Batman on the Nintendo NES?! What a dream come true
When you where a kid back in the 80's what were your obsessions? Comics? Games? Movies? Action figures? Well during the 80's no console was as successful as the Nintendo Entertainment system. It simply blew every one's mind seeing that games could last more than 5 or 6 minutes as Atari was the big game king of the industry with the revolutionary 2600. But once Nintendo hit the shelves back in 1985, everybody soon realized that games simply weren't about getting the high score; it was about the adventure! But it wasn't long before companies like LJN found that they could make easy profits just by doing a half - baked game. Many companies in fact focused just for the money and not the satisfaction of customers. And what better than to do a movie based game? Just imagine; your a little kid in a video rental store and you come across some games that look fun... but don't let that fool you. "Oh boy Ghost busters on the NES? That has to be good! What? Jaws on the Nintendo? I have to have that! " But when you go home and pop that game on your Nintendo you realize you made an awful mistake. Crappy controls, terrible graphics, mediocre game play - these were just one of the many problems that many movie based games had and still do. And then you stare at the television screen in anger realizing that you spent $39.99 or more on a broken down mess of a game. So once you get over the news your Father comes downstairs and flashes Batman : the movie. Of course, being the kid you are, you watch it and realize in such amazement on what a great movie it was. So wait a week later, your Mother shows her appreciation for getting a 90 on your Math test by taking you to the video store. And once you open the door you see a familiar face - Batman on the NES. But you simply ignore it and check out Bubble bobble. But before you back away in disgust you see that there is no rainbow on the cartridge like you did in Jaws or Back to the future but the Sunsoft logo which reminds you of a really good game; Blaster Master. So being the Kid you are you get curious and finally can't take the temptation and finally buy the game. Now all you can do is wait. Will it be as bad as Ghost busters? Will it be good? Will it blow? That's all you could think on the ride back home. But once you come back home, popped the game in the NES and get greeted by the amazing cut scene and music you realize that you didn't just play Sunsoft - you LIVED Sunsoft. So what is it about this movie game that's different from the rest anyway? Has it aged as well as many other NES classics have? Let's see.
When you think of NES graphics you think....meh. Well nowadays. But back in 1989..... man was it a different story. You couldn't keep your greedy eyes off the screen once you started playing this game. The title screen, the cut scene, the way Batman and the Bat - Mobile looks; it was an eye catching view - and that was just the cut scene - you still had the rest of the game to go through! And once you started the level you saw what probably was the most technically advanced game you have ever seen. The background, the enemies, the power ups and your character where all amazing to look at. And with another six or seven levels to go you were too impatient to wait and see how different the next stage was compared to the last. And to add things up, the game had that film noire feeling like the movie did and gave you that eerie feeling that you didn't get in most games like Super Mario Bros or Pac man but games like CastleVania and Ninja Gaiden where your atmosphere looked and felt corrupted and infested with evil and darkness. And ,to be honest with you, the game offered the same feeling you got when you saw a dark corridor in the movie - a sense of fear and hopelessness. And while the NES had a limited color palette I have to say that this game did the right combination of colors to give the mood unlike some games that failed to impress the eyes like X-men from LJN. And with that said, the game succeeds in delivering the graphics with its film noire style and look. So in my opinion I have absolutely no problems with the graphics. So for me comes a 9 for the graphics.
The truth is that the NES didn't have that good sound quality like an arcade machine did or a VHS player did but the truth is, it didn't have to. The NES has its own unique music style that really can't be repeated. So along with games like Castlevania and Super Mario Bros this game has an unforgettable soundtrack to it which is why it's one of the best on the system. From just punching....PUNCHING ( It didn't even have to be on an enemy ) IN THE AIR you got a sense of power... like you were BATMAN, as if you were fighting the Joker's henchmen horde by horde. And the music? Aw man was it amazing back then to hear music this good on the NES. Each stage has its own well thought and original music that gives you that adrenaline to move on throughout your quest which is very generous of the creators to do unlike some games where the same music is played throughout the stages like Super Mario bros 1-3. No not at all. This actually has original music and it sounds good too unlike games like Ghostbusters where you want to mute the television. This isn't the best music from the NES but it's far from terrible and it fits with the dark and eerie graphics. Instead of these upbeat and catchy tunes you get dark and captivating tunes from this game which to me is just as important as the game play. So without further adieu comes another 9 for this games well thought and dark music.
Addictiveness is a must have when it comes to a game or else what's the use? And is this game addicting? YES. Besides the different style in stages you also have a unique set of enemies ranging from henchman of Joker's to robotic monstrosities. And of course your going to get hit. But unlike a game like Silver Surfer where you die in only one hit this game offers a life bar like Ninja Gaiden or Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles 2 ( the good one that isn't as hard as heck ) which is good considering that this game is hard. But besides your punch you also have a variety of weapons like Contra or Castlevania. Besides your measly punch you have your classic Bata rang, shuriken, pistol and many more! And each of your weapons have a different attack and each inflict damage in a different way. Some weapons are harsher than others but it all depends on how to use it. Then there's the jumping. Instead of mediocre plat formers like Back to the future or Friday the 13th where the jump controls are slippery this game has jumps that feel perfect. And to top things off, Batman can wall jump! He can jump like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden which is pretty unique and can really help a player get through some harsh levels and enemies through the game which is a good add on to an already great game. All these plus the music and graphics make this game what it is. A masterpiece. 10 points.
As far as I'm concerned, this game does not have a story because what do you know, it's movie based. And for those who haven't seen the movie why would I spoil it for you? Go see it! I guarantee that it will make you play this game even more. So with that said, it simply does not have a story. Period.
When it comes to replay ability this game is strong with that. Because of different set of enemies, original gameplay, awesome set of weapons, this game gets far from getting old. And with this game comes a challenging but not too challenging game ( I'm looking at you Ninja Gaiden 3! Curse you and your stupid game overs! ) this doesn't get annoying either which keeps the game from getting too easy or hard like Felix the Cat or Silver Surfer. So what isn't to like about this game? It has everything a game needs: Perfect controls, good music, nice graphics and gameplay. Man did Sunsoft change this game from being an unoriginal, dull, and frustrating game like Ghostbusters. So with that said this game has everything that a game needs to be a success in this industry. Which is why this game is considered a classic in the NES library instead of a rushed money maker like Top Gun or Jaws which is why this is one of the only good movie based games on the NES along with other good titles like Gremlins and Duck tales. Which is why this game deserves an 8 for its depth.
Like I mentioned earlier, this game can get hard and frustrating sometimes. But bad controls or poor level design are not to blame for this game's difficulty. It's like Ninja Gaiden - you simply need to get the hang of the controls, stages, enemies, and ( not to mention ) each of the bosses patterns. But even with that, this game can be unforgivable sometimes which is why you need to master the controls and get the hang of it. Only then can you stand a chance against Joker or any of the bosses in the game. It's a test to the fullest. To see if you have what it takes to say " I Beat Batman on the NES!" and look at your victory in triumph as you show that you deserve it. But like many NES games like Contra, this game doesn't have mercy like Super Mario bros. This game is Castlevania plus Mega Man hard which isn't that bad as long as you play this game more than once. Trial and error, that's our lesson here. So to wrap things up, here comes a 9 for this game's difficulty.
Out of all the terrible movie based games to come out for the NES, this was not among them. What Sunsoft made in fact, was a classic NES game that is remembered by many game collectors out there as great NES game. I suggest that you pick one up if you have the chance because this game is simply amazing for the NES and a surprise for many kids from the 1980's because out of a sea of terrible movie based games like Ghostbusters, Jaws, and Top gun, this game was a classic and it's still a blast from the past to play if you have an NES. Pick it up if you have the chance! :o)