Top 5 Scenes in Batman Video Games
With the release and epic conclusion of the Rocksteady Studios’ trilogy, Batman: Arkham Knight, we look back on the great (and not so great) scenes throughout all the Batman video games through out gaming history - the Arkham games excluded. Unfortunately I must exclude the Batman: Arkham series because let’s all be honest, I can make a huge list for those three games on their own, and even a few for Batman: Arkham Origins.
- Batman: The Video Game
In the NES release of Batman: The Video Game, the adaptation of the popular, and now iconic, 1989 film Batman starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson as Batman and Joker, respectively. The movie was one of the darker Batman films to be released until we all got ourselves through the Joel Schumacher era, and the game lived up to the darkness of it splendidly, if a little too well.
The game was a classic platformer and it introduced a lot of Batman’s items, and even the Batmobile in some scenes. The dialogue written was either taken straight from the movie or was some variation of the original movie. There sequences were lead-ins to the levels, or ends to others. The biggest (and probably worst) scene was the very end of the game, when Batman has his showdown with the Joker.
Batman picks up the Joker after the final boss battle, and then the most poorly written dialogue appears. Batman looks at the Joker and says, “I know you murdered my parents, now you will dance with the devil in the pale moonlight!” Awful…yet hilarious. Batman then proceeds to punch the Joker in the face, knocking him over the balcony of the Cathedral, killing him. It’s a very different scene from the movie, and developer Sunsoft got a little flak for making Batman kill the Joker directly.
- LEGO Batman: The Video Game
The LEGO games are extremely popular, and the LEGO Batman series are just as popular. The games didn’t feature voice acting until LEGO Batman 2: DC Heroes United, so it used a lot of expressions to convey meaning. While there were fifteen villains in the game, the funniest and best scene in the game was a couple at the top of a building.
The scene has a couple on the roof of a building at a romantic dinner. The man pulls out a ring to propose to his girlfriend, but she jumps down because Scarecrow is flying toward them. There are many more scenes in the LEGO games that are hilarious or downright silly, but this is a really funny one.
Some other notable scenes in the game are when Poison Ivy is trying to be a little slutty by shaking her square shoulders and when the Joker jumps into Harley Quinn’s arms when he gets scared. Regardless, LEGO Batman is a funny game and it’s hard to pick a top scene, but the couple on the roof gets a good laugh.
- Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker
Batman Beyond was a popular TV show that aired between 1999 and 2001, but sadly the popular series received only one game, Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker in 2000, based on the movie of the same name.
The game received extremely poor reviews, even getting scores as low as half a star out of ten, even though the movie and the show were well received. The entire game gets put down as one of the worst games in history, though not as bad as Superman 64 (because nothing is as bad as Superman 64.) There are some cool scenes at the end of the levels, when Bruce and Terry are talking to each other, or with scenes that help advance the plot, but the worse scenes, and most memorable, are all the fights.
The Batman model is very poorly done, and anytime you have to watch your character fight an enemy, it can really give you a headache. Watching the fights can sometimes look like a complete mess, and the game really plays very poorly. If there are any good scenes in this game, it has to be the end, watching the actual story of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. We all know that a good Batman beat-‘em-up was not well conceived, and even the platformers had their faults. It’s sad to say that a Batman Beyond game might be not be made well, but maybe Rocksteady can be convinced.
- Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series revived the Batman series on the television set, and it featured the strong voices of Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill as Batman and the Joker, respectively. They would continue to be the voices of the characters in the Rocksteady Batman: Arkham series. Unfortunately, the games would not be able to feature voice acting because the first game was released on the original GameBoy handheld system.
The game features seven levels with seven of the main villains from the TV show. The game is a platformer, and plays a lot like a Mega Man game mixed with Metroid. Instead of a typical Batman game in the past, this game had Batman do a lot of moves for platforming, like wall jumping and being able to hold onto the ceiling. It made Batman feel more like Batman in a sense.
The entire game is in black and white, but the best scenes are just watching Batman fight his very pixelated enemies. The boss battles take place on multi-leveled areas, and it lets you use all of Batman’s skills, which make it a very Batman-esque game. The Scarecrow boss battles was one of my favorites.
- Batman: Return of the Joker
The direct sequel to the Sunsoft Batman: The Video Game, Batman: Return of the Joker was based more on the comic books, and this is the NES version, not the Genesis version, which was very poorly received since it was rehashed.
This game has great music, sound, and a great color that really looks like the comic books. It also feels very Metroidvania in the style of the game, much like the new indie game, Axiom Verge. The levels are well done, the fighting style for Batman is easy to use, and the boss battles are fun and exciting. The most exciting battle, though, is the final battle against the Joker. He is inside a large defense mechanism, and it looks gorgeous and plays a lot like a Metroid game.
The game overall looks and sounds and plays amazing. However, the final scene against the Joker makes it a real final battle, and it fits with the genre that it was dropped into at the time on the NES. The GameBoy and the Genesis versions fell short, getting different color palettes, different soundtracks, but still holding the same sort of battle style.
So that’s the top 5 best (and worst) scenes from Batman games throughout the years, sans Arkham series. What do you think of these scenes? Have you played these games before? Do you love or hate them? Let us know in the comments below!
By Cody Dunmire
Don’t Just Be Fit. Be Gamer Fit.