The last video game I played was Assassin’s Creed II: Revelations, and it was spectacular. It was everything I love in a game: great storyline, lots of stealthy gameplay and amazing visuals. I love that series, and I’m actively looking forward to AC:III when it comes out this fall.
But that was back in the winter, and while I’ve been yearning to play something fun, nothing new is out that I’m interested in playing. So instead, I’ve done what I always do when a video game isn’t available: I get productive.
And then a new game came out. Last week, LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes was released, and on opening day I went down with the wife and picked up a copy — the last one, matter of fact, and it was hidden in a drawer that the cashier had to pull out for us. My wife and I love the LEGO games, but we also hate them for pretty much the same reason, and it can all be summed up in a phrase we say all too often when we play: “One fucking gold brick.”
There have been lots of LEGO games that have graced our consoles. Star Wars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones — they’ve all been bricked at one point or another, and we’ve played them all. But they all have the exact same flaws, and they always cause me to feel the exact same way — pissed.
In some ways, I’m a bit of a completionist when it comes to my games, and that means I need to find every part, complete every task and make sure that my meter reads 100% when it’s all done. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City? Done, 100%. Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood? I did it all. The LEGO games are amazing for that. Each level has three major tasks to complete: collect 10 minikits, free a guy in peril and collect a specific amount of studs (the singular, round LEGO pieces they use as currency in the game). With each completed task, you get a gold brick. And since there are 15 levels, that means 45 bricks.
But wait, there are also a few hundred gold bricks hidden throughout the landscape. And some you get when you complete vehicle sets. Or complete other goals. And in LEGO Batman 2, there are also red bricks, vehicles, villains and good guys to collect as well. It’s a lot of fun in a sadistic way.
I’ve put in some time on this game, and even though it’s been mostly during breaks or at night, I’m super close to beating it 100%. But there’s still this one fucking gold brick that eludes me, and I know that it’s going to be the very last thing that I get. And I’m also sure that I won’t be able to do it.
Why? Because all of these LEGO games are glitchy. Either you can’t jump high enough to grab something, or a character doesn’t move as expected or some other stupid, bullshit thing that causes you to throw your controller across the room. For more proof, just play LEGO Batman 2. Scattered across Gotham City are these huge stone minifigs (the little LEGO figures we all played with as kids) that have gold caps over the button on the tops of their heads. Superman can blast gold objects apart with his heat vision, so you fly up, shoot off the cap and collect the gold brick underneath. Easy.
Except that it isn’t. Blasting off the top is fine, but then you go to get the brick and the game keeps flipping you back around. It’s like you have to find the fucking sweet spot every goddamned time (and there are at least 20 of these things, it seems), and it always pisses you off. Mother. Fucker.
So in this particular scenario, I have to save a person in peril who’s at risk of being burned alive. I fly up as Superman, and blow out the flames which should save him and give me the one thing I need to get that one fucking gold brick. But one flame stays lit. And it won’t go out. I change guys, tactics, try everything I can think of — nothing. As of right now, I can’t find a solution. So I plug away, try to get 100% everywhere else in the game, and hope that I’m wrong. That I’ll be able to save that guy, get the gold brick and beat the game. Chances are I won’t. Ever.
And it’s not necessarily my fault. I’ve tried to get the thing, but it seems that the software won’t allow it to happen. Sure, I could enter a cheat code and get it done, but I’m not that guy. I want to earn my win, it just seems that the game is out to get me. So I try, then I put down the controller for a few hours so I don’t get homicidal.
I’ll stop playing sometime this week, I assume. Whether or not I beat the game is really inconsequential at this point, because I’ve had a lot of fun, even though there are some things that definitely piss me off. As of right now, I’m just a few gold bricks away from 100%, and I’ll get those soon.
All except for that one fucking gold brick.