Final Fight + Tim Burton's Batman = Win
Movie-tie ins aren't always as good as Batman Returns, the game that you're currently reading the review of. And we should expect no better from Konami, the geniuses behind such great Super Nintendo games like Super Castlevania IV and Contra 3. Tim Burton's image of the caped crusader is depicted wonderfully in this game, right down to the core. The gritty nature of the film is captured by the graphics and sound of the film which are solid to say the least.
As for Batman himself, boy, he's hardcore in this game. Much in the vain of Streets Of Rage or Final Fight, you beat up your enemies to continue moving forward. But the way you do this is absolutely cool as you grab the baddies and swing them straight into windows, benches and other objects. Or the hilarity of it when you grab two of the goons and smash both of their heads in with their very own skulls. You can also use your baterang to knock them off their guard before going in for the flying kick.
What makes Batman Return different and better than other Final Fight clones is there is a lot of variety in level design as one level has you climbing the towering apartments of Gotham City another has you escaping from a burning down theatre. It gives the game a more worthwhile challenge as well without being too cheap or unrewarding for the player to experience. Also, Batman uses well tried and tested formulas used in prior beat em' ups such as the test tube, or equally a bomb that takes out the entire screen.
There is also a block button which comes in hand when you don't want to get absolutely pounded on by foes. Of course, I couldn't continue this review without mentioning the Batman mobile mission which takes use of the Snes' Mode 7 effects to simulate a driving experience not possible on any other machine (at the time). Although its arguably the easiest level in the game as well, since the game is quite difficult. Which is probably the largest problem with Batman Returns, at times it can be far too hard downright unfair for the player. This applies heavily to the boss battles which require riveting amounts of practice to really beat without dying.
The game could've also really done with some form of two player co-op. It would've made the game experience so much more satisfying and it could've been interesting to see what Konami would've came up with seeing what they've done with the core game itself. But a multiplayer mode wouldn't of made much sense in Batman Returns, so its no big deal that its missing. Lastly the story features added to the game largely felt unnecessary, especially if you hadn't seen the film yet while playing the game and overall felt quite poorly edited alongside the game itself. Most of it was just text with still after all, which isn't a very inventive way of telling a story in any case.
All in all though, Batman Returns is a high class brawler on Super Nintendo and is a seamlessly entertaining title to add to your collection. And seeing how it's a film tie-in that is close to the source material while still being very much enjoyable, it's a credit to the genre that it sits in.