LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes for iOS Review: Another Fun LEGO Game For The iPhone
I do not think that Traveler’s Tales has ever made a bad LEGO game. Some of them are better than others, but I have enjoyed every market-licensed outing I’ve ever taken with this creative and fun series. Happily, TT keeps up the good work with LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, their iOS version of the recent console title. It’s everything you’d expect from a LEGO game, refined for the small touchscreen.
The first real LEGO title for iOS, LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4, was a port of the Nintendo DS title, and it showed many of the warts that ports usually do. Harry Potter Years 5-7 was a port of the Nintendo 3DS title, and the game did a much better job of fitting the touchscreen format, albeit with some annoying control issues. LEGO Batman: DC Super Heroes, also ported from 3DS, goes further. This game runs the most elegantly, has touch controls that are only sometimes annoying, and (after a quick post-release update) saves frequently.
Most of the story levels are designed as a running series of mini-bosses, where Batman’s enemies team up to try to take him down. The levels are fun and well designed, though in general they’re easier to succeed in than their console counterparts. Areas are small and usually straightforward; I almost never had a moment, like I sometimes do in the console games, where I was at a loss for which way to go or what to do next. Also, breakable objects and extra studs are plentiful, meaning that True Hero status is often achievable even in the first run-through. In other words, this is a more casual LEGO game, perfect for the iPhone.
Finishing Story Mode is fun, but if that were all there was to the game I might complain. But this is a LEGO game, and of course that means half the fun comes only after you unlock Free Play mode, find a few hidden characters, and start obsessively collecting all the hidden things in the game. Again, the level of Free Play here seems a little more casual than console, but it’s great for small screen play. The game also has a Justice League mode, similar to the console title LEGO Batman 2.
As you’d expect from a 3DS port, the game has high production values. TT has refined the visuals of their LEGO games to the point where there’s a common look that’s always well executed. This game also takes great advantage of the Batman license by utilizing the classic Batman movie soundtrack. I love playing to Danny Elfman’s score!
There are a few issues with the controls. For example, I am not a fan of the combat system. Basically, you must tap an enemy once, and then Batman attacks until the enemy is defeated (basically, they’ve automated button-mashing). But sometimes it’s hard to target an opponent, because either they’re standing behind you or your partner gets in the way! It’s also difficult to target things with the Batarang, which requires you to slide a targeting point with your thumb towards the thing you want to attack. Which is great, except that once my big thumb is on the screen, I can’t always target the thing I want, especially if it’s a moving target. Even a second or two of added time for targeting gets frustrating.
Luckily, the game overcomes its shortcomings in the control area and overall offers a great LEGO experience. It’s nothing we haven’t seen in a LEGO game before, but that’s a feature, not a bug. If you’ve enjoyed other LEGO games, this one’s an easy purchase.
Our Score: 4 out of 5.