AVAILABLE ON: GEN
DEVELOPER(S): Ringler Studios
In 1991, Sunsoft broke all ties to the Batman movie license by making an original sequel to their 1989 NES classic. The game was called Batman: Return of the Joker, and it was a total flop. It wasn't only a very frustrating game, it also lacked a great deal of authenticity and it's often used as a prime example of a Batman video game gone horribly wrong. For some reason, Sunsoft saw fit to somewhat remake this game in 1992 for the Sega Genesis; in other words, they made a faithful 16-bit port of the game, but confusingly renamed it Batman: Revenge of the Joker. Is it as bad as the original game? No, not at all. It's much, much worse.
The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum and it's up to Batman and his variety of firearms to take the clown prince of crime out for good.
This particular type of plot outline is quite enough to tell everyone who didn't read my review of the original Batman: Return of the Joker why the game was such a disgraceful take on the Batman franchise. Batman DOES NOT USE FIREARMS. Ever. It's bluntly laid out by every story on Batman ever made. Overturning one of Batman's most unique personal traits was just the beginning for the awful game. There was the "golden Batman" that flew through the skies and shot everything in front to shit and all that. Every step you took in that game took you further from the truth. Well, all of that makes its return in Revenge of the Joker, which is a very faithful port of the game, not really a remake. It's just so much worse than the original game that I just had to review it to get peace of mind.
The aggressive colour palette makes me writhe in disgust. The opening "cutscene" portrays a moderately cool and chiseled Batman - who looks like he's taking a Bat-shit though - but perhaps the worst-drawn Joker ever seen. The NES game was one of the best-looking games on the platform, this version is far from being even a moderately good looking Genesis game. The level design's the same, but they're more compact while the sprites remain the same large size as in the NES version - it's really hard to simply move around in this game. The music's still good, but it isn't sequenced any better than it was on the 8-bit - the stiff mix actually sounds even worse!
|Please kill me, you filthy degenerate. I seem to be |
in the wrong game.
The guns are crappy, the bullets are rarely optimized to actually hit, and enemies absorb a LOT of bullets before giving in. In turn, Batman's life bar is downright pathetic and when there are enemies (and/or projectiles) coming from all directions, the occasional automatic side scrolling sequence thrown in, and those infamous jumps which you'll survive at a 20% certainty, it's probably needless to say that the easiest thing to do in this game is die. Oh yeah, and if you stand perfectly still for a second and a half, like, umm, when you're waiting for the opportune moment to pass an obstacle, let's say a spiked ball (now how did I come up with that...), Batman starts posturing. He extends his body forward by something like a whole God damn inch, like he's waiting - CALLING - for that damn spiked ball to crash down and crush his God damn skull! This game was made for idiots, by idiots.
Batman: Revenge of the Joker is a nearly unplayable game. You will have to be one ignorant person to enjoy this game, let alone treat it as a genuine, authentic Batman product. I seriously have to wonder whether Sunsoft really wanted to improve on the original game, or deliberately create an even worse game that would make the critically mutilated original shine. Either way, Batman: Revenge of the Joker is a joke, a very bad one.
GRAPHICS : 4.5
SOUND : 7.0
PLAYABILITY : 2.5
LIFESPAN : 1.5
CONCLUSION : 2.4
a.k.a. Dynamite Batman (JAP), Batman II
A SNES port of this version was planned, but scrapped due to poor critical reception and sales.