Batman Returns - SNES Review

Batman; the hero who offers us everything - drama, emotion, glory and devastation. In its day, it was the game to own. And what games developer could have done a better job of humbling the SNES, by so excellently translating the comic shredding tension, not to mention, gripping plot line of the film, than Konami? 

Set against a beautiful, yet eerie backdrop, graphics are sometimes a little messy, but with a dimly lit, grimy feel, the scenery easily makes up for this. Particularly on the SNES, the game effectively manages to re-capture the presentation and atmosphere of the movie and is further testament to how amazing and powerful Nintendo's console really was. The Batman character looks awesome; the best I've ever seen depicted in a video game, other than Arkham. And as you'd expect, he's hard as nails, packed full of gadgets, and can punch faster than a Kangaroo!

The game is slightly reminiscent of Streets of Rage, with a splash of Final Fight and Renegade! You'll see lanterns and statues scrolling past in 3D, with political billboards littering the streets, urging you to vote for 'Oswald Cobblepot' (The Penguin). Batman moves at speed, soaring through the air fluidly, and it's not long before you're in the Batmobile, driving at breakneck speeds through the streets of Gotham! This looks great, but nowhere near as good as the Mega-CD version, still, I enjoyed the challenge more, and it didn't drag on for an eternity.

Boss battles will test your resolve. During a particularly impressive part of the third scene, known as 'On the Prowl', Batman traverses a tall building in a service lift, and then kicks and punches the rest of the way to the top. When he reaches the roof he meets Cat-Woman and there's a showdown between the two. Do not let her gender deceive you, she really will give you a run for your money, jumping about and whipping you, she is incredibly difficult to pin down, but once you managed to do so, you need to give it all you've got!

My only criticisms would be that it can become slightly repetitive. There's only so many times you can punch and kick at the same small variety of enemies before it verges on the monotonous. Sound effects are a bit weak too, the same sounds repeat, and then repeat again. In fairness I must add, the music is some of the best I've ever heard on the SNES and is as good, if not better than Super Star Wars. The game itself can be completed in less than an hour, which is arguably far too short!

So, for those of you who enjoy slamming ginger criminals through shop windows, bashing skulls together, and killing chain-saw wielding clowns (and that's just the first scene), then Batman Returns might just be just the ticket for you and will prove to be a valuable edition to your collection!


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