|By Timothy Falk||Saturday, 8 Mar 2008|
Created back in the 1940s by Bob Kane, Batman has been a long standing American icon. You can bet dollars to rubles everyone knows who he is, even if they’ve been living under a rock. With the comic books, TV shows, and movies, Batman has been represented in pretty much every entertainment medium in the past. However, one area he hasn’t been represented well in has been video games. Most of the games based on Batman have been major flops (from the earliest system to the most current ones), with a few exceptions. Batman for the Nintendo Entertainment System is one of them.
Right from the title screen, the game kicks in with a flash of a dark figure, which seconds later reveals itself to be the Batman himself. It then transitions into Batman standing next the title “Batman” along with some seriously kickin’ music, you know this game is going to be awesome.
The game was designed as a tie-in to the Tim Burton film, and as such is loosely based on the 1989 movie of Batman. The main villain is the Joker, who has opened up a crime spree in the city of Gotham, and you, as Batman, must stop the madness.
At the time it was made, Batman (the game, not the movie) had amazing graphics and cut scenes. The gameplay itself is simple to learn, but difficult to master the intricacies of the play mechanics. You can pretty much pick this game up and play it without any experience whatsoever, but you won’t get too far until you spend some time learning the timing and rhythm of the game. The game starts easy as you walk through the streets of Gotham, taking out what appear to be joggers (Ed. Note – Fact: Joggers hate Batman), small green guys with flame throwers, and small shoes that have spikes coming out of them, but the learning curve (ease of the game) gets pretty steep at about the third level, and after that, it starts bordering on impossible. I gave up on the game years ago, but recently found it again and, knowing that my skills had been sharpened at least a little bit from when I was the age of 6, popped the game into my NES, and started playing it.
Now you may say, “Tim, you’ve gone over every aspect of the game except the music! How is it?” To answer that question, it is great. The best thing about this game was certainly saved for last. The music was, and even to this day is, some of the best music ever. In those days, you really couldn’t pull off better music. The music for each level sets a very good mood, while still motivating you toward your goal like good music should. The first level kicks off with a rockin’ bass line that would break most guitar players fingers if they tried to play it, and continues going strong with what was, for games at that time, music with a grade of A. The thing that gives the music staying power, however, is its catchiness. The music is that which can be enjoyed even when not playing the game. Even as I type, the music won’t leave my head.
So, if you don’t own this game, go out and find it, scour the lands in search of it! It is that good. The best part is, its an old Nintendo game, so it probably won’t cost as much as a gallon of gas! For a price like that, there’s no reason to resist.