Written by  :  Neville (2336)
Written on  :  Aug 14, 2008
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars

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Ocean at its licensing best.

The Good

Despite the flak that Ocean took on its time for stockpiling licenses like casino tokens, I happen to think they did some superior work on its time. There was the occasional mediocrity, like the "Rambo - First Blood Part II" or the first "WWF Wrestlemania" game, admitted, but they also delivered some of the best movie conversions of the 8 bit era, such as "RoboCop" or, yes, "Batman - The Movie". Seriously, think of it. Of all the film licenses that fell into other hands, how many of them can you remember?

Ocean's trademarked idea of translating key scenes from the film into very different types of sub-games, at the same time a compromise to be faithful to the original film and a great way to add variety to the gameplay, was already very refined by the time they launched this game. The mix is not as happy as it was in "RoboCop", but the magic is still there. The game is bookended by two wonderful platform-style stages, Axis Chemicals and the Cathedral, and in the middle there are two pretty good driving stages, one driving the coffin-like Batmovile and the second the Batwing, and a puzzle scene which is easily the worst of the lot. In all of them, graphics, sound and level design, no matter differences between versions, are top notch.

The Bad

As much as I like the game, I think that at 5 stages it is a bit too short. There were many other scenes and scenarios from the movie that could have made good levels, such as Batman's entering into the Art Museum, or the fight between Batman and some of the Joker's goons in an alley.

Maybe the fault is on "RoboCop", a previous Ocean licensed game which treated us with 9 levels and set the bar too high. And it needs to be said, in favour of "Batman - The Movie", that its 5 stages are much longer than the ones in "RoboCop".

The Bottom Line

Anyway, most CPC users remember this game as one of the best they ever played in this platform, and there are reasons. As old fashioned as side-scrolling action / platform games are, the first and last levels of the game are still masterful in its level design, gameplay and music. Not even the CPC+ version could add much to the mix.

The two (also side-scrolling) driving levels are not as good (never liked the idea of having to guess which lane would stay free of traffic), but are nevertheless impecable. And the puzzle level... well, that's just filler, but it won't take you much time to figure it out.

So yes, it's kind of a mixed bag, but the two platform style levels are so brilliant that in the end it's difficult to give the game less than a 5/5.