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Batman: The Video Game

aka: Batman, Batman

Critic Reviews 83% add missing review

Insomnia ( ) (100%)

Enjoyment of Batman: The Video Game relies heavily on the player's level of commitment. For those without much, they will find it to be a frustrating and unpleasant experience that will end with either hair-pulling, controller-throwing, Genie-abusing, or power-switching; resigning themselves to be one of the many skeletons lining the game's dungeons in its now decades-long reign. But action aficionados willing to endure temporary hardship on the way to the reward of mastery will no doubt discover that Batman: The Video Game is one of the finest experiences around. And to them -- to us -- it only comes as a bonus that the game also envelops us in an 8-bit world like few of its kind can, or have ever done.

Mar 12th, 2010 · NES · read review

Questicle.net (A) (100%)

Batman is hard, especially compared to today’s games with their weak-sauce difficulty. I find myself having to ease back into challenging side-scrollers because modern games have spoiled me, but in Batman‘s case, it’s certainly worth it; especially since the difficulty isn’t cheap or tacked-on. If you’re an NES kid at heart or are just looking to have your butt handed to you by a game, you can’t go wrong with the Dark Knight’s first NES adventure. It truly is a must-have amidst a sea of dreck.

Feb 2011 · NES · read review

VideoGame ( ) (100%)

O cenĂĄrio Ă© sinistro: uma indĂșstria quĂ­mica, em Gothan City, com grandes tanques de produtos perigosos, geradores elĂ©tricos de alta tensĂŁo e, Ă© claro, muitos inimigos. Foi aĂ­ que, tempos atrĂĄs, um malfeitor caiu num desses tanques e se transformou no pior inimigo de Gothan: o Coringa. Agora, ele domina a cidade com uma terrĂ­vel onda de crimes. E sĂł Batman pode entrar na indĂșstria e derrotĂĄ-lo.

Mar 1991 · NES · read review

1UP! (96 out of 100) (96%)

Ils ont non seulement repoussĂ© la NES dans ses derniers retranchements visuels, sonores et d'animation, mais ils ont aussi conçu un formidable jeu d'action, que mĂȘme quelqu'un n'ayant pas conscience de la prouesse technique devrait apprĂ©cier. Mais attention, ça ne rigole pas Ă  Gotham City ! Si les jeux difficiles vous rebutent, celui-ci vous fera rager. Il n'est pas insurmontable mais vous ne ferez presque jamais un pas sans tomber sur une nouvelle difficultĂ©. A vous alors d'Ă©laborer votre stratĂ©gie, votre mĂ©thode de jeu. Cela demande du temps, de nombreuses tentatives et donc de la patience, mais nous parlons lĂ  d'un jeu d'action 8 bits, d'une Ăšre oĂč sauvegarde et mot de passe Ă©taient une faiblesse rarement jugĂ©e nĂ©cessaire. Alors que la mauvaise foi des perdants ne l'emporte pas sur la valeur d'un grand jeu, devenu le chef d'oeuvre d'une petite compagnie dĂ©sormais trop discrĂšte.

Nov 6th, 2001 · NES · read review

Player One (95 out of 100) (95%)

Ok, c'est sans problÚme. Vous pouvez y aller, les yeux fermés. Batman, c'est du tout bon. Mais n'oubliez pas de les réouvrir, pour admirer les graphismes magistraux de ce jeu.

Oct 1990 · NES · read review

Retro Archives (18 out of 20) (90%)

Batman: The Video Game n'est pas simplement un excellent jeu, c'est Ă©galement le mĂštre-Ă©talon de ce Ă  quoi doit absolument ressembler une adaptation vidĂ©oludique pour espĂ©rer faire honneur Ă  l’Ɠuvre dont elle est tirĂ©e: un titre jouable, magnifique et inoubliable. ReprĂ©sentant sans aucune contestation possible la meilleure aventure de Batman de toute l'Ăšre 8-bits - et peut-ĂȘtre mĂȘme 16-bits -, le titre de Sunsoft se laissera encore aujourd'hui parcourir avec un plaisir rĂ©el - Ă  condition de composer avec une difficultĂ© qui fait froid dans le dos.

Oct 29th, 2017 · NES · read review

All Game Guide ( ) (90%)

Along with Batman: Return of the Joker and TMNT III, Batman is one of the best superhero games for the NES. The graphics do a good job of capturing the dark, somber tone of the movie, and the music, though unfortunately not reminiscent of Danny Elfman's film score, is nonetheless engaging and conducive to gameplay.

2007 · NES · read review

Nintendo Power Magazine (4.5 out of 5) (90%)

The ominous graphics capture Batman's smooth agile movements and unique super hero action. The finely honed physique, billowing cape and graceful movements which have long been associated with Batman, highlight this adventure. Cinema-graphics (a la Ninja Gaiden) set the stage for each of the five levels.

Sep 1989 · NES

GamesCollection (9 out of 10) (90%)

In conclusione il titolo Ăš altamente rigiocabile, proprio grazie alla giusta calibrazione della difficoltĂ  e alle soddisfazioni che ne derivano. La realizzazione tecnica Ăš di altissimo livello e le grafiche accattivanti e oscure unite alla musica ipnotica e misteriosa, lo rendono a mio avviso uno dei migliori videogame ispirati all’uomo pipistrello (nonchĂ© un must per la vostra collezione NES!).

Jan 14th, 2011 · NES · read review

Joystick (French) (90 out of 100) (90%)

Pourvu d'un graphisme assez sombre, prouvant que toute l'action se dĂ©roule la nuit, Batman est cependant dotĂ© d'une jouabilitĂ© extrĂȘme. La musique diffĂ©rente Ă  chaque nouveau niveau Ă©gaye un peu l'atmosphĂšre sordide qui rĂšgne dans ce jeu. Le scrolling lui, n'a rien Ă  envier au plus beau scrolling des consoles 16 bits. Une excellente rĂ©alisation sur Nintendo ES, qui mĂ©rite bien son succĂšs d'outre Atlantique.

Sep 1990 · NES · read review

Mean Machines (87 out of 100) (87%)

Holy console action! Batman on the Nintendo has turned out to be a real event, with gameplay oozing from every pore (do cartridges have pores?). The graphics are well-defined and rather pretty also; and the array of foes, each with it's own form of attack, puts this game way ahead of most NES games being released at the moment. The animated sequences - especially the Batmobile - left me with my jaw agape they were so good. It's a shame that Batty doesn't have any Batarangs from the word go, and has to rely on his fists, but that's just the psychopath in me coming out. For once, the TV advertising has some real muscle behind it, and if you are a Nintendo owner, miss this game at your peril.

Dec 1990 · NES · read review

Defunct Games (85 out of 100) (85%)

Batman is not a perfect game by any means, but it takes the source material and turns it into a phenomenal action game. Like the movie it's based on, Batman manages to hold up even if it still feels dated. It's hard not to chuckle when the Joker says all of his signature phrases. It may be cheesy, but I still love it.

Aug 15th, 2009 · NES · read review

Jaded Gamer, The (84 out of 100) (84%)

Even though there are quite a few difficult areas of extreme aggravation (which was fairly common back in the NES days), the overall atmosphere of the game makes Batman succeed. True to form, Sunsoft has created another high-quality game with this title, and at the same time they've created one of the very few movie-licensed games on the NES that's worth owning.

Jul 21st, 2004 · NES · read review

Quebec Gamers (8.2 out of 10) (82%)

Je recommande fortement ce jeu Ă  ceux qui cherchent un bon jeu d'action sur NES et qui ne l'ont pas encore essayĂ©. Le jeu demande une lĂ©gĂšre adaptation et par la suite vous ĂȘtes en voiture, heu?, en Batmobile, pour un excellent jeu. Dommage que Batman Returns fait par Konami ne soit pas aussi bon que celui-ci. J'aurais aimĂ© qu'il reprenne le mĂȘme moule que ce jeu ou que SunSoft soit derriĂšre voir ce que ça aurait donnĂ©... Hoo! je vois que Batman Return Of The Joker lui a Ă©tĂ© fait par SunSoft.. humm! intĂ©ressant.

Jul 28th, 2006 · NES · read review

Raze (82 out of 100) (82%)

There are loads of weapons to collect even though the levels are rather short. Many of the enemies that attack look as though they've been hijacked from other games. For instance, positive there are ninja turtles lurking in the game. The game is very good and there are some stunning graphical effects - particularly where Batman dies in a burst of flames.

Nov 1990 · NES

Total!! UK Magazine (81 out of 100) (81%)

There's a huge amount of detail in the game and I could wibble on about it for hours. Instead I'll merely say that whether you're a Batfan or not, the atmospheric graphics, great gameplay and the challenge of 20 different sections make this a real treat. You would be batty to miss out on this.

Jan 1992 · NES

RetroGame Man (8 out of 10) (80%)

Nevertheless, overall this game is a great action platform game for the Nintendo. I highly recommend it for those who like platform games and love a good challenge.

Oct 21st, 2015 · NES · read review

Just Games Retro ( ) (80%)

Movie-based titles on the NES have not had a favorable history on this site, with lackluster attempts such as Robocop 2 and Darkman. Therefore, it is a refreshing surprise to find one that doesn't just flat-out suck. Batman is a solid attempt to take elements from the movie and comics, and infuse them into a side scroller.

Aug 1st, 2001 · NES · read review

Ultimate Nintendo: Guide to the NES Library ( ) (80%)

The only problem with the game is that it doesn’t have much to do with Batman at all outside of a few simple cutscenes. The upside to this is the allowance of more creative and excellent enemy designs for our vigilante to put down. It’s a fantastic, well-produced licensed platformer that is easy to recommend.

2016 · NES

Retro Game Age (8 out of 10) (80%)

This still remains one of the better movie licensed games released on the system and maybe of all time. The graphics are outstanding; highly reminiscent of Blaster Master while still capturing the dark and drab look of Gotham City at the same time. The music is dark and haunting and matches the tone of the game perfectly even though they did not make use of the movie’s score. Toss in the steady challenge and decent length and you have an action game that stands with some of the best on the console.

Jul 6th, 2011 · NES · read review

NES Times (8 out of 10) (80%)

Basically all you get from the original movie is the storyline and several cinema scenes which do little to advance the plot. That's not necesarily a bad thing, though; Sunsoft still managed to put together an excellent NES game that does justice to the Batman franchise. The atmosphere is first rate and the game is a blast to play through, even with the control issues. The Batman video game may not follow the movie exaclty, but it's still a game Bat-fans can't miss.

Feb 11th, 2009 · NES · read review

Classic-games.net (8 out of 10) (80%)

Batman was one of the best licensed games for the NES throughout its lifespan and is still fun for a quick little romp. I would even go so far as to say it is still one of the better games starring DC’s hero. It’s a bit short but the difficulty means you’ll spend a little more time going through it in one sitting.

Dec 5th, 2016 · NES · read review

Retro Game Reviews ( ) (80%)

Batman: The Video Game isn't particularly easy to get into but it's one that you'll reap many rewards from if you stick with it. Mastering your long range attacks and wall jumping is crucial and once you get the hang of them you'll find a solid title that's great fun to play through.

Dec 30th, 2014 · NES · read review

Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) (31 out of 40) (78%)

Batman consists of splendid game play that is coupled with dark graphics and backgrounds. I'm sure this is done to capture the mood of the movie, but it does detract a bit from the overall appeal of the title. The intermissions are well done and there's plenty of challenge and play value here.

Apr 1990 · NES

Play Time (74 out of 100) (74%)

Das Game ist durchgehend ausgezeichnet spielbar, die Musik kann sich hören lassen, und die Grafik ist fĂŒr das NES sogar hervorragend. Wer den Film mochte und wem der spielbare Batti bisher entgangen ist, weil er weder PC, Amiga noch ST besitzt, braucht sich nun nicht mehr lĂ€nger zu grĂ€men. Endlich treibt der Joker auch auf dem NES sein Unwesen. Und Eines muß man ihm lassen, er macht auch dort eine gute Figur.

Dec 1991 · NES

Amstar (14 out of 20) (70%)

TrÚs joli graphiquement, cette version de Batman vous demandera de la précision et de la rapidité. Bien que le niveau de difficulté soit assez important, soyez malgré tout persévérant.

Dec 1990 · NES · read review

neXGam (6.6 out of 10) (66%)

Fassen wir zusammen: Auf der guten Seite haben wir ein bodenstĂ€ndiges Spiel mit klarer Struktur, mittelmĂ€ĂŸigen Leveldesign, guter Grafik/Sound sowie fordenden Sprungpassagen. Auf der anderen Seite leider das schon erwĂ€hnte mittelmĂ€ĂŸige Leveldesign, zu wenig Items, kein Passwortsystem sowie keine Checkpoints. Unter Strich ist die NES-Version des Kinofilms grundsolide und NES-Liebhaber mit Langeweile können einen Blick riskieren.

2002 · NES · read review

Lens of Truth (6.5 out of 10) (65%)

If it sounds like I hate Batman: The Video Game, I really don’t. I just see now that it’s not as good as I once thought. As a kid, I loved it but I think I must have been happy just to be playing a Batman game, even if I never made it past level 3-2 until just recently. Honestly though, it’s not that bad, its just really cheap and very unforgiving. A better Batman: The Movie\Game experience may be found in the Sega Genesis version, which obviously features far better graphics and sound but is getting harder to find. As for this NES one, everything about it is simply average.

May 26th, 2009 · NES · read review

Video Games (63 out of 100) (63%)

Spielerisch wird gehobene Dutzendware aufgeboten. Levelaufbau und Spielablauf unterscheiden sich von der Game-Boy-Version, die der Schwarzweißgrafik zum Trotz mehr Spaß macht. Außerdem nervt das etwas umstĂ€ndliche Umschalten der Waffentypen: Wenn Batman in BedrĂ€ngnis ist, hat man nicht immer genĂŒgend Zeit, um ein paarmal hintereinander auf die Start-Taste zu hĂ€mmern, um an die Wunschwaffe zu kommen.

Sep 1991 · NES · read review

Video Game Critic, The (C+) (58%)

Batman on the NES is tough compared to the Genesis version. Annoying mines on wheels roll in from all directions, and you'll absorb a good number of unavoidable hits. Heart icons help replenish your life, but they only bump up your health meter slightly. Personally I recommend using the Game Genie cheat that replenishes your health completely with each heart. I can't forget to mention that the game has an excellent, memorable soundtrack. Batman for the NES is a good time, but beating it will require some serious will and determination.

Dec 4th, 2005 · NES · read review

Player Reviews

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.

by Multimedia Mike (20612) on Nov 10th, 2007 · NES

"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.

by Crazy Horse (10) on Aug 11th, 2008 · NES

I'm Batman! And a great movie-based game!

The Good
There is a thing going on that movie-based games are usually made with little effort, the only idea behind them being a quick cash grab following the success of a popular movie. For the most part it's true but this game proves that movie-based game can be made with care and attention to details.

Story: I really enjoyed the Batman movie from 1989 and since this game is based on that movie it already has my attention. All you need to know is that Batman goes after the Joker. Good enough for me.

Gameplay: It is a solid platformer with some Ninja Gaiden elements. Batman can jump from wall to wall (which is completely necessary to master in order to beat some of the later levels) and he has an assortment of gadgets at his disposal which help the player approach situations differently. The levels are all memorable and do the movie justice. There is a good variety of enemies and all of the bosses present a challenge worthy of any hardcore NES gamer. Speaking of which the game is quite difficult but it's a fair challenge since the game has very little handicaps. Beating the Joker is almost impossible and it took me around 15 tries. As the credits rolled after that I felt like a long and successful day at work was over. It felt satisfying.

Graphics: For NES standards the game is beautiful. It's dark and atmospheric just like the movie. The levels are nice to look at and the in-game sprites are well animated. There is no choppiness and everything runs really smooth. The cutscenes are awesome and set the mood for the upcoming levels.

Music and Sound: Pure awesomeness! The music score is one of the best I've ever heard on the NES and fits each level perfectly. Each song is catchy and memorable, and many of them linger in my head long after I've put down the controller. The sound effects are also pretty good, my favorite one being when Batman punches. My keyboard makes the same sound when I bash it against my desk.

The Bad
I have a few gripes with this game but it's mostly nitpicking.

Story: No complaints.

Gameplay : Same problem as Ninja Gaiden. When Batman gets hit he jumps backwards and some times right into a bottomless pit, though it does not happens as often. Some of the jumps are outrageous. The Joker shoots lightning....I am speechless.

Graphics: No major complaints. The Joker is fairly large and he makes Batman look like a kid.

Music and Sound: Absolutely no complaints.

The Bottom Line
This should appeal to both NES fans and Batman fans. The combination of solid platforming, great graphics, amazing soundtrack and challenging difficulty make this an awesome movie-based game and one memorable 8-bit experience.

by Ivan Obretenov (30) on Sep 14th, 2015 · NES

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.

by John H. (52) on May 18th, 2019 · NES

Plus 64 player ratings without reviews

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by SlyDante, RhYnoECfnW, chirinea, Alsy, RetroArchives.fr, Big John WV, VGManiac101, Ryan DiGiorgi, Alaka, Patrick Bregger, Riemann80, Baron79.