Review by steve D

Reviewed: 01/24/03 | Updated: 01/24/03

Batman Vengence is a game that no Batman fan should't be without.

Since the late sixties Comic Book characters have become an integrated part of not only American culture, but many cultures around the world. From Superman to Aquaman, DC comics has (along with Marvel comics) basically shaped the comic book industry into what it is today. One of DC comics flagship Hero's, Batman, has received the star-studded treatment for over a decade, through a handful of live-action movies, animated series, and a host of video games. The problem is that none of his games, ranging from the 8-bit NES to PS1 and N64 encounters, have been memorable or even fun.

Ubisoft has released Batman Vengeance for the Nintendo Gamecube. The game is the very first 128-bit Batman Game. It's may almost be just quite the greatest Batman game to date. Why? Well read on to find out.

The premise behind Batman Vengeance is that it’s based on the animated T.V. series that just recently ended (not the futuristic series Batman Beyond, but rather the one simply titled Batman). Despite being based on the cartoon series, the story in BV (Batman Vengeance) is completely original. It seems this time the diabolical Joker has killed himself in an attempt to trick Batman into Batman's own death. From there the other villains and stories are presented in FmV segments. The story, while original, is kinda predictable and rather uninspired. It seems as though the entire story was ripped out of various episodes and rewritten to look new. Not to mention that the menus are rather plain.

The controls are very befitting for this game. All of the controls seem to fit in with the standard 3rd Person platforming actions. The first person aiming for the Bat-Gadgets is ingenious, and the combat engine is never to simple. A downside would be the problematic camera.
Score: 7/10

The in game graphics aren't amazing. The animations and textures for all enemies are more or less the same, most every thing in the game animated rather poorly. BV can't compare to some of the more technically advanced Gamecube games. Even so the graphics do capture the cartoon's look rather nicely. A finer point is Batman's cape, which is amazing to see in action, as it flows rather realistically (the cape even has its own artificial intelligence!).
score: 6/10

Remarkably Ubisoft has managed to get all the voice-actors from the animated series to play the voices of the characters in BV. This includes John Hamilton (Luke Skywalker of Star Wars fame) as the Joker. Other than the outstanding voice work, the rest of the music and sounds are rather mediocre.
Score: 7/10

BV recreates the Batman experience flawlessly. You'll often find your self using the various gadgets to defeat badguys all the while progressing stage to stage. The Bat-Gadgets are all represented in BV. Everything from Batman's Bat-Grapple, to his trademark Bat-arangs are a blast to use. Most of them are used via a first-person aiming mode. The aiming mode really helps as it often feels that your using said item through Batman's eyes.

The boss battles are intense. Unlike most games, the boss battles in BV are really an exercise in problem solving than anything else. The bosses are puzzles themselves.

A couple major downsides become known rather quickly in BV. The platform jumping in the game is a chore most of the time as many times you'll miss a platform and die. This is mostly attributed to the clunky camera.

Another problem lies in the driving and shooting levels. These levels are sorta minigames that were used to break up the action. While sometimes clever, these levels are excruciatingly hard, and will probably turn most away from BV. Though more experienced players won't have much to worry about. The ''puzzles'' on the other hand are painfully simplistic and present almost no challenge what so ever.
Score: 8/10

Lasting Appeal:
The game's length is one of the biggest concerns. There’s six main levels broken down into smaller ''parts'' the game is kinda short. Most will finish it within a week. After the main game is finished there is almost no reason to play again.
Score: 5/10

Batman Vengeance isn't a revolutionary game. As a Batman Game though, it completes what it set out to do. Batman Vengeance is a game that no Batman fan should be without.

Final Score: 7/10 (rent first, buy later)

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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