Halloween Review: Batman Returns (Sega Mega Drive)

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Well, well, well; I finally come back to Batman, though this time, not for the best of intentions. While I enjoyed 1988’s Batman and it’s my favourite Batman movie next to The Dark Knight, Batman Returns is…really depressing, everything about it will drain any happiness you had, and then I found out why. You see, Tim Burton was being watched by Warner Bros., so they pretty much told him what to do and what not to do. But because the film was a success, they gave him full control of the next Batman movie. What resulted was a dark and scary movie that frightened kids and was way too grim because Burton was the master of dark stuff and also resulted in a box office that was lower than the first.

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In my opinion, I don’t really like it that much. And…this also applies to the game based of the movie, developed by Malibu Interactive and published by Sega and was released in 1992 in the US and Europe and in 1993 in Japan.

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So the game is set after The Penguin drops the Ice Princess off a building to her death, though Batman had enough time in the movie to save her but instead stood there like a derp and let her die, pretty much out of character for this superhero. The aim of the game is to simply defeat The Penguin and his goons, as well as Catwoman.

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So we have another beat ’em up where we punch, jumps, grapple to ledges and use gadgets. So it’s like the first Batman game for the Mega Drive except IT SUCKS!!! This is one of the most difficult games you’ll ever play. You see, when enemies approach you, you will always get hit by them, you can rarely avoid attacks, heck, it took me ages to just to beat Catwoman IN THE FIRST LEVEL! Ok, this may not be Chakan difficulty but near close. But if somehow you’re good at games for whatever reason, there are only 4 acts and can be beaten in under half an hour.

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In fact, this game was so hard I used the Game Genie. Yes, you’re reading it right, a bloody Game Genie to get invincibility throughout the entire game, though you can still die from falling in pits. But if it wasn’t the difficulty that made the game bad, it’s the controls and controlling Batman, he’s so stiff and slow, trying to grapple very small platforms can be a pain, there were even areas where I had to go to an area above only for it to be blocked by an enemy, thankfully I had a gadget that defeated the enemy but it’s still not it’s saving grace. The amount of times I got hit I wouldn’t have survived at all. The graphics look fantastic; in fact, the art style is very close to the movie which is impressive for a 16-bit game. The music is not so much in tune to the movie and is very forgettable though the act 1 theme is catchy.

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Overall, this is a game with potential but ends up being a game that was once again made to be difficult just so kids can continue playing it. You know the game is horrible when the SNES version does a much better job…probably because it was made by Konami, I know, I know, Konami is Konami and Konami is the worst nowadays but we have the past to remember.

You can get it on the Sega Mega Drive and the Sega CD (I may play this one for the driving sections, if I can find a copy).

Rating: 1.5/5

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