Written by  :  Bregalad (963)
Written on  :  Jul 02, 2008
Platform  :  NES
Rating  :  4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars

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Very impressive, but not flawless

The Good

Batman : The video game, a video game based on the original Batman movie (that I've unfortunately never seen yet), sold well enough so that Sunsoft would make a sequel to it, but this time the game is not based on any existing media, it is just a brand new video game that features the characters from Batman and this is good.

Batman : Retrurn of the Joker (from not on abbreviated BROJ) follows the classical side-view platformer formula. You control Batman (duh), and you fight against the Joker and his followers (re-duh), but this time you can use a set of different guns to kill your enemies. You can also slide, which is a good feature. The platformer action found in this game is satisfying, as there is many traps to avoid plus some fast enemies, so you're not going to be bored when playing BROJ and this is good. As if this isn't enough you get twice a very cool horizontal shooter minigame. Batman usually have only a small lifebar, and if it vanishes you have to redo the area, however you have infinite continues which is cool as there is no frustration here. During boss battle the life of both opponents is shown with numbers, and if you fail you have to redo the area before the boss fight.

The game is hard enough to keep you interested, but is no frustratingly hard or anything like that. As you can redo any area infinitely it's hard to give up as you're constantly thinking "I was so close to make it". Boss battles are hard until you figure the ideal pattern, then it become a cake. The last boss is very hard, but doable with a cheat controller that allows very fast shooting.

The graphics of BROJ are absolutely outstanding. I think they should be the best graphics I've ever seen on the NES console, and I've played many NES games. They are dark, animated and fit the mood perfectly. Batman himself look very handsome and is very unlike the typical cute NES protagonists we're used to. Too bad there is a lot of flickering, and the regular enemies aren't as awesome (but still great).

The music of BROJ is, too, very good. You don't get that many tracks, but the few we get range from good to awesome, and this is a good thing. The drums sound better than in most NES games. The music for the horizontal shooter minigame is VERY awesome. The only bad thing is that the re-used the tracks instead of composing new ones for each area. But as the tracks are so good I can't complain. The sound effects are very well done as well.

The Bad

There is one big flaw in BROJ : The controls are unresponsive, and Batman is SLOW ! It looks like glue is on your controller when you're playing this. The game is also a little short, and some stages are too easy once you figure the trick out. If only the game were slightly longer and with more responsive controls, this would be the perfect video game on the NES.

Another flaw is that as the game features many different weapons (collectible in Contra style, each one has a letter), only one of them, the 'C' gun, is really good and all the other are crap.

The Bottom Line

Nevertheless, BROJ is a very good game, and is the ultimate reference about what the NES is capable of graphically. The music is very good too. This is a must play for fans of the NES console or fan of Batman. A strong point of this game also is that it's completely original, it's not a bland rip off of an existing movie or TV series. If you'd ever want to play a game featuring Batman, you'd probably pick this one, just because it's a "true" video game, and definitely a very cool one. If you can't find a used copy don't hesitate to download, as unfortunately this game isn't as common and well known as it should have been. I think this game is a classic and deserves to be much more known.