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The High Cost of Evil

Look, I’m not one to tell Traveller’s Tales how to do their business, but after spending some time playing LEGO Batman 2, I have a bone to pick with them.

So, I’m flying around as Superman, doing my thing and I come across The Penguin. A few well placed Kryptonian punches later, he surrenders and for the low, low price of 125,000 studs, he was part of my stable. Later on, I’m flying around, I come across Sinestro, bust his big, purple jaw and BAM, 125,000 studs later and he’s mine.

Now hold on a minute. Sinestro costs as much as Penguin? Sinestro has a yellow power ring, arguably one of the most powerful weapons in the universe. Penguin has trick umbrellas and flightless waterfowl. Now, I know that not everyone knows who Sinestro is, and I know that Superman is more popular than Green Lantern, but come on! One dude can create anything he can think of, limited only by how much fear he instills in others. The other guy can fly, occasionally, but only with an umbrella.

That ain’t right.

So I did some digging, all in the name of research and here are the stud costs for the named (not henchmen) villains in LEGO Batman 2:

Bane – 125,000
Brainiac – 500,000
Captain Boomerang – 100,000
Catwoman – 125,000
Clayface – 100,000
General Zod – 500,000
Harley Quinn – 125,000
Hush – 100,000
Joker – 250,000
Killer Croc – 125,000
Killer Moth – 100,000
Lex Luthor – 250,000
Mad Hatter – 100,00
Man-Bat – 500,000
Mr. Freeze – 500,000
Penguin – 125,000
Poison Ivy – 125,000
Ra’s Al Ghul – 100,000
Riddler – 125,000
Scarecrow – 125,000
Sinestro – 125,000
Two-Face – 125,000

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Now, look, I’m fine with Captain Boomerang being on the low side, I mean, it’s Captain Boomerang. But, Ra’s Al Ghul costing the same as Killer Moth? Who does that? One guy is an international eco-terrorist, one of the few people smart enough to figure out that Bruce Wayne is Batman, the other guy wears purple and green spandex and flies around with a flame gun. You can take him out with a buttefly net. And no, I’m not talking about Charaxes, so don’t get all moth demon-y on me. This is clearly the pre-Neron Killer Moth.

Looking further into the list, and there’s nothing but economical injustice. I know that, as villains go, Hush is probably on the lesser known side, but I think he deserves to cost as much as the other Bat-villains. If not him, then certainly Clayface. Similarly, I think Two-Face should bring in Joker and Lex Luthor type money. I mean, as Batman villains go, he’s pretty damn important.

All of this aside, the one thing I simply do not get is Man-Bat costing as much as General Zod and Brainiac. Let’s run this down. Brainiac: hyper-intelligent, living computer capable of mimicking the powers of Superman. General Zod: former head of the Kryptonian military and the exact equal of Superman in terms of powers and abilities. Man-Bat: giant bat.

I mean, it’s not like Man-Bat has an awesome set of powers in the game. He can fly and he doesn’t need a sonic gun to shatter glass. Oooooh! He can break windows without a rock! Zod can make glass from sand using nothing but his heat vision, build a house containing said glass using nothing but his super speed and strength and then pick up said house and bust it over your head.

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Yeah, that’s comparable.

Even with this grave, economic injustice, I’m still loving the game. I wish things were different on the hero side, but Black Canary costs 500,000 studs while Martian Manhunter is a bargain at 125,000. Traveller’s Tales must really have a thing for sonic powers. I look forward to LEGO: X-Men where Banshee costs 1,000,000 studs and Professor X is free when you purchase Wolverine.

Brandon

Brandon loves games, which shouldn't be a surprise given where you're reading this. He has written for GameShark, The Escapist and G4, and made them all less relevant as a result.

18 thoughts to “The High Cost of Evil”

  1. I think the costs are related to the usefulness of those characters in-game, rather than to their powers/abilities/importance in the comic book world. Having sonic powers is a big deal when replaying missions to grab minikits and other stuff, because it means you don’t need the bat suit for Batman – and considering that when you switch from Batman to a different character in freeplay you lose the suit Batman was wearing, it is indeed a big deal to have a character you can switch to with the same abilities of a specific Batman/Robin suit.

    BTW, do you know if any unlocked character has explosive powers like Batman with the power suit? Or Robin’s Hazard Suit abilities? Because I’d love to get those, if I don’t have them already.

    1. Sure, Man-Bat and Black Canary have their uses, but if cost is a factor of usefulness, General Zod should be free. He has the same powers as Superman, a character you don’t have to pay for.

      If utility is the guiding principal in pricing, Cyborg should be a jillion studs. He can do anything

      You can use Penguin to destroy the sparkly objects via his explosive penguin units.

  2. Isn’t Martian Manhunter in the top tier of DC powerhouses? The Justice League animated series presented him as having all the strength and speed of Superman, plus crazy psionic powers, shape shifting, invisibility, and the ability to become incorporeal at will.

    125,000 monies sounds like a bargain for a dude with everybody’s powers and nobody’s weaknesses.

  3. This is so crazy. What kind of price would they put on Gentleman Ghost, Ambush Bug, or Kite Man? Would they be more expensive than Darkseid, the Hyperclan, and Guy Gardner?

    Ra’s Al Ghul the same price as Captain Boomerang…that is messed up.

    The game is great, but it really sucks when the game glitches out on you in the middle of a mission. I was doing the Ace Chemical Plant thing and there toward the end, there’s a part where there’s an elevator. Batman and Robin get on it, and I’m playing Superman. There’s a fire off to the side, so I got to put it out but the elevator leaves. Batman and Robin are stuck in the elevator where I can’t see them, and Superman is free to roam all over the level…over the plant. It was like some kind of goofy glitch from a PC game 15 years ago or something. Anyway, it undid like an hour of block-busting and I had to redo the whole level after a reboot.

    1. Now that kind of bug is a leave the game for a day situation.
      Or until the sting fades and I don’t mind replaying.

      Bit premature to say it but so far this has been the best lego messabout game so far.

      1. Yeah, I’ve hit a couple of screw-ups like that…the game is so fluffy that it’s hardly a disaster, but it is kind of weird to see these kinds of glitches in a modern game.

        Not a deal-breaker at all. the game rules!

  4. “General Zod: former head of the Kryptonian military and the exact equal of Superman in terms of powers and abilities. Man-Bat: giant bat.”

    Hey! Man-Bat is Neil Adams greatest creation and since he is the first of the great Batman artists that’s really saying something. I love Man-Bat, I love the goofy name that’s so perfect you think the character must be older than he is, I love the mad scientist origin story and I love the clash between the two characters especially in the Neil Adams originals. To me, power level aside (because let’s face it in lego world all the powers are pretty damned equal) he is totally worth the same as General Zod who is … whoooo another superman (you know, in case three or four wasn’t enough). The game sounds pretty awesome but I won’t just sit here and let you trash talk one of my favorite villains.

    1. Totally agree. Man-Bat is awesome. See what they did there with the name?

      I’d buy Man-Bat over General Zod any day.

  5. “Black Canary costs 500,000 studs”

    Now I’m no DC expert, but after DCUO came out, I know a lot more than I used to, and it turned me from a Marvel Man to a DC one.

    That being said, who the hell is Black Canary? (Yes, I know I could look her up on wikipedia, it’s a rhetorical question)

    If you need a Black ‘X’, why not take Black Adam? The dude’s a badass and has a compelling story. Moreover, he’s not a super version of an animal that miners used just because they died easily and served as a good warning.

    1. Black Canary was featured in an early episode of the WB’s superhero series Birds of Prey. It’s been a while, but if I remember correctly, her special metahuman power allowed her to purse together her lips and expel a powerful ripple filter that caused everyone to switch off their televisions.

      1. Was Birds of Prey really that bad? I hear it’s on Netflix or one of those streaming-type places but I haven’t gotten around to looking for it.

        Also, while that’s a terrible superpower, it’s a pretty awesome line.

        1. Birds of Prey was a very, very bad show. The part that made it so memorable was the tone of resigned gleefulness, as if the people in charge realized the hopelessness of creating anything good and rededicated themselves to crafting the best terrible show they could.

          Remember the first season of Smallville when Chloe would suddenly say, “Of course!” and deliver the supervillain’s exact identity, powers, and motives in a verbal avalanche of confoundingly unlikely deductions? Birds of Prey makes that look like a Rube Goldberg design of meticulous precision. Characters act on information they could only have obtained by reading ahead in the script, evince powers and personality traits that come and go based on the needs of individual scenes, and maintain secret identities without so much as a change of wardrobe.

          That’s one of the central conflicts in the show, by the way. Huntress’ therapist is Harley Quinn. Will Harley discover that Helena, who never ever wears a mask, is the superhero foiling all of her jarringly crazy plans, or will Helena finally become suspicious of a psychologist who’s jarringly crazy?

          But whatever happens, do not under any circumstances browse YouTube for the climactic fight scene that caps Devil’s Eyes. Once you witness a final battle in which nobody’s swing passes within 16-inches of its mark, everyone can suddenly fly, and some dude is gorilla-pounding to the FULL LENGTH version of t.A.T.u’s “All The Things She Said,” you will be forever compelled to rewatch it any time something vaguely Birds of Prey-related is brought up.

  6. “Brandon discovers game balance! News at eleven! Then, at the bottom of the hour, we’ll bring you shocking reports of battleships sunk by phalanxes!”

    I do wish there was a bit more gameplay in the various collectibles. I get all excited about unlocking the magician guy Sinustro, only to discover that he can’t do anything. He doesn’t even cast spells or fly or turn people into sheep. And don’t get me started on Catwoman. Where’s my Arkham City disc?

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