Review by Batman

"What happened?"

With the upcoming Batman: Vengence game for the PS2 coming out, I decided to go into the old ''game vault'' and pull out some of the older Batman games to play. Painful as it may be, I returned to the Gotham City from the 1997 movie ''Batman & Robin''. The premise for the game starts out really good though the source material it is based on was pretty bad. Like the movie, Batman (or Robin or Batgirl) must stop Mr. Freeze from stealing diamonds throughout Gotham City and eventually freezing Gotham itself. What seemed so ''cool'' about this Batman game was the fact that you controlled the Dark Knight in a 3D Gotham where you could drive the Batmobile just about anywhere, use various Bat-gadgets, and basically use Batman's fighting and detective skills to get through the game. What hurts this game is the horrible execution. The Batmobile is really too big for the streets of Gotham. You pretty much bang cars on the side, buildings and innocent bystanders on the street. The fighting system uses the four PSX face buttons in an attempt to allow the game to throw various left and right punch/kick combinations. By the time you throw one or two punches, the bad guy has hit you two or three times, and blocking is almost a joke. The game gets frustrating fast and it is difficult to get past the first level (day 1). The differences between the three characters aren't terribly different either. Batman is the strongest yet doesn't seem as mobile/agile as the other two. Batgirl is the most agile but also has the least power. The concept of the game seemed cool at first but something happened along the way that turned this game into a frustrating ''unfun'' game to play. Hopefully the upcoming PS2 game with the same gaming concept can pull it off and offer us a fun game with the Dark Knight.

Graphics: 6/10
Graphics are pretty good for the PSX at the time...

Sound: 6/10
Has a few Bat-themes from the movie...your usual fare of punch and kick sounds and bangs and explosions.

Control: 3/10
Seems like Acclaim wanted to use every button on the controller which isn't a bad thing but they did it in such a difficult/confusing manner. You have to switch between fighting/detective mode all the time. Sometimes I would run into a bad guy and want to throw a pucnch but be in detective mode and throw a ''smoke bomb'' instead. Two punch buttons and two kick buttons that you are supposed to use in combination to make ''combos'' are difficult and slow to use, the bad guy usually gets in a couple of hits while you try to set up your combos. Batmobile is difficult to control...on and on and on.

Gameplay: 2/10
This might be generous because I still play this game from time to time just because it is a Batman game. It gets frustrating easily. I couldn't get back into the Batcave once, another time as Robin, I got off the ''Redbird'' cycle and investigated something and when I went back to the cycle it took off with me chasing it down the road (funny yet frustrating). And why does Batman have to go bumming phone booths looking for quarters?!?!?

Overall: 2/10
Again, this could be just the fact that the main character is Batman. Again, I find myself crying everytime I play this game. Again, I think to myself...when are they going to make a good Batman game. Hopefully when Batman: Vengence or Batman: Dark Tomorrow is released in the upcoming months...


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 10/15/01, Updated 10/15/01


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