Copyright Adam Schlosser

Copyright 2005 Adam Schlosser

Posted by Pip

ST26- Mid Strife Crisis

Lust may have never seen that before, but those Slapeggs getting the wallpapers have seen the mighty glowy eye of Chastity before! Aaaand that does pretty much lay to rest any doubts about the Virtues fibbing about her being messed up lately. We need our own version of Mystery Inc. But who to make Scooby, Anger or Sloth... Then again Gluttony would probably bogart the Sinny Snacks and then who would pull the rubber mask off of Old Man Murdoch and his scheme to steal doubloons or scare away tourists or whatever other cliché kids are doing these days.

Quick Review: Extras Series Finale Special- While they did thankfully tone down the awful slapstick from season 2, the series final still doesn’t even come close to how good the first season was. Whereas the Special for The Office was intelligent, added a lot to both the characters and the story as a whole, and was actually pretty damned moving emotionally, the Special for Extras just feels like just another episode and does little to advance anything. There’s one point where Andy has to make a big decision, he makes his choice, and if the show ended here, it would have had meaning. Andy would have chosen what was important and he’d have to live with that. Instead, he makes his choice, the show continues for another fifteen minutes or so, and he ends up completely undoing his choice and going the other route thus completely negating the sentiment and weight of the decision. The whole plot of the episode was one of the most standard sitcom clichés: Andy gets famous, it goes to his head, he treats his friends like dirt, and we all say “awww” in the end. I loved season one of Extras but they should have stopped there.

Lego Batman- It’s fun and cute and will probably please its targeted demographic with some silly humor, great characters, and fun boss fights, but for anybody older than that, you can’t help but notice all of the bad design decisions and poor mechanics. Unlimited enemies, repetitive punching and kicking, slippery jumping, a brain dead AI partner, “Extras” that don’t seem to lend anything to the game (what the hell does “Extra Toggle” do!?), and there’s no character growth. You’ll always do the same damage, always have the same health, and everything in the game seems to have one specific use. The Demo Suit destroys one specific kind of wall, the Sonic Suit destroys another specific kind of wall, the Glide Suit will get you across one gap in a stage and then be useless until you come across the next suit to switch to, and on and on. If they just upgraded the original suit, it would be more fulfilling. You’ll frequently come across things in stages where you just don’t have that one specific power or character you need, but you don’t know if it’s because you’re wearing the wrong suit (in which case you’ll need to backtrack to go find it again) or you need another character (in which case you’ll have to play the stage over again later) and you’ll have to pass the item by. The items themselves really aren’t rewarding either. The game devolves into a collect-a-thon worthy of a Rare or Nintendo title. You collect thousands of Lego bits as currency (no kidding, in some stages you’ll get well over 90,000 bits) where the numbers get so ludicrously high that they lose all meaning, you have to collect dozens of secret items to unlock anything, and when you do unlock something it’s usually buying another character skin so you can go back and replay stages to get more items, to unlock other characters, to get other items, to unlock more things cruels, to get other items, until your brain implodes.
It’s a great game for parents to play co-op with their kids. The wee ones should like the humor, smashing stuff, and collecting Lego bit, and the parents can help out on the trickier jumping challenges and the times when the puzzles get a bit obscure. The violence on the Hero side is typically comic fare, but some parents may take issue with some of the Villain side missions. Beating up goons as Batman is one thing, but the Joker missions have you shooting policemen with guns and blowing up vans full of cops with bombs.
Sins Committed- Repetitive gameplay, Collect-a-thons, Bad AI, Bad level design, Bad camera