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Batman - the movie logo  Format Gold

OCEAN £24.99 * Joystick or Keyboard

Batman – the movie The Dark Knight has returned. The success of Fran Miller’s groundbreaking graphic novel has revitalised a hero presumed extinct. Further novels, repeats of the TV series and a new film have followed. Now there is the game of the film, pitting Batman against the Joker in what can only be called a cataclysmic confrontation.

The battle takes place over five sections, related to scenes in the film. Curtain up on the Axis chemical factory which is being attacked by jack Napier and his cronies. Batman has to find his way through the plant to Jack and deposit him into the acid vat that turns him into the Joker.

The factory is depicted by a 2D, multi-directional scrolling system of rooms and platforms. The place is absolutely crawling with Napier’s henchmen. They patrol the platforms attacking the Bat with guns and grenades. There are also acid and gas leaks which can deplete energy if run into. The trusty Batarang can protect you fro the henchpersons, while the Batrope is used to climb up to platforms above.
The first section is tough, but a bit of perseverance reveals the route to jack and the exit to the next section. The real art becomes getting through it without losing one of the three lives.

Batman – the movie Section Two is on the streets of Gotham City in the Batmobile. It is a race back to the Batcave before time runs out or the car conks out. As you thunder through the streets the traffic blocks the way and damages the car when it hits them. Roadside objects should also be avoided. A direction arrow points the way home, indicating when the Batmobile needs to take a turn. The only way to turn is to shoot a grapnel round a lamppost and slingshot round it. However, if you miss three turns-offs, you run straight into a roadblock: and that is the end of your life I am affair, Batperson.

Back in the Batcave, the Joker’s Smilex poison has to be isolated by mixing three objects. There are eight objects to choose from and a limited time to mix them. It is solved just like the old game Mastermind: select three objects and you are told how many are correct, but not which ones.

Section Four is back to the streets of Gotham, this time in the Batwing. It is carnival time now and the Joker has lined the streets with deadly gas balloons. They are floating from cakes and all Batty boy has to do is fly through the ropes to release the balloons into the air. Hitting the balloons, cakes or roadside obstacles damages the Batwing and going too slowly introduces the risk of running out of time to reach home. If you can survive all that, the final section is set in Gotham cathedral. It is similar to the first section in the factory, with henchmen attacking. There are additional hazards like crumbling floors to complicate the task even more.
At the top of the cathedral the Joker awaits. Defeat him here or he will escape in a helicopter and you will have to do the game over again, won’t you?

The 2D sections are competent in terms of graphics – functional rather than stunning. The street scenes are another matter. Whizzing along Gotham’s darkened streets is much better to look at and extremely batmospheric. The rolling road and all the objects are fast and well drawn: a definite touch of class. Watch out for those 90-degree turns. Smashing.

The five sections hang together well as a game. Each one is tricky and takes some mastering. It is unfortunate that if all lives are lost you have to restart from the chemical factory, but that certainly proves a challenge. It is edge of the seat excitement that grips you solidly. It is addictive, certainly, and though it is also frustrating at times and you could tire of it after a while, Batfans will not be disappointed.
Batbob Wade

Amiga Format, Issue 5, December 1989, p.p.38-39


Batman - the movie logo  CU Screen Star

Price: £24.99

N Batman – the movie o, I did not buy the boxer shorts (£6.99), or read the comic books (£5.99). I did not even see the film until September 11th and I was not remarkably impressed with that either. Give me the good old days any time, when Adam West was faced with Caesar Romero and an army of easily KO’d bad guys. Nowadays it is all these fancy gizmos and five million dollar pay packets. The Batman – the Movie game, however, is truly something special.

The first sequence of the game takes place in the Axis chemical plant with Batman battling Jack Napier (Jack Nicholson, $6,000,000). In case not anybody knew, Jack Napier goes on to become the Joker and signs a lucrative deal for “Batman 2”. Armed with an endless supply of Batarangs and the Bathook, Batman swings from platform to platform, often encountering walls, pipes and bad guys in the process. But thanks to his body armour he can take quite a bit of damage. Among other hazards to face are dripping acids, clouds of toxic fumes, machine gun armed villains and the green-coated sidekick with infinite supplies of anti-superhero grenades.

The next section is amazing. Batman is now behind the wheel of his Batmobile and is racing through the streets of Gotham City trying to avoid the police, who are charging him with being a vigilante. This is not just a straightforward driving game, you can turn corners as well. A handy arrow flashes up on the screen telling you there is a turn-off coming, and a quick tap of the fire button launches a grappling hook which connects with a lamp post and conveniently swings you around the bend. Miss too many turn-offs, and you are guaranteed to run into a police roadblock. The most amazing thing about this sequence is the speed and quality of the graphics: they are far superior to anything yet seen on a home computer driving game, and a hopeful indicator as to what Ocean’s Chase HQ might look like.

When Batman makes it back to the Batcave he then has to use the Batcomputer to work out which combination of toiletries are being used to poison Gotham City’s clean folk. Not a particularly interesting section, a bit like the photo-fit sequence in Robocop. Once he has done that it is back on the streets in his Batwing.

Similar to the excellent driving sequence, Batman has to pilot the Batwing down Gotham City’s main highway trying to deactivate poison gas balloons. If you do not make the proper connection with the balloons you start to take damage, indicated by the wings burning.

Batman – The Movie is a tremendous game, it follows the plot closely but does not sacrifice any gameplay. The graphics are of a high standard throughout and very well designed. The theme tune contains samples from the film and has a very funky feel to it. A highly playable and entertaining game.
Mark Patterson

CU Amiga, November 1989, p.p.56-57


Batman - the movie logo  Gold Medal Award

Ocean, Amiga £24.99
Batman - the movie Two days after our deadline, Amiga Batman swung into the ZZAP! Offices and blown us all away. The first stage has a similar layout to the C64, but more acid drops, steam jets and criminals make it tougher, in addition the criminals fire faster and aim when you’re under them - not nice!

The Batmobile section has you racing into the screen in full 3-D perspective with incredibly detailed buildings whizzing past at great speed. As on all the stages, there is a choice of superb sound or brilliant FX. The drone of the Batmobile engine, and the thump as it comes down after bouncing over a hill is great. You race through traffic against a time limit, turning left or right where indicated. Miss a turning and you get two more chances before running into a roadblock.

Batman - The movie The Batcave section is the same, only with less slots to put your guesses in. Then it’s the Batwing section, again in full 3-D. Cut the balloons free to save Gotham before time runs out.

The final section is the Cathedral with appropriate graphics, new criminals and lots of rats!

STU: Up until now, Ocean has failed to produce a massive state-of-the-art 16-bit game. Now they have, and it is amazing. Racing along in the Batmobile with the sound turned way up is just so good, in fact presentation is overwhelming all the way through. Each section is so enjoyable to play that it is hard to pick favourites. This is one Amiga game that more than justifies its price. Awesome.

RH: The fantastic thing about Batman is that it really is an Amiga game and not just a conversion. The first level is a better challenge, but the Batmobile section - well, words fail me - the 3-D effect has more speed and detail than I thought possible. The sound effects are good but it is the music that really got me excited - the Batmobile section has a stunning rock track and the Batcave a panic inducing up-tempo tune. Overall, unbelievable!

Zzap, Issue 56, December 1989, p.12

PHIL: I was expecting the detailed backgrounds and sprites, but what came as a surprise was the increased difficulty. Level one is a lot tougher, as is the totally brilliant 3-D Batmobile section - an astonishing game itself! All five levels are extremely playable with plenty of gameplay variety, making this a true Amiga classic.

Free sticker, great intro tune with ‘who are you?’ sample and no disk swapping.
The Batmobile and Batwing sections are out-of-this-world, and the other levels are superb too!
Sampled FX are great on their own, but you can turn on a different tune for each level as well.
Bit difficult to start with, but you soon get into the swing of things (groan!).
Five incredible levels provide a substantial challenge, but even if you complete it you’re going to keep playing this for a long time.