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Game Review: LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes

Warner Bros.

Microsoft Xbox 360 (PC, PS3, Wii)

$49.99

ESRB rating: E10+

Review rating: 4.5 stars

Traveler's Tales proved that LEGOs aren't just for kids anymore with their highly popular LEGO video game series, and "LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" is the best one to date! Anyone who thinks this fun-filled title is basically the same as its predecessor will be pleasantly surprised at the bold new direction the developer is taking.

When the diabolical Joker crashes Gotham City's "man of the year" ceremony, only Bruce Wayne's heroic alter ego can save the day! Joined by boy wonder Robin, Batman pursues the clown prince of crime only to find that he plans to destroy Gotham City with the help of the criminal mastermind, Lex Luthor! Eventually, the Justice League enters the story to combat several well-known super-villains, and the result is a super-powered showdown of epic proportions!

For the first time in any LEGO game, the characters actually speak words instead of pantomiming and making sound effects. This welcome addition allows the story to become more robust and also helps to highlight the rivalry between Batman and Superman. Believe it or not, the dialogue is actually funnier than the awkward body language and comical grunting that the series is known for!

My favorite new addition, however, is the open-world game play that includes collecting items, solving puzzles and hunting down Arkham Asylum escapees. While these activities are optional, they reward players with extra coins, golden bricks and even additional characters to use in future play-throughs. All of this newfound freedom is in addition to the traditional linear game play that all LEGO games follow. My only complaint about the open-world format is the lack of a mini-map.

Whether you're new to the series or a seasoned fan, "LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes" is money well spent!

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