BATMAN: THE CAPED CRUSADER / Ocean / Amiga

You could argue that other Batman games are objectively worse than this one. I wouldn't, personally. One point that I think is beyond debate, however, is that this is easily the most bizarre and random Batman game ever made.

You start the game by choosing either the Penguin or Joker scenario. Let's take on the Penguin first. In this one, you start in the Batcave, which appears to be hidden rather lackadaisically in the middle of suburban America, and when Batman exits he kind of just walks right out into the neighborhood in full costume. The gameplay is kind of an action-adventure hybrid, where you scroll around in side-scrolling style and deal with oncoming enemies who you have to punch and throw Batarangs at, but you also pick up items and have an inventory screen, and have to solve basic puzzles with them. It's somewhat like the early Indiana Jones games made by Lucasarts (pre-Fate of Atlantis.) A quick trip to our inventory screen also reveals that Batman's flesh is gradually melting off for some reason, it speeds up when he takes damage, and it has to be periodically restored by finding and eating dirty-ass fruit that's lying about on the ground.

The game does pretty much everything with one button. In context, when facing down Batman picks up items off the ground, or up to use an item on something in the background. Pressing it while standing still goes into the inventory screen, and while moving makes him take a meaty Batswing or chuck a Batarang if equipped. Batman's punch is pathetically stiff and clunky though, taking forever to actually come out from when you press the button ... and then when it connects, the mooks just keep walking on cheerily unfazed, until they reach the opposite end of the screen where they turn and shoot you in the back of the head as you're leaving. Batman's attacks in general seem to do so little damage they aren't even worth bothering with, and then half the enemies are either flying toys or little penguins and such that you can't even reach.

The Joker scenario is the same game, but Batman is dumped into Gotham Central Park to find the kidnapped Robin, and it's more like a big cumbersome actionless maze than the Penguin scenario. I got hung up in this one pretty early by not being able to make Batman climb up some pole you needed to to progress.

Poor Batman in this game. Bridled with terrible control, he's also overly bound up which appears to be causing him serious back problems, and then he has a pretty aggressive case of flesh-eating bacteria to boot. It all adds up to a really strange game that is painful to play.

Videos :

* Gameplay Video


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