17 June, 2009

Keepalive: Lego Batman, Spider-Man 2

written on Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's a co-op Tuesday, which means Lego Batman. I'd say the first half was pretty boring, but the second half was pretty decent. I previously unlocked all the levels so we could go back in Free Play. Free Play lets you switch between characters on the fly, using all of their special abilities. It's less frustrating because anything we can see, we know we have the tools to tackle. Still, it's probably time to start looking for something else. I'm thinking TimeSplitters: Future Perfect or The Warriors, but we never finished Cookies & Cream, and Fire Pro Wrestling is always good for some mayhem.

We also spent some time swinging around in Spider-Man 2. The worst part about the combat in that game is that by the late stages, normal guys on the street fight better than you do. They block all your punches and dodge web attacks. I've unlocked a bunch of new abilities, but when I can't land a first punch, I can't do anything cool after that. Nope. It's become a game about counter-attacks again. Let them take a swing, then wallop them with a spinning counter. That and dash punches. No one seems to learn how to block those. And it's sad because there's promise even in the lame combat system. The first time I hung a baddie up to a lamp post and played piƱata, it was fabulous. But the game doesn't give you too many chances to play with your food. :(

I guess the main problem is that it introduces moves the same way Hulk: Ultimate Destruction does. You buy them. So it can never rely on you having bought certain moves, so there's no feeling of progression. I buy some moves, but if I don't need them, I don't tend to use them and forget them quickly. So then when I do need them, I have to sift through the complete move list. Sifting through lists is not fun.

I'm really curious why there are so many things in this game that feel just like Hulk: UD. Did Radical (developers of Hulk: UD) get ideas from Treyarch? It seems unlikely since Spider-Man 2 came out only a year before Hulk: UD. But perhaps Marvel was partly responsible for the similarities.

Regardless, web swinging is still enough fun that I'll stick with Spider-Man 2 for another day. (When you're chasing a getaway car and stick a landing on its roof from a web swing, it's a great feeling.)

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