Tag Archives: Rocksteady Studios

“I’m Batman”, Part IV

…And we’re back.
Here at the final part of the Batman gaming retrospective. Let’s dive right into the next few Batman games, but I’m going to be tackling them slightly differently.
As we have 2 separate series coming up but both series with 3 games each. I’m going to do each series as a trilogy this time around.

First up we get a Batman game series from an unusual source.

Lego Batman

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Lego Batman3

Lego Batman: The Videogame, Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes and Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham: Released 2008, 2012 and 2014 respectively. Developed by Traveller’s Tales and Published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Available for iOS, Windows, Nintendo 3DS, OS X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360m Xbox One and Wii U.

Who would have thought some of the best and most fun Batman games would come from LEGO? Well it’s true.
The LEGO games had already been around for a while with LEGO Star Wars and LEGO Indiana Jones, etc. So why not Batman too?

These games are infamous for their huge roster of characters, both heroes, villains and even vehicles each with their own special abilities. Explorable levels, humor, puzzles and overall just plain old fun gameplay.
Each one of the trilogy has been highly praised with favourable reviews for all 3 titles.

Lego Batman image

Seriously, if you’ve never played any of these games…go and do it now. Get all 3 as they are great fun.
With some very funny cutscenes and dialogue, plenty of replay value, 100’s of collectables and a great Co-Op mode. There’s so much crammed into each of these games it’s amazing. From 100’s of characters, to hidden extras and missions…including bringing back Adam West as Batman in a 1960’s Batman inspired mission.
They just remind me of old timey games when gaming used to be fun.

From the silliness and fun of LEGO we go into the next trilogy with a much more serious and darker tone.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Origins: With Asylum and City being developed by Rocksteady Studios while Origins was developed by Warner Bros. Games Montréal. All three games were published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and released in 2009, 2011 and 2013 respectively. Covering multiple formats including; Windows, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360.

Said to be the defining Batman games and the one series that really makes you feel like you are Batman. Multi award winning, and selling millions upon millions of copies around the world. The Arkham series was actually a surprise hit when the first game was released.
No one was really expecting too much when Batman: Arkham Asylum was first announced and shown. But it became the big hit game of 2009 making Game Of The Year and winning various other gaming awards.

The Arkham series has gone on to massive critical acclaim from both gaming press and gamers. With rich and varied gameplay, a roster of great characters, unbelievably awesome combat that is easy to do but hard to master, collectables galore, in jokes and references to some of Batman’s illustrious life in the comics.

This series really is the pinnacle of the Batman games so far, and even though Origins is often thought of as being the bastard son of the franchise…it’s still a damn fine Batman game overall.

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The series has always treated the comic book source and it’s fans with respect…yes even Origins.
The developers are clearly big Batman fans and stuff the games with plenty of references and things to find. As well as hiring comic book talent like veteran Batman writer, Paul Dini. Along with Batman voice actors from various projects like; Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill and Arleen Sorkin.

These games just ooze atmosphere and gameplay, as well as compelling and well told stories. Using Batman to the best of his abilities from free flowing combat, detective work and even stealth elements.
The Arkham series is highly praised and rightly so too. Again, just with the LEGO series, if you have not played these games yet, go get them now.

That just about wraps up my retrospective look at Batman in gaming. From the simplicity of the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 days, right up to modern day with the Playstation 4 and Xbox One.
Batman has been a part of gaming for almost as long as gaming has been around itself.

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I know I didn’t cover every game and there are quite a few I missed out. But please, feel free to add some of your Batman gaming memories in the comments below.

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Batman: Arkham Knight hits stores June 23rd 2015…be the Batman.

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“I’m Batman”, Part I

Batman: Arkham Knight, after several delays is finally released in a few days. I think I can safely say without hyperbole that I think it’ll sell upwards of 3 copies.

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So to celebrate what developer Rocksteady is claiming to be the final Arkham game (yeah right). I’m going to look back on some of the Batman games I grew up playing and take a look at Batman in gaming over the years.
I’m not going to cover every Batman starring game, cos well there are 35 of them and this retrospective would end up longer than my Pac-Man one.
So I’m just sticking to the ones I’ve played over the years and remember.

I think Batman has been treated with a lot more respect in terms of video games than most other superheroes and has had quite a few good and even great games.
So let’s start with the first ever Batman game I played and the first one released.

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Batman: Published by Ocean Software and developed by Jon Ritman & Bernie Drummond, released in 1986.
The game was released on the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Amstrad PCW and MSX.
The featured a 3D isometric viewpoint and had you playing as Batman trying to save Robin and collecting seven parts of the missing Batcraft.

Batman was very well received when it was released, Crash gave it a 93% rating, Your Sinclair scored it 9/10 and Sinclair User gave it five stars. The game went to number 2 in the UK sales charts.

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The game was really good fun back then and one I played quite a bit of…but never completed it.
Batman has been remade by fans over the years. Watman was released for PC in 2000 and there was also a fantastic remake produced by Retrospec’s Batman that is well worth checking out.

Next up is comic book inspired Batman game.

Batman CC

Batman: The Caped Crusader: Developed by Special FX Software Ltd and Published by Ocean Software. This game was released on Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Apple II, MS-DOS and ZX Spectrum in 1988.
Using a comic book style where leaving one screen would open a new “panel” keeping the last panel in the background as to give a comicbook aesthetic.

The game offered 2 different scenarios to play through. One featuring The Joker and another one featuring The Penguin, which you could play through in any order.
With you playing as Batman who has to take down henchmen, solve puzzles and finally defeat The Joker/Penguin.
Another Batman game that was originally well received upon release. With many reviewers praising the colourful and detailed graphics, but also noting the game was very maze like and it was easy to get lost, resulting in a lot of backtracking.

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To be honest, I never really liked this one too much. I just found it a bit dull with all the walking around and getting lost. The combat was also very limited and tiresome.

Now we move onto the first Batman game based on the Tim Burton movie.

Batman movie

Batman: A.K.A: Batman: The Movie. Hit the market in 1989 to coincide with the Tim Burton movie, it was released for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS and ZX Spectrum. Developed and published by Ocean Software.
Controlling Batman through five stages based on scenes from the movie including; Axis Chemical Plant, Streets of Gotham and Gotham Cathedral. The game mixed up several gameplay styles using a side scrolling action/platforming for 2 of the levels, 2 vehicle based levels where you use the Batmobile and Batplane and a puzzle level where you have to find various components for Joker’s Smilex toxin.

This one was very well received with it reaching number 1 in the charts and even awarded Game Of The Year in Crash magazine.

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This game was a cracker with a fair challenge and varied gameplay…but it was short and you could complete it in 20 odd minutes. Still I would often replay through the game over and over again. Plus I still remember the “jammmmmmmmmmm” cheatcode.

There was not only one game based on Tim Burton’s movie though and this one is for my old mate Lee.

Batman NES

Batman: The Video Game: Also based on Tim Burton’s movie, but this is not just a port of the previous game. This was a whole new game built from the ground up just for the NES. Originally released in 1989 in Japan and 1990 for America and Europe. Developed and published by Sunsoft for the NES.

While this was based on Tim Burton’s movie, it also added a few ideas not in the film including villains besides The Joker like; Deadshot, Heat Wave, Nightslayer, Killer Moth and Firebug.

With you playing as Batman and using his many gadgets like; batarang, and bat speargun. Batman could also wall jump which was a very handy feature and used to get around some tricky platforming sections.
As the game was from Sunsoft, you got great story lead cutscenes and amazing music as most Sunsoft games had.

The game’s reception was very good and is still referred to as one of the best NES games ever made.

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I remember playing this on my friend’s NES back in the early 90s. Being a huge fan of the movie, the game was a welcome addition. The game was tough, but never unfair and you’d find yourself making steady progress as long as you utilised Batman’s gadgets and skills.
An absolutely amazing game and still rightly regarded as one of the all time best games.

I’ll end here, but there is more Batman to come in Part II. Same Batwebsite, same Battime…sorry.

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