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Worth a trip to the Batcave
on 13 October 2008
Lego Batman is a good pick-up for DS owners, thanks to its numerous playable characters, slick-looking graphics and cool LEGO effects. You wander through Gotham City beating up bad guys, and in typical LEGO video game fashion, collecting bricks and building stuff, making it a fun adventure for all ages.
Of course, it wouldn't be a LEGO video game without multiple characters, and LEGO Batman has tons of DC Comics' best. In fact, you can play an alternate version as the villains, giving you the opportunity to be The Joker, Catwoman, Harley Quinn and The Penguin. Like Batman, they have signature abilities that enable them to activate character-specific items, which encourages you to play the game more than once. Vehicles also play a role in LEGO Batman, and fans will enjoy driving the Batmobile and the Batwing.
Since the DS isn't as powerful (obviously!) as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, the game doesn't look as sharp as the console versions, but the developer has done a great job shoehorning a big game onto a handheld. You won't explore the same exact environments, but these pint-size levels have plenty of things to see and do. Just don't expect the same cut scenes. Instead of animated movies, you've got comic book style panels that you advance by tapping the touch screen. They work decently enough, but you may need to examine a slide for several moments to figure out what's going on.
That also holds true with playing the game. Several times I got lost because I didn't know how to advance or the clue didn't make sense. However, I eventually figured it out, and I doubt kids will have a problem with this.
With vehicles, suits and lots of classic characters, LEGO Batman: The Videogame is a fun DS game worth your time. It may not take full advantage of the hardware, but if Nintendo's system is all you own, it's worth a trip to the Batcave.