Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu
Batman has been a mainstay of American pop culture for quite some time now, and with good reason. After all, he's a legendary anti-hero, has a slue cool gadgets at his disposal, trounces enemies in dark locales, and faces ruthless villains. Sounds like the trappings for a great videogame doesn't it? Unfortunately, the Dark Knight's transition from the comics to the consoles has been spotty at best, with only a handful of worthwhile titles over the years. Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu is the latest entry into the Dark Knight's portfolio, and while it isn't the best thing the Batman license has been applied to, Batman has certainly weathered worst.
Rise of the Sin Tzu follows the classic beat-em up formula: throw enemies at player, have player beat up enemies, repeat ad nauseam until player either A) dies, or, B) beats level. This formula has been in use since the 8-bit era, but even back then it was showing its age. But as a beat-em up, Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu works well. There are plenty of impressive looking moves that control fluidly, a good deal of variety among enemies, and several different modes of play with several different characters to play as. Unfortunately, the beat-em up genre is inherently flawed because of its repetitive nature and Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu does nothing to alleviate these problems. The action is fast and fun, but it's true to the beat-em-up genre in that it's incredibly repetitive. Some will find the fun in doing the same thing for hours and hours, and others won't.
Rise of the Sin Tzu isn't that long and is easily beatable in a rental period, but as incentive for Batman fans, there are a lot of interesting extras that can be unlocked. They won't be a big deal to those indifferent to the Caped Crusader's legacy, but Batman fans will surely get a kick out of it.
Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu looks excellent -- not because of technical feats, but because of the overall style. Rise of the Sin Tzu shares the same comic styling of the recent animated series, and just like the cartoon series, it looks fantastic. There's a definite comic book flare to it, and it's most apparent in the move set at your disposal. More than once I wowed after seeing one of the many fancy looking moves and pretty particle effects.
The audio in Rise of Sin Tzu is hit and miss. The voice-acting and sound effects are both commendable, but the music doesn't really fit in with the overall theme of the game. Upbeat techno and rock riffs really don't mix well with the Caped Crusader's surroundings. It's not particularly bad, but something on a grander scale would have worked better.
If Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu were a Batman film, it would end up being Batman Forever ' not the worst in the series (that could come with Batman and Robin), but certainly a disappointment when compared to the first two films. And as such, only devout Batman fans and action gamers looking for a quick fix will find much appeal in Batman: Rise of the Sin Tzu.