August 02, 2010, at 02:48 PM
Mini Review: Batman Returns
While there's a decent amount of variety, the graphics are rather weak most of the way through. While dark urban scenes and sewers are in line with the movie, it's all done in that ah-well-it's-8-bit way where you know they could have tried a bit harder to get some shading, shadows, curves, etc. but just didn't bother.
Well, it's basically the guy who did Streets of Rage, using the same engine in the same way... which is pretty good stuff, really.
There are five stages, each of which is a selection between two "routes", so effectively there are 10 levels. Each is reasonably large (across multiple in-game scenes). There's a lot of fairly obvious busy-work with power-up-collecting that offers you the option to be a completist, and the route selection means you have to play through at least twice to see everything.
There isn't really a plot. Well, I guess the final boss is the bad guy from the movie, but that's it.
The bat-rope-swing thing is integral to the game - but it's insanely hard to use. I had to cheat massively with an emulator rewind feature to make progress almost all the time - often there is what seems to be a single-frame window to reach the target and not die horribly.
Also, there's no energy bar. One hit and you die - and there are plenty of cheap hits. Then you lose all your powerups. To make up for this, there are a huge number of powerups and extra lives, but it's still really annoying.
Just get the VGM pack...