I’ve never read any Batman comics, I’m not much of a comic book guy, but I love Tim Burton’s Batman movies, The Dark Knight is one of my favorite movies, I’m a huge fan of the animated series from the nineties. Like, I think I have a decent idea of who Batman is. I mean, he’s Bruce Wayne, obviously.What I’m saying is like, Batman’s basically a ninja, right? He’s nimble, sticks to the shadows, he’s a martial artist. So why would you make a Batman game, where he moves like a tank? I mean, was there some kind of mistake? Was this maybe a Robocop game, but they used the wrong sprite? Is this Batman or Alfred?
Anyway, so it’s an action platformer, and it loosely follows the movie. I don’t know, I must’ve missed the scene where Batman gets arthritis. I mean, that’s the thing that ruined this game for me. Batman is just so incredibly stiff. And look, I get it, he’s crawling around on rooftops? But I’m not the one in the video game.I expect a certain degree of professionalism, from Bruce Wayne. Which is why I’m not entirely convinced this is Bruce Wayne. I mean, something as simple as grappling, Batman does that all the time. In this game, it’s the clunkiest process ever.
The gameplay, it’s pretty slow — kind of clunky, kind of cheap, too. Especially the bosses, but even the basic bad guys. Like, even the common, jobber bad guys are impossible to kill without taking lots of damage, it’s unbelievable. So the difficulty’s pretty high, both in a genuine, challenging way and a frustrating way. The presentation’s not as bad, I guess, but I don’t know, there are problems there, too. It’s never clear what’s in the background and what you can walk on, so there are functional issues. But even aesthetically, too. Like, I get that the game should be dark but it’s also like there’s some kind of grainy filter over it, or something? I mean, it’s not that it’s bad, but It kind of feels like an attempt at a cool style that never really takes off.
And the audio’s a letdown, too. I mean, I get that it’s a game based on a movie but it’s a game based on a movie scored by Danny Elfman. Look, it’s not like this is the worst thing ever but obviously, I’m at a loss here. I don’t see any reason why you would, one, make Batman so sluggish and two, design levels like this, where they’re like unnecessarily tall, and super unclear, and it’s like,“Oh, where do I even go? That’s part of the fun.” I hate that crap. Then Batman stumbles around, looking for his cane. Anyway, it’s Batman Returns for the SEGA Genesis.This game can be deadly, if you eat it.