Review by BradHummr
Holy moley Batman! A deep fighter on the Gameboy!
Before I begin, I would like to say I am comparing this version to the PC and Game Gear versions of the game.
This game was released in 1995 for the Gameboy system. Batman Forever had recently been in theatres and a game was released alongside it. Most movie-games, as you may have heard, turn out to be cheap rip-offs of the movie's story and little else. Because of that reputation, many would guess Batman Forever falls into the same catagory. Well, does it? Read on to find out.
The story in this game doesn't exist. There really are no story elements, or any text to progress anything. This doesn't help the game at all. What's the point? What motivation are you going to have to make Batman reach the end? Apparently, Batman has gone on a thug-killing spree and you have to help him.
For those who are wondering, unlike the PC version of Batman Forever, the Gameboy version does not support any kind of multiplayer. That is a real shame, because a co-op mode would've made this game a lot easier and thus a lot more enjoyable.
The game is played out as Batman. (NO...WAY...) You fight and grapple-hook your way through lots of different areas. From the Gotham Bank you start in, to a circus, a subway station and finally to Claw Island. All the while thugs of various sorts drop from the ceiling, break out of barrels and walk on-screen. The enemies all have unique names which seem to be identical to the PC and Game Gear versions. A very nice touch. When the enemies are in a team perhaps, they are named 'Tom' while the next one being 'Jerry'. 'Mumbo' and 'Jumbo' and some others are scattered throughout the game also.
The same moves are still there, just with different execution. After playing with two other versions, I could experiment with the controls and figured out many of the weapons and stuff, but the game is still very confusing with no move list of proper weapon technique. There are no online guides for this game either, so you will have a hard time getting all the moves memorized.
Batman has a lot of moves at his disposal, especially for a system with a d-pad and two buttons. All the enemies have Batman's moves too, just with different results. As the game progresses, they naturally become harder to beat and Batman gets tossed around like a punching bag.
The graphics for this game are by no means bad. Batman is animated smoothly even with all his quick moves, as are the enemies. The frame rate drops significantly when more than two enemies (And Batman) are on screen at the same time, or you are being thrown into the air from an uppercut. This slows the game down a bit, but it isn't a real big flaw and you'll probably actually enjoy the slower pace while it lasts.
The level design is generic and uninspired most of the time. Mostly being a maze of platforms and secret entrances and exits. The back-drops for the levels are mostly un-detailed, but what is there looks nice.
The game is pretty basic, with zero unlockables that I could find. Plenty of hidden items, but nothing to unlock. You will probably play through this a few times and set it on a shelf for a few months, maybe picking it up every now and again for some fun.
Overall, Batman Forever is a very enjoyable ride on the Gameboy. With lots of moves at your disposal, is takes quite some time to figure them all out...especially without the manual to help you out. However, even with the lack of information, the game can be beaten without the extra moves with one exception. The grappling hook. If you can't figure it out, the game cannot be beaten.
Buy? Or Rent?
Good luck finding this game up for rent, but if you can find it at a game retailer, I would suggest picking it up. Especially since it is around only four dollars.
Product Release: Batman Forever (US, 08/31/95)
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