99: Batman

Genre: Platformer

Developer: Sunsoft
Publisher: Sunsoft
Year: 1990

Basic Idea:  Somewhat based on the Keaton/Nicholson movie, you go around Gotham killing baddies armed with several types of weapons and a wall-jump.

Review: I’ve known several people who insist this game is awesome, so I’ve given it a shot several times.  The graphics are top-notch and the music ain’t bad either.  The weapon choices rock as well.  But when on the first level of the game I continually fall into pits and crash right into enemies, I have a hard time mustering the strength to keep going.  It also ain’t just because the level design is difficult.  Batman’s jumping ability (and its responsiveness on the controller) leaves a bit to be desired.  The one thing I can say is that the game gives you unlimited continues, so if you’re good enough to get through a stage on three lives, at least you never have to start from the beginning.

Why is the game ranked #99 despite the tepid review?  Well, it does have some positives going for it.  Mainly, though, I had a hard time filling out my top 100.  I played many, many, many games trying to fill it out, and many of them couldn’t make the cut either.  So I thought I’d give the final two spots to two classic games that I don’t personally love but I can see why others do.  The remaining 98 games are all ones I do get enjoyment out of playing.

6 thoughts on “99: Batman”

  1. I’m with you all the way on this one. It looks great and has tons of potential, but the responsiveness was a killer. Still, it gets the title of least terrible Batman game until Arkham Asylum was released and blew it out of the water.

    I know some folks who swear by this game’s awesomeness too, but I’m guessing without the license, this game would barely be on their radar.

    1. I wonder if it’s because so many licensed games were utter garbage (LJN!) that people were delighted to see one that wasn’t a complete failure.

  2. I want to characterize this game as a combination of Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania (maybe some Mega Man thrown in), with the difficulty of Gradius. Yes, the awkward jumping (and hit pushback) of Castlevania is retained. Unlike most of my friends, I owned this game as a kid and played it ALOT. There was a Video Power episode where they played a song from this game and I recognized it when the contestant did not. This game has a pretty brutal difficulty – I think I got to the Joker once ever. The music is awesome for NES standards for sure.

    I speak through heavy nostalgia, but I thought this game was pretty fun and I would definitely play it over most of the more popular NES games any day. If you loved the Michael Keaton Batman films, this game is up your alley. The ambiance of the game is similar to the films.

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