Batman Returns

Moby ID: 38744
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Description

Batman Returns on the SEGA CD is an enhanced version of the Genesis adaptation of the movie. It includes the entirety of the original platform game, but adds all-new driving levels.

The game can be played in three ways: either as only the platform game, only the racing game, or a combination of both. Each option features a unique ending sequence.

For every of the original version's five platform levels, there is a related driving section in which the player controls either the Batmobile or the Batskiboat. Both in perspective and gameplay, these sections are reminiscent of arcade titles like OutRun. Seen from above and behind, the player's vehicle must reach checkpoints before a timer runs out, receiving bonus points for any surplus seconds. The CD system's hardware is used for sprite scaling and other tricks, achieving a 3D effect.

The game being based on an action-filled movie, there's not only driving but also shooting: both the car and the boat are armed with machine guns and heat-seeking missiles (with limited ammunition). Besides the roads being full of enemies in general, each level also ends in a boss fight against a big (and usually heavily armed) vehicle.

The game features CD-based audio tracks, replacing those from the original.

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Credits (SEGA CD version)

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Game Producer
Music Composed
Music Produced By
Guitars
Drums & Percussion
Lead Tester
Testers
Marketing
Manual
Driving Game Design
Platform Game Design
Additional Platform Design
Driving Backgrounds Lead Artist
[ full credits ]

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 75% (based on 18 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.9 out of 5 (based on 6 ratings with 1 reviews)

Holy CD Batman!

The Good
Even by the standards of the day, the Sega CD lacked the hardware to offer the hyped "Next Level" of gaming, but, as this game illustrates, it could store lots of memory and pump out some incredible music and sound effects.

Batman Returns for the Sega CD mirrors its Sega Genesis cartridge cousin in every way, except three;

The Sega CD version has much better music and sound effects. One of the few things that Sega got right with the Sega CD, in terms of its hardware, was its sound chip. The superior music and sound effects really do make a difference.

The Sega CD version added in some levels where you get to take control of the Batmobile or Batwing. As an added bonus the menu options in the game allow you decide whether or not you want to play these levels or simply play the standard side-scrolling platformer. The game's ending changes a bit depending on whether or not you beat the game with our without these added levels.

The Sega CD 'attract mode' and intermission sequences look a bit better then the cartridge version.



The Bad
Once you get past the, impressive, additions to the cartridge game you cannot but help be reminded of the fact that the Sega CD hardware was less of a 'Next Level' and more of a cautious inch out into the rain.

Batman Returns on the Sega Genesis did not have bad graphics, by any means, but they were on same on the advanced Sega CD because the color capabilities of the Sega CD were the same as the Sega Genesis.

Thus not only was the new Sega CD games still limited by 64-on screen colors (out of 512 total) of the old Genesis, its main competitor, the Super Nintendo and most standard PC's, had far superior graphics capabilities (where 256 - 500 on screen colors out of thousands total)

For example, Batman Returns for the Super Nintendo, arguably, looks better then Batman Returns for the 'Next Level' Sega CD. Beyond the hardware limitations of the Sega CD, Sega neglected to fine tune some of the control faults found in the cartridge version.

The player will often himself or herself taking a fair number or frustrating hits, due to the fact that Batman is a rather large sprite and (for a superhero) is rather limited in his offensive and defensive moves.

If you do manage to beat the game, the Sega CD ending is not really any better then the Sega Genesis ending, which was a letdown.

Batman Returns for the Super Nintendo not only looks better -- in terms of the platforming levels -- but plays much better as a side-scrolling, beat 'em um.

The Bottom Line
Batman Returns for the Sega CD might as well be seen as the 16-bit, video game version of special features on a DVD.

If you are familiar with the the original theatrical release (read: Sega Genesis version) then you will be impressed by some of the extra features on the DVD (read: Sega CD version) . Yet, you will also feel a bit cheated.

Batman Returns for the Sega CD highlights the potential of the Sega CD and its unforgivable hardware limitations. It is by no means a bad game, but it is a far cry from the hype and may make you wish you were playing Batman Returns on the Super Nintendo or, heck, the original Batman game for the NES and Sega Genesis.

SEGA CD · by ETJB (428) · 2013

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: LepricahnsGold.

Game added January 25, 2009. Last modified January 19, 2024.