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March 17, 2009 - Entertainment / Video Games

Mike H Shields
Lego Batman

System: Nintendo DS
# players: 2 players simultaneous
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action
Rating: E 10+

My son got a DS Lite for Christmas. Why am I telling you this now? Well, it was only recently that I found out about Lego Batman, and rushed right out to get a copy. Not only was this a giant leap of faith for me, but I realized that I'd have to ask him for permission to play it, as well.

I have a theory that I can't text faster than five words per minute, therefore, I have no business playing hand held games. That didn't stop me. I'm a Batman fan, pure and simple, and even the slightest opportunity to portray my favorite character of all time is something that I couldn't resist. Of course, you can play as other characters as well, hero or villain. You decide.

I wasted no time when I got home, begging my son the opportunity to play, and after intense negotiation, he allowed me to do so. He also agreed to look over my shoulder, and explain the controls, as I'd never really used a DS before, Lite or otherwise.

Gameplay is what you'd expect from a game like this, which is basically a first person shooter. Having looked over my son's shoulder as he's played other games, the movement is similar, in both speed and animation. My dad mind can handle only so many decisions at once, so this is a good thing. Along the way, I did like that the various characters uniqueness was incorporated, as at one point, myself controlling Batman, I took a cable hand over hand, while the DS had Robin tightrope walk across. I thought this was really cool, until I realized that Robin was Tim Drake and not Dick Grayson, formerly of the Flying Graysons of Haley's Circus fame.

Dick Grayson is Nightwing in this game, as he is in current DC Comics continuity, however, you need to get earn some sort of bonus, or Easter Egg, to get him as a hero choice. Most of the Batman Family that you know of is adequately represented, however, Batgirl is still Barbara Gordon, a character she hasn't portrayed in the comics since, well, the 80's.

There are the major villains that have remained basically unchanged since the 60's TV series as far as that goes. They've been given special superpowers relative to the game, even though they don't display them in the comics. And they look like Lego, which is the overall theme for this game.

As always, there are cheat codes available online to get extra energy, infinite lives, etc. however, at least for the DS version, I was unable to activate them. This may be due to the fact that the smaller version of the game by definition won't have as many features.

In conclusion, if you like Lego, and you like Batman, you'll like Lego Batman. Now, if I can just figure out how to get my son to stop playing it....

Keywords: Lego Batman, Nintendo DS, Batman, Robin, Nightwing, Batgirl, DS Lite, video games, handheld, DS, Lego
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