Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Batman (Gameboy, 1990)

Batman on the Gameboy is considered a classic, though it's debatable whether it stood the test of time well. It got ace reviews back in the day. Nintendo Magazine System gave it 91% and commented "with small, but nicely detailed graphics and excellent sound, Batman is one of the most addictive Gameboy platform games around".

Alright. So, the plot is taken from the Tim Burton film, which was hugely popular at the time. You wouldn't be able to tell though. The game for the most part involves controlling a tiny Batman sprite, jumping on platforms and shooting enemies, Super Mario Land-style. Although the action takes place in locations like the Chemical Factory, Gotham City, and the Gotham Cathedral, it feels like you play a generic Batman game and not a conversion of the 1989 film. That said, there are some nice (static) cutscenes.

Although basic, the platforming shoot-em-up action is well done and addictive. Jumping is a bit sensitive though, which means that it's easy to either jump too high, or too low, and thus miss the platform you're supposed to land on.

For further variety, there are two scrolling shoot-em-up sections, R-Type style, where you're flying the Batwing and shoot at a multitude of enemies. Hmm, didn't see that in the movie. To be honest, it seems that the game designers aped Super Mario Land (it also had a few scrolling shooter sections). It's pretty much the same thing.

The game's difficulty curve is reasonable, neither too easy, nor too difficult, until you reach the final level which is nigh on impossible - unless you've managed to retain all the power-ups from the previous stages. The music is pretty good throughout. And that's that. Batman on the Gameboy is a solid platform-shooter which will appeal, but not thrill.


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