Review by I_Need_A_Life

"One of my favourite Batman games yet."

Alright, now I'm a big Batman fan, and after Batman Returns, Batman Forever, and especially Batman and Robin, I'M TIRED OF LAME BATMANS!!! The movies and games have all taken a dive since the original and fantastic Tim Burton film. So when I saw this game for $8.00, I was sure it was more of the same. I bought it anyway though, as my interests peaked by what I read on the back of the case. So I started it up, and played for about five agonizing minutes before I finally got my Batmobile on the mean streets of Gotham. And that's when I started to like this game. This game is very unique in the fact that there are no actual levels...the whole world of Gotham City is put together like the cities you'd find in a Grand Theft Auto. You drive or run about the streets searching for clues, beating on muggers, investigating crime scenes, etc. while the real-time clock ticks away. The idea is that you must find enough clues to determine not only where, but when the next crime will take place. Fail to stop a crime, and the villains will grow stronger. Fail to stop them all within three days, and they take over Gotham. I really hated this game at first, but when the clues and time came into play, it got very deep, and sucked me right in. And that's when I started to love this game.

Story-5
The story in this game is pretty weak. It's nothing more than "find this, do that, go there, etc. Not very exciting. You first start off trying to foil Mr. Freeze from stealing diamonds so that he can charge his cryo-suit, and power his ice laser, which he plans on using to cover Gotham in ice. After foiling him, you battle Poison Ivy and her lackey, Bane, trying to stop them from turning Gotham into a horrible plant infestation. Y'know, the same horrible story from the movie.

Graphics-8
For a PSX game, I was pretty impressed with this game. The graphics aren't as nice and detailed as something you'd see in Metal Gear Solid of the same year, but considering how big the environments are, it's pretty good. Very, VERY dark though.

Controls-4
Every single button on the controller is used, and most have more than one function. It takes quite a while to figure out, let alone master...and this is probably the big reason most people don't like this game. The movement scheme is quite similar to a Resident Evil type game, in which Up and Down move you forwards and backwards, while Left and Right turn you in those directions. Very sluggish fighting, and overall, very annoying to control.

Gameplay-9
This is where the game rocks! You can play as Batman, Robin, or Batgirl right off the bat; no having to unlock them or anything. They all have their own moves, vehicles, and stats. I'm not sure how Robin and Batgirl work in comparison to Batman, because I hate them both...but still, the freedom is nice. The driving is great, as you can freely go almost anywhere in Gotham, including some locations that fans will remember, such as Axis Chemicals and Arkham Asylum. It should also be noted that you can exit the vehicle at any time and search for secrets or beat up on bad guys. The main idea of the game is to search for crime scenes and find enough clues to figure out where the next crime will take place. The real-world clock determines when the crimes will take place, so figuring out when to visit the crime scenes is major. Too soon, and you won't find a thing. Too late, and you'll be forced to search for clues left behind. Get there on time, and you can try to prevent the crime altogether, and get even more clues. Unfortunately, many of the crime scenes you'll visit early on look very similar, and consist mostly of "switch-puzzles" like in Blood Omen, and the rare boss encounters are often unbelievably difficult. But the detective aspect is great!

Sound-5
The sound is good here, and lame there. The music in the Batcave and Gotham is great, while the same annoying tune plays mostly throughout the crime scenes you visit. The sounds are great during the driving portions, as tires squeal when they should, alarms in burglarized buildings blare, and my personal favourite: the rat-tat-tat of a machine gun followed by a screaming woman, and finally a diabolic laugh as you walk through the glum and seedy alleys of Gotham. The rest is sub-par. Typical punch and kick sounds, the one foot-step sound, etc. To top it off, the actual voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger is in the game...I hate his voice.

Difficulty-10
The bosses are ridiculously hard, and even the standard enemies that you fight over and over again can be a handful. Trying to figure out some of the puzzles and piece together the clues later on in the game can be quite tedious. The crimes also seem to happen WAY TOO SOON after solving the last, leaving you little time to explore, find clues, and analyze them. A real challenge this game is.

Replay-5
Once you beat this once, you probably wouldn't have the patience to play through again.

Overall-7
Lots of bad aspects in this this game, but there's a lot of fun to be had if you can look past them. You kinda already have to like this type of game though, and I'm sure the controls are a big issue among people who've played this. I can easily see why some may hate this game, but I love it. Mainly because of the fact that you can travel wherever, and the detective aspects of the game are great.

Good things-
Lots of freedom in all aspects of the game, deep detective aspect is great. The graphics are pretty decent, and the music and sound is okay as well.

Bad things-
Bad controls, sluggish controls, the controls in general. Lame bad guys, very difficult, very repetitive at times.

Story-5
Graphics-8
Controls-4
Gameplay-9
Sound-5
Difficulty-10
Replay-5
Overall-7

This is actually one of the better Batman games, but won't be enjoyable for all. Give it a rent, or just buy it...it's pretty cheap nowadays, maybe even cheaper than renting.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/02/05


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