Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (GBA)

As title screens go it's not bad and the music's alright. Though it sounds more like it was meant for a Batman Beyond game.

I just hope this turns out better than Batman: Vengeance, the last GBA Batman game I played.

Excellent, he's a proper drawn Batman in this game, not 3d rendered like in Vengeance. The art looks perfect to me, like it's straight out of the cartoon.

This guy must be Sin Tzu. I don't know anything about him except that he has unusually sharp fingers and he's very angry about something.

The game has a level select, which is definitely appreciated, plus a time trial mode and some kind of GameCube connection feature. For people that love Batman so much they've bought the game on two systems I guess.

So that's Sin Tzu's gimmick then? He follows the writings of Sun Tzu, but he's SIN Tzu, so he uses them for evil?

Is it a metaphorical image of the villain looming over the city, or is he just looking down at a tiny model city he keeps in his attic? There's a big blue prize ribbon stuck to one of the buildings, so I'm guessing it's the latter.

Straight away this looks much better than Batman: Vengeance. The animation on Batman himself is excellent, and the music is much better quality.

The combat works well too, there's punches, high kicks, leg sweeps, batarang throws... except that it seems to take forever to knock anyone out. I'm sure that just took 5 hits.

I wish to complain about Batman's cape. It is clearly too thin at the neck and looks ridiculous.

I love his climbing animations though. He doesn't just step onto the ladder, he jumps onto the ladder. He's a very agile, graceful Batman.

Here, have a batarang! Don't worry about giving it back, it'll return on its own.

I'm not sure this is actually hurting him, it just knocks him down for a second or two. But then I can pick him up off the ground and throw him off the ledge.

Crap, that was a running jump! Do I have to make a pixel perfect leap for him to grab on the the ledge?

Hey, this guy dropped a keycard! And the door just swings open automatically. It knows the Batman's coming and it don't want any trouble.

Son of a BITCH! If I fall down a bottomless pit I just reappear at the start of the level, but it's a pain in the ass getting back here each time I screw up, and I was sure I was at the edge of the roof when I made the jump this time.

I missed the jump again, and landed down here, but I can't find any way to get back without jumping off the building.

At least it's a chance for me to show off his excellent running animation.

Batman falls into a void of despair, lit by a single spotlight. Does he give up here, so close to the start, or does he rise from this temporary set back and save the day?

He gives up. Because I'm going to go to Tutorial mode and learn how to play this game properly before I jump that gap again. It's okay, the game's got passwords, I can get back here.

Jump... and glide. I'm a total idiot, why did I never think to try that?

Some days you just can't get rid of a box.

A call from Commissioner Gordon... on my video phone! Wait, if he's got this why does he ever use the bat signal?
This level has lots of timed switch runs. I have to clear out the enemies, pull the lever...

...and then make a run for the gate before it closes. It's starting to get a little old now.

Though he does look cool, jumping down ladder after ladder, racing to get to the next door.

Batman can actually take out enemies quite fast if I use combo attacks, but unfortunately I'm terrible at it. I can rarely ever get the timing right.

There's a number of stages for each level, and the map screen doesn't actually let you choose to play them individually, but they're pretty small so it's not much of a problem.

I just wanted an excuse to show I'm actually making progress now.

I saw the hook, immediately realised what it was for... then tried to glide jump it anyway.

And then I picked myself up off the sidewalk, restarted the level, and did it properly.

These guys are a pain in the ass compared to the regular goons. Those guys are only a threat if I get surrounded. But these ones keep stunning me with these gas grenades, then start beating the crap out of me when I'm defenceless. And it's annoying.

I did actually win this fight though, and made it through the door. Then on the next level I was almost immediately killed by a falling box, which I thought was a good place to stop playing.

This is actually a much better game than I was expecting, and definitely more entertaining than Batman: Vengeance. Plus it looks a lot better. When I figured out what I was doing I was able to get around the levels very quickly and even started to find ways to get rid of enemies at a tolerable pace.

It's not a great game, but to be honest I kinda like it. So it gets the shiny gold award for competence.

Other Batman games on GBA:
2001 - Batman Vengeance
2005 - Batman Begins


  1. Thanks for the review.

    You gave this game the gold star, but you forgot to put the gold star in the labels so that clicking on your gold star label will include this game.


Semi-Random Game Box