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Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes Assembles for PS Vita, PS3 today

Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar + Posted by Jeff Rubenstein on Jun 19, 2012 // Sr. Social Media Manager

After seeing Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes at GDC this year, then playing the PS Vita version at E3, I’ve found myself anticipating its imminent release (it’s out today). With a huge Gotham City hub world and a cast that reaches far beyond the Caped Crusader, Lego Batman 2 appears to be the most ambitious entry in the venerable Lego series. A few days ago I caught up with Matthew Ellison, a producer at TT Games via transatlantic cable, er, telephone. We talked at length about PS Vita, the plethora of playable DC heroes, and… bat nipples.

Do read on:


Jeff Rubenstein, PlayStation.Blog: After seeing this game over the past few months, it seems that the title “Lego Batman 2” really sells the game short…

Matthew Ellison, TT Games: This is a sequel to the first game (Lego Batman: The Videogame), and that’s a key point for us. We’ve learned lessons with the first game and when we wanted to make Lego Batman 2, the idea of bringing in Superman and other Justice League characters just seemed like a great way to improve what is an original story. The story basically has Batman, Superman, and Robin teaming up to take on Lex Luthor and the Joker, so we’re bringing all these characters together and the different relationships that they have is something that we’ve loved getting to work with. Batman and Superman are in the story throughout, but we have these other Justice League characters who play a part towards the end of the story.

PSB: Beyond the breadth of characters, which is a common thread in Lego games, this seems to be the most ambitious Lego game from a design perspective.

TTG:The Gotham City hub is on a different scale to anything we’ve ever done in the past. To be able to create a Lego version of Gotham City — which is still quite a dreary, dark place — we’ve been able to put a Lego spin on it that gives it a different feel to previous representations of Gotham City. Hopefully we’ll surprise people with that once they play it.

LB2Screen007

PSB: Of course people will be eager to try out Batman, with his plethora of tools, or Superman, who can fly. Who’s the sleeper character that people should be looking out for?

TTG: The Flash is one that instantly jumps to mind. He’s got super speed, naturally, and it’s really, really cool to run around, especially in the hub where you realize how quickly he’s moving, jumping around and collecting studs at super speed. Green Lantern seems to be very popular among the people we’ve shown him so far. Any green Lego you find in the game, he’s the only character that can interact with that Lego, so that’s unique to him. And he can build objects that no other character can build thanks to his ring. Cyborg is another one that’s pretty cool. Much like Superman’s heat vision, he’s got laser eyes, and he can climb up magnetic walls. And there’s a number of flying characters as well. Flying’s quite cool in the game.

10.135.54.11-image7LB2 Cyborg 6

PSB: This is your second PS Vita game, with a third in development (Lego The Lord of the Rings). What have you learned from Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 that you’re applying in these next two announced PS Vita titles?

TTG: We have been learning very quickly on Vita. Harry Potter was a very good learning experience, because whenever a new platform comes out it takes some time to get the grips on how to get the most out of it. Just simply from a development point of view, learning all the tricks and how to optimize things and get the best results does take a little bit of time and can’t be, or is rarely, done the first time. The guys at TT Fusion make our handheld games, so all the tips and tricks to get the graphics looking sharper and so on have been learned from previous titles so we’re able to put together a higher quality game, and enhance it further as we move forward working with the platform.

The other thing with Vita is it has a few extra features. We’re using “near” functionality, we also have front touchscreen and rear touchscreen for targeting, like Batman’s Batarang, for example.

PSB: How are you using “near”? Do you mind elaborating?

TTG: The way the feature works is that when in game you can go up to the Batcomputer in the Batcave and choose an item or character that you have unlocked and set it as a gift. Anyone that then goes to that geographical location can obtain the gift.

PSB: We put a note out on Twitter asking for some questions, and we had a couple of funny ones — one reader thanked you for not including “Bat nipples” on the costume – not a fan of the Joel Schumacher movie, I guess.

TTG: To that point, with the character designs, we do work closely with DC. The character outfits, a lot of those decisions will come from talking to DC and how they want characters to appear. We also obviously work very closely with Lego, so where there’s a Lego toy available, we’ll use their design for the toy wherever possible. The idea behind that is simply when kids have the mini-figs in the toy set, they like to see the toys come to life in the video games.

PSB: The other question that came through on Twitter — by about 90% of the respondents — is how similar is the PS Vita version to the PS3 version?

TTG: There are quite a few differences between the PS3 and the PS Vita version. The things that are the same are the story, which is told through cutscenes primarily, and those cutscenes are shared between the versions. The other things that are the same, more or less, are the levels. There is one level in the console game which doesn’t appear on the handheld due to technical limitations. The console game does have the big Gotham City hub, while the handheld has the Batcave hub, but the thing that the handheld game does have is the JLA mode, which is basically bonus missions. There are five bonus missions, and each one is divided into eight different rounds where you take control of a different Justice League character. You’ll either have to have a big fight with a series of enemies, or have to cross some platforms or just get into a different mode. So there’ll be sort of challenges that make up this Justice League mode, and that seems to be something that’ll be very popular.

LB2Screen001

PSB:You’ve done quite a few of these games – what have you found that people want in a Lego game?

TTG: I think the thing that people want most is, working with the different IPs people love to see how the stories are told through Lego. Our games are very much character driven, I think, and the personalities of those characters and how they interact with each other. For example, the relationship between Superman and Batman in the game. Superman is quite brash and arrogant and Batman doesn’t want any of Superman’s help, and a lot of the humor comes from that relationship and how they interact with each other. I think people like seeing that in our games.

Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes ships for PS3 and PS Vita today. The Vita version will be available for download later today on the PlayStation Store. Of note, the Vita version of the game will feature ad hoc multiplayer support for the campaign, and couch co-op on PS3.

//Add Your Own

78 Comments   1 Reply

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1

+ vanwinkle on June 19th, 2012 at 9:46 am said:

I don’t know why he couldn’t just say the Vita version is not open world. And that’s EXTREMELY disappointing, as even the Wii version is. It’s lazy, to be honest. Vita is much more powerful than Wii, and could have easily had the same console game. And that level that couldn’t be done due to “technical limitations”? I guarantee you it’s on the less powerful Wii.


2

+ Reluctant-Hero on June 19th, 2012 at 9:49 am said:

Jeff, can you confirm whether or not the Vita version has a platinum trophy?


    Jeff Rubenstein's Avatar

     

    + Jeff Rubenstein on June 19th, 2012 at 9:53 am said:

    I haven’t seen the trophy list, but Lego HP for Vita does, so it’s a very, very safe bet.


3

+ LuckyBuckeye on June 19th, 2012 at 9:52 am said:

Lego games would be perfect for cross play ,but sadly looks like the Vita is going to be simpler game.


4

+ justins123456 on June 19th, 2012 at 9:53 am said:

i agree with first comment i was going to buy the vita version but seeing as it is half assed i will not be purchasing it. We know the vita has the specs to handle the whole game so the devs were just too lazy to put the effort into giving us the full fledged game


5

+ Mercenary09 on June 19th, 2012 at 9:54 am said:

@#2 Reluctant-Hero
Yes it has a Platinum trophy. The trophy list is out already


6

+ Jesszman on June 19th, 2012 at 9:55 am said:

Will downloadable Vita version come with any of the pre-order dlc?


7

+ kilburni86 on June 19th, 2012 at 9:58 am said:

“There is one level in the console game which doesn’t appear on the handheld due to technical limitations.”

I have a hard time believing this one if Sony can port Sly Cooper Thieves in Time and PS All Stars Battle Royale completely over to the Vita while other games like Gravity Rush and Assassin’s Creed III Liberation are able to have an open-world game with no separate load times in between missions.

TT Games – Please make the effort to port the PS3 version to the Vita in the future instead of giving us the 3DS version!


8

+ glzwpk on June 19th, 2012 at 9:59 am said:

#1

Yah it’s weird TT would never get back to me. However Lego did and confirmed no open world for the handheld. At least Lego cares about their fans. TT is just lazy. It’s easier to port the 3ds version.


9

+ gdogg666 on June 19th, 2012 at 9:59 am said:

hey jeff 3 questions one whats the dl size for the psn version question 2 what is the diff between the vita version and ps3 version and question 3 which version is better ps3 or vita version like what has more content in it


10

+ guitarded77 on June 19th, 2012 at 10:10 am said:

That trailer was pretty awesome.


11

+ idraw on June 19th, 2012 at 10:11 am said:

There should have been no doubt the Vita would have the open world. So disheartening to find a 3DS port.
I love my Vita, but c’mon!


12

+ M1NUS-1 on June 19th, 2012 at 10:21 am said:

LAME LAME LAME.

I canceled my pre-order once I found out it was a half-assed VITA version.


13

+ Newcloud on June 19th, 2012 at 10:33 am said:

Why isn’t the vita version the same as the ps3 version?? That’s so annoying I was really looking forward to getting it on vita, now I won’t bother with the game at all :(


14

+ Sneeches on June 19th, 2012 at 10:33 am said:

I got the vita version, loving it so far :)


15

+ themajestic-2 on June 19th, 2012 at 10:38 am said:

i wanted to buy the vtia version more than anything…i even saved up the money through psn cards but its not open world due to the lazyness of the devs… even harry potter vita is half as good. well it looks like the ps3 version for me. seriously this cant continue cause this was gunna be my 9th vita cartage .


16

+ Elvick_ on June 19th, 2012 at 10:38 am said:

“The guys at TT Fusion make our handheld games,”

Great, so this will be another gimped experience? Harry Potter Years 5-7 is *terrible*. I thought that I was buying a slightly altered console version, not a horribly gimped handheld version that was made on much weaker hardware and ported to Vita.

I’m so disappointed. I want the console experience of LEGO games on the Vita. Not the terrible handheld experiences on the Vita.

I was going to replace buying console versions with Vita versions, but now I think I’ll just keep my money in my wallet for developers who are going to put out some effort instead.

Step up your game and you’ll get my money. Until then, I’m done with LEGO games.


17

+ LionFranco on June 19th, 2012 at 10:40 am said:

Not touching any version of this game now that I know the open world is not in the Vita version. I would have purchased the Vita version if it had been more like the console versions, and not gimped like the 3ds version. Technical limitations my butt! And I know they have lost a lot of other sales of this game for this exact reason.


18

+ Tchanku on June 19th, 2012 at 10:49 am said:

But but…I haven’t finished Gravity Rush yet!


19

+ headphase82 on June 19th, 2012 at 10:51 am said:

I am also disappointed with the Vita version being limited. I was definitely going to buy it if it had free roam.


20

+ mauaus on June 19th, 2012 at 10:52 am said:

Hey Jeff, a bit off topic but when will we see Vita discounts like EU PSN??


21

+ thunderbear on June 19th, 2012 at 10:53 am said:

Not buying the Vita version because of the lack of the open world (and that was the only platform I was considering it for). I am as disappointed as everyone else.


22

+ Tchanku on June 19th, 2012 at 11:02 am said:

Reading through the comments it is sad to find out it isn’t the same game on both systems. :(


23

+ JaguarCRO on June 19th, 2012 at 11:04 am said:

Wow, what a disappointment. I too have cancelled my per-order of the game from Amazon. So much for treating the Vita properly and giving it the new Open-world experience I wanted.

Please Please take development of your Vita titles out of the hands of the guys who do the 3DS version,and give it to the PS3 group. This is truly pathetic.

I have to say the marketing has been lying for weeks on this. No mention was it made that the key new feature of this title (Open world gotham city) isn’t actually in the Vita Version.


24

+ mariogalaxy1 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:25 am said:

i have lego batman one cant wait to try the new one


25

+ TheChopper1209 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:28 am said:

Jeff, is there any chances at all that the US Storefront get the same discounts that we can see on the EU Storefront on PS Vita Games?


26

+ jhernandez360 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:30 am said:

Is this available for ps3 download? or do I have to buy a disk?????????????????????????????????????????????????????


27

+ chaoslobster on June 19th, 2012 at 11:31 am said:

This sounded like a cool purchase for my Vita until I learned the handheld version is a waste of time. I already have a backlog of over a dozen PS3 games I haven’t gotten to yet and I’m not interested in more, but my Vita is a barren wasteland, especially since it can’t play 90% of what I had on my PSP. I hadn’t heard of this game until today so I’m not too upset that I won’t be able to play it, just disappointed. I will be devastated if TT pulls this again with Lego Lord of the Rings, though. I’ve been salivating over that game since I saw the trailer and have my heart set on playing it on my Vita.


28

+ JoeTheBeast16 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:37 am said:

I agree with just about everyone posting about the Vita.
It’s a massive disappointment and DEFINITELY a missed opportunity by the developers.
If we can’t have the same Open world of the ps3 version, but we can play other technically challenging games like Uncharted, then clearly they just didn’t want to “Waste” their time making it work on the vita.
Which means that what WAS going to be the FIRST Lego game that I ever purchased, has turned into the REASON that I’m now pretty much dead set against buying Lego games in the future.
Not interested in that kind of game on my ps3, but for the Vita it would have finally given me something set in the DC Universe that I could pick up and play whenever I had a free moment, no matter where I was.


29

+ JoeTheBeast16 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:38 am said:

I Love my Vita, but I so desperately want GAMES to play on it..


30

+ CFD13 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:39 am said:

I was totally going to get this game until I found out the Vita version will not have free roam, very disappointed, I mean even gravity rush and AC: Liberation have free roam and they look twice as good as lego batman 2. I’m gonna skip this game.


31

+ BrownBear206 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:42 am said:

The Vita version is available now for download on PSN if you do a search.


32

+ CFD13 on June 19th, 2012 at 11:43 am said:

The fact that the vita version is just a ds port is pretty pathetic


33

+ Donelwero on June 19th, 2012 at 11:44 am said:

To all those saying that the Vita version is the same as the 3DS. It’s the Normal DS Version!!

I was hoping to get this for my 3DS or my Vita, but seeing as the devs ported the DS version to 3DS and Vita, I’ll keep my money.

The price ($40) for the Vita or 3DS game is an insult. It should cost the same as the DS version.


34

+ DarthDanMan on June 19th, 2012 at 11:52 am said:

So it’s a gimped port? I thought that ended with PSP games… I was going to buy this on my Vita but I guess I might buy this on my PS3 if I see it on sale. Please don’t do this with Lego Lord of the Rings.


35

+ lisatsunami on June 19th, 2012 at 11:55 am said:

I loved Lego HP on the Vita, even though it’s true that it’s not as full-fledged as a full console version. I pre-ordered Lego Batman Vita. My backlog on my Vita is now equal in number to my PS3 backlog because I can’t stop playing Skyrim. I’ve reached 100 in smithing & enchanting (no exploits) & the joy of crafting your own dragon armor & ebony weapons, & putting 2 enchantments? Priceless.

Thanks, Jeff, good interview. The Lego HP games were better than the EA versions of the last 5 movies, so more Lego for me.


36

+ digeythedog on June 19th, 2012 at 12:07 pm said:

Here is some news on COD declassifed. This is on amazon. ” Before the future could be won, history had to be written. Exposing that story exclusively on PlayStation® Vita, Call of Duty®: Black Ops Declassified explores original fiction in the Call of Duty® Black Ops universe with an all-new campaign of Special Ops missions. Optimized for gamers on-the-go, Call of Duty® Black Ops: Declassified delivers the most intense handheld Call of Duty® experience to date, including both Special Ops Story mode and Multiplayer combat tailored for the PS Vita.”


37

+ jhernandez360 on June 19th, 2012 at 12:11 pm said:

We dont want gimp versions of these games?? Why are you doing this??cant you give us a the whole game on the Vita??


38

+ JusteMilieu on June 19th, 2012 at 12:14 pm said:

Massively disappointed, was about to leave to gamestop and buy this right now, glad I decided to visit the blog before I left, as I will not be purchasing the game now.


39

+ Blzer on June 19th, 2012 at 12:44 pm said:

Wow, I was so pumped to buy this game on Vita. I was even literally in the PS Store browsing for it as I caught onto this blog on my computer. Not buying this anymore.

Developers, take note of these comments. Realize how many sales you’re losing because of the decisions that are being made. And it’s not like I’m happy I’m saving my money, I’m beyond frustrated after hyping myself to have this PS3 experience on Vita.

Not getting this on PS3 either, since I have a backlog of games on there. I wanted this specifically for my handheld and to play on the go. Not anymore. :-(


40

+ nikrel on June 19th, 2012 at 12:48 pm said:

When will Devs learn that a bit more work will go a long & longer way? I was about to purchase this on Amazon today only to find out it’s a massive port that equals squat!

Congrats on loosing money rather than making money with the vita ver.


41

+ nikrel on June 19th, 2012 at 12:48 pm said:

*Losing. silly fingers.


42

+ soundandvision77 on June 19th, 2012 at 12:49 pm said:

Do you know if there will be a demo for the Vita version?


43

+ MacJunegrand on June 19th, 2012 at 12:54 pm said:

So, it’s the PS3 version coming to the PSN? When?


44

+ DRail25 on June 19th, 2012 at 1:07 pm said:

Starting to get disappointed with the vita, period.


45

+ C004t on June 19th, 2012 at 1:47 pm said:

You know, i would be willing to Pay $10 “dlc” to get an open world experience, really why cant TT see we’re all disapointed, PS vita DOES have the power to have free roam (gravity rush, sly 4, assassins creed), they’re just lazy, they even took out some levels, so it’s pretty much not even the full game! I bought this for vita (i dont know why) and I am extremely disapointed.
(insert picture of sly) -posted by p. dog-


46

+ angibri2000 on June 19th, 2012 at 1:49 pm said:

Love all the Lego games! Have them all on PS3 except the last Harry Potter and Pirates. I considered buying this for my Vita but is seems like the PS3 version is the way to go, which is ok since I really like playing together with my son.

Just a side note, I hope TT realizes that putting a bit more time into the PS3/Vita versions really will pay off especially if they implement cross play. Hopefully this was missed because development time was short since Vita hasn’t been out for a while. I really hope they revisit this and hopefully implement it on the LOTR game. I believe platformers are the best games for cross play/transfar, hope developers realize this.

By the way, TT how cool would it be to include some Lego characters in PS All-stars BR!!! Hint hint! =)


47

+ massimodo on June 19th, 2012 at 2:20 pm said:

The vita game is a dumbed down ds/3ds port. Technical limitations = laziness.


48

+ pyrophysics on June 19th, 2012 at 2:53 pm said:

Yep, I’m definitely not bothering with this. This was the first Lego game I’ve EVER been interested in, and you guys dropped the ball miserably. I wanted this game on my Vita, and I refuse to buy it on any other platform. If the Vita can run Gravity Rush, Sly 4, and Assassin’s Creed, it can run a freakin Lego game. Step your game up, and don’t pull that crap again with the next one and I’ll consider buying it.


49

+ C004t on June 19th, 2012 at 3:35 pm said:

i don’t even think they care, i hope they do something to make it up to us vita owners. :'(


50

+ Elvick_ on June 19th, 2012 at 3:45 pm said:

@49: Probably not, especially if they make money off this laziness. At least there seem to be a fair amount of people not happy about it here. Shame LEGO games don’t really need us (gamers who read gaming blogs/sites) to be profitable.

I would love to buy their games, but this is unacceptable. It’s 2012, and the PS Vita is much more capable than the PSP and DS. Stop gimping the Vita version just so you can up-port the worst versions out there. And then they have the gull to charge full price for them on Vita. Should be $20 at launch for every handheld version, given how gimped they are.


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