Review by Arwing Ace

Reviewed: 06/30/02 | Updated: 07/19/02

A wonderfully decent action-adventure title.

Batman Vengeance is the perfect example of a fantastic rental. Not to say that Ubisoft’s game (released on both PS2and GCN) is a bad game, because it’s not. I’m just saying that for the average gamer, Batman Vengeance is just the game to provide a weekend of good, solid fun without the guilt of spending $50 of your hard earned money. The length and difficulty are tuned just right to provide that 2 days worth of semi-challenging game play. “What is that game play like?” you may ask; well, in the broadest sense, this is a multi-genre game. It has a level where you drive the batmobile, a level where you fly the batplane, and some free-falling segments, but on the whole this game plays out as action-adventure. You go about engaging in battles, solving puzzles and jumping from platform to platform, and really it’s nothing you probably haven’t already played before if you’ve spent an hour with Spyro the Dragon, Spider-man, or Crash Bandicoot. But there’s enough moves to perform, weapons to utilize, and difference in style between levels to keep things from getting stale; and the game even has that certain rare quality of making you want to experience the next level. With the flav-ah of the game established, let’s break the game down into the typical areas of analysis.
Graphics-wise, Batman Vengeance isn’t really a jaw-dropper. For one thing, I know that the Gamecube is able to push far more polygons than this game exhibits. The characters are somewhat rough around the edges, with a so-so attempt at polygonal shading. Also the environments aren’t exactly what you’d call ‘inspired’, they’re rather simplistic in nature, with many repeating textures. This game has the luxury of being based on a cartoon series with uninspired background visuals as an excuse, but still… The graphics get the job done though, and readily maintain the feel of its parent cartoon. The cinemas are definitely a small, but very nice addition to the game. They are done wonderfully, and even if you’re a small time fan of the Dark Knight (like me), the cut-scenes will make you crave a CG Batman film.
The sound in Batman Vengeance is of standard fare. Grunts, Booms and Ka-pows aplenty, set against a backdrop of unremarkable action music. An audible beacon of excellence shines through in the voice acting though, which I believe is done by the actual actors from the cartoon series. Gotta love the maniacal Joker.
Control issues are where a lot of the game’s challenge brews. It’s somewhat jerky and definitely doesn’t mix well a camera that can be a little uncooperative. It can also be hard to get the precision you need in first-person mode, due to the quick moving cursor which is controlled by the C-stick. Aside from some tricky situations where Batman’s tendency to walk 2 steps before running causes some problems, the control doesn’t detract too much from the overall experience.
As I mentioned before, Batman Vengeance makes an ideal rental. Implied in that statement is the fact that the game doesn’t have a whole lot of replayability. There is a point system and some cheats strewn about, but there’s nothing really new to experience the second time around.
All in all, Batman Vengeance is a solid action-adventure title, which can appeal to those outside the Batman fanbase. It provides enough varied game play to ward off boredom, but it’s not polished enough to warrant a purchase recommendation. I would coin this game ‘wonderfully decent.’

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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