At around the same time Batman Forever for the 16-bit systems was released by Acclaim (September 1995), the company also released an arcade machine programmed by Iguana (the 16-bit was programmed by Probe). Iguana has also made the several versions of NBA Jam. The game was very poor and the little success it had was because it was Batman.

Anyway, about a year later this game was released for Sega Saturn and Sony Playstation, in Christmas 1996. At that time Playstation had already some quality titles (like Resident Evil, Tekken 2), and a game that wasn't even decent had no hope. Since the arcade machine upon which this game was based was very poor, the port itself was deemed for doom. It went down history as one of the worst licensed games in video games and another failure for Acclaim. I could whine for hours about how bad this game is, but I will try to give a faithful description.

At first glance, someone would say that it is a Final Fight rip-off, like Batman Returns for SNES (1993). However, Final Fight (and Batman Returns) are godly compared to it. It has the pseudo-3D setting of the aforementioned games, with the character(s) moving ''in'' and ''out'' apart from left and right. Yes, it is a beat'em up as well, but doesn't have any of the redeeming features of Final Fight. Your character can kick or punch, and perform some ridiculously multiple combos (I have done a combo of 214 hits!). Only three buttons are used, one for punch, one for kick and one for jump. The combos are performed with a movement of the D-pad and the repeated pressing of the kick button. You collect some special offensive gadgets along the way (like batarangs and hooks), but there is no special button for them. You launch a gadget by pressing the punch button, until you have used up your supply.

As far as I remember, there are about 10 or 11 levels total, that follow very loosely the plot of the film. The obligatory Gotham City Streets level, the rooftops, the Subway Station, Two-Face's lair, Ritz Gotham, the Batcave and Claw Island.

There is also a two player mode, with the two players being able to pick even the same character, so you can see two Batmen fighting the thugs! (Ridiculous, isn't it?). Anyway, the too simplistic gameplay could be even forgiven if the control was responsive. However, batman and Robin are very slow while the enemies very fast and powerful. If a thug starts a combo on one of the players it is almost guaranteed that one ''1-up'' will be lost instantly. Since the control is poor and the enemies fast, there is no time to plan your moves (like in Final Fight), and all you have to do in order to defeat the enemies is to perform combos all the time and power-up as often as possible. Power-up is required to perform multi-hit combos. Another bad thing is the total absence of any special levels with the player in control of a bat-vehicle. What the fuck, would a batmobile stage be soooo much to program?

Well, as you can see the game is not very fun. And the graphics aren't better either. There are some cool-drawn elements, some nice stages (there are some backgrounds from the film that look nice, like Two-Face's Lair and the Batcave) and the batmobile itself (it only appears two times). However, the sprites themselves are some of the worst I have ever seen. Batman, Robin, The Riddler, Two-Face and the rest of the characters look totally horrible, as you can see from the pictures. Blocky, pixelated with anything but fluid animation. The backgrounds are decent, but the hideous sprites and movable objects in general make the game an eyesore. There is still a nice element in the graphics.

The player select screen! There are two beautifully rendered images for Batman and Robin, obviously modelled after the film actors (Val Kilmer as Batman and Chris o'Donnel as Robin). The sound is not great, but a lot better than the graphics. There's some decent music that fits to an action game and some cool SFX and sampled voices. But the decent sound cannot save this game.

All in all, this game is dreadful. A real disgrace to the Batman license. It looks poor and it plays awful. If you don't like Batman you don't need to see it, and if you do just see it for as cheap as possible to find-out by yourselves what a shameless cash-in it actually is.

The pictures below are taken from the bleem! Emulator, and they are trimmed but not resized, so they show the game in its native resolution.

Stage 1: Gotham City Streets

Two-Face's Lair

The Batcave

The Riddler in the batcave.

Claw Island: The Riddler's Lair

Final Boss: Two-Face