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Produced by Sunsoft in 1990 this game is, of course, based on the classic first Batman film with Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight and Jack Nicholson as the Clown Prince of Crime. Although the game is not excellent, it manages somehow to capture the spirit of the film and has some great moments. In my opinion, it's the best Batman game on Sega Genesis, much more enjoyable than The Adventures of Batman & Robin. The game was released in 1990 in Japan, in 1991 in US and just in 1992 in Europe (almost at the same time Batman Returns was released).

GRAPHICS: The graphics in the platform levels are above average. The sprites are small but nice with decent animation. Some of the backgrounds are very good and remind me of the film's scenery, like the streets of Gotham, the museum with the paintings and, of course, the cathedral. In the shooting levels, however, the graphics are better than most shooting games I have seen in Genesis. Batwing's sprite in particular is amazing. The backgrounds in these levels are rich and detailed, as well as the sprites of the enemy vehicles.

SOUND: Although the music has nothing to do with the film's soundtrack, the rockin' tracks of the game are fantastic, especially the one of the first stage and the one in the museum, and the one in the shooting stages. The sound effects are not remarkable but they do their job fine. It is a pity that there is not a sampled voice for Joker's laughing. All in all, the sound is better than the graphics.

GAMEPLAY: Fun. Simple. Varied. These words better describe Batman. There are 6 levels total, divided in 4 platform levels and 2 shooting levels. Batman will fight his way through the streets of Gotham, Axis chemical plant and Flugelheim museum to reach his goal, the final showdown with the Joker at the Gotham Cathedral. The platform levels are simple but fun. Batman can punch or kick his enemies, or he can throw batarangs. He can also use his grappling hook to reach higher platforms. A nice addition to the game is the inclusion of shooting levels. There are two, one with the Batmobile and one with the Batwing. Especially the one with the Batwing is fantastic! All in all, the game is fun to play.

OVERALL: This game by the standards of 1990 is very good. Perhaps the people in Acclaim should have played this game before making Batman Forever, which is much worse although it (supposedly) used higher technology (giggles). Anyway, this is one of the few Genesis games of the pre-Sonic era that can still be played today and be fun. I recommend it not only for Batman fans but also for all who want to play a simple and good platform game.

Level 1: Gotham City Streets

Level 2: Axis Chemicals

Level 3: Flugelheim Museum

Level 3: Boss

Level 4: Batmobile

Level 5: Gotham City Strests

Level 6: Batwing

Level 7: The Cathedral

Final Confrontation: The Joker