Friday, September 26, 2008


Hey, Stew here. Yeah, you can find me knocking around my own site HERE and also on THIS side. Anyway, as a consummate pal and contributor to Doug's this and that's, I figured I was due for another posting on the World Renowned Penguin Comics. This time, however, I won't be reviewing a movie or a TV series, I will, conversely, be covering one of the most fun games I've had the immense pleasure of playing.
I have been a massive fan of the LEGO series of video games since the inception a few years ago with LEGO STAR WARS focusing on the more recent of the two trilogies. Trust me wholeheartedly when I say that the video game (done outstandingly well in all LEGO bricks and folks) is yards better than the relatively wretched films themselves. It was a blast to play, relatively challenging now and again, and featured a slew of playable characters and vehicles lovingly recreated in plasic building blocks. Soon after, the same company, Traveler's Tales Games, released LEGO STAR WARS: THE ORIGINAL TRILOGY wherein you could, at least on the console platforms, carry over your characters from the first game and double their numbers with all of the newly acquirable Lego guys from this one. The play was twice as fun, the environments twice as big, the humor twice as funny, and the story spot on.
Eventually I purchased a PSP and this set of games was one of the first I got for the system. They were just as much fun as I remembered them from my GameCube since handed down to my son. So, just this past May, Tt Games did it again with the release of LEGO INDIANA JONES: THE ORIGINAL ADVENTURES. Now they went all out with this one. The landscape throughout the films would seem quite difficult to transfer not only to video games as a whole, but also rebuild out of little blocks! Well, no corners were cut and the game was absolutely astounding! All of the film's cast members are playable all the way from Indy himself to a lowly German Soldier. It offered tons of puzzles and hidden extras and was infinitely playable without ever getting boring.
Then, as perhaps the penultimate LEGO game to date (meaning definitely the best so far, but doubtfully the last, assuming the genre can find newer ground to break with different subjects): LEGO BATMAN: THE VIDEO GAME. Now I am far from beating this or even getting that far but I can honestly already tell you how unbelievably kick-ass it is! Same but different is a good phrase for it as it does play quite similarly to all of the other LEGO titles, incorporating the best from each one as though they'd learned what worked and what didn't. You have the ability to locate different Bat-and-Robin-Suits as the game progresses including (so far, anyway) Magnetic Boots Robin, Bat-Glider Batman, and Bomb Tossing Batman. Each level focuses on the Dynamic Duo doing battle with goons and henchmen eventually leading up to a final fight with any number of the Dark Knight's classic villains: Killer Croc, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy... they're all there! And, as with the others which feature your 'home base' as either the Diner from Episode II (LS), The Cantina from Episode IV (LS:TOT), Barnett College from Indy's flicks (LI:TOA), Batman has his Bat-cave decked out with level progressions, hidden puzzles, and the computer with which you can input codes, purchase earned goods, or watch clips from the great between-game animation scenes. This game is every bit as exciting as a Batman comic: full of fighting, action, secrets, and, well, 'detection' (little joke there). So, if you have any of the systems this game has been released for and you are a fan of the LEGO series (and how can you seriously not be) get on out there and snatch this up! In conclusion, I have to ask, "what's next?" Might I suggest LEGO SPIDERMAN? Or, if it's another film franchise you're lusting after, you could do worse than maybe a LEGO TERMINATOR? Well,it's all just speculation and wishful thinking as I have no idea what's on the drawing board. Until then, Batman will keep me smiling for hours. Have fun!

S. Miller - 9/26/08

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