocks, and when in combat, they can be damaged to the point that they break apart. But there is no blood or gore to worry about. Still, players punch, shoot, and use other weapons on each other. This game is not much different than previous LEGO games, so families looking for fresh, new gameplay may be disappointed.
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What's it about?
Following the critically acclaimed and commercially successful LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones video games come – surprise, surprise -- an all-new LEGO adventure, now starring the Caped Crusader. As with its family-friendly predecessors, LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEOGAME from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment fuses the beloved children's building toy with familiar superheroes and villains.
Played from a third-person perspective, gamers control a LEGO version of Batman and Robin, in an original storyline that has the dynamic duo taking on Gotham City's most notorious criminal masterminds -- including The Joker, Catwoman, The Penguin, The Riddler, Scarecrow, Two-Face, and Poison Ivy – after they've all escaped from Arkham Asylum. Players will also be able to play as the villains, with specific missions designed just for them. Ripped right out of the classic television show, locations range from underground sewers to rooftops to Gotham's busy streets – and players can unlock familiar vehicles such as the Batmobile, Batwing, and Batboat.
Is it any good?
While fun, and the graphics are kitschy and colorful, Lego Batman: The Videogame plays nearly identical to the other LEGO games (also designed by the UK's Traveller's Tales). Sure, there are new characters, environments, missions, and gadgets (Batman's Demolition suit, for instance) but essentially it's the same core gameplay: fight enemies, collect LEGO studs and bricks, build new items, unlock new playable characters, and do all this with a friend jumping in and out to play with you in coop mode. That said, fans of Batman and past LEGO games might not want the developer to "toy" with the formula too much, but it certainly feels like it's simply a new coat of paint on an older game mechanic.
The Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC versions of the game look about on par with one another, offering up to 720p/1080p high-definition graphics (on compatible televisions or monitors), while the PlayStation 2, PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo Wii versions look a bit grainier than the high-def versions. The Wii version also lets you use motion controls to play the game with the Wii Remote. The Nintendo DS version, on the other hand, is a completely different game altogether (also created by Traveller's Tales).
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