RELEASED: January 1993
AVAILABLE ON: NES, SNES
Tim Burton's holiday sequel to THE summer blockbuster of 1989 spawned many different video games for many different platforms, and I still think Konami's Batman Returns for the SNES is one of the best Batman games ever made, a notably better effort than what Sega managed with their share of the license back in the day. Before the release of the SNES game, Konami made one for the fading NES, and opted to use their highly successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series as a kind of a blueprint. They squeezed out everything they could from the narrow NES control scheme to offer a playable experience even to followers of the previous generation instead of just making it for the money and rushing to get it out of the way. That's Konami, folks.
A game of cat and bat
Christmas time in Gotham City is far from merry. A group of hostile circus sideshows known as the Red Triangle Gang emerges out of the sewers to terrorize the citizens gathered in Gotham Plaza for holiday festivities. The police are powerless to stop the mayhem, so the Bat-Signal is lit to alert the Dark Knight of Gotham City. Batman saves the day, but it seems his work is not over. With the help of a corrupt businessman named Max Shreck, a disfigured, tragic being known to the people of Gotham as the Penguin suddenly becomes the hero of the city. Batman suspects him to be the leader of the Red Triangle Gang, and attempts to look into the matter, just to be constantly harrassed and slowed down by a sultry, mysterious, violent vigilante who calls herself Catwoman. When Penguin and Catwoman join forces to frame Batman for murder, Batman's in a whole world of mess.
|Go for the legs.|
|Baby, when you're dressed like that, you can |
do whatever the hell you want.
Just like the otherwise outstanding SNES game, Batman Returns does have many weaknesses, and most of them arise from the developers trying to break the monotony of a beat 'em up. While the grappling sequences that plagued the SNES version are not a problem in this game at all - since you mostly use the grappling hook just to break background items to gain power-ups - this game has some very frustrating platforming sequences in all the wrong places, and some standard, ranged enemy characters whose attacks are nearly impossible to dodge because of Batman's very slow movement. Also, the bonus sequences involving the Batmobile and Batskiboat are just useless diversions which as the complete opposite of the frustrating parts do not pose any challenge at all. Of course there's nothing wrong with a little sidestepping, but it could simply belong a little better.
|The Shreck cat looks more evil than in the movie.|
Batman Returns for the Sega Genesis was abysmal. A simple beat 'em up or not, Batman Returns for the SNES is still one of the best Batman video games out there. Batman Returns for the NES is smack in the middle of these two games; its good qualities ultimately weigh it closer to its Konami-made 16-bit counterpart, but those in search for a whole Batman package on the NES should probably turn to Sunsoft's first game instead. Good and overlooked - for sure. A milestone of a Batman video game you simply can't afford to miss - not so sure.
GRAPHICS : 7.5
SOUND : 5.5
PLAYABILITY : 7.8
LIFESPAN : 7.0
CONCLUSION : 7.4
GameRankings: 80.50% (SNES)
As explained before, many different games were made based on the Batman Returns movie license. The home computer game was developed by Denton Designs and Spirit of Discovery, and published by GameTek. This game differed from all console versions by a great deal, since it was more of an adventure game based on Batman's detective work than a straightforward action game. The Sega Genesis and Game Gear games were developed and published by Sega. The Sega-CD game was developed by Malibu Entertainment and published by Sega. The Sega Master System game was developed by Aspect and published by Sega. The Atari Lynx game was developed and published by Atari.