Batman: The Video Game

aka: Batman
See Also

Description official description

The Genesis version of Batman: The Video Game follows closely the plot from the 1989 movie.

The game consists in six stages, four of side-scrolling platform action and two side-scrolling shooter ones, in the following order: Gotham City Street, Axis Chemical Factory, Flugelheim Museum, Gotham City Street (with the Batmobile and after that on foot), In the Sky over Gotham City (with the Batwing) and the Cathedral, where Batman finally faces the Joker.

Batman can beat his enemies by punching them, slide kicking (by pressing down and the B button) or throwing his Batarang. By holding down the B button, Batman will block projectile-based attacks. He can also use his double jump (pressing the C button a second time while ascending) to leap greater distances or attack his enemies. To reach higher platforms, Batman can use his Grappling Hook (by pressing up and C to shoot, C again to climb). While piloting the Batmobile or the Batwing, Batman can shoot the Twin Vulcan Cannons (B button) or Twin Homing Missiles (A button).

Through the levels, Batman will collect Batman emblems (which will give him Batarangs or Twin Homing Missiles, depending on the stage played), Hearts (which give him health) and Batman heads (which give him an extra life).

Spellings

  • バットマン - Japanese spelling

Groups +

Screenshots

Credits (Genesis version)

26 People (11 developers, 15 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 76% (based on 24 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 29 ratings with 2 reviews)

"I Want You To Tell All Your Friends About Me. I'm Batman!"

The Good
Released in 1990, a year late to the party, due to Nintendo, having game developers sign an exclusive deal, to publish only on the NES.(How lame is that?-MM-) Batman: The Video Game, finally made it to the then most powerful console on the market, at the time, the Sega Genesis. Was it worth the wait?

It would be a fallacy for me to not tell you, that this is far and away the most accurate Batman game, based off of the 1989 film. It follows the movie almost too well. There are no “filler” levels like in so many other games of this genre. Every scene of the film that has Batman is represented here.

Based on the film, which was based or inspired by, Batman: The Killing Joke.(Not The Dark Knight Returns, as some allege.-MM-) We find that Batman is just beginning his career as, “The Caped Crusader”. In a particularly grim Gotham City. After falling into an acid bath, Jack Napier, becomes the “Clown Prince Of Crime”, The Joker. And now Batman has his work cut out for him.

The game plays much like most side-scrolling action games of it’s day. Batman, can punch, kick, and use his gadgets like his batarangs and grapple gun. And there are even cool vehicle stages, in the first one Batman takes to the streets of Gotham in his Bat mobile. In the second Batman must destroy the Joker’s gas balloons in the skies over Gotham, in his Batwing. This is a very fun and challenging game. But not to the point of frustration. With regular play it can be mastered.

The graphics are very good for the time. And while there are better looking Genesis games. And the graphics show there age. The are still serviceable. And do an admirable job of re-creating the dark look of the film of which it is based.

And in between the levels there are animated scenes, that are recreated from the film. And they look great, considering. I wonder why so few games used this technique?

The sound effect are well done. And remind me of those of “Streets Of Rage“. But it is the music where this game really shines.

The music by Naoki Kodaka, is not digitized from the film. But trust me when I tell you that it is off the chain. It sounds really good and holds up well, better than the graphics. It is filled with rocking tracks, and just great tunes. Is it any wonder when Mr. Kodaka is also responsible for one of the best JRPG scores of all time, “Albert Odyssey Legend Of Eldean”?

The Bad
Once you master the game, you will wonder why it was so difficult in the first place.

Not much of a complaint, but I would like to comment on why did Sunsoft not make more Batman games? Between this, and “Batman: Return of The Joker“, they showed that they really had the knack. What about a Batman beat’em’up? How cool would that have been?

The Bottom Line
If you think that the NES Batman, movie game is good, you have to play this one. It will blow your mind. And I think that in the end if you can get past your nostalgia you will agree with me that this is the superior Batman video adventure.

Genesis · by MasterMegid (723) · 2009

The Best Adaption Of The Original Film.

The Good
Easily, this is the best adaption of the original movie. The game follows the plot of the movie exactly, from the turning of Jack Napier into the Joker, the cutscenes, the mini bosses, and the ability to control both the Batmobile and the Batwing. The graphics are dark and detailed, and have very fluid animation. If it could be done in the film, it can be done here.

The Bad
The only thing that is really missing from this game to make it a complete experience is Danny Elfman's score. The music isn't bad, but the game's overall feel would have been enhanced with the film's signature themes (or even Prince's songs might have sufficed). Batman's jumping is also a little sketchy at times, but not enough to ruin the overall experience.

The Bottom Line
Of all the Batman games that were released in 1989-1990, Sunsoft's version for the Genesis holds true to the film, which was rare for movie-based games of the time (which usually took incredible "artistic liberties" with the plot). The gameplay remains interesting due to the cutscenes and sharp graphics, and the vehicle levels break up any potential monotony to be found in the game. While not an enduring classic, it's definitely worth a look for Bat-fans, and a solid game in its own right.

Genesis · by Guy Chapman (1746) · 2007

Trivia

Cover

The screenshots shown in the back cover of the US cartridge are actually from the NES version.

Plot

Of all the versions of the game, the Sega Genesis version is the one that closest follows the plot and events of the film, with the turning of Jack Napier into the Joker, and Batmobile and Batwing chases.

Information also contributed by chirinea.

Related Games

Batman
Released 1990 on TurboGrafx-16
Batman: Arkham VR
Released 2016 on PlayStation 4, Windows
Batman Returns
Released 1992 on Genesis
Batman Forever
Released 1995 on Genesis, 1995 on SNES, 1996 on DOS
Batman
Released 1989 on Amiga, 1989 on Atari ST, 1990 on DOS...
Batman: Arkham Knight
Released 2015 on Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Batman Returns
Released 1992 on Dedicated handheld
The Batman: Batarang Battle
Released 2005 on Dedicated handheld
Batman: Justice Unbalanced
Released 2003 on Windows, Macintosh

Identifiers +

Contribute

Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history!

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Corn Popper.

Genesis added by Roedie.

Additional contributors: Frumple, Guy Chapman, LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 11th, 2007. Last modified September 19th, 2023.