Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Batman: The Video Game

The world of movie license titles is a bit of a sorry one. Every time a big film hits the cinema there’s usually some rubbish game to match mostly because the studio doesn’t have the time or resources to make anything beyond passable instead preferring to get something out there in order to make some quick cash. Sadly it never seems to fail as year in, year out we still see multi format movie releases most of which are pretty poor and this is as true today as it was in the 80’s. However there are always exceptions to the rule and with a cheap eBay auction in sight (another £1 game!) I ventured into the world of Gotham.

Inspired by the 1989 Batman film the game is based in a dark, gritty world with your role being to fight your way through the levels until the showdown in the cathedral with his nemesis the Joker. To aid you along your way you have a total of 3 different weapons the batarang, bat spear gun and batdisk (the guy probably wears bat underpants too) that can be flung at enemies. The whole game is very similar to Shadow Warriors, even the feel of how you control Batman is the same also sharing the ability to cling and pounce from walls, platforms etc. The difficulty is quite high, another trait of Shadow Warriors. The main difference between the two is that Batman’s world is much darker and gritty based solely at night with levels scrolling in all directions.

Batman is a weighty character and not the fastest when it comes to jumping/dodging enemies so the whole thing becomes a bit run n gun as you try and work your way through each stage. From what I’ve seen and looked up on the net there doesn’t appear to be any driving sections with the whole game putting you in control of Batman. The number of weapons may seem to lack choice and limited ammo supply but the game throws pellets to reload them at you quite often. Boy will you need them, everything from machine guns, robots, flamethrowers. You name it and the games enemies are carrying it.

This is another title that I played back in the day and even back then when my gaming thumbs were up to the task I can still remember having major problems getting just half way through. I can see that this is a very good game but the frustration in parts and the unforgiving difficulty level brings me close to throwing the pad across the room which brings my opinion of it down a bit in my mind.

I may just be moaning because I’ve become used to easier games as the years have gone by but some of the stages in this are rage inducing. So would I recommend this? .....Yes. Frustrating and hair tearing it may be yet there’s something special about it, a lure that brings you back to have just one more go. Who knows one day I might just reach the Joker and topple him over the side of the cathedral, until then there’s always YouTube video endings!

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