Before there was Arkam Asylum, Batman video games had a very shaky reputation. Although, there is one title that’s rumored around the retro-sphere as being an incredible beat ’em up game. That game is Batman Returns. And I just happen to have the cartridge sitting on my shelf. So I pop it into my Sega Genesis. I get nice and comfortable, and I’m ready to play it.
The rumors could not have been more wrong. It’s terrible. The collision detection is off, making the fighting a chore. So really the only effective way to defeat any of the simplest of foes is to use your limited bat shurikens. The game seems awfully familiar. I finally clue in that I’m playing a Revenge of Shinobi clone, and not a good one at that. This game isn’t even a beat ’em up.
I take a time out, I grab a beer and do some investigating. It turns out that in this case the difference between the Genesis copy and Super Nintendo version is drastic. I’m playing the wrong game. And I happen to have the SNES cart as well. So lets start over.
Batman Returns – Take 2
First thing I see is that the Super Nintendo version is made by Konami. They know a few things on designing great beat ’em ups. I became very confident I had the right game now.
The fighting is a mix of punches and kicks as per usual within the genre. This game was released at a time in the history of video games where most beat ’em ups were copies of one another. I credit Final Fight with revolutionizing the control and style of these games. Long gone were the clumsy brawlers of the 8 bit era, for the most part. But anyway. aAs Batman you punch, grab, grapple and jump kick whatever enemies are thrown your way. You can also throw enemies into windows and give them choke slams too. If you’re tired of that, Batman has a mini arsenal of weapons to use in his utility belt, like the bat-erang. And of course when you’re in a panic hitting both attack and jump will perform a cape sweep that will get you out of trouble. For the low price of some of your health.
If you’re a person who dislikes clowns, then this game is especially for you. The majority of the villains are a variety of them. So put this on and have some fun smacking those pasty faced jerks around.
I had nothing to complain about while I played this. It’s an enjoyable game, as Konami doesn’t disappoint when it comes to Side scrolling fighters. They had mastered the art by then. Just in case you might be bored about half way through the game, there is a Batmobile driving level that is just like the arcade game Roadblasters . But I wasn’t bored and the game play is addicting . It’s too bad there is no 2 player mode, which does limit the appeal of this title for some gamers. But if you’re a loner like me you won’t care.
Just remember to play the SNES version. The Sega Genesis one will give you a night terror.