Review by PentiumMMX

"It's like Mortal Kombat without the blood!"

There have been many Batman games over the years across different systems, though most have been standard side-scrolling brawlers (Along the lines of Double Dragon). In an attempt to mix things up a little and provide a deeper fighting system, Acclaim (Who had obtained the rights to make the next Batman game) took the gameplay engine of Mortal Kombat a retooled it to work as a side-scrolling brawler. The result was Batman Forever, based on the movie by the same name. We all know about how the Angry Video Game Nerd trashed this game in his review, but is it really as bad as he says?

Story
It follows the plot of the movie, with Batman fighting to save Gotham City from The Riddler. Considering the course material, it works well enough.
Story: 6 out of 10

Graphics
Everything is done in a Mortal Kombat style (All the characters looking like real people on screen, except with jerky transitions from one movement to the next), but without the one thing that made Mortal Kombat so popular; the over-the-top violence. The character animation tends to look silly, like how one of Batman's punching combos looks more like he's dancing than beating up villains. Overall, it looks great, but could use some improvement.
Graphics: 5 out of 10

Controls
This is what brings the game down. Because it's built off of Mortal Kombat, the controls remain the same, which works for a fighting game, but not a side-scrolling brawler. Because they needed to add new moves, they put them on the strangest buttons (The grappling hook is set to the Select button, for example), and they even threw in some button combinations, except the timing is odd; you have to press one button shortly after pressing the other (Your timing has to be precise; if you're too quick or too slow, it won't work). Overall, it's a pain to work with.
Controls: 3 out of 10

Music \ Sound Effects
The music isn't anything special; it's just generic MIDI music inspired by the movie's soundtrack. The sound effects are taken straight from Mortal Kombat, so it gives the game that cheesy kung-fu movie feel to it. Its ok, but it's nothing really impressive.
Music \ Sound Effects: 5 out of 10

Gameplay
In typical fashion, you beat up henchmen as you try to get from point A to point B to complete the mission. The fighting works well, though you'll have some trouble as the need to jump or use the grappling hook arises (And it will; quite frequently, actually). One of the annoyances is the fact it's a cartridge-based game that has a load time between screens (Cartridges are supposed to have near instant load times; what's up with having a load screen? It does remind me of Diddy Kong Racing DS, though...). Honestly, the gameplay it's self isn't too bad; it's just the controls dragging it down. I'd go into further detail about the game, but unfortunately, I couldn't make it past the second screen on the first level, thanks to the game's poor control setup.
Gameplay: 4 out of 10

Overall
It's another case of a game that's brought down by control issues. If Batman Forever had a better control setup, it could have been a decent game, but otherwise, I'd suggest buying a different Batman game.


Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 09/25/08

Game Release: Batman Forever (US, 08/31/95)


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