Holy video games, Batfans: it’s this week’s Retro Game of the Week!
In honor of Batman: Arkham Origins grapple swinging it’s way onto Wii U, Xbox 360, and PS3 last week, I thought I would dedicate this week’s retro game to my personal favorite Batman game. Based on the insanely popular animated series that every child from my generation should remember, The Adventures of Batman and Robin for the Super Nintendo arrived to gamer’s sweaty hands in 1994. Released by Konami, this side scrolling beat-em up tasked players with donning the cape, cowl, and utility belt of Batman to battle classic foes such as Joker, Two-Face, Penguin, and even Man-Bat. Though often gamer’s should be wary of licensed tie-in games based on movies or TV shows, this classic stands out as a gem among the SNES library.
The graphics and music all follow the style of the animated cartoon remarkably closely, and all of the sprites appear as faithful re-creations from the hit show. Each level shares inspiration from an episode from the series, complete with boss fights and plenty of goons to beat up. Before each level, Alfred Pennyworth gives a run-down of the situation Batman is about to walk into, and Batman (from the batmobile) selects which gadgets he wants to carry into battle with him. It is up to the player, except on certain levels where harming people isn’t allowed, to decide which of Batman’s weapons to use in each level. Gas grenades, night vision goggles, and the standards like grappling hook and batarang are all available to the player. You will need these tools, as the foes facing you are relentless and the boss encounters require quick timing and reflexes.
The plethora of side-scrolling beat-em ups on the SNES can make finding the best game a hard choice. To be honest, if you stripped the Batman license from this game in might feel a little generic. The strength of this game doesn’t just manifest as the solid game-play mechanics though, it’s the faithful reproduction of one of the top cartoons from my generation. Konami worked to re-create the show in every aspect of the game that they could, and the result is a very rewarding experience for Batman fans. The Dark Knight has arguably had a mixed past with videogames, some being hits and others being… errmm.. garbage. The Arkam series has revitalized the Batman franchise though, providing a whole new generation access to the greatness that is the Batman. This SNES classic though, stands as one of the best Batman games from the 16-bit era, and should serve as a text-book example of how to do a cartoon licensed game right.
The game shouldn’t be hard to locate, it was received well by critics and fans alike leaving many of copies in circulation to find. If your a fan of side-scrolling beat-em ups, Batman, or just awesome SNES titles, you owe it to yourself to check out The Adventures of Batman and Robin for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.