Nintendo VS. SEGA: Batman Returns


Tim Burton's Batman Returns, the follow-up to the Box Office blockbuster from 1989, was released last summer in theaters to wide acclaim. Video game tie-ins were all but inevitable, but with various versions having emerged for both Nintendo and Sega consoles, it may be a bit confusing to know which is the superior cart. What's that? You say they must be the same? Ah, that is the misconception. Despite their identical names and cover artwork, the NES, Super NES, Sega Genesis, and Sega CD releases will all play quite a bit differently from one another.

The Bat, the Cat, and the Penguin are all represented in glorious 16-bit action, but the Nintendo and Sega counterparts certainly change-up appearances and gameplay styles. The Konami-developed Super Nintendo iteration of Batman features large, muscular character sprites in a Final Fight-like brawler. As the title would imply, you play as Michael Keaton/Bruce Wayne himself as you pummel hordes of circus clowns with a huge assortment of fighting skills taken right out of the film. Fight through seven levels to face the Penguin himself and reclaim the streets for justice.

spotlightsnes      spotlightgenesis

Batman on SNES                                 Batman on Genesis

Unlike in the previous game in the series, Batman Returns on Genesis is not developed by Sunsoft. The lesser-known Malibu Interactive was the dev team behind the Sega version, and unfortunately that does come at the detriment of the cart. This title is your standard side-view, run-and-punch platformer that takes the Dark Knight into the dank sewers below Gotham City. The five levels of this cart are challenging and filled with some frantic action, but the dim atmosphere and smaller sprites may turn off some players. The Sega CD title does add some stellar, noteworthy 3-D driving segments, but the rest is identical to the Genesis.

We may have been expecting more of a close match between these two batty juggernauts, but the Konami film-to-game translation is leagues above the competition. The SNES Batman contains cutscenes, sounds, and music reminiscent of the motion picture while the Genesis and Sega CD neglect these elements entirely. No CD-quality sound here, folks. Add the Super N's Mode 7 capabilities in the mix and you're left with a Total K-O. Either title is worth picking up for a good ol' round of butt-kicking fun, but we found Nintendo's offering a cut above the rest. Batman Returns is available now for Genesis, Sega CD and SNES, as well as Game Gear, NES, and the Sega Master System.


[Article from the May/June 1993 Issue of PPM]


Click the Arrow Blocks to Navigate Through Our Spotlight Features


Check Out the Side Bar or Player Sitemap Below for Links to Various Features and Reviews!

Thanks For Hanging Out! We Appreciate Your Support! :^)