Batman Returns - The Atari Times
This Batman sequel appeared on the Lynx first!
by Dan LoosenDecember 21, 2004
for the Lynx is one
of the most underrated platformers for this system. The game is
extremely challenging, starting you with only one life and when you die,
the game is over. On the other hand, if the Penguin really managed to
kill Batman, you wouldn't expect him to pop back up a few seconds later
and continue the fight. The control is dead-on, and being the caped
crusader has rarely ever been so much fun. You even get to control many
of Batman's signature gadgets.
The graphics in this title are just like the movie of the same name --
Dark and foreboding... but so is the entire Gotham universe. When Burton
was making these films, he really pegged the "feel" of Gotham and made
the story a lot better because of the creepy atmospheres that they were
set it. It almost felt as if Batman belonged there. Same thing with the
game. Batman belongs here in the dark streets to clean up the crime that
is going on. Unfortunately, some of the enemies don't seem like they
should be there. Namely, there are these weird Native American
headdress-wearing knife throwing girls that pop out and look more like
they came from Pocahontas and decided that it was time to take on
Batman... but only after visiting the great plains to get headdresses.
The other problem with the enemies is that they are barely animated. It
doesn't take away from the overall game, but when they only have a few
frames of animation, they look kinda clunky.
The sounds are good, although I have heard the original Batman theme so
much that this seems to be extremely watered down to me. For the
hardware running it, I can't make any complaints.
The gameplay is a love it or hate it type of gameplay. Personally, I
love it... Mostly. The challenge is intense, but every time you play the
game you get a little further in the game. The problem is with a few of
the later levels, you have to make jumps from one ledge to another.
These jumps are very precise, and if there is an enemy on the other
side, they can knock you off the ledge before you can do anything about
it. With no extra lives, this makes the game too tough in the later
levels. Had these jumps been taken out, I would have adored this game
even more than I already do, and I would probably play through it every
once in a while just because I love the Batman theme and there really
aren't many (any?) games that do this license justice. This is one of
the best Batman titles, and it is a great platformer as long as you
don't suffer from the cheap-deaths of the upper levels.
Why is this game so blinking hard?! How about giving the player three lives instead of just the one?! Has anyone actually beaten this on a real Lynx?
You guys are prety hard on this game. I remeber back in the day they said that they were not allowed to send it to reviewers because they feared that the game to closely resembled the movie and that if it was revilled then it would ruin the movie for millions. Also, the Batcraze was still pretty big leading into this movie. This was one of the better promotions they ran durring the Lynx run.
Well, TAT now allows multiple reviews for the same game, so you can write your OWN review if you wish, and grant it more praise!
I got this game included when I bought my Lynx II back in the early 90s. I'm not sure why the graphics and sound get 60 and 50 respectively. You have to judge it against what else was available at the time and no GameBoy game came close to looking this good. Heck, even the Gameboy color which was released years after the Lynx was discontinued didn't have graphics this good. The sound was fine.
I actually did beat it at least twice. The game was even harder for me as the AC adapter I used to use did not fit snugly in the socket, so you never knew when the unit was going to just power off because the adapter plug had fallen out.
[Spoilers] The first level was a cake walk after I worked out you had to hide behind the mailbox when the building exploded (that sort of interaction with background items was rare in a game in those days). The best way to kill penquin's duck vehicle was to stay on the ledge and throw batterangs. It was highly inefficient but you'd almost always got to level two where you could stack up on batterangs again fairly easily. The tough thing about the second level in my experience was not precise jumping but the police with shotguns. Enemies are everywhere and you have to keep moving or else you'll just get shot to pieces, but if a shotgun cop shoots you in the middle of a jump between two buildings you'd just go straight down and it's game over. Catwoman wasn't too hard as a boss - jump over her, run to the ledge and throw baterangs at here and repeat. I seems to recall you could quick kill her by getting her to jump off the building (you jump, she follows but you pull back) but maybe I'm not remembering right. The third level boss was insanely hard - the hardest in the game. The level itself was hard enough - penquins with seeking rockets, and dripping acid, but the final boss what just a swarm of them, like 200 you had to kill. Crazy. I can't remember the final level (it's getting too far back now and I probably only got to it 2 or 3 times) only that the final boss was penguin again and it was rather easy. If you can get to level 4 you're almost a shoe-in to finishing the game. Of course there's not spectacular ending - just a game over screen. [/spoilers]
There was also a cheat where you pressed each direction on the control pad 15 times or something (it'll be on the net somewhere) and you had near invincibility.