iBlog part 3

I apologize for not updating last week. It was partly because I was swamped while away on business, but also because I didn’t have anything of note to write about. One thing for certain is how incredible the drop in views and reads are when you don’t post. Justifiably so.

This is the third post I have written entirely in my iPhone (hence the title) so please excuse any justification and minor typos!

I have been playing a ton of Lego batman lately (wii). I have a 3 year old and we have played through the entire good side if the campaign and are just finishing up the 3rd Arkham Asylum campaign. I am not as much surprised about how much fun he us having (and how capable he is at playing and problem solving) as I am with my own joy with the game.

Truth be told, after he goes to bed I replay levels in free play mode and go for the extra unlocks – some of which can’t be done until certain costume sets and prior levels are completed.

The gameplay is pretty simple and geared towards fun and therein lies the beauty. Smash lots of Lego structures, beat up Lego bad guys, take broken pieces and build new structures to overcome environmental and puzzle roadblocks, and collect new suits for Batman and Robin to overcome other challenges. There us a Lego-bit-money collection scheme along the way that allows you to buy new suits, characters, and vehicles in between levels when back in the Batcave. There is also a metagame of collecting oft difficult special Lego pieces to build even more exclusive items (as mentioned previously, some are impossible to get on the first playthrough)

The simplicity in the graphics negates the slapstick violence (it looks exactly like you are playing with real Lego people) and Telltale games did a brilliant job with using expressions and grunts and groans to convey the storyline without using voice.

I’m not sure if my highly favorable review stems from the game itself or the interaction with my child and the game – it is the most complex of a title we have been able to play together. The nature of the game makes it highly interactive between ourselves (not just both staring at the screen) as a lot of titles require verbal coordination. “dad, you keep the bad guys off of me while I build this” and “dad, put on robin’s magnet suit so you can climb up that wall and build that ladder for me” to my favorite “dad, I’m scared of spiders – um going to hide behind this tree while you beat them up” (as if Batman would ever say that!!) we talk, laugh, solve problems together and work towards the collection and completion aspects of the game. We are having so much fun and play a little everyday together.

I spent 3 hours yesterday building a 600 Lego piece Indiana Jones set in the play room only to learn from my boy that Indy decided to blow up the cave instead of rescuing the idol. I went back into the room, saw the set in shambles and decided it’s time to buy the Indiana Jones Lego game fir the Wii, instead of rebuilding it.

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. How were the Indy and SW lego titles? Since batman is the third in the series I was curious ifnthe previous 2 are as good!

    Will check out Lego battles – why the bias? πŸ™‚

  2. I really enjoyed the demos, but I have yet to play through any of the Lego titles. More and more, offline games just don’t hold my interest these days. When I do spend some time with one I generally still enjoy it (the Orange Box was fantastic on the 360). However, it seems like there is always something I “need” to do in one of the MMOs I am bouncing around between when I have time to game.

  3. @Chris F: I have friends on the dev team at Hellbent Games. They’re talented peeps. I should note that it’ll be on the DS. Telltale games is co-publishing.

    Eeep, I sound like some marketing plant, but no honestly one of my best friends is designing. So yeah it’s a bias. =)

  4. My son and I played through the Lego Star Wars game (episodes I-III) which was amusing because you basically got to play/watch the first Trilogy (is it really even a Trilogy if there’s now 6 movies in the series? The increasingly inappropriately named Star Wars Trilogy?) played out in Lego.

    I never got Lego Indiana Jones, but we did get Lego Batman. I haven’t been playing it as much though, so we’re barely a few levels into the Good Guys scenario. I think what lets it down is you’re playing the characters but have no familiar scenes in which they’re set. Compared to Star Wars with its very memorable Pod Race scene, and Indy Jones with the giant ball/boulder temple chase scene.

  5. you make it sound like building an indy lego set was a job… the best part about building huge lego creations is the taking apart and doing it again.

    πŸ˜‰

  6. @ixobelle

    It DID feel a little bit like a job. My three year old was throwing the pieces around and having a grand old time while I frantically followed the instructions!

    I think that is the crux – Lego shouldn’t come with instructions. Just a box of blocks and let our imaginations do the rest – the newer sets are so complex with moving pieces, specifics, etc. that it did take part of the glory away out of building that perfect car, or spaceship. =)

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