The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin -- and the Nintendo game! Konami brings the Caped Crusader's second silver screen adventure to the video game screen in Batman Returns for the NES. Konami and this hot license sound like a great formula for an instant 8-bit classic. Unfortunately, both the film and the game get mixed reviews.
Visions of Thugs Dancing in Weir Heads
It's the night before Christmas, and all through the town, things are really hop-pin' when Penguin's gang brings the house down! The Mayor plans a nice, traditional, tree-lighting ceremony, but the Red Triangle Circus Gang has other ideas in mind -- namely chaos! They pop out of a giant gift-wrapped box, snare the Ice Princess, and spread fear into the hearts of the crowd. Looks like a job for the Dark Knight.
Familiar Crime Fighting
Batman Returns is a somewhat satisfying, side-view, action celebration that puts up a good fight, but shares many traits with Konami's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact, put a black mask on Leonardo, exchange Shredder for the Penguin, remove the second player, and you've got the basics for this game. Unlike the 1990 Sunsoft game, this entry focuses less on Batman's nimble moves, and more on beat-em-up street brawling.
You, as Batman, get an inconspicuous arsenal to flush Penguin and declaw Catwoman. Your main bandit-beaters are your fists. You can also activate two utility belt weapons: Batarangs, for long-range attacks, and the Grappling Hook, to hoist yourself up to ledges. Additionally, you get a block move for defense, a slide maneuver, and the Cape Spin attack. Each use of the Spin depletes your lifeline, but automatically nails villains in the vicinity. Sound familiar, TMNT III aficionados?
- If you're down to one life unit, go nuts with the Spin attack before you bite the Bat-dust. For all the predictable Bat-weaponry, the character control in this game fairly glides. In the heat of battle, pressing Select to switch between Batarangs and the Grappling Hook is a pain, but otherwise the 'Man is a smooth mover.
- Hold Down and tap A to slide rapidly. You'll take out ground-based attackers faster than they can retaliate.
Guarding Gotham City
The Caped Crusader traverses six Bat- Stages to skin Ms. Purrs and put the Birdbrained One on ice. Most of the game play is side-scrolling fisticuffs, but you also get some Bat-vehicle action.
In Stage 1, you accost the Circus Gang in the main plaza. The action here is a warm-up for later levels. At area's end, you meet the first in a long line of bosses, the Tattooed Strongman.
In Stage 2, you play with a new fiendish friend, the Catwoman, who doesn't spare the whip. Scaling the side of Shreck's Department Store is your first opportunity to implement the Grappling Hook.
You finally get a shot to save the Ice Princess in Stage 3. You fight your way to the top of a skyscraper, and then fend off a double dose of bosses. Even if you emerge victorious and you saw the movie, you know the Princess' sad fate and the resulting Bat-insinuations.
- Use your Grappling Hook to ground toy helicopters in the Department Store.
- In Stage 3, grapple into secret rooms to record an incriminating Penguin conversation. You need the tape to dear the level.
Stage 4 finds Batman chasing a runaway Circus Train, on foot and in the Bat-mobile. The Red Triangle's bent leader, Penguin, kidnaps all the firstborn kiddies in Gotham. The Dark Knight must save them. The Batmobile level is a cool diversion from the main action.
- Motorcycle riders bail from their bikes and try to cling to the Batmobile! Shake them off, or you'll lose energy.
Penguin does himself one worse in Stage 5 by arming a hodgepodge collection of penguins with bombs. Batman slinks through the streets and alleyways to find the remote control. Then that directs the Penguin's demolition efforts. He confronts the Penguin's rubber ducky mobile.
The grand finale comes in Stage 6, the subterranean Arctic World. Penguin's domain is frigid, but you chill out in a sleek Batskiboat level, where you snag bonus Bat icons for life and the pursuit of 1-ups. Finally, you return to ground combat and battle the Penguin.
- From a safe distance, toss Batarangs at the Duck Vehicle. When it rolls near you, slide away, turn and fire.
The crooks in this game are an average-looking, unimaginative assortment. J You'll find stilt walkers, handgunners, c strongmen, and other crown fools of I crime. As a gang, they're a menace to society and your chance of survival. This game's a Bat-challenge, but passwords make it playable.
Dark Knight, Dark City
Batman lives his night life in the shadows of Gotham City, and the same applies on the NES. The dark, color-deficient graphics are sharp and distinct, but not even close to an 8-bit masterpiece. The occasional cinemas are there, but don't pop off the screen like a VCR tape. Tunes-wise, the music and sound effects could be from any Konami action game.
He'll Get Us Next Time
In a year of few 8-bit standouts, Batman Returns is a good choice for fist fighters and Robin-wannabes who aren't expecting anything extraordinary. However, the crime stopping is not up to par with an innovative original. The Dark Knight is invited to return to the NES again someday, hopefully with a few more tricks up his Bat-sleeve.
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An Ongoing Saga Of Justice
One of the greatest American heroes of all time would have to be Batman, the Caped Crusader. His legacy has entertained several generations of men and women ever since his dramatic appearance on the comic book scene in Detective Comics #27 back in 1939! Ever since then, he has appeared in numerous comic books of his own, plus several guest appearances in others. Batman has also shown up in a few black and white picture shows and finally, he starred in his own television series in 1966. Recently, nearly everyone in America was treated to the masterful movie Batman, starring Michael Keaton, Kim Basinger and Jack Nicholson. This summer, the sequel, Batman Returns, is going to hit the silver screen full force, backed by secretive plots and mystery guest appearances. This could be the movie of 1992!
An Ongoing Saga Of Video Games...
Another not so well-known playground for Batman fans has been the ever-growing video game scene. The first Batman video game appeared on the Nintendo Entertainment System, created by Sunsoft in 1990. It featured five levels of play utilizing many of the familiar settings of the blockbuster movie. Places like the Axis Chemical Plant, the streets of Gotham City and the Gotham Cathedral were all portrayed throughout the video game. Sunsoft also went so far as to create a 16-Bit Genesis version and a Game Boy title of the same name with different game play.
In the following year, Sunsoft quickly made and carried out plans for a sequel to each of these formats based on Batman: The Return of the Joker. The NES and GameBoy versions have already been released, while the Genesis version is almost ready for production. These games chronicle the Joker's return to a life of crime after miraculously surviving the fall from Gotham's Cathedral. Each of these titles feature enhanced graphics over their predecessors, and even better game play.
With the rise of the movie this summer, Konami has jumped at the chance to create Batman Returns for all three Nintendo formats: the NES, the Super NES and GameBoy. Each game will feature key points and scenes taken directly from the sure-fire hit movie. Of course, Sega couldn't be left out of the spotlight, so expect to see the Genesis and Game Gear versions of Batman Returns to appear soon. Sega will be programming its versions itself.
The latest version of Batman Returns is, amazingly enough, on the Atari Lynx! This 2-Meg wonder sports vivid color and tons of action.
The music soundtrack is digitally mastered and converted, and the level bosses are huge! Atari plans on releasing the cart this June, just in time for the movie to gain public approval and awareness! For an exclusive EGM 2-page preview of Batman Returns on the Lynx, just turn the page! Look for more information to be released in the upcoming issues of EGM on the other versions of this classic hero.
Peace has returned to Gotham City, and Batman is taking a breather. However, the Joker did survive his tragic fall from the Gotham Cathedral and as his broken bones heal, he is plotting his revenge. Very soon, Batman finds himself embroiled in another evil scheme masterminded by the only man crazy enough to pull it off: the Joker. Hang on, Batman, this will be the ride of your life!
When Bruce Wayne was but a young lad, he was granted the horrible privilege of watching his parents being murdered before his very eyes. Since that moment, he ceased to be Bruce Wayne, but instead became his alter ego: Batman, the Dark Knight! In his quest to protect Gotham City, Batman met and fell deeply in love with the photo journalist Viki Vale. The Joker is an evil man disfigured physically and mentally by a chemical accident. He is the man who murdered Batman's parents, and now he is the one who has kidnapped Viki Vale. Only Batman can rescue her!
With the Joker finally at peace, Batman has hung up his cape for awhile, but is Gotham City really safe? This summer Batman returns in a full-length feature film and six (count 'em) video games! A few of the titles will not appear until later in 1992, and a couple will not hit the store shelves until early 1993! Keep your eyes peeled to EGM and your local movie theaters for the scoop on this upcoming smash hit. There is no word yet on exactly what form Batman will take when the CD-ROM systems hit the U.S marketplace, but the entire EGM staff is impatiently waiting for a gargantuan game filled with live-action cinemas and CD music on the Sega-CD and the Super NES-CD units...
An EGM Exclusive
Lynx players have had the rare pleasure of enjoying excellent portable gaming, and now they can even enjoy possibly the greatest game for the Lynx yet! Batman Returns is a fast-paced, high-action game that will keep the best gamers on their toes looking for the next challenge. Based on the actual movie script, Batman Returns is filled with secrets and familiar guest stars. Since the actual game play is so similar to the real screen play, EGM cannot divulge very much of the storyline and plot. Ah, the price you have to pay for a scoop!
So, as everyone knows, Batman has defeated the Joker in a climactic finish from atop the Gotham Cathedral. In doing so, he has cleared his name and saved Gotham City. Now, a new menace threatens Gotham City as a well known woman is kidnapped by the fiendish Penguin and his cohort, the Catwoman. Commissioner Gordon has called Batman on his secret phone and now it is up to Batman to discover the incredible scheme of these two new super-villains.
In the Lynx version of Batman Returns, you are Batman traveling through four intricate levels trying to uncover the Penguin's plot against the fair city of Gotham.
Along the way, you will meet up with some of the most unsavory villains known to man.
Who is the Penguin, and why does he seek to destroy Gotham City? Why is the beautiful, but deadly, Catwoman on his side? Only Batman is able to answer the call, and hopefully, it won't be too late.
In your travels, look for valuable power-ups that will allow you to take the frightful stage bosses and maintain your health. It won't be easy tracking the Penguin, but you are Batman!
The Dark Knight is back, and he's Bat-ter than ever. Heeding the call from the forlorn citizens of Gotham City, the Batman returns. This fantastic game from Konami delivers the goods beautifully.
Hangin' with the Batman
Batman Returns is a one-player, side- scrolling action game that offers not only spectacular graphics, but mesmerizing sound and superior game play, too. With digitized stills and lines straight from the script, the game follows the movie perfectly. For the two of you who don't know the story, it goes something like this: Man meets Bat. Man becomes Bat. Bat meets Penguin. Penguin meets Cat. Bat. Cat, and Penguin eventually meet and try to mangle the mammalism out of each other. Bat Wins. Maybe.
- Wait for the bike riders to swing around, then jump-kick them off their hogs.
- Rocket-launching clowns are pretty indiscriminate when they target an enemy. If you wait awhile, they'll even blow away some of their friends by accident.
You punch, throw, toss, and swing across seven levels of gut-busting, face- pounding action. You bash your way through the Gotham Streets, the Penguin's Zoo hideout, across the top of a Circus Train, and on the roofs above Gotham. There's even a stage where you drive the Batmobile and eradicate bike- riding maniacs. It's all in a day's work for the long-eared superhero.
In the Batmobile stage, each wave of bike riders comes at you with a gap between them. To minimize damage to the Batmobile, aim your car for that gap.
You won't be shadowboxing, either. There are enough villains here to start a convention. You'll fight the members of the Red Triangle Gang (Penguin's hench-people), which include killer clowns, knife throwers, sword-swallowing slashers, fire-spitting fiends, and more. At the end of each stage, you also fight a surprise Boss, who could be anyone -- an angry Organ Grinder, a brawling bozo of a Clown, Catwoman, or the Penguin.
Come at the Organ Grinder at an angle. Start wailing away before he readies his box to shoot. This tip works for most of the stage bosses.
Batman has always been known for his innovative fighting style and neat gad- getry. To combat the many nefarious nitwits in this game, Konami has not left the Batman hanging. In addition to a regular punch and jump, you can also pull a Flying Jump Kick, a Cape Sweep (major damage to any enemy foolish enough to come near it), and a Flying Attack (a sweep down from above that knocks your enemies silly).
Catwoman, who you face more than once in this game, is a formidable opponent. Let her hit you once, then start punching away for maximum damage. Come in at an angle when going against la femme nikitty.
You can also pull special moves when you grab a villain. You can punch them in the gut, pick them up and throw them to the ground, throw them into windows, and more. For dual damage, smash two bad guys together. Ouch!
The double head-butt inflicts the most damage. Don't try to pull it off unless both villains are close to you. Throwing enemies against the wall is the second most damaging move. Use the Cape Sweep only if you're being pummeled, because this move takes energy from your life bar.
As for toys, Batman has a bevy of Bat weapons. He has his Batarangs (bat boomerangs), a Bat Spear (winch and pulley for wall climbing), and Test Tubes, which he throws to wipe out a screenful of enemies. During the course of the game, you can pick up these weapons, along with health power-ups.
To take the Penguin down, come in at an angle, pummel him, then retreat (but not too far back or he'll spray you with machine gunfire). Avoid his umbrellas as best as you can, and then repeat the procedure. If he tries to fly upwards, throw a Test Tube to bring him back in to fistfighting range.
Bar none the graphics in Batman Returns are better than any you'll find in the other Batman titles. The sprites are big and well-drawn. They move quickly without flicker or slowdown. The backgrounds are painstakingly redrawn from actual movie footage, making each stage a joy to look at. The digitized scenes from the movie, which are spread throughout the game, are so cool and so real that you'll find yourself pausing to get popcorn.
Batman Returns doesn't hold back on the sounds, either. There's music directly from the movie, and each stage has a different melodramatic score that fits right in with the action. All the sound effects are awesome and clear, too.
Playing the game only on the Mania setting will let you see a special ending worthy of all crime fighters.
Bats the Way (uh-huh, uh-huh), I Like It
Batman Returns is a keeper -- a game whose absence will render your SNES library incomplete. You'll have hours of fun with the adjustable challenge levels (Easy, Normal, Hard, Mania, and Special). Pick up this game and hold on tight, because everyone you know is gonna want to be at Bat.
Two years ago, Sunsoft had the last laugh with Bat- man for the Genesis. For his return to screens, the Dark Knight's found a new partner in crime fighting -- Sega. The new union produces a sequel worthy of the Masked Man's rep, but it's not quite a match made in heaven.
Greetings from Gotham
The oft-abused citizep of Gotham City probably don't feel like humming any holiday hymns this year. First, the Red Triangle Circus Gang spoils the lighting of the Christmas tree blowing it up real good. Then a swarm of bats, presumably unleashed By our hero, pushes the Ice Princess to a chilly death. Holy setup! To clear his good name and restore the of X-mas spirit to Gotham, Batman must stomach a double dose of danger.
It seems one Oswald Cobblepot, a.k.a. the Penguin, is behind the misdeeds. Teaming up with the dirty birdie is Cat- woman, who's ready to use Batman's face as a scratching post. Let the crime fighting commence!
On the Prowl In the Dart of Knight
Like its predecessor, Batman Returns is a cool-looking, side-view action game for costumed fingertip fighters everywhere. It thrusts you into a five-level Genesis brawl across the streets of Gotham, Shreck's Wonderland Department Store, the Red Triangle Circus Gang's train hideaway, the Sewers, and the Penguin's Lair. The action is straightforward fighting, but you don't get any Batmobile action.
Batman rounds up and beats up the usual gang of suspects -- Red Triangle thugs, knife throwers, stick wielders, circus clowns, missile-armed penguins, ^id bosses aplenty. Combined the Penguin and Catwoman seem to have nine lives. You must dispatch them both several times in this game, each time in a more dangerous setting. This game is big and tough as claws, so you'll be counting your Bat-blessings for the unlimited continues. You can also set your starting number of lives up to seven.
- To nip Catwoman in Act I, stand below her and rapid punch. You'll nail her as she jumps down to your level. Then, jump above her, duck, and kick her as she tries to leap. Easy pattern!
- Put down Penguin in Act I with leaping punches and Batarangs. Run underneath him as he descends.
Batman takes it to the streets with a superheroic arsenal that's attuned more for melee than maneuvering. Batman's basic attacks are standard leaps, kicks, punches, and jump kicks. The Knight also lances his enemies with five Utility Belt Bat-weapons: Batarangs, Smoke Bombs, the Bat Swarm, the Grappling Gun and Super-Seeking Batarangs.
At the start of Act II, save all your Rat-weapons to fight the strongman guarding the entrance to Shreck's. Grapple up one side while he's frozen, then Batarang him to death.
For added mobility, Batman can hook onto ledges with a Grappling Gun. This is useful to climb from one floor to another, but the swing effect is unwieldy. Finally, the Cowled One can glide gently to the ground with his cape unfurled. Bat-control is a tad cumbersome at first, but playable after practice.
If you're headed for certain demise on a bed of spikes or you're in a bottomless pit, activate the cape float for a last chance save.
Overall, the 'Man's moves are first- class, but a step down from Sunsoft's game with its fancy wall springs and frantic fist fighting. The sleek aerial acrobatics are missed, too.
Bat Looks and Sounds
Comic book crusaders will dig Batman's attire and animation in this return game. His shadowed sprite appears as stalwart and handsome as the character from the pages of Dark Horse Comics. However, the game's overall look is too muted to win an award. The backgrounds are well-drawn, if dark, and the occasional effects are nice. You'll do a double take when you witness the bizarre diagonal scrolling in Act I's cutaway building.
- Foreground scenery often hides weapon power-ups. Jump ''behind'' the walls and you may find treats.
- Step carefully in the citadel -- holes in the floor are obscured by the frigid colors.
You probably won't go bats over the music. The Bat-songs beat in the background, but don't particularly wail. The sounds project mixed signals. Some of the effects, such as the thunderstorm, are hot, but others are not. The death bleep for the enemies is particularly grating.
Fairly Happy Returns
Batman Returns is a solid effort for Sega, although it's heavy on combat. However, without the Bat-vehicle segments and swift wall-climbing moves, the game lacks that certain something.
Video games don't always imitate real life, but it's spooky how often they imitate the movies. Like his silver screen sequel, the Caped Crusader's game return is a good show, but it's not quite a sellout.
Batman Returns is a side scrolling beat ‘em up game, a very popular genre at the time. As you could guess from the title, it is based on the movie with the same name. It received positive reviews, although some felt that it could have been slightly more original.
The game places you in control of Batman as he tries to stop the Penguin from taking over Gotham City. Along the way, Catwoman shows up to try to hinder your progress. In all, it pretty much follows the movie’s script, but obviously adapted to fit a video game.
The graphics of Batman Returns are top notch; the characters are large, detailed, well animated and they fit in with the dark, gothic scenery. Although the music was also adapted from the film’s score, it can get a bit repetitive, but it does the best that it can to keep you immersed in the game. Even the short grunts that enemies make after they get punched add to the experience.
On the topic of gameplay, there isn’t much innovation and this is perhaps the source of the few complaints. It is a standard beat ‘em up in pretty much all aspects; most of the levels allow you to move freely in four directions, while a few only allow you to move back and forth. Each level ends with a fight against a unique boss with three or four special attacks. Batman has a few simple moves, like punches, roundhouse kicks and the classic batarang, along with a special sweep move that drains your health to compensate for its high power.
There are a few elements that make Batman Returns slightly less monotonous, such as using the grapple hook to swing from rooftop to rooftop and the famous batmobile level where you have to chase gang members and defeat them with a machine gun.
In the end, Batman Returns may not bring anything new to the beat ‘em up genre, but goes with the idea that simplicity is best and doesn’t attempt to fix what isn’t broken. It is still a very enjoyable and high quality game that should be tried. The fact that it has three difficulties also gives it extra replay value.
Batman Returns features:
- Three difficulty settings, the hardest one awarding you with a special ending.
- High quality graphics and sound.
- Story inspired from the successful movie with the same name.
Feel like you want to be a superhero, now you can, with Batman Returns, this game is single player and allows you to go through several levels of Bat fun. Take on the Red Triangle Circus Gang before they wipe you out. Use various Bat tools ranging from the Bat mobile to the Batarang. Each level concludes with facing an archenemy. While pursuing the Red Triangle Gang you able use the weaponry from the Batmobile to annihilate this enemy. The majority of the levels use a two dimensional graphics set up, while the rest of the game relies on the 3-D graphics to allow more freedom for usage.