I was really looking forward to LEGO Batman 2, but it's a mess.
I 100%ed it this weekend, to the tune of just over 30 hours. Which seems to be a normal time cost; that's more or less what I put into LEGO Pirates, LEGO Harry Potter 1 and LEGO Harry Potter 2, according to my PS3 game stats. But this game was just frustrating as hell.
I'll pick apart little fannish DC things in a minute, but first I need to call out the many times the game serves up buggy, glitchy weirdness. We hit a problem in the very first level, where the game would not let us progress to the next section. After the boss fight with Harley, she jumps down a hole and the implication is that you should follow her. We couldn't. Our little Batman and Robin went into that dumb "paused fall" animation and just floated over the open hole. Knowing that the LEGO games can get pretty obtuse about where to go next (but please, by all means, re-state how Penguin can create bomb goons EVERY TIME I select him), we wasted quite a bit of time trying to destroy everything in the room, seeking whatever would let us proceed after Harley. Turns out, the game just went kerplunk kerplooey.
That happened one other time when I flew Green Lantern too close to the roof and got him stuck in a section of the level that I wasn't supposed to be in yet.
But what is really, super, unbelievably terrible is how many times (like, every time), the game refuses to render in key interactive elements until you've been standing there twirling the camera around. In the otherwise-very-cool open world Gotham City, there are these Batcomputer terminals you use to choose your vehicle, like selecting cars from a garage. The terminals are locatable in the city by these tall beams of light that stretch from the street to the heavens. But when you walk up on one (or fly to one... but controlling flying characters in Gotham really sucks), it's never there. Just a beam of light. You have to stand in the light and rotate the camera around to get the terminal to pop in. And this is not some kind of in-game "oh, the Batcomputer needs to animate up out of the ground" thing. No, this is plain old PS1-era graphics pop-in.
This also happens with the unlockable vehicles scattered around the city. The map will tell you there's a helicopter waiting on top of a building for you to buy, but when you land on the roof there's nothing there. Until you stand around for a bit and rotate the camera. It's nuts.
I also ran into a problem where one level would not let me switch characters. Which, when I freaking needed Aquaman in order to unlock a hidden minikit and I couldn't freaking swap to him, that was a huge pisser.
And why can't these games work out an awesome character building mode? I can't think of one where you actually have a nice assortment of LEGO pieces and colors and decorations to work with. It's always a handful of awful, character-specific stuff where the best you can do is make a Batman with green pants. Am I missing something?
Although I did find one tantalizing exception to this... one of the custom shirts has a Vixen pattern, and Vixen is totally not a pre-existing playable character in the game. Although good luck making a passable Vixen thanks to the limited set of available pieces.
And what's with the music? Why in fuck are we living off the 20-year-old soundtrack to Tim Burton's "Batman"? The entire game is scored with the Danny Elfman soundtrack album. Again. When you start flying as Superman, you're treated to selections from the even older "Superman" movie, which is at least different, but annoys me that they did not bother securing other hero media music to match up with other characters. Like the Flash or Wonder Woman TV themes, or something from the Green Lantern movie. Doesn't sound like a lot of work went into the scoring.
Now let's get picky.
Why is Martian Manhunter just a Superman clone (complete with heat vision) when he should absolutely have the power to go intangible and mimic Batman's Sensor Suit? Hey, Mr. Terrific would have been a great choice for another Sensor character, come to think of it.
Why does Zatanna fly? And not do magic?
Why only one Green Lantern (Hal, duh), with no ability to make your own Lantern character (thanks again to the awful character-creation system)? But you can create your own characters with freeze guns, batarangs, and select other weapons.
Obviously this did not ward me off of devoting 30+ hours to it, because I still enjoyed tooling around LEGO Gotham as a little superspeedy Flash. But wow, what an unfortunate mess.