LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes Review (PS Vita)

June 26, 2012Written by Nick Michetti

LEGO Batman 2‘s home console version and handheld version are two very different games. The Vita version is essentially the same as the 3DS version, which — while having similar elements as its home console “big brother” — is not the same game. In many ways, LEGO Batman 2 for PS Vita feels like an even more kid-friendly version of the home console game. However, that doesn’t mean that LEGO Batman 2‘s Vita version isn’t a good game or isn’t fun. Gamers who go in expecting a port of the PS3 version will be disappointed, but aside from a few issues, gamers who can accept its differences will still be able to have a good time.

LEGO Batman 2 for PS Vita has the same story as the home console version of the game: Lex Luthor is running for President of the United States and wants The Joker’s help in securing the win. The Joker has already assembled a “who’s who” of Batman’s rogues gallery to help him out — The Riddler, The Penguin, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman, to name a few — and they’re out to stop Batman and Robin from defeating their efforts. The story is by far one of the game’s biggest strengths, as it not only feels like a LEGO version of a Batman Saturday morning cartoon, but also has a great sense of humor with quite a few jokes thrown in. The voice acting in the game is also great and really brings the characters to life. Hindering the story’s execution, though, is that the compression of the cutscenes from the home console version has made the sharp, HD visuals that were included in them very faded-looking. Also, LEGO Batman 2 Vita is missing some cutscenes and sequences from the home console version.

The Vita version’s gameplay is a level-by-level playthrough of somewhat different interpretations of the home console version’s levels. LEGO Batman 2 for PS Vita has instances where a level is mostly the same, but missing some atmosphere or gameplay from the home console version. The game also has instances where a level may have sequences in it that are not in the home console version (for instance, a musical instrument puzzle laid out by The Riddler in the first level does not appear in the home console version). The two being different in these ways is actually a plus, as gamers who may pick up both versions won’t be playing through the exact same game twice.

The handheld version also includes a few bonus “Justice League” missions that are available after beating the game. The missions are basically one-person Horde Mode maps that task players with facing waves of enemies with different pre-selected characters and include no story whatsoever. The inclusion of the missions is a nice extra, but not much more than that.

Other than those differences, the core gameplay is essentially the same blend of action, platforming and puzzles and is still overall the same quality. However, the game does have some odd changes from the home console version in some instances. For instances, combat in the game — even in the first level — requires more effort than in the home console version. Taking out enemies in the Vita version takes longer (not a long while, but still longer) than the PS3 or Xbox 360 versions of the game, where most enemies are taken down in a matter of a second or two. Also, some super power effects are different or non-existent in the Vita version. For example, Batman’s Power Suit has super strength and knocks enemies backwards in the home console version, but has next to no effect on them in the Vita version.

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