NES – #47 – Batman: The Video Game

History:
My history with the game is simply that I remember seeing at just about every video store, and at the time grocery store, that I went to, and never brought it home. My history with Batman? Come on. Batman! As a child of the 90’s I grew up with the unquestionably best version of the Dark Knight. Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill practically defined my Saturday mornings, long before I actually knew the names behind the voices.

Expectation:
I think this is going to be one of the first skill checks for me. At only 5 stages I should be able to clear it within a few nights, but I’m not as fast as I used to be. That said, I’m excited to finally sink some time into a beat ’em up.

Pre-Game Thoughts:
Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na BATMAN!!!!!!


Night 1:

Finally. I find the game feels a lot like I was expecting it to, like most NES games in the genre felt. I also noticed right away how tight the jumping was, I had a lot of control, and I liked it. As I played through the first stage I started adapting to the game’s difficulty, which I would say is about middle of the road as far as NES games go, and every time I pulled off a tricky over the edge wall jump, or cleared a segment without taking damage, I felt really good about it. Likewise, with a couple notable exceptions, I never felt like the game was out to get. When I made a mistake, I knew it was my fault, and I did better the next time.

In my first sit down, before dinner, I made it to the first stage’s boss where I scored not one, but two game over screens! When I came back later in the night, I was able to blast through stage one, figure out the boss, and move on to stage two. I really liked the jumping parts in stages 2-1 and 2-2, but honestly stage 2-3 a bit out of place. The boss took a few tries, each one getting better, until he finally went down.

All About That Belt:

Throughout the night I found myself feeling a bit strange about how much I had to rely on my weapons, specifically the gun, because, Batman. I know that game mechanics are more important than “making sense” but I was hoping to be a bit more Batman and a bit less Contra. There were plenty of sections that I could get through with just my fists, but running out of ammo really puts you at a disadvantage in certain area, namely boss fights, and those stupid jumping enemies in stage three.

Speaking of stage three, that was my stopping point. The night was late and the frustration was setting in. These jumping… things, they looked like tiger people… I felt were a bit cheesy. Without a ranged weapon, I couldn’t take them down at all. After a couple game overs, and realizing tonight had become tomorrow, I decided to call it a night.


Night 2:

I take back all the nice things I said about this game. Screw this game. This game is unfair and stupid and I hate it!

,,,

I was able to blast through the first two stages, and found new love for the Batterang. I was also finally able to figure out how to deal with those jumping demon things, which made getting through stage three much more doing… until the cavern…

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Stupid, stupid cavern. It gets worse as you work your way up! I think I used four or five continues at this stage, only to completely cheese the boss at the end.

At least the next stage can’t be worse, right?

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@#$%

At this point I was throwing my controller, which meant it was about bed time. I did manage to make it to the boss at the end of this stage twice, the second time nearly taking it out. Nearly… That’s progress though, hopefully I’ll this beat by the end of the weekend.


Night 3:

Morning 3 actually! Saturday morning Batman video games, what could be more perfect? I grab some coffee and tear through the first three stages of the game. Stage 4  causes just as much frustration as it did the other night, but today I manage to get through it, and after just two attempts, the cube boss dies to my Batfists.

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Ugh, I really need a better way to take screenshots. Best solution I’ve found costs $170, but looks really slick… anyway… I literally spent two hours just playing through this one stage, over and over and over again. Stage 5 only has one platforming level, then two bosses back to back, the latter being the Joker. While it did feel good learning the stage and watching it go from borderline cheating to fairly manageable, the first boss at the end gave me a lot of trouble.

After several attempts, I manage to beat him, and the only reason I did so was because I accidentally landed on the sweet spot of the area, which caused him to simply jump back and forth while I shot at him!

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The following hour of gameplay consisted entirely of my getting shot, electrocuted and trampled by Jack Nicholson.

In the end, the Joker wins.


Conclusion:
I didn’t expect this game to be my first roadblock, but here it is. I tried, I really tried, and I have the callous on my thumb to prove it! I think I thoroughly played this game, and I enjoyed my time with it. That said, given the scope of this project, I don’t think I can afford to spend more than a few nights on action games, especially considering how my Squaresoft titles are in my near future.

I had a lot of fun with Batman: The Videogame, and it earns its spot on my shelf. My kid even took interest in, though it proved to still be too hard for, eventually prompting the “I can’t do it, you do it” response. What horrifies me is that in a few year I know she’s going pull it off the shelf and finish it in 30 minutes…

Play it Again?
Definitely. Not beating this game will bother me for a while I’m sure. Some dark, stormy night, I’m going to look over at the NES and say, hey, tonight I’m gonna beat Batman!

NES-Batman

One comment on “NES – #47 – Batman: The Video Game

  1. Pingback: NES Retrospective 50 – 41 | 600 Games

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