Let’s start with a common fact that pretty much has always been the case in the whole of gaming history
Game’s that are tied to a film is either terrible or truly awful, there normally aren’t many exceptions. They are typically rushed out to capitalize on the hype around the film. I mean, who cares if it plays like a stinking turd, there’s money to be made so never mind the gameplay, there’s a deadline to reach.
Batman Returns on the Super Nintendo sticks a bat gloved middle finger up at this formula.
Firstly, the game was launched a full year after the hit sequel to the 1989 classic Batman movie and was developed by none other than Konami who were in their prime during this period of videogame history with some seriously good quality hits already under their belt.
Batman Returns is quite possibly one of the best movie tie-in games ever made and one of the most exceptional side scrolling beat ‘em up’s ever made.
The game features large, colourful and well animated sprites, the enemies are for the main part directly from the film as are the end of level bosses. There’s even a driving level which for its time blew people away with its slick Mode 7 effects in full effect.
It’s only has a couple of downsides; the first is that its single player only so no Streets of Rage co-operative play here and the difficulty does ramp up in later levels.
These gripes aside, they really went to town on this. There are some really neat touches, let’s take the opening level in Gotham City Plaza for instance. Here you get to grips with Batman’s repertoire of moves and experience for the first time some very satisfying things that you can do in the game.
Who can forget it when you grab two Clowns and knock their heads together and when done has an amazing cracking of skulls sounds or when you throw an enemy into a shop window or knock them off their motorbikes which are coming in from all sides at you.
Did I mention it gets quite hectic? Well you have a few more tricks up your spandex sleeve. The first is that you have weapons like a Batarang. Batman’s long range bat shaped Boomerang and if things get particularly challenging then you can drop a Test Tube to clear the screen of the hordes of Clowns that are hell bent on ending you.
Batman Returns has lots of neat touches and follows the film closely. Cutscenes from the movie feature between the levels to aid your progress but the other thing that Konami did well was with the soundtrack although they do have a track record with this side of things.
The SNES is great at doing orchestral soundtracks and the cinematic soundtrack really gives you the feeling that this is a polished game.
All this helps build it up to the finale with non other than the main protagonist, The Penguin himself. Don’e expect it to be easy, it won;t be but you’ll feel totally satisfied when you finally defeat him and the end credits start to roll
Overall you definitely owe it to yourself to re-visit the game, get it out of the loft if you have it still or jump on Ebay and buy it. You won’t regret it!