It is the mid-twenty-first century, and Bruce Wayne has retired from crime-fighting. Unfortunately crime has not retired with him. A new gang called the Jokerz have been stealing hi-tech components from computer operating systems. It is time for teenage protégée, Terry McGinnis, to takeover as Batman and save the day.
Platform: Playstation One, Nintendo 64, Gameboy Colour
Players: 1 player
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: 2 hrs
Developer or Designer: Kemco
Batman of the Future
Choose between four batsuits
was an animated TV series that ran from 1999 - 2001. It was a popular kids show that saw teenager, Terry McGinnis, become Bruce Wayne's successor, fighting against a gang of bad guys known as The Jokerz. In 2000, the series was turned into a film called Return of the Joker
, in which The Joker resurfaces after having disappeared for thirty-five years.
A video game of the same name was made to coincide with the release. It was available for Nintendo 64, Gameboy Colour, and the Playstation One, but unfortunately did not do the franchise any favours.
Since it is a side-scroller, I expected to love Return of the Joker
, but it failed to live up to expectations. The first thing that stands out are the awful graphics. By 2000, I do not expect such pixilated animation.
The game is in the style of a classic beat 'em up, with Batman investigating the break in of a hi-tech computer firm. He has to fight his way through Jokerz gang members to get keys and unlock doors.
Batman has four batsuits at his disposal to aid him in battle; these include Standard, Defensive, Offensive, and Nimble. Despite what the names suggest, the Defensive suit actually has the most powerful attack, and the extra powers given by the Nimble suit are practically never required.
The controls are rather confusing for the Playstation. For one, instead of sticking with the traditional 'X' as jump or 'confirm', this is relegated to the 'O' button, so I often found myself performing the wrong action. You can change this in the options menu, but it keeps switching back every time you load. After testing out a the button, I am also still unsure which is the correct button to use keys to unlock doors. I was standing at locked doors for ages, pressing every button, and they wouldn't open. Then randomly one door would open despite having pressed that button several times before.
Aside from graphics and controls, the gameplay is just plain boring. Using text instead of spoken dialogue means there is very little atmosphere, and the environments are all pretty much identical.