Category Archives: Video Games

Lego Batman

On the Lego Indiana Jones game, there was a trailer for the next Lego game, Lego Batman.  Just like the trailer promised, Gotham falls to pieces in this fun-filled romp through Gotham and Batman’s Rogues Gallery.  By now, game controls are very fluid and the humor is still there.  As with the other games, there are three main story arcs, with two villains as the main ones.  The first thing I noticed was the music.  Tt uses the scores developed by Danny Elfman for Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).  The second thing was the use of secondary characters – sure, Joker, Penguin and Riddler were there; but to include Killer Moth, Clayface, and Man-Bat?  Genius.

The sneaky thing that Tt did with the story arcs is that they are all adapted from the four movies released between 1989 and 1997.  The cool thing about this is that it is not a rehash of the movies, which most would like to forget.  Rather, the elements help create a backdrop to paint a new story on and influence certain character abilities or puzzles.  I also liked the ability to use Batman, Robin, Nightwing, and Batgirl – that enhances the replayability of the game.  Tt was also smart to create a cross-promotion with McDonald’s where the toys had codes to unlock certain characters in the game.

The one feature that blew me away was the ability to switch between being the good guys and the bad guys.  Here, the creators had the bad guy levels intertwine with the good guy levels creating a 12-level arc instead of the 6-level we had been accustomed to.

This was released for PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC – I played it on the PS2.

My advice:  This is the strongest of the four games with its fleshed-out world and ability to be good or bad.  You can not go wrong playing this game.

Lego Indiana Jones

Proving that lightning can strike the same place multiple times as you have a good product, Tt Games treated us to a new entry in its Lego games with the release of Lego Indiana Jones (timed to come out with the movie).  The game only covers the original three Indy adventures – none of the fourth movie appears in this game.  Game controls were continued to be refined by the programmer while not sacrificing the humor that we love.  In all of the entries, the humor is done in the style of old cartoons – all physical and no dialog.  The bonus levels include the opening scene of Last Crusade with Young Indy, and a room where you collect one million pieces within the shortest time possible.  The create-a-character feature is there, as well as all of the other features.   Look for 6 Star Wars scenes scattered throughout the game – if you find them, you unlock Han Solo as a character to use in this game.

This game was released on PS2, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC – I played the PS2 version.

My advice:  Really? You know I loved it and you will too – watch out for snakes…

Lego Star Wars II

Continuing the Lego kick, Tt Games gave us what we really wanted with its second release: the Original Trilogy in the Legoverse.  Tt continued with the humor, unique challenges, basic gameplay from the first game and improved everything.  The awkwardness I felt from the first game was not there in this one as a lot of the controls were refined.  Added to the game was the ability to build your character, such as Darth Yoda or C3-Chewie.  You could mix and match body parts of all of the characters to create one bad-ass character that could do everything.  Easter Egg challenges were also added, such as Jabba the Hut using you as a Bounty Hunter to revisit some of the levels in a timed effort to capture certain characters.

This was released on GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and PC – I played it on the GameCube.

My advice:  If you only get one Lego Star Wars game, make it this one – blows the first one out of the water.

Lego Star Wars

As a kid, there were two types of toys that I could never get enough of: Legos and Star Wars.  My parents actually supported buying the Legos more because they helped spark creativity, as well as enhance motor skills and deductive thought.  In 1999, the worlds collided and Lego started producing Star Wars models.  Unfortunately, I was too old to justify getting the sets.  In 2003, Lucas tried to squeeze all that he could from the franchise by licensing everything he could think of.  Thankfully, Tt Games had the brilliant idea of making a video game based on the Lego toys.

Lego Star Wars focuses on adventures in Episodes I – III.  This was actually a smart move by Lucas; he had to know that if he had done the Original Trilogy first, then it is likely that the sequel game would not have done as well.  One of the first things you notice is the humor – this game has no problem making fun of itself or making the jokes we have all made.  The next thing is that you get to blow up Jar-Jar as many times as you want – it is actually therapeutic.  The levels for each movie require a combination of defeating bad guys and problem solving.  The game can not be solved without solving the puzzles.  The other feature that stands out is the built-in need for replays.  You can not solve everything on the level without playing it 2-3 times.

This was the first Lego game and, as such, some of the puzzles and game mechanisms feel awkward.  The Force power is hard to use and some of the puzzles are not intuitive as to how to complete.

When released, this game was released for GameCube, PS2, Xbox, and PC.  I played it on the Game Cube.

My advice: Gotta play this – it will give you many hours of enjoyment, plus the ability to destroy Jar-Jar…

The Godfather Video Game

One of the new areas of reviews includes looking at video games based on movies.  First up is a selection that allows to run your own “family.”

The Godfather is a classic movie and has many plot points that can make fun video game scenes.  Rather than just recreate them, the makers actually filled around them with new scenes just as riveting.  You follow a script/goal-based game plan, but it also allows you the freedom to do your own thing.  You extort businesses and take over rival families to assume control of New York.

When I first got the game, it was used and $14.99 – what a bargain.  I have gotten many hours of enjoyment from the game and have enjoyed the extras and the care that went into it.  Even the movie clips look good.  The character controls are fairly coordinated without needing 15-button combos.  The version I have runs on PS2, but it is also available on Xbox and PC.

My advice: give this one a spin and enjoy a low-tech first-person shooter…unless you just like sleeping with the fishes….