Lego Batman: The Videogame (PC) (2008)

Overview: A Lego-themed action-adventure game based on Batman with an original story.

20190725:
Yesterday I played Lego Worlds (PC) (2017) and so today I decided to play Lego Batman: The Videogame in order to break even on my Humble LEGO Games Bundle purchase. In terms of gameplay, this game was easily more fun to play than Lego Worlds. Unfortunately, the game crashed twice. After the second crash, I tried to search for an answer and the problem might have to do with a setting called "Enhanced Graphics." I'll check it out tomorrow.

Batman's Demolition Suit

Setup: 2560 x 1440.

Steam Game Time: 28 minutes

20190726 AM Hours:
Today I woke up to monitor Benjamin's self-soothing on the baby monitor and decided I take a crack at figuring out what causes this game to crash. I turned off "Enhanced Graphics" and restarted the game so the setting could take effect. Unfortunately, six minutes into playing, the game crashed. I so happened to be taking a screenshot, but I know for a fact that the I was not taking a screenshot when the game crashed yesterday.

I read elsewhere to try changing the compatibility mode. Windows automatically suggested Windows Vista (Service Pack 2), which matched the compatibility used by a user in a Steam thread. I went ahead and gave it a try. Being able to finish the first level, I'll assume that changing the compatibility made a difference.

As a side note, in that same thread, a user said "Robin's little green car for the tech suit won't move at all." I also encountered this bug (?) when I reached that part of the level. For me, the car moved, but at a snail's pace. By chance, I pressed the left control key (L-Ctrl) and the car sped up. If this was intended, I believe the game should have instructed me, the player, on how to control the car. Up until that point, I only ever used WASD and UHJK. Note, however, that a different user replied that the fix to the aforementioned bug is to turn on V-Sync. This would explain why the car initially moved very slowly, but it doesn't explain why pressing control fixed the problem. In any case, I'll try turning on V-Sync the next time I play and see if that fixes the problem.

Batman monkey crawls under the rope while Robin balances his way on top it.

Steam Game Time: 7 minutes (actual), 10 minutes (idle - the game had opened without my knowledge), 25 minutes (actual)

20190726:
Unfortunately today, even with the compatibility mode set, the game crashed twice. The first time I launched the game through Steam and the second time I manually opened the executable.

Setup: I tried resetting the graphics settings except for the resolution. I moved that up to 1920 x 1080.

Gameplay Log:
Stuck at Mr. Freeze. First, I can't even break out of an ice cube.
I read the solution and it didn't have anything to do with breaking out of the ice cube. Solution: If Batman gets frozen then switch to Robin and vice versa. Keep attacking Mr. Freeze. Complaint: I dislike the solution because it requires a solo player to switch characters in the middle of the action - a solution which was not conveyed in a prior, less hectic situation.

Steam Game Time: 2.0 hours (total game time) / 50 minutes (session game time)


Throwing the Batarang.

Thoughts:
Pros:
+ Casual - button mash against enemies, respawn when life reaches 0
+ Player Drop-in/Drop-out - a great feature of the Lego video game series.

Neutral:
~ Original story

Cons:
- I've encountered situations where I've had difficulty jumping from X to Y; for example, from a ladder to its platform* and from a grappling hook fixture to its platform.**
- The AI gets stuck. I don't need the AI to help fight, but it would be nice for the AI to succeed in following me instead of getting stuck
- In general, movement in this game feels unpolished.
- From the first two levels, playing with two players will be more fun than playing with just one player, because the single-player experience almost requires playing one and a half characters.

Major Con:
-- The game crashed a total of three times; changing compatibility mode to Windows Vista (SP2) seemed to have resolved the issue. After this it crashed two more times and counting. A Google search shows many people have this problem. Resetting my graphics setting seemed to help. However, for all I know, the game simply wants me to change a random graphic setting each time I play. XD

Robin scales a metal surface with his Magnet Suit

*The ladder at the far left of the first level. My workaround was to hold the direction while holding down jump. Batman would jump several times until he clipped to the platform.
**This didn't happen until my third time trying to play the level. I pulled myself up and then tried to jump onto the platform but Batman came short of jumping up. I proceeded to fail about five more times before successfully getting onto the platform.

[20190726]

Summary:
I played many hours of both Lego Star Wars: The Video Game (GCN) (2005) and its sequel Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (GCN) (2006),* so I had high expectations of Lego Batman: The Videogame. Unfortunately, the number of crashes which I encountered and the control problems I ran into was a major buzzkill and I was unable to enjoy the game even as half as much as I enjoyed Lego Star Wars. It was particularly unfortunate because I had just come off a bad experience with Lego Worlds and I was hoping Lego Batman would redeem Traveller's Tales (the developer) and/or the general Lego video game franchise.

*I have also played a little bit of both Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Wii) (2008) and Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Wii) (2010).

Lego Batman: The Videogame (PC) (2008)

Vehicles!

Relevant Links:
Lego Batman: The Videogame (Wikipedia.org)
Lego Batman: The Videogame (PC) (MetaCritic.com)
Lego Batman: The Videogame (Steam Store Page)

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