Batman: The Video Game

aka: Batman, Batman
Moby ID: 31037
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Description official descriptions

The NES version of Batman: The Video Game is loosely based on the 1989 movie. It is a side-scrolling game, with a blue dressed Batman fighting enemies such as robots, jet-packed soldiers, ninjas and mutants.

The game consists in five levels somewhat related to the movie: Gotham City streets (with Killer Moth as the final boss), AXIS Chemical Factory (with Machine Intelligence System as boss), Underground Conduit (with Electrocutioner as boss), the Laboratory Ruins (the Dual-Container Alarm as boss) and Gotham's Cathedral (with Firebug as boss) where Batman finally faces the Joker. Before each level, a cutscene with scenes from the movie is displayed.

Besides his ever trusting punches, Batman has plenty of weapons in his utility belt: the Batarang, the Spear Gun and the Dirk (a three direction weapon). Batman has an ammunition counter shared for the three weapons. The Batarang takes one pellet per shot, the Spear Gun two pellets and the Dirk, three. Batman also has an eight hit life bar, which can be replenished by collecting hearts dropped by killed enemies. The enemies will also drop pellet items (10 pellets per item) and bonus items (which will only sum up points).

Batman can also perform a "wall jump": he'll grab a wall when jumping toward it, allowing him to escalate some narrow passages. Batman has three lives and unlimited continues.

Spellings

  • バットマン - Japanese spelling

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Credits (NES version)

16 People (11 developers, 5 thanks)

Program
Design
Music
Special Thanks to
Presented by
  • Sunsoft

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 30 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 71 ratings with 4 reviews)

"Winged freak...wait till' they get a load of me!"

The Good
The music in the game Batman is really good, that's one of the things that kept me playing this good game, from the music in Gotham City's Streets, to the boss battles (that can take a long time to complete if you aren't great at this game, like me) the music sounds quite amazing for just an 8 bit system.

The gameplay is also quite good, you have the ability to use a wall-jump, and an ability to use 3 different weapons: A short-missile launcher, a Boomerang, and 3-way splitting discs. along with your trusty fists.

The Bad
The difficulty of this game, for me anyways, is kind of insane, I don't see anyone getting through this game with the 3 lives you start out with in the beginning, and even though it doesn't mention it in the game, you have a limited number of continues.

What also bothers me, not as much as the difficulty, is the fact that this game really doesn't have much of a connection to the movie, maybe it has cut scenes, and 1 boss/enemy from the movie (Joker, final boss) and the stages are sort of connected to it. But the additional hazards (like the electric floors in 2-2) aren't from the movie, not a big deal to most of you, but it bothers me.

The Bottom Line
Batman is a side-scrolling 1 player action-adventure game that pits the Caped-Crusader against the evil-doers of Gotham City. Batman has not only his trusty fists as weapons, but can also be equipped with 3 other good weapons. He also has a useful wall-jumping technique. For you side-scrolling fans that enjoy a good challenge, great music and game play, Batman is for you, but if you expected this to be like the blockbuster film, you'll be disappointed to know, it's not quite the same.

NES · by Crazy Horse (10) · 2008

Batman's great foray into action-platforming.

The Good
The gameplay's fast, dynamic and very retro in its charm and vibe. It's an honorable extension of Batman's legendary status as a pop-cultural staple of a character. The action's nice and crunchy, satisfying and the platforming is tricky yet very fulfilling once you've mastered the controls.

The Bad
The platforming can be imprecise sometimes, but that's really the only gripe I have with the game. It encourages you to overcome the game's challenges anyway.

The Bottom Line
This was Batman's first golden moment on console gaming, and this game plays like a superhero crossed with Double Dragon, Super Mario Brothers and Metroid. It's damn good fun.

NES · by John H. (52) · 2019

Outstanding (and unprecedented) movie adaptation

The Good
Video game adaptations of popular blockbuster movies are notoriously awful (the reverse is often true as well). This rule was particularly true on the NES. Happily, Batman shattered that rule.

This is one of my all-time favorite action video games. I like everything about it: The graphics were top-notch for the NES. Everything is dark and grim, just like the franchise upon which the game is based. The attention to animation detail is phenomenal. Nowhere is this better evidenced than in the Dark Knight's cape-- it flows beautifully as the character moves and rests perfectly on stop.

Then there is the music. Excellent music on every game level that exquisitely highlights the dreary feel of Gotham City's sewer and the urgency of climbing the Gotham cathedral bell tower.

What about gameplay? Sharp and responsive. The Batman character is strong and reasonably quick. He also has a fantastic and versatile ability to bounce off walls to simulate a climb up narrow spaces. Weapons? Batman has 4 separate offensive options at his disposable. Each has benefits and drawbacks, forcing the player to consider weapon trade-offs during the game.

How about challenge? I have always considered the level of challenge to be just right-- not too hard, not too easy. You will have to work at it, but you should be able to complete it in a reasonable amount of time. And you will have a short but sweet ending sequence waiting for you at the end.

Then there is the matter of movie accuracy. The game sort of loosely follows the rough outline of the movie plot. That's a good thing. Too many movie-based video games try to follow the plot too carefully and it winds up being (one of many reasons for) a game's downfall. The game relates various plot points through the use of cinema cut scenes. Fortunately, these scenes are always short and to the point; a lesser game would have stretched the scenes out much farther.

The Bad
The level 5 music is the same as the level 1 music. Too bad there was not another tune since the audio composer, About.SS, writes some amazing tunes.

The Bottom Line
The NES adaptation of the 1989 Batman movie is one of the best action video games ever published, excelling in all areas that count for a video game.

NES · by Multimedia Mike (20664) · 2007

[ View all 4 player reviews ]

Trivia

Music

The music in the first two levels of the Japanese and western version is swapped.

Awards

  • Electronic Gaming Monthly
    • December 1989 (Issue 5) - Best Movie to Game
    • January 1990 (Issue 6) - Game of the Month

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  • MobyGames ID: 31037
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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Corn Popper.

NES added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Frumple, Terok Nor, Apogee IV, Alaka, Dan K, Bregalad, LepricahnsGold, Patrick Bregger.

Game added November 11, 2007. Last modified August 30, 2023.