Batman - Return of the Joker (USA) ROM
Nintendo Entertainment System / NES ROMsGenre: ActionFightingPlatformer
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Game Description & Reviews:
The seedy underworld is crawling with criminals. Even worse - the JOKER is back on top of 'em all! Law and order means nothing... until now! Because BATMAN is here - and the action is hotter than ever! Ear-crunching sound effects. Pulse-quickening music. Graphics that are as hot as 16-bit. And this time, BATMAN hits fast and hard. Flying, leaping, and sliding to attack! And striking at the heart of the JOKER. The CAPED CRUSADER has a totally new arsenal at his command: Batarang, Crossbow, Sonic Neutralizer. He's even got a superfueled jetpack. And even more powerful weapons at the touch of a button. BATMAN has got to use all of his power. Because this world is a very dark place, and you never know where the JOKER is hiding!
Return of the Joker is the follow-up action title to the incredible Batman The Video Game but sadly, bears no resemblance to the first installment's gameplay and falls completely flat.
Controls were bland and mechanics made the game feel sluggish. Taking damage 'stuns' you for a moment no matter what you're doing which can instantly kill you in many scenarios. There are 4 weapons (and a slide) and two of them are just horribly slow. Weapons drop from enemies and if you don't watch your steps very carefully you can have a quick, good weapon replaced with a slow weapon that you can only fire every few seconds. No wall jumping, variable jumping, and overall felt like a step back from the original Batman NES action game.
Music was standard 'actiony' with some high-pitched annoyances from weapons and effects.
Graphics were hit and miss. Batman was okay, too tall and bleh. Enemies were mostly detailed and interesting. Backgrounds went from 'ooh okay cool' to 'why is everything pink'. Kept the grungy feel from the first game and what you'd expect in a Batman game but went off script mid-game to pretty obnoxious color schemes.
Gameplay is mostly straight forward and single-level. Shoot, kill, move forward. Platforming consisted of standard moving structures, falling platforms, dropping ceilings, insta-kill spikes and such. Again, this was made infuriating by the 'damage stun' mechanic and the amount of times I died mid-jump made me want to throw the controller. I felt like the difficulty level was squarely at 'stupid' level. There was a second type of gameplay in flying Batpack levels that were minefields of seemingly invulnerable enemies as attacks seemed to land at random.
Overall, I have no love for this game and never felt like I was getting anywhere interesting.
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