I guess when your console cousin steals the
show and pushes your franchise into new territory, it’s kind of easy to settle for average.
Because on the portable platforms, that’s exactly what the Caped Crusader has done.
Maybe bats lack ambition. It’s LEGO Batman 2 for the Nintendo 3DS. Now, I guess if you didn’t know about the
console version, you wouldn’t be too disappointed by what this one is offering. LEGO Batman
2 is essentially more of the same LEGO gaming you know and may or may not be tired of. Of
course, given the amount of these games we’ve had over the years, more and more gamers are
converting to the “been there, done that” side of things. But that’s what makes the console version
so special. Its open world has changed the entire structure, a structure that has been
beaten in the ground over the last decade. And a structure that endures on the 3DS. Anyway, LEGO Batman 2—at least, in this
incarnation—is a simple action game in virtually the same style as the LEGO games before it.
There are 14 linear levels with lots of objects made from LEGO pieces. You smash these things,
grab LEGO studs, occasionally reassemble the LEGO, find secrets. You could change the license
to almost any other LEGO treatment, and you couldn’t tell the difference. Of course, one of the interesting twists in
this particular game is that it adds some characters from other comic franchises. Lex
Luthor is featured in LEGO Batman 2, for example, and I don’t know very much about comics…but
I’m pretty certain he’s from a different one. You also get to play as other heroes,
which is…interesting, I guess. At the same time, it does feel a bit cameo
heavy. It’s just clear that this version just wasn’t
much of a priority, as there are also some technical issues to match the unambitious
design. Inconsistencies in the cut scenes, poorly compressed video, fairly unimpressive
graphics…the gap in quality between LEGO Batman 2 on handhelds and consoles is really
wide. And because of that, you should set your bat
radar to the console version. Wait, does Batman have a radar?