Batman on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – Greatest Video Games Ever

Oh nice. A Batman video game. I'm sure it sucks like all the other movies turned into games. Anyone remember Total Recall? All you did in that game was fight pink midgets in alleys.
Oh nice. A Batman video game. I'm sure it sucks like all the other movies turned into games. Anyone remember Total Recall? All you did in that game was fight pink midgets in alleys.

Rushed Out After Tim Burton's Movie Became a Success

When Time Burton’s 1989 Batman feature hit movie theatres, you just knew there was going to be a game coming somewhere. Sunsoft coded this game to meet demand, and boy does it sparkle. It’s probably one of the more underrated NES classics. Most people consider it to be tad on the difficult side, and you know, they’re right. This game kicks your ass, but it’s a sort of kick in the ass that feels okay. This ain’t your Silver Surfer brand of hard.

Silver Surfer was just ridiculous. Way to ruin a superhero forever, game designers!

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The music in this game is so amazing - it's like a swift kick in the buttocks. I mean you feel like you need to sit down because it's so good. It should be on oldies radio stations.
The music in this game is so amazing - it's like a swift kick in the buttocks. I mean you feel like you need to sit down because it's so good. It should be on oldies radio stations.

Kick Butt!

Like all Sunsoft games from this era, the music was totally butt kicking. It was literally like the game pulled down your pants and spanked you hard. The eventuall object of the game was to take out the Joker, just like in the movie. However, that was basically most of what the game had to do with the movie. The look of the game is very film noir-esque though, which fit perfectly with the Batman franchise. It felt very much like you were really in Gotham city beating ass on criminals. I mean yeah, they tried to adapt the movie - but mostly it was just a rushed out platformer with a hint of the movie thrown in.

There was tons of platform jumping in this game, which could be very tiresome for some players. For other players, this was actually pretty exciting. Maneuvering around the world was a more interesting concept than merely pounding bad guys.
There was tons of platform jumping in this game, which could be very tiresome for some players. For other players, this was actually pretty exciting. Maneuvering around the world was a more interesting concept than merely pounding bad guys.

Batman had the ability to jump off of walls just like Ryu from Ninja Gaiden. That was pretty nifty. There was a crap ton of hard platforming in this game though, which could get very frustrating at times. Not so bad though, since this game has very well programmed physics. The controller response is superb. Batman has a bunch of projectile weapons in this NES game, which is useful.

The entire game basically takes its cue from the end of Tim Burton’s movie. The big festival has ended, and Batman has foiled the Joker’s nerve gas attack. Batman has to race up to the top of Gotham Cathedral in order to confront his arch enemy. Of course, unlike in the movie, the caped crusader has to basically run around a lot of Gotham City just to get there. Oh well.

In the movie he just walked over to the Cathedral and went up, he didn't have to run his pants off through chemical plants...

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Getting to the final battle with the Joker was a triumph, let me tell you. This game had 5 zones with 13 stages that were all pretty hard. Unlike many games, this game started hard and got harder!
Getting to the final battle with the Joker was a triumph, let me tell you. This game had 5 zones with 13 stages that were all pretty hard. Unlike many games, this game started hard and got harder!

Finally, a Good Movie Adaption (Even if It Isn't Faithful Enough)

It’s interesting to note that Batman is one of the few NES movie adaptions that fared well. Games like Total Recall and Friday the 13th were a complete joke, and other superhero franchises like X-men were equally terrible. Sunsoft’s Batman video game stands as one of the very few outstanding movie adaptions.

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I still remember finding out from my friends that there was a good Batman game, and it wasn’t a disappointment like the other games had been. The game was so good that we didn’t mind how it unmercifully pulled down our pants and spanked us over and over. We were willing to slug through it, very slowly. That's the mark of a quality game - hard enough to challenge you for a long time, but good enough to keep you coming back for more.

This game is one of the best Nintendo games out there. I still like to fire it up from time to time. Last time I did, I barely made it through the first level. You really have to build up skill in order to take on this game.

Do You Think Sunsoft's Batman Video Game Is an NES Classic?

  • Yes, it is.
  • It's an okay game for sure, but no classic.
  • It's a terrible game in general.
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