Halloween Review: Batman: The Video Game (Sega Mega Drive)

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Oh Batman…yeah, I have no problem with you. Again, Batman is one of my favourite heroes in all of comics despite not really reading any of his comics though I like the movies, TV series and games. And yes, Batman: The Animated Series is AWESOME. But I play games and when it comes to Batman games, he’s had a mixed reputation but of course, but nothing can beat the Arkham games, and for anyone who’s wondering where the Arkham Origins review is, I haven’t played it yet. But let’s go back to the late 80’s when Tim Burton’s Batman movie set the trend for superhero movies. I really like the movie, the story is pretty good and the character is faithful to the comics…except for that time where he killed a goon, and one rule of Batman is that he doesn’t kill people, not even his enemies. For the licensed games, they weren’t too bad, there’s the Amiga port which is supposed to be good and the NES version is considered to be a classic…and then there’s Sega’s forgotten port, developed and published by Sunsoft (The European port was published by Sega) and was released in 1990 in Japan, 1991 in the US and 1992 in Europe.

So the story is near enough faithful to the original movie, in fact, even more faithful than the NES port. If you want to know the plot, watch the 1989 Batman movie.

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The game is a platformer but there is much to do in 40 minutes…it’s that short. You start in the streets of Gotham City as you can punch your way through many enemies, you can also use your batarang…and that’s the only power-up you have considering that the NES version has more power-ups. But the game is mostly punching enemies, battle bosses with simple patterns though can be challenging and can sometimes deviate from the platform levels for a driving level and batwing level…and they can also be difficult too, missiles fire at you and can drain health faster than molasses.

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For a beginner, this game will smack you in the face, it can be hard for new players, but it’s one of those games you got to play over and over again to get it right…and the final battle with The Joker is easy…eh?

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The gameplay is ok; it’s a basic platformer that doesn’t really do anything risky, unlike the NES port. There are some cheap moments that are annoying, mostly the placement of enemies, awkward jumps and the driving sections can be irritating if the odds aren’t in your favour. The graphics hold up ok, but then again, what else can you do with a Batman game that is not dark, broody and gothic, so it’s very faithful. Now for the music, from what I heard, is made by Sunsoft and legend has it that the music from Sunsoft games are glorious and you know what? The legends were right, this game has a fantastic soundtrack, a very action-orientated soundtrack and whether or not you’ll listen to it outside the game is up to you; for me, I’ll listen to it from time to time.

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Overall, this is a decent Batman game with a great challenge, safe gameplay, and awesome music. Though the game is very short, again, it can take you up to 40 minutes to finish, but for a game like this, it’s a decent play. It’s funny though how the NES port, despite not playing a lot of it is still superior in every way. Do I recommend it? Yes, it’s not a bad game, it’s pretty good, but don’t get too excited if you were going to expect something special, it is a movie license after all, but a good movie license nonetheless.

You can get it for the Sega Mega Drive.

Rating: 3.5/5

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