So, I do recommend this game, because it's wicked fun, especially with two players, but it does have some problems.
I got this game because I'm really into Batman, and I wanted to try to get my 7 year old daughter into it too. I was playing Batman: Arkham City with her, but my wife found out about it, and she was not happy. So, we agreed that this way more kid-friendly game was probably a good compromise. And it is pretty kid-friendly as far as content goes. The characters are fun, and building LEGO stuff in-game to make vehicles and such is a blast. As far as my goal of getting my daughter into Batman, it worked like a charm, and now we're watching the movies and TV shows, and as soon as she can read I will start getting her some of the old comics. So there's that.
Now the problems: controls and bugs. The controls are pretty decent in single-player mode, but all hell breaks loose in multiplayer mode. Inside a level, if you and your partner are together in the same location, and one of you moves even a tiny bit while the other is doing something where you have to stay in one spot (i.e. aiming a batarang or Superman's heat vision, spraying something with water, etc.) the aim gets totally thrown off. If your partner is say, just hypothetically, a willful 7-year-old girl who will not listen to repeated cries of "STOP MOVING, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!!!", it becomes hard to complete a task sometimes. Also, if you and your partner split up, the screen splits to give each player a view of where they're going, but it doesn't split just horizontally or vertically, it splits based on where you've moved. So, if your partner has moved above you, it splits somewhat horizontally. However if they move off at an angle, the screen splits perpendicular to that angle, so it's not always nice and square and you end up not being able to see much. Controls with the vehicles are mostly good, except for the flying vehicles for some reason. It seems like they're unable to move in the vertical axis and the horizontal at the same time. When completing flying challenges, it was mostly moving forward, stopping, then gaining or losing altitude, then stopping, then moving forward again, rather than a more fluid motion. If the flying vehicles controlled more like the flying characters it would be better.
Also, maybe this game was rushed, or maybe it's just me, but there seem to be a surprising amount of bugs and stuff in the game. Sometimes it crashed if another program required attention or if a notification popped up from Windows, and sometimes it crashed for no reason at all. Also, there were many places in the game where a character could get stuck and there'd be no choice but to have the other character go somewhere to unstick them. For example, you can get stuck in a few of the gargoyles on the rooftops of Gotham City, and this would require the other player to stop what they were doing and go enter the subway system, so that both characters would be reset to whereever you exited the subway. It's little, but when you're playing with a kid, and you can't drop what you're doing to go unstick them for the fourth time, it can become an issue.
Oh, and my wife wants me to note that since the male characters tend to have more useful powers than the female characters in this game, that the unlockable Batgirl character should've been allowed to use both Batman's and Robin's power suits. I tend to agree.
All this aside, the game is really fun, with a ton of characters to unlock, vehicles to unlock, decent level diversity, and a pretty fun overworld to explore. The inclusion of most of the 1989 Batman film soundtrack and the main theme of the 1978 Superman film is awesome. The game ran smoothly on old hardware (3 year old video card in a 7 year old computer) and Xbox controller integration is very nice. I'm definitely looking forward to further LEGO games, especially LEGO Marvel Superheroes.
8/10, would play again.
Posted: January 31st, 2014