Not many games can be rightfully described as simply horrible, but that's one of the few descriptions fit for print that truly works for Batman Beyond. That's right, horrible. Actually, this game is more of an enigma. Somehow Kemco took a well-seasoned Final Fight-style combat engine (in which you punch and kick from one end of the stage to the other), littered short stages with incredibly stupid foes, and still somehow managed to make Batman Beyond one of the most difficult games ever; just to pass the second of its 16 levels would take a combination of superhuman skill and a large dose of luck. For some reason enemies have no problem hitting you (when they're not standing still, that is), even though you can't seem to touch them. Irritating. Oh, and you can't save your game. Ever. Even though each time you run out of lives the game gives you the chance to restart over at the beginning of the current level, if you ever want to beat Batman Beyond you'll have to do it in one sitting. Not that it's possible anyway. The worst part about Batman Beyond, even moreso than the complete lack of fun, is the fact it actually has some good Ideas. You can switch between different fighting styles that enhance your offense or defense, there are some cool weapons, and damnit, this is just a keen franchise. Of course, the same could have been said about Superman, and look what happened to that.
Batman Beyond is a fantastic cartoon. The animation is fluid, the story lines are well-conceived, and the action is fast-paced. Why then, do none of these elements make it into the game of the same name? This is the kind of game Acclaim used to bang out. and I thought had been retired a long time ago. Monotonous left-to-right Final Fight-type action (that is, to say, walk, punch, kick). But the graphics look like they were done by one guy with a Yaroze. I mean, you could say the developers were trying to "keep the spirit of the animation" intact, but this largely untextured mess only exacerbates the pitiful action on display. It's so bad it's almost funny.
We regret that Jonathan was unable to write a review for Batman this month. Following his playing the game, he fell into a complete mental paralysis and has not yet regained consciousness. The following is an excerpt from his last waking moments, spent convulsing in front of a continue screen: "What the hell is happening?! Why are these jumping vacuums firing laser beams at me?! What does this have to do with the cartoon?! Why can't I get past level 2?! The enemies have friendly fire, but I still can't beat them in three lives! My eyes! It burns!!' Pessimistic about Jon's condition, doctors say his last words may have been a cryptic "one point o.