Christmas time for a young child in the 90’s was a special time where all you wanted to see was either a square or rectangular prism shaped box under the tree. You knew what that meant. New games! I remember fondly 1 such Christmas with my dad when two movies released that year (1 at the box office, 1 on HBO) caught my eye and I just had to have them. And I played those games till time stood still (or until I had to take out the trash) Anyways, I’ve just recently gotten to go back and replay them both and here are my thoughts.
“Riddle Me This, Riddle Me That, Who’s Afraid of the Big, Black Bat?”
Being a huge comic book nerd and fan of Batman: The Animated Series (Fan doesn’t accurately describe my obsession with that show) my favorite Bat-Villain was the Riddler. I always loved his motif, his strange desire to outsmart the Batman by leaving clues to what he had done and how he had done it right in front of his face, and his aversion to actually being able to fight, just with a brilliant mind. So, hearing he would finally be featured as the main villain of a Batman movie was mind-blowing. To find out it was Jim Carrey, even to a teenager, signaled a much different approach than I could have hoped for. He would be over the top and ridiculous but in the most awful way possible. That came true. That didn’t stop me from re-watching the movie over and over again; alas when the game was nestled firmly under my tree, I vowed I would devour it with the same ferocity. My appetite quickly ran away with the spoon.
Batman Forever has graphics like Mortal Kombat; where it seems a real person stood in and was filmed going through the motions of the game. The graphics are really interesting in that way, but like MK, muddled. The backgrounds are very creative and colorful and in a way, capture the Batman-feel of dark, dank, and somewhere you don’t want to be. The action is also very reminiscent of MK- stiff and unintuitive. I believe Akklaim actually published both games. Batman (or Robin; whomever you choose) both always seem to be shaking, slightly moving as do the enemies. The hit detection is real strange and your fists seem to move right through the enemies faces. The sound is nice; you get constant bits of dialogue from Carrey, giving you clues, the bad guys exhale and wince when you attack them and the music is eerily quiet and creepy, nothing like the broad effects of the actual movie.
It’s a decent enough game but there are a ton of clues to secrets you may or may not need; I didn’t fall into those traps and just played linear. The boards don’t fill up the screen either; you’re missing over 50% of the area due to the weird vision of the game and it doesn’t work at all.
Playability/Controls- 5 Graphics- 6 Music/Sound- 6 Replay Value- 2.5 Originality- 3.5 50%
First off, if you haven’t seen Demolition Man, stop reading this and go watch it right now. It’s excellent.
Secondly, I was a pure Stallone addict as a kid; my obsession started with Rocky and moved on from there. This is by far Stallone’s best action movie in my opinion. It’s freakin hilarious and features my all time celebrity crush, Sandra Bullock. Just the stuff this movie gave us that I still use in my vernacular astounds even me: refrences this movie gave us, such as follows:
“the 3 Seashells”
“I’ll be subtle. I’m good at subtle.”
So much classic material that demands your attention.
Anyways, the game is super fun! You follow the events of the movie as John Spartan, first starting off in 1996, after Simon Phoenix. It’s a side scrolling shoot em up with tons of cool weapons and fun platforming. As you move through the game , you get slight variations on this motif and different camera angles as you play. There are millions of enemies in this game but it never feels overwhelming. The graphics could be considered the low point, as the characters and scenery is all very small, but not so badly you can’t tell what you’re doing. The shooting is fun and varied with different weapons as you go. I actually played this one a ton and got pretty far, I believe the last level in the cryotanks and it got way more wear and tear than the Dark Knight. I recommend this game especially if you love the movie as I do.
Send a manic to catch a maniac…..gamer.
Playability/Controls- 7.5 Graphics- 4.5 Music/Sound- 5 Replay Value- 8 Originality- 6 Final: 60%