Arkham City is considered the best Batman game of all time. Hell, some fanatics even call it the number one superhero game. Wrong. You have it all wrong. The award goes to Lego Marvel Superheroes Where Batman Begins, and probably the latter. I don’t make the rules. Christian Bale in his skintight, plastic-looking suit, shoving goons against the wall, gargling out loud, “WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR” before throwing them down a flight of stairs at the head of anything Rocksteady.
Will we get that with Pattinson’s Batman? No. We won’t. The movie ties are dead outside of the inevitable Fortnite skins, but they don’t count. They are like digital figurines. Boo. Boring. I want a game where I can play as Robert Pattinson, twinkling as I bite Colin Farrell’s neck. No, Fortnite isn’t the closest. Lego is.
While ties to the movies died unceremoniously after the PS3 era, Lego kept the bright red, orange and yellow studs with Jurassic Park, Avengers, Lord of the Rings, The Incredibles and even its own movies. Make connections with your own films? Bullets at TT Games. Hell, my introduction to the ’80s Batman theme was in Lego, not the Tim Burton classic, and my first foray into Star Wars was, again, with the games. It will bother anyone – it’s Star Wars – but now I have fond memories of Dexter’s Diner, Qui-Gon’s X-eyes and the absolute cursed gameplay of Jar Jar where you can jump three blocks high.
There’s something special about the movie ties that I can’t quite put my finger on. Most of the time it’s crap, but that’s the charm. I love a bad slasher that I can watch for 90 minutes and I’ll rate them absurdly because of how fun they are. I think movie-related games scratch the same itch. They are not “so bad they’re good”, but “so dumb they’re fun”. Not everything has to be a masterclass in storytelling and game mechanics. Sometimes I want Hannah Montana on the DS, singing along with Bizzaro artwork that makes her look like she’s crawled out of the wreck of the Polar Express.
Or there’s Dora: Journey to the Purple Planet, Lilo and Stitch, The Incredibles, The Matrix, Scooby-Doo – the list goes on. Much of my childhood was built on these titles which often took great platformers or action games and riffed them, never being quite as good but always memorable. That’s enough for me. I don’t really remember Arkham Asylum. A gruff Batman beat up criminals, and Joker appeared at some point. His is every gory Batman story. But Bale’s horrible chest infection stays with me to this day and not because of the movies.
Lego is very similar. Stories are never great. These are often just watered down versions of the films with the most slapstick and childish humor. Obi-Wan pulling out a walkie-talkie instead of a lightsaber when he meets Luke is so ingrained in my memory that when I watch A New Hope, it takes me a few seconds to realize why the scene is missing. Oh yeah, it’s from the fucking Lego game. They’re not as good as other platforms and they’re produced like there’s no tomorrow, but they’re silly, fun, and memorable. Sounds a lot like movie-related games if you ask me.
So while the latter have died out, there’s at least Lego to keep them running. Next we have Star Wars – all nine movies – and I can’t wait to see Kylo and Rey’s awkward, undeserved and horrifying kiss brought to life in Lego. What gag will TT Games come up with? I’m thrilled with anticipation. After that, who knows what awaits Lego. I would happily play his version of Twilight, Back to the Future, or the damn Godfather. We’re overdue for the return of movie tie-ins, especially as movies continue to adapt games, but at least we have Lego.
Next: Games Don’t Have To Aspire To Be Movies
JasonR is accused of muting every woman he plays with.
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