Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was a very highly anticipated Lego release as it’s the first time TTGames have given those yellow fellows a voice. This also isn’t the first time that the Playstation Vita housed a Lego title (Harry Potter Years 5-7) but this iteration is near identical to the Nintendo 3DS version so with the exception of trophies there are barely any differences. Can the handheld version live up to the full-fledged console iteration or does this Lego game fall apart?
Lego Batman 2 starts out at an award ceremony where Bruce Wayne is honored instead of another philanthropist Lex Luthor who becomes jealous. The theater is soon under attack by various Batman villains led by the Joker. Throughout the somewhat lengthy story (fourteen missions) Batman will be joined by various DC stars such as Green Lantern, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman and others. There are a wide array of characters, each with their own powers and traits and some characters have multiple costumes which can sometimes change their special traits. The Batcomputer inside the Batcave serves as the central hub where you can spend collected studs on aforementioned costumes, unlocking new characters and variations of characters, and red brick unlocks like stud multipliers or music from the game.
Each of the fourteen levels have a few collectibles such as music, red bricks that unlock red brick bonuses and minikits that unlock characters and costumes for purchase. Certain collectibles won’t be obtainable with your basic story characters. Like with every other Lego title under the sun, once you complete a level in story mode, you unlock the ability to play in FreePlay mode with all unlocked and purchased characters at your disposal. The combat system is rather simple, just like Lego games usually are, however the Vita’s features aren’t really used to their full potential as the only touch features is the optional projectile toss and menu scrolling which goes the same for the Nintendo 3DS.
Longevity for the title really is dependent on how dedicated you are. Fourteen missions are great and, if you take your time, they range from thirty to sixty minutes per mission. Freeplay is where the fun is to test out other characters and gather unlockables. Unlocking, purchasing and utilizing all the necessary characters will take a good 5-8 hours itself. Unlike the big brother version, the handheld versions of Lego Batman 2 lack the famed Gold bricks, instead having only a single Red Brick per mission. Once you’ve completed the story these blocks unlock a set of bonus Justice League missions. These are essentially arenas where players are given a set number of lives and random character to take out waves of enemies with. After a few waves you are given a new character and sometimes a change of scenery as well. It is a fun mode but lacking with only five or so arenas.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes for the handhelds ultimately is a great purchase for fans of the Lego franchise and of the Lego Batman series, whom are looking for something on the go. It is great for kids and young-at-heart adults. The lack of a few features can be upsetting, and an AdHoc only multiplayer is depressing but is the normal for most Vita titles with no dedicated multiplayer. So, if you are on the fence, rent it or save up for the console version which has a lot more muscle under the hood. If you are a dedicated fan and want to take the action on the go, than this is the game for you.
Audio/Visuals: 4/5 – Solid sound and good voice work for the first Telltale Lego property with voices. Graphics and gameplay are pretty awesome and the cutscenes are up to snuff as well.
Gameplay: 3/5 – Easy to pick up controls, however a lack of handheld specific features for the Vita and the 3DS – with the exception of the touch screen on both platforms – is a missed opportunity.
Innovation: 3/5 – Great Lego on the go, but the lack of some features in the console version as well as the lack of taking advantage of system specific features like NEAR, sharing, Spotpass and tilt controls, even if they were only in mini-games, seems like a hugely missed chance.
Value: 4/5 – Somewhat lengthy story which is only heightened by Freeplay mode. Collection addicts, as well as perfectionists, will enjoy themselves. Justice League bonus arenas are great but you’ll probably wish there were more. There is also the option of an AdHoc multplayer session if you and a friend are in the same vicinity.
Final Score: 3.5/5