The Retro Critic


And so to end my 1MoreCastle Batman trilogy, I thought I’d take a look at a game that infuriated me to no end back in the day. I’m talking, of course, about Batman Forever on the Sega Genesis.

Bear in mind that I played this game at a time when I still thought Batman Forever was a solid, actually really good Batman movie.

I was a Jim Carrey fan, ok? Sue me.

Playing Forever for the first time, I gotta admit I didn’t mind it that much. I hadn’t really seen characters with that type of “realistic” motion in a game before and I was pretty impressed. I liked the idea of picking up riddles and going through Arkham Asylum kicking butt. I liked the music, the characters and… I kinda liked the game.

Then I played it more…

Those controls were UNGODLY. Why was it such a nightmare just to shoot a cable right above you? It took me ages to even realise I could go up the ceiling and reach the upper levels! And when I finally did, I just couldn’t do it. Turns out you had to be right in the middle of that barely visible gap for it to work. Super annoying. Your vision was constantly blocked by those overlays which looked ok and gave the game some kind of depth I guess but which were incredibly distracting whenever you had to see something specific and focus on a particular action.

Then I started thinking…

Do we need to name every single thug in this game? Is that necessary?

Hi “Mad Paul,” I’m Batman!


Then I got stuck…

Grrr, I just want to get to The Riddler and punch his face in. I can’t fight on limited platforms with controls as broken as these! It was one thing walking past a level from one side to the other but eventually, this game becomes barely playable!

Then I played Mortal Kombat again…

I had never really played Kombat properly even though all my friends growing up were going nuts about fatalities, etc. I was more of a Street Fighter II kid myself. So playing it after Batman Forever was crazily odd. It all made sense now! Why would you steal visuals and controls from a straight-up fighting game and adapt it to a side-scrolling adventure?

No wonder I couldn’t get through this game! I was playing a game within another, vastly different type of game!  It’s like if you took the controls and the character animation from Street Fighter II and adapted it to a Tomb Raider game.

Yeah, good luck with THAT.

This really was a flawed attempt and although I enjoyed playing parts of it because it did capture the mood, charm and look of Joel Schumacher’s film, overall it was a bit of a pain in the back to get used to some of the most awkward controls out there. It felt like the game deserved better, it felt like WE deserved better. The way it ends is also nonsense. For one thing, it looks like you’re making out with your main villains…

Riddle me THAT!

Two tongues! Fantastic!


But also feast your eyes on THIS, my friends:

Yes. This game has officially become Earthworm Jim.


The Super Nintendo version was about the same type of thing, with slightly more polished music but even playing that one you felt like this game should really have been a Batman fighting game. That would have been great! Fine, steal the Mortal Kombat controls if you must, but use them to make Mortal KomBatman or something! You get to choose between Adam West, Michael Keaton and Val Kilmer and fight every Bat-villain around Kombat-style. Replace the fatalities with something a bit goofier and you’ve got yourself a pretty darn fun guilty pleasure of a game!

But no. Like the film itself, Batman Forever the game was a bit of a let-down. Not the worst but certainly one of the most infuriating Batman games around.

Still, it could have been worse. There could have been a version of it on the Game Boy…

Oh man…

This is a joke, right? You did NOT just adapt the exact same game to a portable console without making the controls at least suited to it…

Hm, what should I go for?

Option 1: grey blur?

Or option 2: grey blur?

I’ll take another game, thank you very much.