Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

The place to discuss all your favourite non-Arkhamverse Batman games! Injustice! LEGO Batman! Dark Tomorrow?

Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby Mr. E » Jun 12th, 2013, 3:24 pm

Today, we marvel at the open-world environments of the Arkham games. But how many people know that Arkham City was NOT the first attempt at a sandbox Gotham City?

Batman & Robin was an ambitious title when it was released in 1998, and contained many concepts that have been implemented into the Arkham games. Even a few that still haven't.

The plot of the game mostly followed that of the movie, and all of the major sequences in the film were recreated for the game. The game took place over the span of three eight-hour nights, and the clock progressed in real-time.

The most notable thing about the game is the rather enormous map of Gotham City, which you were free to explore at your own whim, and encompassed just about all of your favorite Gotham landmarks and haunts, including Arkham Asylum, the Gotham History Museum, the GCPD building, Snowy Cones Ice Cream Factory, Wayne Manor and the Batcave, all of which were designed to appear just as they did in the film. There are also many locations that did not appear in the film, such as Axis Chemicals. The map also showed the locations of buildings, and allowed you to place a navigational marker on them that would guide you to that location (something that Grand Theft Auto didn't even do until San Andreas).

Each district of Gotham had it's own look and feel (although none of them have quite as much neon as the film does). The shopping districts featured restaurants, clothing stores and nightclubs. The business districts had much larger buildings than the other districts, with towering skyscrapers and high-rises. The slums were littered with trash and steaming sewer grates, and many of the buildings had boarded windows and doors. Wayne Manor was isolated from the rest of the city, surrounded by forest and neighboring estates.

You could traverse these areas either on foot or in your vehicle, which had a remote control that allowed you to call it from any distance, much like the scene in Batman 1989.

Image
"Stahp."

You could choose between any of the three heroes in the film, each with their own abilities and vehicle. You were never forced to play as a certain character throughout the game, you could choose a different one at any time. This was done in the Batcave, which also featured training courses for the game's many features, including combat and swimming (swimming!)

Image

Also in the Batcave was the ostentatious Batcomputer, which you would use to analyze clues found at crime scenes. You would then use the Batcomputer's analysis to deduce the location of the next crime, hopefully arriving there before it occurred. Some of the clues were pieces of flyers or posters for a jewelry store or a diamond exhibit, some were notes with telephone numbers or addresses that you could cross-reference with the Gotham City phonebook or map, some were recorded messages from the answering machines of various stores and factories, and some were even 3D objects that could be rotated and viewed from different angles, a la Resident Evil.

Image

Another cool little detail was being able to watch your vehicle rise up on the giant turntable in a cinematic sequence, just as it did in the film.

Unfortunately, this is where the positive aspects of the game end.

The backgrounds and buildings, while varying from area to area, often repeated themselves within that area, making it a little too easy to get lost. Luckily, you had a map with the aforementioned GPS, so...there's that.

But it gets worse. The control scheme was designed by either a complete moron or a total sadist. Moving was sluggish and tedious, fighting was imprecise and hit-or-miss (usually miss), and perhaps worst of all, you had to toggle between walking and running, as well as between fighting and detecting, meaning that at any time, you could be jumped by a gang of thugs and beaten unmercifully to death, all because someone thought it was a good idea to have two sets of controls for fighting and not fighting, rather than just having one button for attacks and one button for interacting with objects. So easy, so simple, and yet too advanced for the geniuses at Acclaim.

But even if you got the toggling down pat, it was best to avoid a fight at all costs. There was no ability to target your enemies, so you would usually find yourself punching at the air, while your opponent ruthlessly pummeled you. It's also worth mentioning that while fighting, you are completely glued to the floor, preventing you from dodging or strafing or doing anything other than get your arse kicked. You could try to rotate your character to better face your attacker, but since your character turned with all the speed of an oscillating fan, this was not much help. In a way, I suppose it was like being Batman, or rather one of the actors in the old Batsuits, which were stiff and allowed for very limited mobility. The game's fighting certainly reflects this.

The camera, like most games of the era, was actually detrimental to your progress. Oh, sure, it worked fine when you were out on the streets, in open areas, but when you were inside a building, it seemed to become indecisive as to exactly where it wanted to go, especially if you were fighting, and especially if you were fighting in a narrow corridor. Remember the confusing shaky-cam fight scenes from Batman Begins (the film's only major flaw, in my opinion)? Of course you do. Now, imagine watching those on a TV that was being jostled around like someone erasing an Etch-a-Sketch, and you'll have somewhat of an idea what I'm talking about.

The gadgets you had ranged from irrelevant to completely useless. You had multiple Batarangs of various functions, such as explosive and freezing, but without the ability to aim, you would often just throw them at the walls. And even if you actually managed to achieve the miracle of making contact with you target, you'd find that the gadgets did even less damage than your hands, so were better off just punching and kicking at random.

Notably (and criminally) absent from Batman's arsenal was the grappling hook. Batman's oldest and most iconic gadget. Yep, that clunky old thing wasn't good enough for the geniuses at Acclaim, so they instead gave him Rocket Boots. That's not a typo. Batman had f :riddler: king rocket boots. I'm not exactly sure of when Bruce Wayne broke into Tony Stark's lab, but since the boots only allowed for strictly vertical movement, AND NOTHING ELSE, I would surmise that it was sometime long before Tony had perfected them.

Image
"The joke's on him, those were a crappy beta version."

Overall, the game was a mixture of brilliant ideas that were horribly executed. Which is somewhat angering, considering that, in many ways, the game was the first of it's kind. Nobody had ever attempted a three-dimensional sandbox game, especially with a licensed character. Originally intended to coincide with the release of the film, it was delayed numerous times, eventually being released more than a year after the film. It's sad that it falls flat on it's face, because it actually has a lot of depth and interactivity. Analyzing clues in the Batcomputer is fun and engaging, and requires you to think. Unfortunately, the rest of the game is so counter-intuitive that it makes your brain hurt, and prevents you from thinking about anything other than savage murder.

If you're really interested in seeing what happens when great concepts are ruined by terrible programming, pick up a copy. I'm sure you can find one for no more than the change in your pocket. However, anyone who's not interested in giving themselves a migraine may want to steer clear of it, because despite it's many ambitions, it really is an abysmal game.

But it's still better than the movie... :lol:
Image
I'm the beginning of end, the end of time and space. Essential to creation, I surround every place.
User avatar
Mr. E
..........
..........
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Apr 29th, 2013, 5:31 am
Favourite Villain: All of them
Favourite Graphic Novel: Knightfall

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby Harvey Bullock » Jun 12th, 2013, 9:05 pm

This was a great write up! Certainly a game that never reached its full potential it seems.
Image
User avatar
Harvey Bullock
...............
...............
 
Posts: 5030
Joined: Aug 13th, 2011, 9:03 am
Location: UK
Favourite Villain: Ra's al Ghul
Favourite Graphic Novel: DC: The New Frontier

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby johnsyggel » Jun 12th, 2013, 11:12 pm

Batman had rocket boots in Batman Forever video game,developped by Probe and Acclaim.It was a try to imitate that scene from the film,if you remember which one i mean.Robin had a pair of those boots,too.
When the mugger or the thief stops to think twice,that is fear.That is what I am.Tonight will not be my end,but it will be theirs!
User avatar
johnsyggel
..............
..............
 
Posts: 2136
Joined: Mar 26th, 2011, 3:20 pm
Location: Greece
Favourite Villain: Joker
Favourite Graphic Novel: The killing joke

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby Mr. E » Jun 13th, 2013, 1:36 am

I remember the rocket boots in the Batman Forever game for the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo, but not the scene in the movie.

But even the Batman Forever game (which I thought was actually great, despite it's many terrible reviews) had a grappling hook. And the rocket boots propelled you forward into your enemy, so they at least served some sort of purpose... :lol:

-- Jun 12th, 2013, 7:39 pm --

Oh, wait, are you referring to the scene towards the end, on Claw Island, when Batman's in the giant elevator shaft? I always thought those were blowtorch boots. I guess he figured at some point, he'd need to weld something with his feet! :lol:
Image
I'm the beginning of end, the end of time and space. Essential to creation, I surround every place.
User avatar
Mr. E
..........
..........
 
Posts: 308
Joined: Apr 29th, 2013, 5:31 am
Favourite Villain: All of them
Favourite Graphic Novel: Knightfall

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby johnsyggel » Jun 13th, 2013, 1:34 pm

Mr. E wrote:I remember the rocket boots in the Batman Forever game for the Sega Genesis and the Super Nintendo, but not the scene in the movie.

But even the Batman Forever game (which I thought was actually great, despite it's many terrible reviews) had a grappling hook. And the rocket boots propelled you forward into your enemy, so they at least served some sort of purpose... :lol:

-- Jun 12th, 2013, 7:39 pm --

Oh, wait, are you referring to the scene towards the end, on Claw Island, when Batman's in the giant elevator shaft? I always thought those were blowtorch boots. I guess he figured at some point, he'd need to weld something with his feet! :lol:

That's the scene,all right!!!I kinda liked this game...
When the mugger or the thief stops to think twice,that is fear.That is what I am.Tonight will not be my end,but it will be theirs!
User avatar
johnsyggel
..............
..............
 
Posts: 2136
Joined: Mar 26th, 2011, 3:20 pm
Location: Greece
Favourite Villain: Joker
Favourite Graphic Novel: The killing joke

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby batwayne007 » Mar 31st, 2014, 3:30 am

YOU LIE! :freeze2:
Batman: DO YOU WANNA GET NUTS??!! COME ON!! let's get nuts.
Joker: Tell me something my friend. Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?
Batman: What?
User avatar
batwayne007
Banned
Banned
 
Posts: 451
Joined: Dec 29th, 2013, 12:20 am
Location: The Batcave
Favourite Villain: MISTAH FREEEZE
Favourite Graphic Novel: Dark Knight Returns

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby Red_Hood » Apr 1st, 2014, 12:32 am

ohhh I remember playing this game
Image

"Say hi to Joker for me."
User avatar
Red_Hood
............
............
 
Posts: 1387
Joined: Aug 4th, 2013, 7:02 pm
Location: The Lazarus Pit
Favourite Villain: Joker
Favourite Graphic Novel: The Long Halloween

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby HeatScanBatman » Apr 25th, 2014, 11:24 am

Batman & Robin for Playstation is best Batman game :)
Image
User avatar
HeatScanBatman
........
........
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Aug 2nd, 2011, 9:15 am
Favourite Villain: Bane, Joker, Freeze
Favourite Graphic Novel: Under the Red Hood

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby CrashXUae » May 27th, 2014, 5:53 pm

Honestly, this game is one of the games I really enjoyed playing as a kid. Despite the fact that the movie sucked, I really loved it and found it entertaining. The Wayne Manor was accessible, Batman was able to swim, Free-roaming with different types of vehicles made it even better. Not to mention how Batman had so many gadgets and abilities. The only thing I found frustrating was the combat system and how most of the henchmen are overpowered! This is the first game that made me feel its atmosphere while playing it, and the soundtracks helped send chills down my spine!.. Some places were scary and intimidating such as the museum while others are creepy like some of the available stores!
"I have taken it upon myself to walk a path where no one else chooses to. I draw strength from the spirits of the dead." -The Undertaker
User avatar
CrashXUae
..........
..........
 
Posts: 329
Joined: Mar 15th, 2011, 11:21 pm
Favourite Villain: The Joker
Favourite Graphic Novel: The Killing Joke

Re: Batman & Robin for the PlayStation

Postby Red_Hood » Jun 15th, 2014, 4:32 pm

One thing I will always remember with this game was leaving the Batcave with the Batmobile!
Image

"Say hi to Joker for me."
User avatar
Red_Hood
............
............
 
Posts: 1387
Joined: Aug 4th, 2013, 7:02 pm
Location: The Lazarus Pit
Favourite Villain: Joker
Favourite Graphic Novel: The Long Halloween


Return to Non-Arkhamverse Games

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron