batman-returns-head-smash

Batman Returns

July 23, 2009

Konami 1993

Konami 1993

Batman Returns the video game roughly follows the plot of the Tim Burton movie of the same name.  Batman battles waves of villains, culminating with a fight to save Gotham from The Penguin’s reign of terror.  Oh yeah, Catwoman is around too to spice things up.

Keep:

Soundtrack: The creators wisely used Danny Elfman’s score from the film. It sets a nice mood throughout.

batman-returns-head-bash

is anything more cathartic than clown bashing?

3-D…sort of: The levels are mostly 2-D side scrolling but occasionally break the mold to let you move up and down!  How quaint.   Tossing a henchman sideways into a department store window is one of the more enjoyable gameplay features.

Environment Destruction: Mailboxes and other objects scattered about the levels can be smashed, preferably with a clown’s head

 

gotta fly!

Super Villains: The fights with Catwoman and The Penguin are a rewarding challenge, and a high point of the game.

Change:

Saves: This game is hard, specifically the boss fights.  The lack of a save option makes it that much worse.

batman-returns-batmobile

holy crappy driving game batman

Batmobile: Level 5 switches things up with a driving game.  It’s a nice change of pace, but just doesn’t work that well.  The mechanics seem off and this level is much easier than the rest of the game.

Weapons: Batman is known for his “wonderful toys”, but the gadgets in this game are poorly executed.  What’s up with the white-flash test tubes?

Cut:

Repetition: I know that repetitiveness comes with the beat ’em up genre, but I would like a bit more variety in my game.  The enemies are the same through every level.  Only the boss battles provide relief.

Movies turned into games are usually a disaster (see upcoming review of Total Recall), but Batman Returns bucks the trend. It’s a pretty typical beat ’em up, but the high production values make it stand out from the pack. If you’re a fan of the genre or Batman you should enjoy the game. It makes me looks forward to the upcoming Arkham Asylum that much more.

Verdict: Borrow

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