The Joker has gone on a rampage after being thwarted by the Caped Crusader (umpteen times if you believe the guff in the beginning credits). It’s up to Bruce Wayne’s alter ego to chase the blaggard down and rid Gotham City of this evil! All sounds very promising until you load the cart. Batman is a bog-standard side scrolling platform adventure. No, I tell a lie, on some levels you actually get to go up as well (shock!). The opening sequence is decent enough, a large spinning Batman logo lets you know that you’ve definitely put the right cartridge in the machine.
If you wait a while the prologue of the game starts to roll interspersed with pictures of Michael Keaton, Big Jack and the ever so pretty Kim Basinger. You really do end up thinking “I’M BATMAN!”, until you press start and an awfully drawn, awfully sounding level greets you. The sprites are poorly defined and poorly animated, looking like rejects from Double Dragon. I counted about 2-3 frames of animation for each action. You can complete the first few levels simply by moving left or right and mashing the punch button.
You then use your Batarangs (which are limited) to finish off the bosses. The levels lack detail and depth, although they manage to look gloomy enough for Gotham City. The collision detection is ok, Batman’s fist connects with his enemies convincingly enough although the paper bag-like sound effects undermines it somewhat. There are some really annoying level defects, I won’t go into too much detail but you can spend a good twenty minutes working out how to get past a tower of boxes that your enemies simply glide through.
Batman does have some good points, the Batmobile and Batwing levels offer a bit of variety with the speed and heat-seeking missiles proving satisfying. However it’s not long before you’re back to the humdrum platform levels struggling to remember why on earth you picked this game up in the first place. Any challenge is undermined by the option to increase your lives to 7 and any longevity is nullified by the sheer mediocrity of what is a very forgettable platform title.