Ubi Soft Montreal
Ubi Soft
Action
1
12.19.01

Batman Vengeance


Another day, another port of an average action game. As with most Batman games, it's hard to find one that truly captures the essence of the Dark Knight and faithfully reproduce it into an enjoyable game. While the XBox version of Batman Vengeance is a decent port, there are no noticeable differences other than the fact that the game offers you slightly cleaner visuals to work with. The XBox controller also seems to be one of the chunkiest controllers that I've run across and you may find it a little too hard to work with!

Graphics

Visually, the game doesn't suffer from too much of the jagged edges that you may find in games of this type. In later stages, you may find that the different visual inconsistencies come up at a more frequent rate, but if you're not really looking for them, then you won't notice them too much. Something else that bothers me a little bit is that the game lacks the amount of detail that I would expect from a Batman game. This is more or less attributed to the fact that the game is based off of the animated series, so if you're a huge fan of that series, then you'll find that everything here is recreated in the same dark, semi-serious animations and environments that you would find in the cartoon!

Sound

Audio wise, the game offers you some adventurous music, but only in the same fashion that the animated series on television offers. While not the most impressive or even memorable music that you'll ever hear in a video action game, you'll still find that it seems to fit the different moods and modes that the game has to offer.

The sound effects are rather impressive though, aside from the generic thuds and smacks, but more with the less played voice-overs that are straight from the animated series! When you add all of these factors together, you have a game that isn't too overly hard on the ears, but melds together for a rather enjoyable experience for the one time through.

Gameplay

The story line and the game play have remained intact, with most of your gaming being done by wandering through several stages and kicking the crap out of your enemies with small combinations. The game itself tries hard to deliver an enjoyable experience, but it seems to fail in a couple of areas where you would least suspect it! Namely the fact that the game is a direct port over of the PlayStation 2 game and has appeared in the same form on the Game Cube should tell you that if you've played the game on the other two systems, then you aren't missing a damned thing here.

The game play is comprised of a couple of different types in which your main goal is the side scrolling stages that you battle enemies through. While the game doesn't do too much to create an original environment to play through, you'll find that there is just enough action involved with the game that you have a rather fun and enjoyable time playing! However, there are immediate problems with the battle system in which you're limited in what you can do and just how hard and fast you can fight against the computer controlled enemies.

The difficulty of the game is another problem, in which the first few fights are easy, but as you roam through the numerous stages {18 or 19 in all} you'll find that the difficulty is ramped up near the end of the game in such a way, that one on one fights take a considerable amount of time to complete. With Batman, you would expect some of the weapons that the Caped Crusader would have at his disposal, and you won't be disappointed. However, another minor problem is that the game doesn't offer enough opportunities to use these weapons in battle and there is a lack of action in that respect.

Controlling Batman is another problem altogether in which you have to have a good understanding of a hybrid three-dimensional world in which Batman moves. If you have any understanding of how to use the analog sticks in conjunction with the directional pad, then you should have no problem learning how to use the punch, kick and block system that the game features!

With the amount of platform jumping that you may have to do and even some of the vehicle controls, you'll have to learn how to use the controls in such a way that you don't end up getting yourself killed in the process. Veterans to this type of gaming shouldn't have a problem picking up and playing through the game with just a few minutes of play, and something that I will give credit for is that the training option is available for both beginners and veterans alike. To me, that is a plus in which you can learn how to play the game and aren't flying as blind as a (gracious pun) bat!

Bottom Line:

The XBox version is quite honestly the cleanest version that you can own of the three. With the power that the XBox seems to be able to produce in the visual sense, you'll find that most of what is here is completely clean of the jagged edges, but it still fails to keep up in the detailing department! Game play in Batman hasn't changed a bit either and your main focus is to run through the entire game and kick the crap out of anything that gets in your way while staying alive. If you've managed to miss this title on the Game Cube and the PlayStation 2, then it is worth a rental, but buying this game really isn't an option unless you're looking to collect XBox games.

-Drew Guirey




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