Review by pushon10

Reviewed: 05/08/12

Batman Vengeance: an under-rated gem

Batman: Vengeance Review

Background
Let us return to autumn 2001. These were the days before good Batman games e.g. ‘Arkham city.’ These were the days when just about every Batman game was abysmal after 1992’s successful ‘Batman Returns’ and gamers everywhere were forced to take refuge in their SNES or NES Batman games, even after almost a decade. However, Ubisoft broke the sequence of poor Batman games in November 2001 with the release of ‘Batman Vengeance’ based on the Emmy award-winning animated series. This was released on the Xbox, GameCube and Playstation 2, but I have only played the latter, therefore I will review the Ps2 version.

Story
The Joker is terrorising a woman named Mary and Batman is forced to protect her. The dark knight then faces off with Joker atop Gotham Bridge and almost knocks him off it. Batman tries to save his enemy, but he gives him an electric shock and falls to his demise, but is he really dead? It’s up to you to find out as you battle your way through five diverse environments.

Gameplay
For the most part, this game is a third-person action adventure with platforming, combat and puzzles fused in. The combat itself is a huge step up from the terrible ‘Batman and robin’ game, based on the most insulting Batman film ever. There is wide range of punches and kicks in Batman Vengeance and some tremendous super moves as well. My personal favourite is ‘Lights out’ which is where Batman somersaults over his enemy numerous times, before unleashing a powerful uppercut on the poor bastard’s jaw. There are vehicle levels too where you take control of the Batmobile or the Batplane. I personally don’t like vehicle levels in any game, but these ones will satisfy anyone who likes them. Gadgets play a large part too and Batman has plenty of them here. Batarangs can be thrown at enemies to disarm them and the batgrapple is super fun to use as it really makes you feel like Batman. There are also stunners, remote charges and nets available for use.

Graphics
Many Arkham city players looking at this game might say something ignorant like ‘these graphics are so bad!’ but I still think they are fantastic for its time. Batman himself looks awesome as his cape flows around nicely and his suit is a cool design. Batman vengeance is meant to make you feel like you’re playing the cartoon and it certainly does a good job of that.

Sound
Batman Vengeance sounds brilliant too as the main cast from the show reprise their roles. Mark Hamill is at his best as the Joker again and Kevin Conroy portrays the caped crusader superbly, way better than Christian Bale’s idiotic growl. Best of all, thugs let out ear-piercing screams after Batman beats them up and the super villains bellow out some epic lines in boss battles.

Bad aspect
There are few major flaws, but one I pet peeve I have about this game is probably not one anyone else has and that is Batman’s lack of agility. In the cartoon, Batman would perform millions of dazzling acrobatic moves, but in this there is only one and that’s a combat move. He cannot double jump in this game which makes platforming a pain in the arse and controlling him does not feel as fluid as it should. Another flaw is you cannot control the camera manually which is slightly annoying as this makes looking around a real chore.

Good Aspect
Pretty much every level is a whole lot of fun as there are lots of richly detailed environments from the rooftops to the chemical plant. The boss fights are absorbing and the battles against lowly henchmen are exciting and you never seem to use the same attacks over and over again. It is a good thing that there is a level select option after you beat the game. The voice acting is terrific and using Batman’s gadgets has never been so easy in a video game before.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Batman: Vengeance (EU, 11/09/01)

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