A legendary character, some great games. This week, I take a look at my three favourite Batman video games of all time. Which ones make the cut? Find out after the jump!
The Adventures of Batman and Robin
Let’s start this with an early Batman classic. This iteration of the Dark Knight took place on the SNES in the mid-nineties, and in my opinion, was one of the best Batman games ever. Based on the animated series on TV at that time, it was your typical side scroller, with some added platforming elements. You controlled Bats while fighting crime in Gotham City. You could jump, punch and kick, and throw your enemies, as well as use an array of gadgets like smoke bombs, the grappling hook and others. The selection of gadgets was imperative in this game, because if you entered a level without the right gadget to get you over a ledge, let’s say, then you were out of luck. Konami also did a bang-on job with the soundtrack, which was just like the TV show’s. All in all, a great Batman game.
LEGO Batman 1 & 2
The LEGO games are usually fun, quirky and great. They take their subject material, which happens to have been some of the greatest franchises of all time like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter, and use it to craft funny, family friendly gaming. When they applied it to another one of the greatest franchises, Batman, the result was the just as epic. The formula is usually the same: beat up baddies, collect blocks and pretty much destroy anything you can see to collect LEGO pieces. You travel through worlds made up of the blocks and fight enemies like the Joker, Riddler, Penguin and others. There is no voice work in the first game, and that was kind of a staple in the LEGO games at that time. The facial expressions and animations told the story rather well, and often the fact that no one was talking didn’t really bother anyone. With Lego Batman 2, they upped the ante with voice acting in the cut-scenes, which – though I enjoyed its silent predecessor – makes everything feel much more cinematic. Game play is great, characters are fun and colorful and the stories are usually pretty involving. This is definitely one of the better video game versions of Batman out there.
Batman Arkham Asylum/ Arkham City
Easily the best Batman games ever made. One near perfect, the other arguably perfect, these games are the staple that Batman gaming fans flock to. They tell a darker take of the caped crusader, one where the danger seems more real and visceral, and the mood is overly ominous. It’s not cartoon-y, it’s not comedic, it’s just Batman fighting crime. Tons of enemies from the comics appear in this series, and never do they seem out-of-place. The game is a pleasure to control, with the counter mechanics in the fighting taking center stage. Beating up large groups of enemies is a blast, and you do it with everything from explosives, to batarangs or even your cape! The world is huge in City, with tons of hidden places to explore, puzzles to solve and secrets to uncover. And it never gets tiring!
If you haven’t played these and you’re a Batman fan – well, first of all shame on you – and second of all, GO DO IT!