• 1 Player
  • Cartridge
  • Platformer
Price
£32.99
By
Sega
Release
Out now

Options

Control
Joy pad
Continues
Infinite
Skill levels
1
Responsiveness
Good
Game difficulty
Medium

1st day score

209700

Origin

Batman Returns is a digital translation of one of the biggest blockbuster movies of last year..

How to control

[Up]
Move Up
[Down]
Move Down
[Left]
Move Left
[Right]
Move Right
[1]
Throws the Batarang and punches at close range.
[2]
Jump, fire the grappling hook and hold to glide.

How to play

Guide Batman through five levels whilst disposing of his enemies — beat the bosses to progress further.

Bruce Wayne, he of the macabre fancy dress tendencies and practised lack of humour, has witnessed many crimes in his gloomy life — most of which he wishes he hadn't, yet nothing that a well controlled psychosis can't handle. As Batman, Bruce is the villain's nemesis — a fly-by-night, swooping spanner in the works for all would-be master criminals. The most recent mayhem makers are Catwoman, lashing out with whip, lip and hip beside her fellow conspirator, the Penguin — he of the foul language and the deadly assortment of umbrellas. He relies on the dreaded Clown Gang to carry out all of the dirty work for him!

Of course it's up to Bruce, as Batman, to put a stop to anything that the terrible two are planning (currently the framing of an innocent Batman for murder) as he battles against the Penguin's Red Triangle Circus Gang in his fight for justice. Who's got the job of exercising control

Capery japery

There is more than one way to cross the occasional gaping chasm of doom. If there is no place to attach the grappling hook and thereby swing across, Batman may chance an extended leap with the aid of his cope. Keeping your finger on the jump button after leaping causes Batman to open his cape and glide a few pixels more to safety.

Bat to his routes

Batman has a choice of routes to take on his way to the final confrontation with the Penguin. Route one is always slightly easier and presents Batman with slightly less platform problems and enemy interference. Hardened crime fighters are advised to take the second route for a greater challenge.

By hook and bye crook

You may marvel at the web-slinging antics of Spider-Man and gasp at the billy club-related tomfoolery Daredevil but Batman swings with the best of them too! There are many occasions throughout his mission where a grappling hook proves itself useful. Sometimes it is a ledge too far out of reach that the grapple makes short work of, or even a perilous hole in the ground that is easily swung over. The grappling hook is also very painful should anyone find themselves on the wrong end of it — use it to dispose of foes that your other weapons can't reach.

Bat boost

o further assist our hero in his ordeal a few bats are found in specific locations, happily flapping their wings waiting to deliver a helpful item to their master. To show his gratitude Batman chucks a Batarang at them. Shock! These are the rewards of such malice:

RIP
Just for reference, this is a picture of just one of the doomed animals.
Extra special
This icon provides Batman with an extra special attack.
Heart
A whole-hearted icon that replaces four energy points.
Half heart
Two energy points ore for the taking, should you collect this icon.

Battery

Batman has a selection of small artillery to choose from along with a rather more formidable special weapon that he employs in tight situations:

Long range Batarang
The least powerful of Batman's inventory, but the most efficient at knocking the Circus Gang flying from a distance.
Medium range Batarang
Batman's run-of-the-mill weapon. Not the most powerful, but by no means the least useful. His safest bet.
Close range Batarang
A heavy duty weapon that causes the most damage. Unfortunately Batman is required to get in close to his enemy as the range of this Batarang is very short indeed.
Special
When the going gets tough, Batman calls upon his marvellous transportation for extra assistance. For the first three levels the Batmobile rumbles in, dropping high explosive mines. The last two levels, taking place in the sewers, sees the Batski bringing torpedo doom into the proceedings, making refuse of the Circus Gang.

Comment: RICH

After the disappointment of the Megadrive version, I'm pleased to report that the Game Gear translation of Batman Returns is surprisingly good. Unlike the Megadrive game, this is fast and extremely playable. The graphics are excellent, capturing the atmosphere of the decent movie extremely well. But like Paul I do have my doubts about the lastability of the game. There just aren't enough levels to make the game last long enough. However, I do admire the choice of routes idea — it's a lot less artificial than adjusting a difficulty level on an option screen and also enables you to switch difficulties after each level, so if there's a level you can complete with ease, you can challenge yourself with the second route. As it is, Batman Returns is a decent enough cart that novice players will probably glean the most enjoyment out of, but experienced gamers should steer clear..

Comment: PAUL

All in all this is very impressive. The presentation of this cart is very tasteful, all the graphics are very neat and certainly more pleasing than their Megadrive counterparts. In fact the portable rendition of the Batman Returns theme plays far better too. Batman himself is expertly animated and looks stylish in every situation, responding to instructions from the joypad perfectly. Having the choice of two routes in each level is a bit of a bonus considering that this effectively gives the player two games in one, the second route being considerably more challenging than the first. The boss characters are imaginative in their attack patterns — Catwoman is far more entertaining here when compared to her Megadrive routine. Though I doubt that the cart will pose much of a challenge to experienced gamesplayers there is still plenty packed in here to sustain interest. The big problem is that it is all over so quickly despite the alternative routes available. Batman Returns is definitely a cart to consider adding to your collection.

Long Term Report

Hour
5/5
Day
4/5
Week
3/5
Month
2/5
Year
1/5

Breakdown

Strategy
3/5
Action
2/5
Challenge
3/5
Reflexes
3/5

Rating

Presentation
87
▲ An extended intro and 'expensive' looking title screen make for high class presentation. The route selection screens are similarly well rendered.
Graphics
93
▲ Very good and, in places, outstanding. The huge ogre boss on level three is especially excellent. The choice of colour, definition and animation are all of the highest standard.
Sound
86
▲ Atmospheric music and crisp sound effects back up the action well.
▼ Occasionally there are some dreadful, rather out-of-place type noises that sound more at home on an 8-bit computer.
Playability
89
▲ The control of the main sprite is very smooth and accurate.
▼ The gameplay could've done with having a lot more variety.
Lastability
72
▲ Given the choice of two routes means that the game offers twice the fun right to the end.
▼ Five short levels and easy bosses at the start of the game don't leave much hope in the way of longevity.
Overall
79
A solid effort by all accounts. However it is too short lived; expert players should find themselves completing the game rather quickly. A definite buy for novice players.
Rating
79
Reviewer
Mean Machines Sega magazine
Region
UK
Scans
MeanMachinesSega-Magazine-Issue05?gallerypage=56

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