AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’m going to be pulling back to bi-monthly platinum posts from here on out, so I don’t give myself stress-cancer if I don’t have enough time to platinum something. Contrary to popular stereotypes, trophy-hunters do play other non-trophy related content, and do have other things to do. Also, I platinumed two games this month. More about that later.
CAN I PLATINUM THIS: It’s a Lego title, so of course you can. They are beautiful, if not a little time consuming. Hardly stressful compared to other games and their time commitments, though.
TL;DR: lol wut smh
INITIAL SELECTION: To be honest, the only reason I ever played a Lego Batman game in the first place was because it came free with my Xbox360. I still enjoyed its light fanservice, and it allowed me to get into Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes, which was also quite light and entertaining, and eventually this. After the epic Arkham Knight debacle I had (You can read about it here), I was feeling super down about games in general, so I felt like it was time to really collect trophies, like really collect them, like the way Lego will eventually collect all of the world’s money eventually. I needed something fluffy and soft to ease my way back in, and luckily Lego’s cold plastic was there when no one else was to provide that temporary comfort, like a vibrator.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: This is the end of the Lego Batman trilogy, and it definitely feels like that. This is not because of any closure or feelings of conclusion, but moreso in that this seems like it has escalated to the point of critical mass which cannot sustain itself any more. I wouldn’t exactly compare this to Batman and Robin, because that would be quite cruel on the game, but it definitely feels like it has hit maximum campness, reflexiveness, and character volume. Traveller’s Tales, Warner Bros Interactive, and Lego are all working really, really hard to give you guys… stuff.
The story is some junk about Lanterns or whatever, who cares.
GAMEPLAY REVIEW: Although the original reason for picking this up was that I wanted something stress-free, the super stress-free infinite lives feature was really starting to bug me in this one. I’ve mostly stuck to just the Lego Batman series of the Lego games, dipping my toes into the waters of Lego Marvel Super Heroes as well, but the baby-like ease of this game is a little too condescending for me now. I know they’re aiming for a low age, but give the kids some credit, you guys. If they are too young to understand the concept of ‘death = end’ then maybe they shouldn’t be playing games and doing more important things, like learning to walk and how to get the other baby out of the mirror. Even one other difficulty setting would be nice. It’s not like these super-young kids are going to get all of the 60s Batman references anyway, you guys.
The gameplay is standard, compared with other Lego games. It really is a ‘played one, played ‘em all’ type situation. That could be good or bad, depending on your mood. Combos and non-breakable objects often glitched out, but this was balanced with the fact that it really made no difference because of the infinite lives situation mentioned earlier.
BEST PARTS: The fanservice is constant and thick, like rice side-dishes at a Korean restaurant. Conan O’Brian isn’t playable, but he is always around, which is comforting if you like gingers. When a fight breaks out nearby his unplayable character, he always jumps in and helps out, which I feel is a real attempt at realism on the behalf of Traveller’s Tales. He seems like that kinda guy. Adam West too is all over this game, with Burt Ward’s conspicuous absence really amplifying the regret he must feel since he distanced himself from his iconic character. Kevin Smith is there hamming it up, which would feel forced if it weren’t for his obvious love of the source material. He is living the fanboy dream here. Also… Daffy Duck? Is he really involved in DC, or they just had the voice-actor lying around at Warner Bros? I am not so well-versed in DC lore to understand the connection there, but it was nice to have him around, I suppose.
Once you actually start unlocking the characters, the game really opens up and becomes more enjoyable. The story missions in the end were beginning to feel a little taxing, being forced to play as characters you don’t really- Cheetah, its Cheetah I’m talking about. After a while, if the character couldn’t fly or run really fast, I just didn’t have time for anything. Plus, they really went all out with characters and references. Including the DLC, there are a total of 217 playable characters, which has to be some kind of record.
WORST PARTS: They brought back Superman’s theme while flying and also whipped out Wonder Woman’s theme too, because licencing is fun. This became a sticking point the hundredth time you heard the damn song start, jarringly interrupting the level’s own music, only to jarringly restart it once your stupid brick legs landed. I eventually made a point to use flying characters with no theme songs during my Free Plays, like Cyborg and Power Girl.
The DLC content was a good chance wasted here. The DLC included film references to ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘The Dark Knight,’ TV references to the ‘Arrow’ series, a strange kinda-not-really Batman 75th anniversary edition campaign (which was more an excuse to give you some more classic Batman outfits), and a deliciously euphemistic ‘The Squad,’ because when you start peddling this junk to little kiddies, suddenly references to suicide become a little too problematic. The DLC levels felt half-baked and they just give you the characters from the get-go, so you don’t really earn anything. The DLC is somehow even easier than the main game itself. They found a way to make this game even easier.
And… Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham really helped me to decide that I wasn’t going to pick up Lego Dimensions, because I knew exactly how it could be such a money-suck. The drive to run through and clear collectables is one thing, but just thinking of the tons of money it would cost me to purchase all the characters to complete even the more simpler trophies? That bat don’t fly. The DLC in this game made me feel dirty enough for its simple ‘cash = trophies’ exchange.
BIGGEST SURPRIZE: Elastic Man transforms into a toilet and flushes a bad guy inside of himself. For his main combo attack. Which means you see it happen constantly. Atheists: 1, God: 0.
COLLECTABLES?: …You’re joking, right? The entire game is collectables. 217 characters, 28 vehicles to unlock (15 cars and 13 flying vehicles), 250 Gold bricks, 20 cheat-unlocking Red bricks, 30 ‘Adam West in Peril’ rescue challenges, and 160 minikit parts. Arkham Knight had a lot, but that game also had a pretty involved story and a huge sandbox map to explore, so these collectables here don’t really seem like much.
WOULD I BUY THE DLC OF THIS GAME?: I did, but I really shouldn’t have. The main reasons for getting the Season Pass was the prospect of more super-simple trophies, but… in the end, it just made me feel filthy for buying my gamerscore.
FIRST TROPHY: Pursuers in the Sewers 2015/10/04 9:36AM
The description of this trophy is ‘Complete Level 1 – Pursuers in the Sewers.’ The first level definitely the most like the previous Lego Batman games, which made it nice and familiar. It made it a shame when it actually moved onto the not-so-different Lantern planets, but I guess you can only do so many sewer levels.
PLATINUM: World’s Finest 2015/10/18 12:14AM
The description of this trophy is ‘Collect all the trophies.’ I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The Lego games are great for getting platinums. Two weeks later! Thank you, Based Batman.
MOST DIFFICULT TROPHY: The Bright Knight 2015/10/16 11:27PM
The description of this trophy is ‘Play as Adam West.’ I mean, none of these trophies are especially difficult, but this one had a lot of really weird puzzles to solve. The very first Adam West rescue puzzle involves you digging up the pieces of a lego object using Solomon Grundy (a pretty standard puzzle in the game) which then forms to what is apparently ‘Shark Repellent,’ to repel the shark cornering West and to bring one million fans to reference-climax simultaneously. This seems simple, but for the life of me I could find nothing that indicated that you needed to jump on top of the repellent to trigger it. Simple puzzles made complicated through ambiguous instructions can suck my Bat-Mite.
‘SO EASY THAT IT IS KINDOF POINTLESS’ TROPHY: (Pretty much all of them, but this one most of all) Hard Traveling Heroes 2015/10/12 2:15PM
The description of this trophy is ‘Set both Free Play characters as Green Arrow and Green Lantern.’ The best and worst trophies in any Lego game are these ones. They are the best because they are so simple, they are the worst because they are so simple. It was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way- wait, I went too Dickens. I am still not sure how I feel about these trophies, is what I’m saying. This one was even more pointless because you have Green Lantern at the beginning of the game, so you only really need to find the one character.
MOST ENTERTAINING TROPHY: Everyone Loves Bouncing 2015/10/06 12:39PM
The description of this trophy is ‘Jump on bouncy objects 50 times.’ This was so stupid that I really enjoyed it. That could be a summary of why I like these games generally. You don’t need to be actively pressing jump, either. You can just start bouncing and leave the avatar to do the work. ‘Spray and walk away’ trophies are the best. I actively encourage you to sit there letting your Lego avatar bounce by itself, watching as it clocks over to fifty, because God is dead and bouncing is a way of comforting ourselves.
MOST GRIND-HEAVY TROPHY: Bat’s all, Folks 2015/10/18 12:14AM
The description of this trophy is ‘Witness the 100% LEGO Stud Fountain.’ It turns out studs in the Lego universe are the little collectable money objects, and so a stud fountain is just raining money on the player and not attractive Lego gentlemen frolicking in a fountain. Disappointed. This trophy is just the ‘get everything’ trophy, so of course it was the most grinding. If I never have to fly around in a Lego vehicle again, I will be a happy man.
HAPPY ACCIDENT TROPHY: Doughnut Discoverer 2015/10/16 8:59PM
The description of this trophy is ‘Find and destroy a hidden doughnut on a hub planet.’ I didn’t really get what these things are. They didn’t count as main collectables. There is nothing in the game to really indicate where they are located. You just occasionally stumble across an anthropomorphic doughnut with eyes. Why are they there? They are only really on the alien planets, so there is a good chance that they’re actually aliens that you’re killing for no reason. Rare aliens, no less. Hope you like your manifest destiny, Lego consumers.
ONLINE TROPHY HIGHLIGHT(S): There are no online trophies, which soothes my soul. I can’t even imagine what kind of online community this game would have, but I would imagine it would be sick and torturous. A bunch of aspiring Dark Knight Jokers larking about while Lego-immortal? Shudder.
TROPHY COLLECTION PRO-TIP: These trophies fall like rain, but one tip would be to leave the level ‘Free Plays’ until much later in the game, so you can sweep them with all of the more important characters unlocked. That said, Free Play mode is the best part and it is pretty fun to revisit the levels multiple times with multiple characters. You’re the boss, do what you flippin’ want.
FINAL THOUGHT: I was so traumatised by my Arkham Knight defeat that I went and downloaded Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes on PS3, even though I’d already 100%ed it previously on the 360, just to get my fix. Straight after platinuming that, I moved onto this game, and only now do I feel fully cleansed. Gaming is built on trust, and you can only take so many hits before you stop engaging in the culture. Luckily this game was just silly enough to distract me from the existential pit I was falling into. Nietzsche would have been so proud…