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Retro Game Review: Batman Returns, SNES

Retro Game Review: Batman Returns, SNES


With Batman Arkham Knight ready for release in the next couple of months. I thought I would take a trip back in time and look at one Batman’s, more forgotten and less celebrated games, Batman Returns on the Super Nintendo. Now Batman Returns was a game that was released on pretty much every single console and home computer under the sun when the movie was released back in the early 90’s. But the Konami made, Super Nintendo version was the best!

Graphics & Presentation

Batman Returns on the Super Nintendo manages to capture the look and the feel of the Tim Burton movie it is based on incredibly well. The opening “Gotham Plaza” level with its Christmas feel, looks like it was ripped right out of the movie. The whole game is just so highly polished that I really do not think that any of the other versions of the game comes close to matching it. The game does follow the story of the movie well……. Of course with some “creative” liberties taken to make sure the story works as a video game.

Batman Returns - batr1

The character sprites in Batman Returns look amazing. Konami made many great beat em ups, but I cannot think of any other that has a large and well defined character sprites as this game does. Like most other beat em ups the game does reuse many of the same enemies, but when they look as nice as this you forgive the game for it. The whole presentation of this game is just Triple A all the way! The sound as well, once again just like the visuals feels like it was taken right out of the movie.

Game Play

If you have played scrolling beat em ups such as Final Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or say Streets Of Rage then you will feel right at home with, Batman Returns. This is a side scrolling beat em up of the finest quality. With Batman controlling very well (even if he does walk a bit on the slow side) and he does actually have a number of different gadgets at his disposal to mix up things a little bit, but if you ask me the most fun you can have with this game is just letting Batman cut loose and beat enemies with his fists! Batman is brutal in this game!!!! And that is meant as a compliment. Until the Arkham games no other game had Batman dish out such savage and kick ass beatings. You can pick enemies up and slam then into the ground, into each other and my personal favorite into the wall!

Batman Returns

Batman Returns even lets you get behind the wheel of the Batmobile where the game makes great use of the Super Nintendo’s mode 7 capabilities. Honestly this section of the game is very visually and technically impressive that it is a crime it never gets more love. The levels are paced very well with the difficulty getting gradually more difficult as you progress and the boss battles that you face will require you to think before you act with your fists or gadgets. Sadly the game is only a one player game which as there was no Robin in the movie is understandable. And perhaps with the large size of the character sprites would not have worked to well, but a two player mode would have made a great game even greater!

Last Impressions

Batman Returns

On the Super Nintendo, Batman Returns is an absolute classic of a game. This in my opinion is the second best beat em up on the Super Nintendo (Turtles In Time will always be number 1) and until the Arkham games came along this was the best Batman game you could get. Now the game is short and the type of game you beat in one sitting, but this is still the type of game that I feel everyone should play through at least once. If it had a two player option I imagine the game would be much more loved and held in higher regard. And while I have fond memories of this game these days I do have to consider its short length and the lack of multi-player when I give it a score!