Review by DTaeKim

"My faith in superhero games lost in one game..."

NOTE: I did not see Batman Returns (the movie). This review was written without the movie in mind at all.

I bought this game with thought that it would be a good old-fashioned beat-em-up side-scroller. Little did I know that this game would defile Batman's name as I know it with video games.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics aren't that bad. Each image has been done very well, even most of the attacks. The backgrounds are decent, with nice detail drawn in. The bad guys are at least somewhat different with each one, but the lack of originality with these clowns can use some work; they're your basic circus clown in terms of looks. I'll admit it, chucking a guy to the background is quite entertaining, especially with the animation they include when you smash them into the glass.

Music/Sound: 5/10
Sound effects are nice, but rather bland. They range from the occasional glass break to the ugh, off, etc. sounds of beating the crap of the bad guys. The music's also bland, lacking difference from stage to stage. You may like the music here, but I'd rather use my own music CDs than listen to music like this.

Difficulty: 3/10
The game is simple to understand. Punch, kick, fire test tubes, nifty gadgets, etc. to defeat any oncoming bad guy in your way. Why is it so DIFFICULT to use these commands? The controls are so awkward in this game, despite the fact they can be customized (it took me quite some time to manipulate the controls to my liking). Among that, getting double, triple, some odd number-teamed by a bunch of clown guys don't sound too appealing, especially when your method of a group assault is limited to a special move (drains health), or using up a precious Test Tube. It also doesn't help the fact that the enemies are INCREDIBLY cheap, especially some of the bosses. The easiest difficult is unfortunately very difficult regardless; it could take a while to defeat some bosses (thanks to their cheapness) unless you memorize their exact pattern. You'll also hate the stages that force you to use the Bat-hooking thing, you need practically pinpoint timing to pass the specific stages that use it. Have I mentioned that Batman can't run either?

Don't get me wrong, but when a game gets THAT difficult, it just detracts from the game itself.

Storyline: 7/10
I admit that I never saw the movie (see footnote above). However, the storyline is as unoriginal as it can get. Superhero is well-known. Superhero gets framed for crime he didn't commit. Superhero goes to clear his good name from the city. You can insert the Batman to replace ''Superhero'', or replace it with any superhero you can think of.

Replay Value: 1/10
I never want to touch this game again, or touch it with a 10-foot pole either. The horrendous difficulty of this game detracts from the replay value. The levels don't help either. It's the same old side-scrolling (and repetitious) beat-em-up. The only bright light with this game is the Batmobile stage, but it's used only once in this game, which is quite a disappointment.

Reviewer Comments: In all, this is a quite disappointing game that was probably rushed to help promote the movie. Needless to say, I returned my copy of Batman Returns with a pessimistic outlook on video games featuring superheroes.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 03/05/02, Updated 03/10/02


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