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Batman Returns


Konami 1992




In 1992 the NES was starting to show it's age. Faced with ports on the SNES and Genesis this version didn't get a lot of press, which is a shame because it's a pretty decent Konami style beat'em up.

The game is presented in the TMNT arcade style, where you walk right to left, beat up three or four bad guys, then walk some more. Not very deep in the game play department but this was standard procedure as far as NES games went. The appeal of this type of game was to see how far you could get, how quickly you could progress, as well as figuring out the enemy attack patterns. Seen from today's perspective it gets boring pretty quick though.

Batman and the bad guys all look good and animate well (although the sprites are on the small side.) Another thing about these games was that each enemy type had their own specific way of attacking, so you have the generic "punching" clown that attacks in waves, the clown on stilts that jumps and kicks you, the skull mask clown on the motorcycle, the clown who throws dynamite, etc. Also each enemy type is taken directly from the movie, i.e. the clown on the motor cycle is the same clown on the motorcycle from the movie. A very nice touch.

Game doesn't stray too far from the beat'em up formula, you walk, fight, walk some more, then fight a boss (which are really hard here for some reason.) Absent are the trademark Batman weapons, no batarangs or stun guns, you have to do it all with your fists. But you can do several types of punches, jump kicks, sliding kicks, plus this cape-slashing-attack thing that kills almost everything instantly. Problem is Batman just moves to damn slow to be really effective. The bad guys have a tendency to corner you because each one of them can outmaneuver you.

A decent beat'em up for fans of the Tim Burton movies of the same name (movies that still stand as the best vision of Batman yet, despite the excellence that was Batman Begins. Yeah that movie was good, but the Joker beats Qui Gon Jin anyway you look at it.)

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