Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES)

Today I'm taking a look at the SNES version of The Adventures of Batman & Robin, because someone asked me nicely.

It's got the correct logo from the animated series, and it's playing the theme tune. So far so good. It's nice to see a password option too, though 'load game' would have been better.
Hey, it's got title cards just like the series, very classy. Though it looks like someone's taken an axe to the Joker's forehead.

It seems that the Joker's hijacked the airwaves for the 50 millionth time to brag about the latest nefarious scheme he's got going on. He tells Batman to get his ass down to Gotham City Amusement Park or else tomorrow will be a real 'scream'.

Well duh. And of course Batman replies with "I know. But I still have to go." I've watched enough TV and movies to know that's the only possible response to that line. Next he'll be telling the Joker that "you're insane" and "it ends tonight."

This is interesting, I wasn't expecting to have to select my equipment. Well I have no idea what I'll need, so I guess I'll do what Batman would do and just bring everything. No shark repellent though sadly. That stuff has more uses than you'd expect.

Whoa, that background is perfect. It looks almost like they scanned it in from the actual art used for the series. Batman's animation is pretty great too. Also authentic Batman music. Full marks so far.

That's weird, these cowardly and superstitious criminals don't seem scared of my bat costume. Still if they want to run face-first into my hammers of justice, then that's their problem.

Wow, this guy had the nerve to bring a tommy gun to my street brawl. Fortunately a single well aimed batarang was enough to disarm him, and stun him long enough for me to stroll up and kick him in the face.

Wait, why am I fighting these people anyway? Wasn't I supposed to be driving over to Gotham City Amusement Park to put the Joker back into hospital? I mean Arkham. Either works.

Sorry guys, I've no time for vigilante justice tonight. I've got some old fashioned heroics to take care of (ie, beating up a clown). But you carry on pointing guns at absolutely no one if that makes you happy. Just keep that shit away from any families walking down dark alleyways next to a cinema or I can't guarantee you'll ever walk again.

I thought this was side-scrolling beat 'em up after fighting the first few goons on the street, but it seems to be more of a platformer with punching. The enemies go down really fast, and aren't much of an issue at all.


Batman, she's the Joker's henchman, get her! She's standing right there, use one of your batarangs to knock her out! Put some bat-handcuffs on her! Tie her up! 

Or just let her walk away instead, that's fine too. Whatever.

Right, now it's given me back control I'll show them how it's done. The villain's standing right in front you and they're entirely defenceless? Throw some batarangs! Then we tie them up and question them.

Uh, it turns out that was actually a robot with machine gun hands. I completely fell for its cunning disguise. And then it completely fell when I finally got up close enough to kick out its knees.

Still, I didn't need another slice of life taken off, especially as I don't seem to get a refill between levels, and health pick-ups are incredibly rare.

Hey, it seems the Dark Knight's remembered some moves from his NES incarnation. I just pulled off a Ninja Gaiden style wall-jump.

And I've got a grappling hook! I love grappling hooks I do.

Not that way, you dumb fuck! I was swinging to the right and holding right on the d-pad, that should have been a clue to the game that I didn't want to jump left onto the spikes. I guess he turns around at the end of a swing, and that's the way he ends up going when he lets go.

Uh... what the fuck? Did The Joker build this, or was a giant robot toy soldier one of the attractions here? I suppose it is Gotham City's style to have a war-mech at a fairground.

Okay, this isn't a problem, I just need to find the right place to kick it.


I jumped up the gun, kicked it in the head, and sparks came out. Which would be great, except the sparks fell down and hurt me. I've already lost one life to this boss, so it'd probably be a smart move to get well away after every hit.

Awesome, the boss is down, and I've caught the Joker! Mission complete.

Go on then Batman, hit him with a batarang. Tie him up, knock him out, etc. He's right there man, do something! STOP LISTENING TO THE SUPER VILLAIN AND GET HIM.

Yes, Batman just let him walk off again. Now I've got to sit through more text. C'mon, skip it, I want to get this over with.

Actually Joker's decided to escape by standing on a roller coaster, so it seems like this is a problem that'll soon solve itself. These things have big metal restraints on them for a reason.

But Batman's an idiot, so of course he's got to catch the next train. Joker's throwing little bombs on parachutes so I've got to detonate them with my foot before they hit me and explode. I guess he's got more armour on his feet.

You know, this would make a great episode of Mythbusters.

AHA, caught up to the bastard! And there's no cutscene to stop me jumping over and beating the smile right off his face.

Of course I just fall right through his train and lose another life. One life left.

I replayed the entire level up to that point, and got knocked off by a bomb a few seconds later. Zero lives left.

Limited continues, how very... retro.

I chose to continue, and it dumped me back at the very start of the game. So I decided I might as well just reset and save a continue.


Whoa, when I got far enough on the roller coaster, the camera panned around to show the track from front view. It's a pretty impressive effect for a SNES game. This time I'm not going to make the mistake of jumping over to him though.

I'm still hitting his bombs, only this time I've got much less time to react.

For fuck's sake! One bomb's enough to knock me off the train? One single mistake? And of course it doesn't restart me back here, no I have replay the entire bloody roller coaster all over again, from the start.


I'm starting to think I need more practice hitting bombs. I'm really tempted to put this down to easy difficulty and get the two extra lives. But long ago I made a sacred oath to always play games for this site on their default difficulty, for whatever reason. Probably so I could compare them better or something, I dunno it was a long time ago.


This would be so much more bearable if you'd JUST STOP TALKING. Seriously, I've been through this dialogue five times now. They must be really trying to pad out their game.


I've done this so many times that's this is pitifully easy now. Duck down, kick the bombs that come close, that's it. Or if you can't be bothered looking at the screen, just duck and tap the kick button until it's finished.

What the fuck? How the hell did I manage to get him flying off in that direction? Actually you know what, I don't even care anymore. I'm turning this off.

I really want to like this game, it's faithful to the (excellent) source material, it's got solid gameplay, and it looks and sounds amazing. But having to replay the same few levels over and over again every few times I fuck up really isn't my idea of fun. I realise they need to pad out the game so it lasts a while, but they could have put in a level select and a time attack mode or something along those lines. Something to make me WANT to go through the level again.

The Genesis/Mega Drive, Game Gear and Sega CD actually got their own Adventures of Batman & Robin, and they all do their own thing. There's like four different games with the same title. I hate it when they do that, they could have at least throw some Super- and Mega- prefixes on them so I can tell them apart. Though now that I think about it, that would mean this'd end up being called Super Adventures of Batman & Robin...

1 comment:

  1. I played this about a year ago, didn't make it past the train thing


Semi-Random Game Box