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DAILY MANIFESTO

Retro Revolution: Holy Flashbacks, Batman!

Posted on Tuesday, November 1 @ 12:16:18 Eastern by KevinS


So the gaming world is buzzing about Batman: Arkham City. Big deal… I've been playing the original Batman game on the NES. I'm not bitter about not being able to afford Arkham City, at all. Not in the LEAST. I've got my trusty NES clone (as I don't have the right cable to run my original NES on my LCDTV) and my copy of the original Batman, and everything is aaaaallll good.

I can't say I played it when it originally came out; I was about five when it came out and totally obsessed with Mario, so it fell by the wayside for a while. But I did pick it up a number of years later, when I started collecting for my little toaster, and when it entered my system… it quickly left, because the actual level structure is reminiscent of many platformers in that time period: terrible. As in "WTFHOWAMISUPPOSSZZGYAHH!" bad. Surprise hazards at the bottom of blind drops happen all too often, and while Batman's animation is surprisingly good for the hardware, not everything else is as lucky.

Oh, you can zipline and use martial arts and grappling moves and all them fancy-smancy fighting moves? Who needs that when I can punch an evil bitch IN THE FACE and he stands still, glows for a second, then EXPLODES? Yeah, where's THAT in your judo-chopping modern-day masterpiece? Bad guys and robots that bear abso-friggin'-lutely NO resemblance to anything previous in the series? Yeah, they explode. Beat THAT.

And hey, who's YOUR Batman? Or even more important, who's your Joker? There are 8-bit images in here of both the Batmobile and Jack Nicholson - yup, Jack Nicholson - as the Joker. Not just a voice (because there weren't any voices) like Mark Hammil. I SAW my Joker. The MOVIE Joker. Do you have that? Not that I'm trying to justify my Batman at all, but it's a legitimate question, right?

MY Batman has gadgets too, y'know. The Baterang? It's there. And it's AWESOME. I can throw it, and it comes back and does a lot of damage. I can't keep using that same one, but it does… come back… oh, and I have a gun! A Bat… gun. And a special Baterang thing that explodes into three more flying, spinning blades of death. I know Batman isn't supposed to kill anybody, but these are just random robots and faceless soldiers, so it's OK… right?

Remember - and I can't stress this enough - I am NOT jealous of those of you that play the newest beautiful wiz-bang adventure of the number-one vigilante in comic book history. Not with my trusty NES! I've even got Batman Forever on my Atari Lynx to hold me over from the… eh…

OK, Batman games don't suck anymore. Shut up. I'm gonna go weep in the corner with my Lynx. Batteries should be good for another twenty minutes or so. Don't mind the weeping.
Related Games:   Batman: Arkham City


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