Fans of the comic book and television superhero Batman were treated to an action-packed game in 1996 when Acclaim published Batman Forever: The Arcade Game, based on Batman's third movie appearance. Two-Face and his cohorts are causing no end of trouble for Gotham City, and once again it's up to the Caped Crusader (with a little help from players) to throw a monkey wrench into their scheme. A side-scrolling 2D beat-'em-up, this title wasn't popular because of any innovations or the storyline, but rather because of the simple yet entertaining game play.
Taking on the role of either Batman or Robin, players must use a variety of attacks to beat the waves of enemies that attack them into submission. Special weapons such as batarangs (boomerangs), guns, etc., can be found in abundance, and massive combinations of moves can be applied to enemies (up to and including 150 hits on a single villain). The game is sectioned off into stages, and after progressing through each stage of enemies, players must face off with a boss character who must be defeated before they can proceed to the next level. Play continues in this manner for several stages until the climax of the game faces players off against the head honchos of the evil empire.
A Final-Fight/Double-Dragon style game which features the Caped Crusader and his sidekick Robin in a traditional beat-em-up. Based on the Batman Forever movie, this side-scrolling beat-em-up features the plot, several memorable characters, and quotes from its movie counterpart.
The player gets to use batarangs, a bat grapple, and tons of other Batman-specific goodies in order to accomplish their goals. The player can create their own combos and collect power-ups to help them in their quest to rid the streets of Gotham from an everlasting flow of bad guys.
Among game developers, Acclaim has one of the most mixed records of all, curiously displaying a very large gap in quality between their classics such as Mortal Kombat games and the better-forgotten games based on the Batman. Apparently not having learned their lesson from the disaster that was Batman Forever, Acclaim gave us an even more mediocre game with Batman Forever: The Arcade Game. GameSpot says it all about how thoroughly average it is:
"Holy mediocrity, Batman! Acclaim's new Batman Forever: The Arcade Game represents the latest in a long series of ho-hum movie licenses from the Acclaim/Iguana duo. Although certainly better than many of their past efforts, this title's uninspired gameplay and uneven presentation fail to capture any of the excitement found in the film.
Featuring gameplay inspired by such classic arcade titles as Streets of Rage, Final Fight, and the original Street Fighter, Batman Forever attempts to inject a little graphic panache into a tried and true concept. For those unfamiliar with the above titles, gameplay consists of beating up countless henchmen as you travel from left to right (imagine standing in a line at the bank while it is being robbed). Once you have completed the trek, you must face one or more "Super Villains" in order to progress to the next round. Ultimately, you must fight the Riddler himself in order to save Gotham from his evil schemes.
Acclaim has never been shy when it comes to boasting of their state-of-the-art motion-capture studios just outside New York City. With these facilities available, one would expect smooth, realistic character animation to be the highlight of the game. Sadly, this is not the case. In stark contrast to the smoothly animated neo-gothic backgrounds, the motion-captured characters appear to have only a handful of frames per move. As a result, Batman and Robin stutter about on screen as if lifted from a cheap stop-motion film. This problem is exacerbated by the gameplay's hectic pace. With several onscreen henchmen jumping in and out of the screen at any given time, the erratic movement makes it almost impossible to follow the onscreen antics, much less control them.
Although Acclaim has implemented a rudimentary combo system, it's hard to find time for strategy when you're fighting off six henchman. As a result, gameplay often boils down to simply executing a single move over and over again at a lightning pace until you are the last person standing. In fact, I strongly suspect that it is possible to score highly on some levels without ever looking at the screen."
People who downloaded Batman Forever: The Arcade Game have also downloaded:
Batman Forever, Batman: Vengeance, Batman: The Movie, Alien Trilogy, Aladdin, Batman: The Caped Crusader, Batman Returns, Beats of Rage
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