The first attempt at a LEGO game on Vita wasn’t exactly great, thankfully though things are looking up with LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes. Taking a different stance from its console counterparts, the Vita version instead focuses on the story, allowing you to play through at your own pace, constantly auto-saving the game so you never have to worry about replaying certain parts of the level, should your journey end or the battery on your Vita run out.
Although many will complain about the lack of open world, this approach seems to suit the console just fine. Instead of wandering around aimlessly, here it’s all about the action, although things do get off to a disappointing start, when the story is told through the less than stellar cut-scenes. The quality on show here is pretty poor, it’s like watching a show on a TV which is on it’s last legs, thanks to the super compressed nature of what’s on the screen. In saying that, at least the cut-scenes are funny and well written, it’s just a shame that more care hasn’t been taken over their presentation. This is no doubt a case of the video being upscaled from the 3DS (possibly), but whatever the reason it’s not really acceptable.
Luckily things get a lot better during the action itself, sure it’ll never win any awards for its looks, but it’s passable. In any case, once you’re playing you’ll forget all about how it looks, because this is one damn fine game. In fact it’s probably the best LEGO game yet and that’s coming from a huge fan of the Star Wars series. Everything about the action is genius, be it the comedy finishing moves, the wide range of gadgets or that first time you see Superman fly down from the sky.
Those familiar with the LEGO series will be right at home here. As usual you are greeted with a mixture of block busting action and puzzles to solve. Given that it’s the Vita version we are talking about, there is no co-op as such (only local adhoc), however you are still accompanied by a AI controlled partner (it’s Batman & Robin at the beginning), meaning that you can work together to take down the enemy. You are also able to switch between both characters at any time, allowing you to use each characters unique ability’s to progress further.
Although you do get to play as heroes other than Batman, Robin and Superman, it’s the Man of Steel who steals the show for me. Superman is of course, indestructible, however he can also freeze with his breath, use X-ray vision and fire a laser beam from his eyes. Yes, all of his abilities are there, even flying. The first moment I got to fly Superman around the screen was something I won’t forget, it’s absolutely brilliant. He’s easy to control and best of all, he won’t loose your collect bricks since he can’t be hurt.
What I love about the Vita version is the constant action. Each level will see you taking on one Villain after another. Be it The Penguin, Mad Hatter, Catwoman, Two Face, Poison Ivy, Lex Luthor or the Joker. Each boss presents their own challenge and own unique way of frustrating you. Thankfully there is always a way to beat them, it’s just a case of figuring it out and not turning off the console because you thought it was broken (yes I’m guilty).
Another wonderful thing about the campaign is the sheer amount of backdrops it takes place over. You’ll certainly be visiting some familiar places, such as Arkham Asylum, Gotham Estate, ACE Chemicals and more. You’ll even get to take control of vehicles, such as the Batmoblie and Robin’s bike.
As well as the main story, you also have access to the Batcave. Here you can check out your collectables such as characters, red bricks, music and more. You can even use ‘near’ to gift anything you unlock to friends and those using the service in the area. Elsewhere in the Batcave you can go back and play through any level you want in the freeplay mode. This allows you to take other characters in the levels and gain access to any collectables that perhaps you weren’t able to get hold of first time around.
Finally, the Batcave also gives you access to the Justice League mode. You’ll need to have completed the game in order to play this, but doing so will allow you to take on these various bonus missions. There are five bonus missions, and each one is divided into eight different rounds where you take control of a different Justice League character. These missions consist of either fighting or general platforming. It’s good to see these here, especially since they are unique to the handheld versions.
As I mentioned above, LEGO Batman 2: DC Superheroes on the PS Vita isn’t exactly groundbreaking when it comes to looks, however if it’s fun your after then you’ll struggle to find anything this good on the PS Vita. It’s not only the best game in the LEGO series yet, it’s also the best Superman game I’ve ever played.
Rating: Excellent Review Policy (version tested: PS Vita)
LEGO Batman 2 for PS Vita is available from ShopTo now.